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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    The reason some dealers do this is they hope to "snag" an ignorant, uninformed buyer.

    I agree. This isn't something new to Highlanders or even Toyota, in general. If an uninformed buyer doesn't know any better, they actually think "bargaining down" to MSRP is an excellent deal.

    I can't believe you guys actually sold your service manager at $1000.00 over MSRP!

    Supply and demand, pure and simple. If we all expect to pay less than the "suggested retail price," then I guess it's fair that a dealer can ask for a price higher than MSRP.

    My salesperson told me that their employee discount still does not apply to the Prius or Camry Hybrids -- they pay MSRP (or slightly below) like everyone else.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    It's pure stupidity that gets perpetuated because nobody thinks to try and do it better.

    OK, I'll ask the question. What would you suggest as an alternative?

    I prefer each region's ability to create their own packages. If you want to know what's available in your region, you simply enter your zip code on the corporate site. That's not that difficult.

    That's better than forcing me to take options in a national "package" that make no sense for my region.

    Don't imply on Toyota's corporate site that I can get certain options and then feed me off to a regional site that disagrees.

    The language is pretty clear to me on the Toyota corporate site (and I don't even have a degree in operations analysis :)).

    "Not all options/packages are available separately and some may not be available in all regions of the country."

    Would you care to suggest another way to present the various regional combinations on the corporate site?
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,987
    "OK, I'll ask the question. What would you suggest as an alternative? "

    How about the best of both worlds? Keep regional packages, but also allow customers to custom order any option they want.

    Only a very small percentage would want to something that is not available in their region. This way, you wouldn't lose the sale.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Part of what I'm saying is if Toyota wants to have options packages, then do it. Don't imply on Toyota's corporate site that I can get certain options and then feed me off to a regional site that disagrees. I'm not asking for options that don't exist. The parts are in the factory. I'm asking for them to be combined slightly differently than they are usually. That just takes some typing into a computer.


    It doesn't matter really. I have zero sympathy for Toyota in this case. I know what they can do as far as manufacturing and I know what kind of people tend to work at dealers and at the regional level.

    Now you're into marketing. Each regional market is different Toyota prefers keeping the control at the regional level.

    You don't have to have any sympathy for Toyota, it's not like they are in trouble in any way. This marketing structure has made them the pre-eminent marketer in the auto industry, the one every other wants to emulate. It works better than any other system so kudos rather than sympathy cards is probably the right choice.

    But no system will please everyone. Again this discussion comes up over and over again with each new launch. It aims to please the greatest number of potential customers most efficiently. Some will be annoyed and pass, most won't.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    Custom orders, assuming they're based on otherwise available options, should be totally compatible with a JIT inventory system.

    Differing options by region might make sense in a few small cases (like the cold weather package makes no sense in FL) but are people's needs that much different across the country otherwise? Can you really say more people in Kansas want the rear entertainment system than people in CA or New England? I somehow doubt it.

