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Toyota Highlander vs GMC Envoy



  • spdmtr5spdmtr5 Posts: 111
    dressed to look like a SUV.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    heatwave3: I clearly said amount of sales doesn't equate to quality. If that was the case American car companies would be in trouble. In actuality, Toyota sales are up. Even more important, Toyota's market share of the SUV segment is up!

    As I've said before the sales volume has a great deal to do with first-mover advantage, the fact that many Americans see purchasing foreign cars as giving away American jobs and not to mention the amount of discounted vehicles GM sells to its employees and family members. Toyota has to move slowly. I think we'd eventually see a big jump in tariffs if Toyota market share jumped too high. Toyota won't be outselling GM in the U.S. anytime soon and it has nothing to do with how wonderful a product GM makes. If you were comparing two domestic companies then maybe those sales numbers would mean more. Try comparing GM to Toyota on Toyota's home turf. GM is FAR less competitive.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    jblaze: Come on now. You're not really going to try and compare the manipulated and very closed auto market in Japan to the open market for cars in the US? BTW, were all the excuses you gave in #143 the same as saying consumers prefer the value they get in the GM triplets to the Toyota wannabe's?

    How about another paragraph explaining why the RX300 lost 13% of its sales over the same month previous year while the GM products continued their growth.

    I can hear it now, the quality is so good they don't need to sell more, I mean the factory is so good it can't make I mean....Ah forget it, I guess suv consumer's just plain prefer the GM triplets to the Toyota alternative:)
  • Japan does limit the number of foreign vehicles sold there but that has nothing to do with quality or value.They protect their auto companies because they are the few that make a real profit.I agree that's not fair but I dont make the rules

    The RX300 lost 13% of it's sales because the Highlander came out in Feb 2001 and cannibilized it's market segment.Toyota/Lexus went from 9,248 in 2000 to 16,214 car based SUVs in 2001.An increase of 75.3% year to year is not too bad.Both SUVs are made at the same factory so there wont be much of an increase until a new factory is built.I've heard rumors of a plant being planned for Canada.

    The main reason the "Triplets" are selling so well is the GM marketing.I see in the Dallas Morning News that the Trailblazer is being offered at $5500 off MSRP (several available)but when I look for the Highlander or RX300 ads there are none to be found.Does this mean Toyota does'nt want to sell me an SUV ?It's kinda like comparing Neiman Marcus to KMART,NM seldom has a sale where KMART has nothing but sales.

    To blindly support a vehicle because it's made by a U.S. company doesnt help American consumers.The main reason for the improvement in GM products is because of foreign competition.I gladly buy American products when they are built better,more reliable or whatever criteria I'm looking for.When GM bulds a better SUV I will buy it but that day has'nt come yet.
  • From a test drive comparison I found quite a difference between the Highlander and the Envoy. I tested many SUVs before I bought the Envoy. All of them including the Envoy have their good and bad points.

    However I found the ride in the Envoy much more comfortable than the Highlander. In the Highlander I noticed a lot of road noise coming from the rear wheel wheels. It also wasn't as forgiving on rough roads compared to the Envoy.

    The finish quality in the Highlander was very good and in trim details it is more refined than the Envoy.

    I am sure that the Highlander is more reliable than the Envoy. But going with Toyota, Nissan or Honda for an SUV does have trade offs. They are all good quality but IMHO don't offer as much as American built SUVs. For room, towing capabilities, over all driving comfort I found the American SUVs more suited to my needs.

    As far as price goes, the imports don't include the same level of options as the Envoy. The fact that my Envoy came with a roof rack and a trailer hitch reflects a savings over purchasing an import which requires additional costs for these options.

    The Envoy happened to meet my requirements with a reasonable price and had some nice extras that I couldn't find on imported SUVs.

    I also found that dealing with Toyota or Honda it was difficult to get a good deal on financing or final cost. GMC offered low lease rates even after I got the price down to $38k Canadian. Toyota and Honda price margins make it very difficult to negotiate lower prices or terms.

