Pecheles Automotive Compares 2012 Toyota Highlander VS 2012 Jeep Grand Near Washington, NC

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2012 Toyota Highlander

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2012 Toyota Highlander

VS
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2012 Jeep Grand

Safety Comparison

Both the Highlander and the Grand Cherokee have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

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

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

268

295

Neck Compression

96 lbs.

103 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

502/320 lbs.

574/680 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 Toyota Highlander is safer than the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.5 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

167 G’s

182 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

120

121

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

Warranty Comparison

The Highlander comes with free roadside assistance for 2 years 25000 miles. Toyota will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Jeep doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Grand Cherokee.

The Highlander’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Grand Cherokee runs out after 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Jeep doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Grand Cherokee.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Highlander have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Grand Cherokee.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 92 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 33rd.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Highlander V6 is faster than the Jeep Grand Cherokee V8:

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

19.7 sec

19.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.6 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.9 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

15.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee 4WD (28 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander FWD V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Grand Cherokee RWD V6 (18 city/24 hwy vs. 17 city/23 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Grand Cherokee doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Highlander Hybrid’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 Grand Cherokee 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 Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 V8 engine requires mid-grade for maximum efficiency, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Highlander stops much shorter than the Grand Cherokee:

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

151 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Highlander’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Grand Cherokee Laredo’s standard 70 series tires.

The Highlander has a standard full size spare so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare costs extra on the Grand Cherokee Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Highlander has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Highlander flat and controlled during cornering. The Grand Cherokee’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Highlander SE AWD handles at .78 G’s, while the Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Highlander SE AWD performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 1.7 MPH faster than the Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 (55.4 vs. 53.7 MPH).

The Highlander Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Grand Cherokee Limited 4x4 (28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Toyota Highlander may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The design of the Toyota Highlander amounts to more than styling. The Highlander has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .34 Cd. That is lower than the Grand Cherokee (.37). A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Highlander get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Highlander has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Grand Cherokee can only carry 5.

The Highlander has 40.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Grand Cherokee (145.7 vs. 105.4).

The Highlander has .7 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Grand Cherokee.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Highlander’s cargo area provides more volume than the Grand Cherokee.

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

Third Seat Removed

42.3 cubic feet

35.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

95.4 cubic feet

68.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Highlander easier. The Highlander’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.5 inches, while the Grand Cherokee’s liftover is 32.4 inches.

The Highlander’s cargo area is larger than the Grand Cherokee’s in almost every dimension:

Highlander

Grand Cherokee

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

12”/40.8”/74.5”

n.a./38.5”/71”

Min Width

42”

41”

Height

34.3”

33.5”

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Highlander owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Highlander with a number “8” insurance rate while the Grand Cherokee is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Highlander is less expensive to operate than the Grand Cherokee because it costs $259 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Highlander than the Grand Cherokee and including $130 less for a water pump.

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