Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Toyota Highlander VS 2018 Chevrolet Traverse Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Toyota Highlander

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2018 Toyota Highlander

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2018 Chevrolet Traverse

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Highlander are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Highlander and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 87 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Traverse has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The Highlander’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Highlander has a standard 604-amp battery. The Traverse’s 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Highlander’s reliability 53 points higher than the Traverse.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Highlander second among midsize SUVs in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The Traverse isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 40 more horsepower (295 vs. 255) than the Traverse RS’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander gets better fuel mileage than the Traverse:







V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

21 city/27 hwy

18 city/27 hwy




20 city/27 hwy




V6/Auto w/Start/Stop

20 city/27 hwy

17 city/25 hwy




20 city/26 hwy




LE V6/Auto

19 city/26 hwy



To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Traverse RS requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Highlander stops much shorter than the Traverse:





60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Highlander’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Highlander’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Traverse’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the Highlander more stable handling and braking.

The Highlander XLE AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Traverse Premier AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Toyota Highlander may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Chevrolet Traverse.

The Highlander is 11.8 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Highlander easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Highlander has 3.2 inches more front legroom and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Traverse.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander’s middle and third row seats recline. The Traverse’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander. The Traverse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The Highlander’s optional rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Traverse’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Highlander’s standard front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Traverse’s standard power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Highlander Limited/Platinum’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches. With the Traverse LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s power windows, only the driver’s window closes automatically and only the front windows open automatically.

The Highlander Platinum’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Traverse is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The Highlander will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Highlander will retain 52.71% to 56.65% of its original price after five years, while the Traverse only retains 43.81% to 46.45%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Highlander is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because it costs $486 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Highlander than the Traverse, including $139 less for front brake pads and $48 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Highlander will be $4330 to $5506 less than for the Chevrolet Traverse.

Recommendations Comparison

The Toyota Highlander has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends

Top Pick


Car Book “Best Bet”



The Toyota Highlander outsold the Chevrolet Traverse by 75% during 2017.

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