Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Highlander vs GMC Envoy

kdubs1kdubs1 Posts: 21
edited March 6 in GMC
In the market for a midsize 4WD SUV for around $28K, I've narrowed it down to the Highlander and the Envoy. Anyone else in this situation like to chat?


  • I also have narrowed down to the E & HL but am looking for 4x2. I'm in Nor Cal with not much need for 4X4. As of last night I am now leaning towards a E. We also have a Yukon XL and love it. The Envoy drove much smoother. It nets out about $1000 more but you get many more options with the XL package. The Toyota was nice but I did not care for the interior at all. Very difficult to see instruments, gauges, stereo, etc. I ran a comparison side by side on Autoweb and that was great help.
    My challenge is I am looking to trade in my Explorer and GMC Sonoma to make a deal. I hate selling privately. I have no need for a extra car any longer. The local dealerships have no interest in taking in two trades.
    I have also been throwing out $500 over invoice but have not got any takers.
  • No doubt about it the Envoy has more luxurious features to that of the Highlander. It's a clear winner over the HL in styling and comfort. Chances are, when the time comes to trade-in that Envoy for another new SUV, it may end up in a situation like what sodapop1 is experiencing with his Explorer or Sonoma. The HL will still retain a significant value over the Envoy 1,2,3,4,5 years from now. The HL will always have dealerships willing to take it as a trade toward another new SUV somewhere down the road.
    If you like to throw away money and enjoy comfort and styling, get an Envoy. But if you like more value for that hard earn cash, get the Highlander.
  • little_pogi/sadapop1,

    I agree with your post, but one must also consider the length of time they will keep the vehicle. If a person plans to trade within the next 5 years or so, a Honda or Toyota or Nissan will almost always bring more money when compared to a domestic. However, if a person drives a vehicle for 10-12 years like we do, the trade-in value is basically a wash. However, the maintenance costs then become a factor. Based on my limited experience (only purchase new cars every 6 years or for for my wife), the Ford/GM/Dodge versus foreign design cost difference doesn't amount to much. Our 89 Aerostar required more maintenance than our 89 Legend, but the Legend cost more per fix than the Ford. Not to mention the Acura cost about 10K more than the Aerostar. All things considered, I haven't seen much difference cost wise between the two. If a short term deal is what you're looking for, go with the foreign design. If you're gonna drive it till it dies, I don't think it matters, as long as you buy the extended warranty for the domestic.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    Oh how I love honest dialect. However, I really don't think this is a case of comfort versus value. I think you can get both in the HL. The HL has the typical Camry smoothness, ride and likely reliability. If you're looking for a design statement, Toyota is not the place you want to be. The Envoy does seem to be a bit more luxurious on the inside but It'll cost you. If you need to tow anything, the Envoy will probably give you a better performance. The Highlander is definitely the better value. But if you want a little edgier style outside, more luxury inside, and have a couple grand extra to part with, go with the Envoy. Good luck.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    Is there any data to support the traditional wisdom that Toyota would have a better resale value? My experience with Suburbans has shown they have some of the highest resale values of any vehicle not just SUVs. Their resale value is substantiated by both published wholesale and retail prices as well as my own personal experience with the recent trade-in of a 92 3/4 ton 4x4 Sub with 125K miles for $8500.

    I paid $28.5K new and could have sold it for $10.5K at retail. Thats a wholesale resale value of 30% or 37% retail after 9 years and 125K miles of use.

    Check out any 9 year old Japanese SUV or pickup with 125K miles and I think you find the resale value is closer to 15%. In this case the domestic has substantially better resale value than a japanese model.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    Heatwave - Yeah, I've wondered about that too. Toyotas have always been known for their reliability, and the resale value has always been selling point at the dealers that I've visited.

    I thought I heard something about mechanical problems with the Envoy, although I don't have any sources. Likewise, some early HL's had a brake recall to get a master cylinder cap replaced, but apparently that isn't an issue on the newer models.

    BTW, you're not being too specific when you say "Japanese SUV". Isn't Isuzu japanese?

