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Lexus RX 350 versus Toyota Highlander Limited?

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  • And don't forget you can't get the memory seats, memory mirrors and the power telescoping steering wheel on the Highlander. I have to have the memory seats. But, certainly, if you need a little bit more cargo room, then the Highlander will suit your needs better.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    While far from acceptable by my standards the newer RX350's (2010+{?}) have a much more functional F/awd system vs the HL. The Honda/Acura SH-AWD system is the best of the best for vehicles with sideways mounted engines.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited March 2011
    We already know that Highlander's AWD works extremely well and owners more then happy with it's performance

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f21ebcd!make=Toyota&model=Highland- - er&ed_makeindex=.f21ebcd

    stop beating a dead horse...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Then why does it need a TDC "off" function to quickly convert it into the old style ONE-WHEEL drive system for getting unstuck or initially in motion..?
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Only if you stuck and can't move, not in motion. it takes special skills or really abnormal road conditions to get stuck in this vehicle. Since it is not an off-road vehicle you really need to be looking for troubles to get it stuck. It never got me stuck even going through last three Ohio winters.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Only if stuck and can't move, not in motion.."

    In the general case once you are "in motion" there is NO requirement for both front and rear drive. Most true 4WD owners will tell you that it is HIGHLY inadviseable, even DANGEROUS, to have both front and rear drives engaged when/once in motion.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You're obviously not considering the fairly common "stuck" situation wherein you're trying to start up, initially, from a stop, a slight incline that is icy or slippery.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited March 2011
    I can't comment on "the fairly common "stuck" situation wherein you're trying to start up, initially, from a stop, a slight incline that is icy or slippery" for a simple reason that MY Highlander never got stuck in this situation and started moving with ease. As a matter of fact MY Highlander didn't get stuck even once since the time I purchased it back in 2008.

    I can see that you have wast theoretical knowledge about AWD but it worth zilch to me. I'm not a Toyota transmission engineer to go over AWD design implementation, it's shortcomings and advantages. Toyota doesn't engineer and manufacture vehicles that are "DANGEROUS" too drive (at list no one was able to get any credible proof too this date). You'll have very hard time finding a second Gen Highlander owner being unhappy with it's AWD performance under severe weather conditions. You on the contrary never bothered to drive the vehicle and trying to prove that it has inferior design based purely on your own theoretical conclusions. Real life experience proves you wrong! Read here:
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f21ebcd/21!make=Toyota&model=Highlander&e- - - - - - - d_makeindex=.f21ebcd
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, but is well understood that FWD vehicles and F/awd vehicles are patently dangerous to life and limb on an adverse, slippery, roadbed. That's why TDC is so important and has become horribly aggressive, it needs to be in order to sunstantually lower the potential for an accident resulting from loss of directional control.
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    Any car is dangerous on "an adverse, slippery, roadbed". Any 4WD/AWD/FWD design has it's limits. You can go over this hundred of times but Highlander AWD works well in real life. Read here:

    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f21ebcd/21!make=Toyota&model=Highlander&e- d_makeindex=.f21ebcd
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
    Let's get back to comparing the 350 and the Highlander, and I don't mean the minutia of AWD systems that are only of interest to one or two gearheads out there.

    Thanks!
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    I feel this is enough too. Just sad to see how wwest turns every discussion on this board into baseless bashing of Toyota AWD and misleads people into thinking that it is inferior based on his own theoretical conclusions.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    This discussion is about purchasing a new RX350 versus a HL Limited.

    Other than the up-pricing due to the upscale features, heated/memory/leather seats, HID headlamps, etc, etc, just what are the differences???

    3rd row seating and the F/awd system.

    You either need or want that third row, so question answered.

    I do find myself puzzled that Toyota has used, adopted the new, more functional F/awd system across the product line with the sole exception of the HL. I fully expected that as of the new model year the HL would also be so equipped.

    Maybe we can get someone from Toyota to chime in and tell us why the HL is being left out in the cold...?

    So, nuff said, bye.
  • johnxyzjohnxyz Posts: 94
    "I do find myself puzzled that Toyota has used, adopted the new, more functional F/awd system across the product line with the sole exception of the HL. I fully expected that as of the new model year the HL would also be so equipped."

    Hi again wwest - Would you expand on the improved Toyota system. Is it in the RX/ 4Runner /RAV4/Toyota trucks but not the '10/'11 HL? Interested in purchasing a Lexus RX or Toyota crossover this year. Thanks.

