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Toyota Highlander vs GMC Envoy



  • 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.
  • spdmtr5spdmtr5 Posts: 111
    You must have been using your 4wd on dry pavement;it's not designed for that,only limited traction situations.The TB has real 4wd plus a 4awd that will operate when traction conditions vary.Can the HL pull 6000 lbs?
  • spdmtr5- It would be nice if the HL could tow 6000 lbs, but unfortunately, it doesn't. I would go w/ the TB or Envoy for towing, HL for general use. TB/Envoy can tow up to 6500-6700 lbs. properly equipped.
  • I guess GM has been looking seriously at and using some of Toyota's winning ideas. Body design for one is apparent in the new triplets and IMO has been borrowed from Toyota. This is not a bad thing. They actually look great now compared to the previous uninspired looking body styles of the past. I think G.M. may be learning something after all. Now, if they could just up the fit and finish and overall quality of their products they would actually have a package worthy of import competition. Whether those quality issues are merely perceived or not most folks would aggree that Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Lexus are regarded in the automotive industry as the leaders and benchmarks in quality, fit and finish. And, while G.M. appears to have raised their level of quality in recent years the perception of most people as well as myself is that they still have a lot of catching up to do.

    Just because GM sales stats are robust does not mean that people are buying Envoys and Trailblazers because they are the best in fit and finish. Rather, it would appear that towing ablity and other truck like qualities favor those folks while Highlanders (car like) ride and handeling favor others.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I could care less about how much a HL pulls. 3000-3500 is plenty for me, as if I'll ever tow anything anyway. As far as I'm concerned, it could have a towing rating of 0. I'd bet my HL that the percentage of people who bought an Envoy that are going to pull 6000+ lbs. is very low. Most of the people I know (or have seen)who tow have large pickups or suburbans or something similar.

    spdmtr5: I was using the 4wd in varying conditions.

    fanman8: I couldn't agree more.
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    The Bravada over the Envoy was a no-brainer for me as well. The only thing the Envoy has over the Bravada is with the Autotrac 4wd, they have a lo range which makes it a better off-road vehicle. Personally, I have no need for the lo-range because I don't plan on doing any rock climbing, etc. I might take an occasional jaunt off-road over some semi-rough terrain, but not enough to need the low range torque. The Bravada definitely has more solid body panels, nicer wheels and tires, more elegant looks, and better quality leather interior! Not to take anything away from the Envoy. It is also a great vehicle, but if everything I mentioned prior didn't get you, how could you pass on the free extended warranty? I must admit that I too was a skeptic of GM quality reputation, because of shady past vehicles. In fact, I more or less went over every inch of my new Bravada before I bought it... I didn't notice any form/fit issues, everything was solidly attached. The build quality was top-notch. I would put any plastics in the Bravada against any foreign car maker and I'm sure they would at least be on par! Oh, and to answer the question "Triplet or HL"? It's obvious what I choose, but not because the HL isn't a good vehicle as well. The HL just didn't have the power, towing capacity, or ride I was looking for. Plus the interior felt a little cheesy after sitting in a Bravada.
  • fanman: you state "Just because GM sales stats are robust does not mean that people are buying Envoys and Trailblazers because they are the best in fit and finish." I agree, however its important to note that I never suggested that the higher sales of the GM Triplets meant they had a better "fit and finish".

    My view of the sales numbers has been clear all along. Consumers find a better value in the GM vehicles over the Toyota. People make trade-offs in all their purchasing and consumers have come to the conclusion that for the money they are spending they get more from it out of the GM products than the Toyota.

    Since everyone has different criteria for "value", you might find it worth spending top dollar for interior plastic that you can't get a finger nail into, while others might find that irrelevant to them. These consumers might find that they are more interested in the total interior space, or the seat design or the radio or HP or some combination.

    In the end, the only interpretation I have had of the higher GM sales figures is that consumer's find a better "buy" in the GM's than Toyota. Nothing more and nothing less.
  • I'm 6'4' and testing both the E and HL. Legroom seems good on both although the HL seems to have less leg support. For a short test drive the E seems more comfortable, but I would guess after a long drive the HL's smoother ride might win out.
    While towing is not my concern, payload is and I'm surprised to see 1325 for HL vs 1133 for Envoy-perhaps because E is so much heavier to begin with. I'm also concerned about poor gas mileage in the E, although would expect the 800 lb lighter HL to be rated better than it is. Would like to hear some mileage feedback.
  • tombarb3... I too am 6'4" (mostly legs) and I tested both the Envoy and the Highlander. I ended up purchasing the Envoy (fully loaded SLT 2WD, 4.10 rear end) because 1)it is a truck, 2)the ride to me was as good as the HL, 3) many more features, 4) it looks a hell of alot better, 5) salesmen who weren't snobbs, 6) better comfort.

    I have the air suspension and the ride is very smooth and the seats are very comfortable on long trips. As far as gas mileage, I get about 18.5 with about 60/40 highway driving. I think this is good, especially with 270 hp (I tend to have a heavy foot)!

    I can't tell you which one is best for you, but the Envoy worked best for me! I have 12,000 miles on my Envoy and still love it.