    Also, how many people in New England really want sunfoofs? It seems like a lot based on what dealers/regions order but everyone I know with a sunroof barely uses it.
  • jeffer3jeffer3 Posts: 22
    One of the reasons I bought a Subaru was exactly because of the way most manufacturers package their options, including Toyota. I live in the North East and in order to get heated seats you are usually forced to a LTD with leather. I know that may be changing and I haven't gotten up to speed with all the changes but Subaru offers heated seats with every model including cloth seats. Why should us poor people have to freeze our *sses off because we can't afford the luxury high end model or options. That's one of my beefs.
    Another corollary of this is when in order to get one option package they force you to get other options which have nothing to do with the option you want. This, imho, is just a form of gouging the customer. I don't have a discreet example but my impression is that Toyota seems to do a good job at this. Maybe that's where their expertise in marketing science has helped propel them to the top in terms of sales. That not withstanding I think they make some good products but I have been dissuaded from buying precisely because of the available packages force me into the high end to get what I want. I don't want leather and I don't necessarily want a sunroof since I use it about once a year. I do want heated seats, premium sound, and telescoping steering.
    These are my impressions and I'll gladly accept any evidence pro or con and consider changing them as the facts warrant.
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    I agree and disagree. The second row captain's give quick access to the third row. Anyone with three kids with at least two in child seats will appreciate the convenience.
    The center seat is more for when you need to seat 7. Uncomfortable similar to a luxury sedan back seat (Two sculpted seats with the 'bump' in the middle).
    I agree that the third row should be split. Without it, you lose often needed cargo space.
    I have two similar configurations in my driveway. I prefer the 4+2(split) when I have 5 or 6 without cargo though the 50/50 third allows for 5 with limited cargo. The 5+2(bench) is good for 5 plus cargo or 6-7 without.
    The split third would allow for the 6 plus cargo or the convenient 3 car seat kids plus room for the large stroller(AKA the minivan).
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    I have a 2005 Legacy GT. I bought it for the power and AWD mostly. However, with Subaru it's very clear what is and what isn't possible. The GT came with either cloth interior and no sunroof or leather, powerseats and a sunroof. That's it and it didn't matter where in the country you're located.

    The Outbacks and other models were all similar.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    The local salesman here told me he could custom order one, but it might take 3 months for the vehicle to come in.

    I'm looking at the Sport model, and if I'm interested in just NAV and rear DVD as options, I'm out of luck in my region: it appears that I can only get the NAV or the DVD, but not both, and each are packaged with other options such as leather, sunroof, tow prep, dual climate control.

    So I'm confused. Does that mean I can't get NAV and DVD in any configuration?
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    I have seen Ltds with both NAV and DVD. In fact the one I test drove had it.

    It seems that you're saying that the option packages defined by the regions don't meet your needs. Imagine that.
  • bsmestadbsmestad Posts: 9
    I just finished buying a 08 Highlander Limited with option "B". I must be the odd person out, because I looked at every car (except chrysler's) that lauded themselves as a crossover. I never considered the Pilot. I looked at the Murano, MDX, MKX, Enclave and Lexus RX. I didn't really care if some are luxury and other's aren't, because i just wanted the best car, with similiar gas mileage, in the same price range. Wether you guys want to admit it to yourselves or not, the highlander is going to compete against the crossovers. The 4runner gets to go against the SUVs.

    For the money, the highlander won.

    Oh, I got it for $900 over invoice. I looked at it the first day they got it, and they said they didn't want to deal. Told them to call me when they were ready, and they called 4 days later. Just be patient, and you will get the car you want for the right price.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Congrats! Sounds like you are on top of "The Game". Why was it better than the competition? How useful is the 3rd seat? How many people do you carry?

  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    "Wether you guys want to admit it to yourselves or not, the highlander is going to compete against the crossovers."

    I never said otherwise. What I said was that based on MY experience I did not encounter many if any prospects looking at those vehicle and the Highlander. With this new redesign things may change. Congratulations and enjoy your new Toyota!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Navi and RES are installed at the factory. Because the vast vast majority of buyers of the standard trims don't want to spend the money for Navi or RES they don't supply them that way. The buyers of the Limited trims often ask 'for everything' thus the inclusion.

    That being said you can get both Navi and RES installed locally at the same price or less for one of the standard trims. From the factory you won't be able to get it on any trim other than the Limiteds leaast at this point.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    NAV is available on Sports in the Ohio region.
  • bsmestadbsmestad Posts: 9
    I was looking for something that could move around an infant, toddler, wife, sister in law and dog for trips under an hour, that don't involve too much baggage. Wife has a minivan for longer trips. Since I'm in MN, i wanted something with AWD/4WD. I would of loved a sedan like a Lexus GS AWD, but because i have 5 passengers and a dog, it was a no go.

