Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW X5 VS 2016 Toyota Highlander Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW X5

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VS

2016 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Collision Mitigation optional in the X5 as “Superior.” The Highlander Hybrid scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Highlander Hybrid only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The X5’s optional 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 Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X5 and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

X5

Highlander Hybrid

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

174

195

Neck Injury Risk

30.2%

47%

Neck Stress

305 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

37 lbs.

73 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

195/471 lbs.

409/517 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

230

291

Neck Injury Risk

29.7%

32%

Neck Stress

155 lbs.

219 lbs.

Neck Compression

23 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

470/286 lbs.

387/392 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the BMW X5 is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

X5

Highlander Hybrid

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

202 lbs.

348 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

71

111

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

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The X5 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Highlander Hybrid’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 2 years and 25000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Highlander Hybrid (4/50,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X5 is faster than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

X5 s/xDrive35i

X5 xDrive50i

Highlander Hybrid

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

4.3 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

12.8 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.1 MPH

106.9 MPH

90.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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The X5 has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (22.4 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander Hybrid:

X5

X5 xDrive50i

Highlander Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

15.2 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.2 inches

The X5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Highlander Hybrid are solid, not vented.

The X5 stops much shorter than the Highlander Hybrid:

X5

Highlander Hybrid

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Highlander Hybrid (255/50R19 vs. 245/55R19). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. 245/55R19).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid’s standard 55 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/40R20 front and 315/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Highlander Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Highlander Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The X5 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Highlander Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Toyota doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Highlander Hybrid.

The X5 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Highlander Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The X5 has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The X5 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (115.5 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The X5 xDrive35d xDrive handles at .82 G’s, while the Highlander Hybrid Limited pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X5 xDrive50i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Highlander Hybrid Limited (26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander Hybrid (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The X5 has 1 inch more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The X5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display which 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 Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X5 and the Highlander Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X5 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left down on the X5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Highlander Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X5’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Highlander Hybrid’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X5 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X5 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the X5 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Highlander Hybrid’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X5 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander Hybrid has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 first among midsize premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Highlander Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

 The X5 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Highlander Hybrid is not ranked.

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