    Good luck
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    cmack4: I doubt you can look directly at the plastic that surrounds the radio/hvac and tell yourself that's more than 45 cent worth of plastic(being truthful). OK maybe a buck. Its like putting wheel covers on a luxury vehicle; it just doesn't work. I agree with you that the rest of the interior is luxurious. The air suspension ride is outstanding(except handling). As I said before though, it's a good vehicle overall(just get rid of the cheesy plastic). It doesn't sound like you compared your Bravada to a HL Limited with comments like cheesy interior. The difference in ride to me was that the Bravada felt floaty. The handling characteristics were much less responsive. It was obvious you were in a much heavier vehicle.
  • I looked at the TrailBlazer and Envoy before settling on the Highlander. It fit my needs better and Toyota has a solid history of dependability. I almost bought the envoy but could not justify the total package like I could the Highlander. The complaint I do have for the Highlander is the air flow when only the back passenger windows are open, sound like a drum beating 2" from your head (very loud and annoying).

    I took the family to Orlando from Maryland and no one got tired and the drive was very smooth both ways. The V6 has plenty of power and good mileage # compared to comp vehicles.

    This is definitely the vehicle I was looking for power, room utility and comfort, did I mention affordable. Now if they could only quite that drum.
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Most of what you say is fair, but I don't see what you mean about the plastic. I have the wood trim around the radio and HVAC up front. Do you mean on the rear center console, where the radio and HVAC controls are? The texture is sort of armadillo looking and not very elegant, but it's strong! My 3 year old daughter acutally was standing on the fold down rear cupholder (just below that) the other day to boost herself into her carseat and it held up, though I thought for sure she'd snap it! Oh, and regarding the "cheesy" was a Limited, I just thought it was overdone. If you look at the upscale Land Cruiser's and Sequoia's, they have a nicer blend of leather and wood. It's just an opinion, but it felt like the psuedo wood was overdone, almost like a Camry. It's probably just me, since I thought the Envoy interior was overdone as well...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Come to a light off-road event in NJ!

    A Light off-road event in Southern New Jersey! Come enjoy the trails!


  • The Envoy is a Truck.
    The Highlander is a Crossover.

    Wanna compare a Highlander to a GM product, compare it with it's actual competition. The Buick Rendevous and Pontiac Aztek. I think you'll find that they beat the Highlander hands down.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    cmack4: Fair enough, I can understand that.

    gm_litogation: I didn't think the HL was the most attractive design Toyota ever made but the Aztec & Rendevous are to of the UGLIEST vehicles GM has ever produced. I can't compare because I wouldn't even allow myself to even consider them when I went looking for my new vehicle. YUK! Hands down, they win the ugly duckling contest.
  • They are the competitors and if you compare them with the HL you'll see they destroy it.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    What are you basing this destruction on?
  • Yep, show me a Highlander that has as much value as the Rendevous and especially the Aztek. As far as I can tell they are about the same size, but the Rendevous and Aztek will give you far more utility. Check it out you'll see, more cargo room, more room, more inexpensive, more standard power, better gas mileage, more standard features, rebate incentives, just as quiet, no engine sludge worries, safety ratings are on par, 4 star rollover rating, look for yourself and you'll see, the list goes on and on.
  • IIHS Overall Ratings:

    2002 Highlander - Good

    2002 Rendezvous - Average

    2002 Astek - Marginal

    NHTSA Ratings:

    2002 Astek

    Frontal Driver ***

    Frontal Passenger ****

    Roolover ****

    2002 Rendezvous - TBT

    2002 Highlander - TBT

  • The Rendevous got 4 good's and one marginal, where as the Highlander got 3 acceptable"s and 3 goods. Let me ask you a question do you care how much you move in an accident, or do you care if you are going to get hurt?

    I'll take a little movement vs. injury anyday. Oh ya and you see all that paint on the dash of the HL, that's where the dummy's knees crammed into it. Also you might wanna check out the Aztek's ratings one more time, the only reason it got a marginal is the fact that the airbag fired late. GM claims this is an isolated incident, and I would tend to believe them. The RDV's airbag fired on time, it's the same unit that is in the Aztek.

    Also one other note, remember when the Aztek's test were conducted a somewhat biased media attended the demonstration. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the wonderful Dateline "investigators" rigged the test like they did with the GM Pickup. I'm sorry, but until I see the test run again with out there investigators involved, I can't accept those results.

    So when I say they are on par, they are, especially considering the RDV and the Aztek come standard with side airbags. You wanna keep going with this I think you should post in the other Topic. Other than supposedly accurate test do you have anything else you would like to provide.
  • ehl3ehl3 Posts: 30
    I have never owned a Toyota product before, but drove the HL, Nissan Pathfinder, 2002 Explorer and Trailblazer last summer before buying a HL in a narrow decision over the Pathfinder.

    Unless you are towing a boat or got one helluve a deal from GM or Ford, I cannot image why anyone would buy either of the two American products, other than sheer patriotism (for which I have done in the past, and am the proud owner of a totally unrefined SVT Cobra).

    I found the level of refinement and quality to be worlds apart and the number of complaints and recall prove that out. Worse yet, wait five years and see what repairs you have made, what condition the vehicle is in and what it is still worth, before passing blind passionate judgement.

    If you can't deal with the HL bland styling, do yourself a favor and drive a Pathfinder. More power, sportier design, decent build quality. If you MUST buy American, I praise your patriotism, but do yourself a favor and at least drive an Explorer that stands a chance in still having the doors attached a few years down the road.

    As far as the Aztec, I'm not sure how they ever get anyone close enough to actually drive one. Our local newspaper tested a yellow one and ran the article under the headline "The Road Warrior meets Pikachu". Enough said.
This discussion has been closed.