    Anyway KDUBS1, I have a Highlander and I love it. I use it for mostly city/long distance driving and light off-road stuff. The Envoy is a bit more rugged, but will also be more expensive. You might want to compare it to an MDX.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    brad22: there aren't alot of Japanese SUVs that are 9 years old, however the ones I was thinking of were the Pathfinder, Land Cruiser, 4Runner and Trooper. I don't think I missed any but its possible. I think if you check the resale vale of these compared to the Suburban (which I am familiar with) the GM SUV will hold its value better than these 1992 Japanese models with 125K miles.

    I thought it was worth challenging the view that resale values of Japanese SUVs is automatically superior to GM models since the historical facts would suggest otherwise. Time will only tell how current models will fare, however its not unreasonable to use the recent past as an indicator of future values.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    There aren't many 9 year old SUVs the size of a Suburban. The Pathfinder, 4runner, and Trooper aren't really comparable to the Suburban. Nine years ago there wasn't a great deal of competition for the Suburban. Now there's the Expedition/Excursion, Sequoia, and even BMW and Mercedes are preparing to jump in that arena. I think the Suburban was almost in a class by itself 9 years ago.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    jblaze13: No effort was being made to make any comparisons between the Suburban and any other vehicle. I was simply responding to the earlier blanket statement that Toyotas have a better resale value than GM SUVs. Clearly the Suburban is an SUV, is made by GM and has a substantially greater resale value than any Japanese SUV that is 9 years old with 125K miles on it. I just happen to have experience with 2 previous subs and a third I own now.

    I think the facts contradict the misperception that Toyota's have a better resale value than all GM's. I'd be interested in any data you have for other SUVs that paint a different picture.

    BTW, what BMW or Mercedes to you believe is in the same class as a Suburban?
  • hardhawkhardhawk Posts: 702
    If you want a Camry with an SUV body, get the HL. If you want a sturdier, more truck like vehicle, get the Envoy. Although the Envoy is more truck like, its ride is simply great. We looked at the HL before we bought the Envoy, and we liked the looks, room, sturdiness, and trailer towing abilites of the Envoy over the HL. The Envoy attracts attention wherever we go. People stop and ask us what kind of vehicle it is even though it has big red GMC logos on the grille and tailgate. We have had the Envoy a little over a month and have had no problems at all. The HL is a fine vehicle, and if its attributes are what you want, by all means go for it. It just didn't fit our needs as well as the Envoy did. We will keep the Envoy a long time, so resale is not an issue. I always sell my old vehicles myself and have never had one last longer than a few days after I put out the word that it is for sale. Of course, I am almost anal about the care my vehicles get and people know that, so they know that my vehicles are well maintained and cared for. Bottom line, we just could not be happier with the Envoy, but are by no means offended if others get something else that better fits their needs or does not like what we drive. That is the great thing about America, we have so many excellent choices! Where all people think alike, few people think at all!
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    My point...9 years ago there weren't many vehicles like the Suburban, which could explain why it held its value relatively well. You based your conclusion that Japanese SUVs don't hold resale value better than American SUVs off of the resale value of the Suburban, when 9 years ago there was no Japanese SUV that was comparable to the Suburban. If there's nothing to compare it to, there's no point. If you need proof, compare the value of a 1998 chevy blazer or ford exploder to that of a toyota 4runner or nissan pathfinder. I think you'll find the Americans are overmatched.
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    Couldn't agree more, although I'm still curious how GMC stacks up against Toyota specifically. Maybe I'll make a run to the bookstore to check 'em out.

    Resale value aside, the main issue is what you feel most comfortable driving. Hardhawk was on the money about the differences between the Envoy and HL. Although, in 0-60 acceleration, I'll take the HL. : ) And in ride quality and steering control, I'll take the HL (one of the tightest turning radius' I've ever seen in an SUV!). But hey, I'm biased!

