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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Highlander are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Outlander doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
The Highlander has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Outlander doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Highlander has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Highlander Limited/Platinum has standard Automated Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Outlander doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Highlander’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Outlander doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Highlander has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Highlander and the Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Toyota Highlander weighs 563 to 1121 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Outlander. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The Highlander’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander.
There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Highlander’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Outlander’s camshafts. If the Outlander’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.
The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 129 more horsepower (295 vs. 166) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 71 more horsepower (295 vs. 224) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Highlander’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Highlander has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank (17.9 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Highlander has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.9 vs. 16.6 gallons).
For better stopping power the Highlander’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander:
For better traction, the Highlander has larger tires than the Outlander (235/65R18 vs. 225/55R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Limited/Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
The Highlander has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander’s wheelbase is 7.1 inches longer than on the Outlander
(112.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander is 4.7 inches wider in the front and 4.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.
The Highlander has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Outlander can only carry 7.
The Highlander has 13.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander (141.3 vs. 128.2).
The Highlander has .6 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom, 4.6 inches more front hip room,
2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 3.7 inches more rear legroom, 5.1 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, .4 inches more third row headroom, 6.2 inches more third row hip room and 4.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the Outlander.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander’s middle and third row seats recline. The Outlander’s third row seats don’t recline.
The Highlander’s cargo area provides more volume than the Outlander.
Behind Third Seat
16 cubic feet
10.3 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
48.4 cubic feet
Third Seat Removed
34.2 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
84.3 cubic feet
63.3 cubic feet
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander. The Outlander doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Highlander’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander’s (5000 vs. 1500 pounds).
When two different drivers share the Highlander Limited/Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Highlander Platinum has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the Highlander and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Highlander is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
If the windows are left open on the Highlander the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Outlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Highlander has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
The Highlander has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/LE/SP/SEL/GT.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Highlander Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Outlander doesn’t offer cornering lights.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Highlander has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the Highlander Limited/Platinum is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Both the Highlander and the Outlander offer available heated front seats. The Highlander Platinum also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Outlander.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Highlander Limited/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Highlander XLE/Limited/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outlander doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Highlander Limited/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outlander doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Toyota Highlander outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by over six to one during the 2019 model year.
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