    Decision points were comfortable ride and fit (I'm rather tall, and the person behind me can be the wife if the baby is unhappy), MPG, final price hopefully around 40k w/ tax and finally options. Third row seat was not a must have, as we could stick the infant seat in the middle with the others on each side and dog in the back. However, it was preferred since as the kids grow, i didn't want to squish em together. I personally wanted Navigation, a stereo upgrade, and moonroof.

    The RX AWD has mileage of 17/22 which is about normal. Around 40k, you pretty much get the base package, so no nav. However, the real killer was the relatively little leg room in back. With my seat back all the way, and some recline, the person behind me was hurting.

    The murano never really had a chance. Small, and honestly, the dash was too weird for me. Sometimes things like that you just can't get past.

    The Lincoln MKX was actually a solid contender. 17/24 MPG. Good legroom in the back, nice ride, and pretty much loaded at 43k with Nav, vista roof, and a nice stereo. With a stiff discount (its lincoln, I mean, they gotta go under invoice) got me in the ballpark.

    The Enclave just sucked, IMHO. Cheap and bouncy with a high price tag to boost. Might be a good car for someone trying to get out of a suburban or minivan, but not someone moving up from a sedan.

    The MDX was the closest competition and probably my backup plan if the toyota guys hadn't dropped their price. Base price at 40k, so that would work. They both had the same 2nd row leg room, and both have a somewhat limited 3rd row that was going to only work for the dog and kids. 17/22 MPG was close. Though, to keep the price in the ballpark, had to give up the technology package.

    And that was the deciding factor. With the Highlander, i get the NAV, with the bluetooth, JBL stereo, and backup camera for 40k including Tax, title etc. With the MDX, I had to spend $3.5k more + the fact the Acura guy had to find me a technology MDX, and wasn't going to give very good discounts on one he found, it make the decision easy.

    Long story short. As someone who looked at what I felt was a lot of cars, I think the MDX is competition to the Highlander Limited with option "B" or "C".
  • jeffer3jeffer3 Posts: 22
    (this is more of a comment about the roof systems, not nec. directed as a reply to the message I'm replying to)
    I've tested both Pilot and MDX and they drive very similar, difference mostly in interior, esp seat, quality.
    But the one thing the MDX has that makes it useless to me is those stupid cross bars on the roof. Those things are practically useless. If you are an outdoors person and wish to put something on the roof you will find they reach their maximum capacity rather quickly unless you are only carrying a couple bikes. The Toe-Rag has the same problem as did the Tribeca. Some of the GM products I've seen I have a hard time figuring out what type of roof system they have or would require for an outdoor type.
    For people into kayaking or needing to put 100+ lbs on the roof you need side rails and then decent load bars across the top. Add-on roof systems are OK but not as sturdy and can dent the roof (Thule on my 2000 Maxima did).
    The Toe-Rag and Tribeca have corrected this design flaw for 2008 but not the MDX so you'll have to go with the Pilot if you want a good roof system with that vehicle as the base. Unless there is some technology out there that I don't know about. I'm open to new info.
  • cali_alicali_ali Posts: 7
    Thanks for your two cents :)
    I must agree with you that the new 08 Highlander is much more stylish and I love the smart key. Especially, since I'm always getting mini anxiety attacks when I can't find my keys. Then, ten frustrating minutes later I discover them at the bottom of my purse.
    I think I will test drive them back to back. It feels good to have narrowed the search down to two vehicles. Your advice was hepful.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    jeffer, they are purposely designed that way. As it was explained to me during the Highlander launch, they don't want people overloading the roof (although most do)rack, luggage rack, whatever you want to call it as it makes the profile of the vehicle taller and shifts the center of gravity of the vehicle and makes it more prone to tip over. Specially in strong winds like the Santa Ana's in California.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I would have sold my first one tonight but somebody else beat me to it. By the time my customer made up her mind she wanted it, it was too late. It was a nice one too :) Limited 2wd with Nav and DVD in that new green color which I don't recall the name of right now. She may end up buying a 4runner instead since it has the special financing and with a good discount and two paid for trades gets her in the payment she can afford.
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