    I do expect some problems with my Envoy, based on some discussion boards I have reviewed. These problems will be partly be due to "teething pains" and GMC quality issues in general. But the flip side is that I have a vehicle that is very comfortable and gives me the power I require.

    Bottom line there are all sorts of points that need to be weighed before deciding on an import or a domestic make. I think the most important thing to consider is that the vehicle suits your needs. If you buy a vehicle just based on dependability with less regard to driving comfort you probably won't enjoy using it.

    Just a note. I have an import as my second vehicle ( 96 Honda Civic ). Yup it is the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. But I will take my Envoy for my trip to California! :)
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    hsvillage: you make some good points above, however I think you and others that have (rightfully based on the performance of past domestic products) come to the conclusion that Toyota and Nissan make a higher quality product maybe be missing out on the value and quality in the latest products overed by GM and Ford. I own a Toyota and therefore as stated in the past have no allegiance to a manufacurer, regardless of country origin.

    You state "To blindly support a vehicle because it's made by a U.S. company doesnt help American consumers.The main reason for the improvement in GM products is because of foreign competition.I gladly buy American products when they are built better,more reliable or whatever criteria I'm looking for.When GM bulds a better SUV I will buy it but that day has'nt come yet."

    I think you have blinders on, if you haven't taken the time to closely consider new vehicles like the GMC Envoy/Trailblazer or the new '02 Explorer for example. You may still come to the conclusion that the Highlander better serves your needs, however I think you'll have a hard time making the case that its because the new GM and Ford products are poorly made. They deliver lots of value, in fact some think more value than the import alternatives.

    I certainly think the dealership experience is a more positive one with the domestics based on anecdotal feedback on various forums, and the flexible approaches offered by US manufacturers to finance and negotiate on their vehicles makes for a more rewarding car-buying experience, IMO.

    In the end, it come down to Product Innovation, Customer Intimacy and Company Ingenuity as we like to say in marketing. I think the latter two favor the domestics with their financing and buying options together with efforts to raise their standards in dealing with consumers. And while the Japanese may have had a wide gap in product innovation in the past I think the gap has been dramatically closed by the domestics, at least in the highly profitable area of suvs.
  • corey76corey76 Posts: 63
    Of the GM triplets the best pick is definitely the Bravada. More features, around the same price as the other's, better looks (in my opinion), much better warranty, quieter down the road, much nicer ride.

    So really it's a no brainer.
  • Heatwave3;I spent over 6 months researching SUVs because this is the first I've owned.During that time I test drove most of the domestics and a number of the foreign.
    GM & Ford had the best looking vehicles and were definitly the most innovative.The Envoy had the most towing capability and a really strong engine.It's also the best looking(highly subjective).I was concerned that so much of the Envoy was new that problems would be missed by engineering and the customer would end up deugging. Toyota & Honda had the best fit& finish and the best reliability (based on personal/friend's experience and numerous automotive magazines)Toyota also had intuitive controls-that is I did'nt need the owners manual to figure them out.The Highlander had the best ride and the most car-like handling. We've owned 2 Camrys,so I had some experience with Toyota and knew their quirks.Toyota is also very stodgy,the Highlander wont win any beauty contests and why they would sell an SUV without a center cosole is beyond me.The wiper controls are the same as my wife's '95 Camry,but they do have 2 tripmeters- altho I have'nt figured what the second one is for.I average 23+ mpg combined (6 cylinder) and get a kick out of driving it.It is the right fit for me but I'm just an old white guy that does'nt want to break down on the side of the road.As far as the dealership experience goes I had to fly to Louisville KY to get the model I wanted and a dealer I trusted.It's no secret Toyota dealers rank at the bottom of most satisfaction polls.What I'm saying is- I did the research and found the right vehicle for me.It wont be the right one for everyone.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    HEATWAVE3: No excuses, just the truth. GM can't even sell what their allowed to in Japan. The Japanese don't want junk. "Wannabees"? I think its already been shown on this board who the wannabees are(GM), and they admit it. Why can't you? As a marketing person you should know that GM wouldn't be offering up the goodies if they didn't have to. They have to come up with all of those special offers to remain competitive. It seems that our difference in views follows the difference between marketing and operations at many companies. The difference between fantasy and reality.