    What's your opinion on the Honda Pilot and CR-V? Any idea if Honda/Acura is going to upgrade their somewhat dated 5 speed automatic transmission?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2011
    For quite a few years now, going back to the '01 F/awd RX300 and the F/awd HL, the F/awd system has been basically a ONE-WHEEL drive system. Three simple, fully "open" differentials. Meaning if any one wheel begins slipping then it gets all the "drive", sapping the torque level down to just enough to keep that slipping wheel or wheels spinning.

    Care of wording must be exerted here, as one should realize that even as above ALL four wheels are still getting EQUAL torque. It's just that for the wheel(s) remaining with traction the torque is now so low that no motion results.

    The "legacy" technique, TC(TDC IMMHO) technique, that was in use, moderately (ABS "style" "pulse" moderation) brakes the slipping wheel(s) to simulate traction. But that could easily result in over-heating of the brake components so the engine was always dethrottled just as quickly.

    While that proved to be satisfactory in some cases, maybe even most, there was enough public outcry about one serious shortcoming that it was addressed via adding a manual TC(TDC) disable feature.

    Basically this legacy system was a REACTIVE, after-the-fact, F/awd system. Prior to a wheelspin/slip the system was, by default, a ONE-WHEEL drive system.

    The new systems are "pre-emptive", "before-the-fact"...! So, has Toyota found a way to predict the future..."

    Not at all.

    The new system engages the rear drive capability in situations that are most likely to result in loss of traction on the primary drive wheels, the FRONT wheels.

    That is:

    A) During acceleration from a stop or from a relatively low speed, below 25 MPH. The higher the acceleration level, the more engine torque will be routed, coupled, to the rear.

    B) When turning a F/awd vehicle then engine drive torque will oftentimes overcome the front tires' roadbed traction capabilities needed to provide enough lateral traction for maintaining or sustaining directional control. This, in effect, is what results in FWD vehicles becoming so patently UNSAFE on adverse roadbed conditions, and F/awd systems slightly less so.

    With a R/awd system one might simply reduce the torque coupling level to the front, entirely so if the need should arise, a tight accelerating turn, for instance.

    F/awd systems have a HARD, non-modulateable, front drive coupling. So all torque re-apportionment, F/R torque re-apportionment, must be toward the rear drive.

    The obvious shortcoming of this new pre-emptive F/awd system is that unless the roadbed happens to be slippery enough to not incur driveline windup and/or tire scrubbing/hopping the driveline components might be subject to premature failures.

    Your can see that in the long history of the use of this new F/awd design approach in the Ford Escape and Mariner, and more recently in the Acura MDX VTM-4 system. Both fraught with failures historically.

    IMMHO the proper design approach would have been to have these new systems default to "reactive" mode but allow the driver to manually switch into "pre-emptive" mode when roadbed conditions are recognizably. In either case should the system not encounter a "slip" condition within a given time period or # of miles it would automatically switch back into reactive mode.

    The Ford AeroStar R/awd system runs by default with 30/70 torque distribution. When wheelspin/slip occurs it automatically switches into 50/50 F/R torque delivery mode. It will UNCONDITIONALLY switch back in 50/50 mode in 3-4 minutes. The if wheelspin/slip repeats.....
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    This is really a moot point since this could be only applicable to the vehicle having difficulties to get moving from a dead stop position under very specific road conditions that most Non Off-Road drivers will never experience in their life time. Real life experience proves that AWD HL or RX300 handle good under demanding road conditions.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..will never experience..."

    Boy, you sure live in fantasyland.

    Why do you think the public outcry was so "loud" and widespread that most "ONE-WHEEL" F/awd manufacturers have added a TDC "off" funtion...?
  • luckysevenluckyseven Posts: 134
    edited March 2011
    "public outcry".... I don't think so. TC off function was added for the same reason hundreds of new functions added to any new car model. One of my friends owns a 1st gen HL, another owns RX300. I asked them if they would ever benefit from such an improvement and they didn't have a single time they'd need it. I have TC off functionality in my HL but like the most people never needed it going through 4 fierce Ohio winters. Frankly, 99% of the drivers wouldn't even know about it, even though their cars have such an option.
  • I am researching the Lexus RX350 and the Toyota Highlander Limited. Have driven the HL and really liked it but noticed some road noise which is something that bothers me. Would anyone like to weigh in on the comparison of road noise on the 2012 models of these two?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Differing road noise is more often than otherwise the result of different tires being fitted.
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