Buying used Lexus RX350 vs VW Atlas vs Toyota higlander

Castillo_MaschCastillo_Masch ChicagoPosts: 3
edited January 20 in Lexus
Hi everyone,

I'm in the market to buy a used SUV within $28,000 - $33,000 under 30k miles (first time buyer). I did some initial research and my choices boiled down to the Lexus Rx350, VW Atlas and the Highlander. Here are my criteria:

#1. Reliability and lower maintenance costs. Shouldn't pose much problem if driven for 100k miles since I'm not planning to get rid of it anytime soon.
#2. 5+ seating is not mandatory. But 2nd row bench is mandatory. Therefore, a lot of the trims in Atlas and Highlander won't fit my criteria (the captain's seat ones).
#3. I'm leaning towards a 6 cylinder so gas mileage is not big on the criteria (18mpg -22mpg).
#4. Must be AWD
#5. Blind spot monitoring.
#5. Very nice to have: Moonroof, heated seats and steering, decent cargo space (two large suitcases minimum)

Any advice from current owners or people with any opinion for/against any of my choices, please let me know. Also, please call out if I'm missing any crucial point in my assessment with the vehicles. I need this car for occasional long drives ranging between 7 to 12+ hours and short weekend getaways.

Thank you for help in advance.

-AJ

Comments

  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 2,016
    Of those choices I would definitely lean to the Toyota products, especially if the intent is to keep long term. You should be able to find one will all of your requirements although depending on your part of the country, AWD may not be plentiful.

    2008 Toyota Land Cruiser White over Tan
    2017 BMW X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 41,481
    the Atlas is a barge, and the Highlander is pretty big too. If you don't need the small 3rd row, I would suggest a 2018 Acura RDX with tech package. Gives you everything you seem to need. And having done it numerous times, I can verify the seats are great on a 7-8 hour straight through trip. Not as big, but the back seat (bench) is quite roomy and comfortable, and the cargo room is more than acceptable.

    I had a 2013 for 8 years before trading in for a 2020 RDX, and it was pretty much bulletproof.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,953
    Lexus, while reliable, will have higher maintenance costs, because....well....it’s a Lexus and service costs more.

    VWs tend to have higher maintenance costs, too.

    The Toyota is a good choice.

    But, I concur with @stickguy .....Acura RDX will be a steady and reliable vehicle with the maintenance costs of an Accord.

  • Castillo_MaschCastillo_Masch ChicagoPosts: 3
    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I bought a 2018 Lexus RX 350.
    Things I noticed while car shopping and during test drives.
    My wife liked the 2019 and newer Acura RDX which comes with the new grill on the front. That also meant pushing our budget near 35k or above. We did like the RDX but we found the front seats/legroom to be less spacious than a Lexus RX 350. The Acura's panoramic moonroof was beautiful. It definitely felt sportier than the RX350. So we decided to increase our budget to ~37k which brought a lot of newer (2020, 2021) RDXs within our range.

    Things that pushed us towards Lexus. Firstly, our experience with the first Acura dealership was awful to say the least. The salesperson in the second dealership felt like didn't know enough about the car in general and only interested to make a sell. The third dealership was nice but had only one car in their inventory that was 2019 or newer. The couple Lexus dealers that we visited were outstanding. They treat you in a manner that we would be interested to earn them business (unlike the first Acura dealer).

    We paid $42k on road for the 2018 RX 350 and it has a decent amount of warranty left on it and is L/certified. It had 16,000 miles on it from previous (single) owner. We loved how spacious and quiet the cabin felt. The rear seats and cargo space is generous. The car drives very smooth at cruising speed and feels very comfortable. The naturally aspirated V6 puts out enough power for my needs. So, we plan to put on as many miles as possible and not worry about getting rid of it.

    Thanks All.

    PS: I realize we ended up $12k higher than our initial budget. But my wife and I discussed about all the pros and cons and decided to go with it. This was our first time car shopping and we were very skeptic about everything. I realized that so much changes when you actually start visiting dealerships.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 180,599

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I bought a 2018 Lexus RX 350.
    Things I noticed while car shopping and during test drives.
    My wife liked the 2019 and newer Acura RDX which comes with the new grill on the front. That also meant pushing our budget near 35k or above. We did like the RDX but we found the front seats/legroom to be less spacious than a Lexus RX 350. The Acura's panoramic moonroof was beautiful. It definitely felt sportier than the RX350. So we decided to increase our budget to ~37k which brought a lot of newer (2020, 2021) RDXs within our range.

    Things that pushed us towards Lexus. Firstly, our experience with the first Acura dealership was awful to say the least. The salesperson in the second dealership felt like didn't know enough about the car in general and only interested to make a sell. The third dealership was nice but had only one car in their inventory that was 2019 or newer. The couple Lexus dealers that we visited were outstanding. They treat you in a manner that we would be interested to earn them business (unlike the first Acura dealer).

    We paid $42k on road for the 2018 RX 350 and it has a decent amount of warranty left on it and is L/certified. It had 16,000 miles on it from previous (single) owner. We loved how spacious and quiet the cabin felt. The rear seats and cargo space is generous. The car drives very smooth at cruising speed and feels very comfortable. The naturally aspirated V6 puts out enough power for my needs. So, we plan to put on as many miles as possible and not worry about getting rid of it.

    Thanks All.

    PS: I realize we ended up $12k higher than our initial budget. But my wife and I discussed about all the pros and cons and decided to go with it. This was our first time car shopping and we were very skeptic about everything. I realized that so much changes when you actually start visiting dealerships.

    Congrats!

    Thanks for the report on your final decision.

    Edmunds Lease Calculator
    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and let us know! Post a pic of your new purchase or lease!


    MODERATOR

    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

Sign In or Register to comment.