    I had my father-in-law's Bravada all week and I agree that it is a good vehicle. The I-6 is powerful yet thirsty. The air suspension makes for a very comfortable ride. The vehicle felt & looked luxurious up until you glance at the horribly cheap plastic surrounding the radio, AC, etc. Why, why, why would they make this vehicle with lots of great gadgets, nice leather,etc. Then put the cheapest plastic they could find right in the center. Also, I couldn't get over the side view mirror that continuously shook at the slightest bump.
  • jblaze13: hsvillage provides a reasoned assessment of why he chose the Toyota. Very reasonable and probably fits the profile of many people that bought a Highlander. My only point was that even more people go through a similar assessment and have come to the conclusion that the Envoy was a better choice and vehicle for them.

    Somehow you seem to think its because they don't know quality or have been bamboozled by GM and Ford. Is it not possible they did an extensive assessment like hsvillage above and came to the conclusion that the GM triplets were "better" vehicles from their perspective and the sales reflect that the GM's were better for more people?

    Unfortunately you seem conflicted in your response. First you state that "The Japanese don't want junk." and than you state that "I agree that it is a good vehicle." you think its junk or a good vehicle?

    Disregarding the entire vehicle because of what you consider to be cheap plastic trim around the radio seems abit lopsided to me. For my taste I'll trade the quality of the radio trim in an suv any day for more hp and torque.

    In my book, if the chassis of an suv came from a passenger car it qualifies as a wannabe suv. It maybe a great highriding vehicle but in the end its simply a heavy, poor handling "car" that looks like an suv. Just my opinion.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I didn't disregard the whole vehicle because of the cheap plastic. My point was that the Bravada is suppose to be the luxury end of the triplets. I don't think cheap plastic fits in with the idea of what luxury is suppose to be. You wouldn't find that type of thing in a rx300, ML320 or other luxury SUV. This typifies my frustration with GM.

    Overall, I like the Bravada. But in Japan its probably a piece of junk considering their quality standards.

    I've never said that the Envoy couldn't be a better choice for someone else. I'm sure someone who needs to tow, wants to go off-road, and isn't much concerned about long-term quality could have a great time in an Envoy. As you said, you'd rather have cheap plastic trim and more horsepower and that's your preference. I'd rather have higher quality materials and a more than capable powered engine for my needs. I didn't peg the Highlander an SUV, Toyota did. You're right, its a high-riding wagon if anything but I don't want to go down the what's an SUV road. I really don't care how it gets classified. There is much worse than the Highlander being called an SUV.

    Most of the posts I've made on this topic have been to hit home the fact that Toyota has been and still is (I and others believe)a producer of quality vehicles and that the Highlander is far more likely to be of higher quality than the Envoy. Heatwave3, you don't seem to buy that point even though its been shown that many industry experts agree with my point. You seem to believe that somehow the Envoy & comapany will be different from the vehicles GM has made in the past and I don't buy that. Even more now after car-sitting the Bravada this week than before. It is clear upon entry into these vehicles that one is put together much better than the other.
  • jblaze: In the end you may be right about the Toyota being higher quality. In fact if you had asked me a year ago I would have agreed with you without hesitating. I based my view of quality on a 1999 Toyota Avalon that now has 75,000 miles and has had nearly no repairs (other than some nagging radio control knobs that seems to break every 20,000 miles).

    What changed my perspective was the purchase of a 2001 GMC Denali XL. After owning two previous Suburbans that seemed to need regular appointments at the dealer for service, this new GM f/s SUV has been of the same kind of quality or higher than my Toyota Avalon. I now have 16,000 miles and my only visits to the dealer have been for 5 oil changes.

    I think your view of the quality of new models such as the Highlander and the Envoy are too premature. Only time will tell and my latest experience (which also needs more time to be proven) is that the Envoy will be as dependable or more so than a Toyota. Its also my opinion you get more for your money in the GMC that the Highlander. Buts that's just my view.