    Also, what's the deal with the massive "Envoy" name plate on the back of Envoy? Its like they supersized the font. Bigger must be better.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    brad22: with all due respect you shouldn't let your bias blind you to the facts. The Highlander has a turning radius of 37.4 feet versus the Envoy's of 36.4 feet. Even the substantially bigger GMC Yukon is only slighly higher with 38.3 feet. Doesn't sound like one of the "tightest turning radius' I've ever seen in an SUV".
  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    Speaking of name plate, what's up with Toyota putting "Toyota, Camry V6 XLE, and their logo" on the back of the trunk lid. Isn't that an overkill? Isn't the "logo and V6" sufficient to identify a vehicle? Why does Toyota have to put so many crap to identify it?
  • brad_22brad_22 Posts: 154
    Looks like you're right. In my defense, compared to other SUV's/Trucks I've been in, it seemed tighter (my roomate just bought an Avalanche...). Score one for the Envoy.

    hvan3: I have no idea why Toyota does that, but I know they're not alone. Why do some Mercedes feel the need to spell out "Kompressor" on their souped-up models? Wouldn't "K" be shorter?
  • By now there is at least a half dozen periodicals which have rated/compared these vehicles, including the recent october consumer report, car & driver (july?), consumer guide (paperback at any large magazine rack). Its pretty unanimous that the HL is the better vehicle. The recalls for the envoy vs the HL just emphasize the difference in quality.

    I would say the only exception would be if you need the extra towing ability of the envoy then the HL will not do for you.....
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    I see the discussion that the 92 Suburban has better resale value than the Japanese SUV's. So I went to Edmunds used car section and checked out 4 wheel drive Suburban and 4Runner. The Suburban prices ran from $4,281 to $7,000 and the 4Runner runs from $5,191 to $7,493. Did I miss something???
  • peter78: A few points worth noting in your comparison.

    1) You were not using the same vehicle I used in my comparison. The vehicle I used was the one I owned which was a 3/4 ton Silverado 4x4 Suburban (K2500) with 125,000 miles in clean condition.

    2) The point I was making is the % of original value was higher on the Sub than Japanese SUVs with the same mileage. You would also have to provide the original selling price to determine if the trade-in or resale values are better/worse.

    3) With all due respect to Edmunds, it is not the standard used by the industry for calculating the resale value by a dealer, the wholesale price or for that matter the retail to the general public.

    That standard for the most part is Kelly Blue Book, which can be reviewed at or through Carpoint.

    By Kelly Blue Book a well-equipped 1992 3/4 ton 4x4 Silverado Suburban with 125,000 miles has a trade-in value of $6670 and a retail value of $12,195. This seems in alignment (however lower) than what I received in October of 2000 for the trade-in value on this exact vehicle of $8000. (which is significantly higher than Edmund's suggests and I doubt any dealer is going to give any more of a trade-in than necessary when the new vehicle purchased was at Factory invoice - on the GM Supplier program).

    The KBB pricing also aligns with the pricing posted in most classifieds both on-line and in the local newspapers.

    Using the same evaluation for a well-equipped (comparable to the SUB) 1992 4x4 Toyota 4Runner, the trade-in value was $5,245 and a retail value of $9480.

    The Suburban described above in 1992 was $28,500. Unless you have an original purchase price for the Toyota above, the retained value cannot be calculated, however by almost any standard of vehicles being sold on-line, the comparison above would return a higher resale price for the Sub than the Toyota. Whether or not the residual value favored the GM could only be determined with an original purchase price for the Toyota.
  • peter78peter78 Posts: 284
    To heatwave3, thank you for the response about your explanation of your Chevy Suburban resale value. Obviously no one has written since your last post, done before September 11, 2001. I wanted to write today because my wife called me and left a message on my phone, "I want to buy a Chevrolet Suburban". I called her up and asked why? She said "Five fire fighters were found alive in a Chevrolet Suburban at Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York". Sometime we realize what is really important. God Bless America.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,910
    I posted a similar report from CNN earlier today. Unfortunately it was another unfounded rumor....

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

This discussion has been closed.