    You appear to agree with me that its reasonable for someone to find the Envoy a better choice for their needs than a Highlander, which has been the main point I've been trying to make. The sales figures would suggest that more people have found it to suit their needs than a Highlander or RX300. That's neither good nor bad as both are good vehicles, just simply that one fits more consumer's needs than the other.
  • Sorry if I've missed this before but does anyone know if either envoy or highlander will be availabile with third row seating? If not avail now, is it planned for 03 model?
  • kfm4715-yes, the GMC Envoy will have 3rd row seating as well as the Chevrolet Trailblazer. They will be known as Envoy XL, and Trailblazer EXT, respectively. Both should hit showrooms by spring 2002 as 2003 models. Highlander will not be offering 3rd row seating (from what I hear), but I have a funny feeling the 2003 Toyota 4Runner will offer it when it gets remaked for the new year. Happy motoring to you!
  • Thanks for your post. Found some information on the EnvoyXL today. Looks like a good competitor for the MDX. Hopefully, the XL will be more readily available. Thanks again.
  • bigorange30bigorange30 Posts: 1,091
    The Envoy doesn't stand up to the Highlander at all. I rent alot of cars and have rented the Envoy. Its not even in the same class with the Highlander. Definately go for the HL.
  • Heatwave reminds me of a guy I new that had a Chrysler Van that had smoke billowing out of the tailpipe after 30,000 miles. Squeak, rattles, and the thump of the transmission were common in my friends Van. He had a heck of a lemon in my eyes. So I ran in to him the other day and what do ya think he's just purchased new? You guessed it, another Chrysler Van. I guess he must think they came along way too.

    Heatwave, you said you only had that 2001 Dinali XL in for 5 oil changes but didn't you also have a problem with cold air coming into the driver and passernger floor area? I seem to remember you havingair leaking into the cabin around some sort of vent. I'm not sure but I think the dealer used some sort of epoxy or silly putty to fix that for you while you brought it in for one of those oil changes. Does buying a vehicle with past quality issues not tell you something? I guess all of those loyal GM fans like you and my Chryler Van buddy share some things in common.
  • fanman: nice elaboration but more fantasy than reality. During two of the 5 oil changes, I also had the following adjustments made. My steering wheel was off-center by about 1-2 inches and the dealer aligned the front wheels during the second oil change. Occassionally, the rear "cargo door ajar" light would come on, which was a 1/4 inch adjustment made on the rear latch that was needed due to stiff new seals around the rear door. This adjustment was also made during the second oil change.

    My wife felt some cold air on the front passenger side and on the third oil change the dealer simply tightened the screws on the air mixer box which had a slight gap due to a screw being loose. Fixed in less than five minutes during the oil change. No epoxy and no silly putty.

    By my standards this would be an excellent record for any vehicle, now 1 year old with 16K miles on it and no required fixes since those adjustments on the 2nd and 3rd oil changes.

    I'm not sure if that would equate to having any similarities with your Chrysler friend. BTW do you think you could share an honest appraisal of all the service required on your Sequoia or should I go look it up?
  • spdmtr5spdmtr5 Posts: 111
    If you want a rebodied Camray;buy the HL.If you want real 4wd,towing ability and a basic truck frame--the TB is the answer.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    Be careful what you call real 4wd. The "real" 4wd I had in my Blazer would barely allow me to turn corners. If thats what real is I don't want it. Last I recall, you can tow with a HL. Not as much as as an Envoy or TB but enough for most of us.

    Heatwave3: I still don't agree with your interpretation of sales numbers...Oh well.
    I'm judging the quality issue on first impressions and reputation. The manner in which the vehicles are put together is a predictor. If you get in a HL and try to put a fingernail in the crevices of the dashboard you are going to have a hard time finding a spot where you can do that. You would not have any trouble doing that in an Envoy. How tight these vehicles are put together will translate into squeeks and rattles as time passes.
This discussion has been closed.