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Toyota Highlander



  • The "BE" is available but only for the Limited models out here. To clarify that, and the "VD" code cars are the problem, as they are very scarce in the great wilds of Southern CA! :D

    But, 4WDs can alleviate the need for a "VD" car (the skid/trac extra) when there aren't another choice to be had. I know there will be "VD" and "heated seats" cars out there a bit more next month due to the ordering status of these, both in 4WDs and 2WDs as well. Patience may make you verrrrry virtuous!

  • The tonneau cover is listed in the HL brochure as available with the Limited package but not under "additional options". It is also available with the Convenience Package (CQ) AND the Quick Order Package (QO) if you don't want all the expense of the Limited Package (LL). I could not find a code listing for the tonneau cover by itself, so that leads me to think you can't order it yet, but I agree with Drew that sooner or later it will be made available as a spare part. If you can wait, maybe it will come out as an option. The center console code seems to be CC. I think you would need to specify color (charcoal or ivory) and have a dealer install it - doesn't it bolt to the floor? Does anyone else have experience ordering the console?

    Each market seems to have some differences, for instance I received a price for 4 floor mats, not the 5 mat set from my dealer. You need something for the cargo area, I don't have one yet. Actually the mats appear to come in different configuations and styles (if you can get the dealers to work with you on this) they are (as far as I know, Steve, Dianne - correct me if I'm wrong!): CF - Carpeted Front and Rear Mats (Dealer Installed Option); CFA - All Weather Front and Rear (Dealer Installed) and CM - Cargo Mat (Dealer Installed). I believe the Gulf States distributors use different codes (M5 for a 5-mat set, CR for the console). Has anyone found any after-market all-weather mats, or it's too soon to be looking?
  • grplavloffgrplavloff Posts: 138
    "Does anyone notice there is a bit of wind noise at highway speed? I can hear the wind noise brusing up against the winshield and along the windows around 65 MPH and higher ... "

    Living on a planet with an atmosphere tends to do that to you.
  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
    Questions for Dianne (or anyone else who has the answers). Repeating the question from post #1199, does Toyota have a separate advertising fee which in NOT inclucded in the invoice charge. I have purchased Acura's, Explorers's, and GM products (always at $500 over invoice or less) and have never had to deal with the advertising as a separate issue. Isn't this just more BS from dealers trying to squeeze more dollars out of the deal?

    Second question. Like many others, I don't like the light colored leather and want grey. Anyone know about what the going rate is to have aftermarket leather installed? Can the consumer do better going direct to the installer or does the dealer get protected so they can add on their markup.
  • In regards to post #1199 and #1208... Went to the local Toyota dealer with invoice information last night. Dealer said "BTW, your invoice numbers are wrong. You need to tack on another $250 for the advertising fee."

    Didn't matter though, he wouldn't budge from MSRP, so we quickly walked out anyway...
  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
    I've now heard 3 different stories regarding advertising fees.

    1. $540
    2. $250
    3. 1.8% of base vehicle

    Anyone else smell something fishy?
  • I don't remember seeing a fee on mine; I'll have to look. However, they definitely shouldn't be charging it; in part because that's part of the cost of doing business. But also, they aren't advertising the vehicle, at least not in my region (mid-Altlantic). They're advertising the Sequoia, the Camry and the Corolla, but not the Highlander.
    People keep asking me if that's a 4Runner!
  • shl72953shl72953 Posts: 53
    Mine was $392. Manager said there was nothing he could do about it. I paid. So he either made $865 or $1257. Either way, I was satisfied with the price of the Limited HL.
  • svec7186svec7186 Posts: 56
    i've only shopped for hondas and toyotas with the understanding of invoice vs. msrp. dianne and other dealers explained it this way:
    toyota usa breaks up the use into selling regions. each region has its own Advertising Fee (TDA) based on a % of the price of the car in question. ex. in the NE region i got and dealers invoice faxed to me. all prices matched the only difference was the TDA. for the 2 fax's i got the TDA was $420. the dealerships told me this fee is part of the dealers invoice and is NOT nagotiable. the only thing thats nagotoable is the sales fee between the dealers invoice and the msrp that goes into the pockets of the dealership and salesperson - any cash incentives from the manufacturor.
    ex. in NY/NJ there are NO cash incentives at this time so the CAMRY, COROLLA is selling over invoice. in PA there are cash incentives and the CAMRY, COROLLA are selling bellow invoice.

    hope this helps.
  • sotagearsotagear Posts: 17
    I was negotiating a lease deal with the fleet manager at a local bay area (N Ca) dealer a few days ago & he let me take off with the vehicle inquiry report on a V6 4x2 non-limited Highlander. Here's all the extras tacked on to their dealer invoice:
    TDA (advertising fee?) - $432
    Dealer Holdback - $501
    Whsl. Financial Reserve - $250
  • jdlaw2jdlaw2 Posts: 16
    Drew, thanks for the article on fax blasting.

    I had almost the exact same experience as the article's author. It was great! I had about 20 dealers competing for my business! I faxed my letter to 49 of the 52 dealers (fleet managers) in Florida. One exception to the authors view is that I had success when this vehicle was not widely availible. I did it at the end of Jan.

    With several of those responses, the fleet manager faxed me a copy of their invoice. The only thing that resembled an advertising fee was the Southeast Toyota admin fee. Without looking (I am not by my files) I remeber the fee to be $325. Unfortuneatly it looks like the dealers in the souteast states are forced to pay this fee. If they have to pay it, then it will be passed on to us.

    This is a lot like the Toyo Gaurd (rustproofing, VIN window etching, and upholstery protection). Southeast Toyota adds Toyo Gaurd at the port and passes these vehicles on to the dealers. Unless you order from the factory and ask to have this option left off, it will be a part of your vehicle and invoice price.

  • A question for Dianne or other Toyota experts… I've only "ordered" cars from US car companies in the past, and the factory built your car exactly as you ordered it. The dealer told me last night that Toyota doesn't work that way. With Toyota, you can request a certain configuration, and when that combination just happens to be built based on the existing factory pipeline, you can get that car. It might take a month or two, or it might take six months, or maybe never! I found this difficult to believe, especially with such advanced manufacturing processes as Toyota has. Is this reality?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Oops, the credit goes to my co-host, Steve, not me ;-)

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  • daltexdaltex Posts: 19
    You're correct. Toyota has a requisition system that allows dealers to input a vehicle with ONLY the options that a customer wants. IF Toyota accepts the requisition, they will send back a confirmation with the 30-day delivery window. Be aware that this process may take 30, 60, 90 days or more, but if there is a specific combination of options that you want, it can be done. Sure, it's a little more work for the salesperson (as opposed to making a sale TODAY!), but hopefully you'll own your HL for a very long time, so why not wait & get exactly what you want?

    A question: Does anyone have any experience with any of the GULF STATES dealerships? (TX, LA, MS, etc.)
  • renov8rrenov8r Posts: 2
    The dealer is a big fat evil LIAR!!!!

    Run away and tell Toyota about the "Beige Sand" this dealer is tossing around!

    As daltex says Toyota most certainly will accept custom orders. While delivery CAN take longer than for other means, there is also the possibility that it will be no slower than from a domestic based automaker.

    My FIL wanted a Camry SE with everything except ABS & sunroof and at first some dealers were trying to steer him into "something on the lot or in the depot" but he stuck to his guns and about 40 days he got his car.
  • TDA (Toyota Dealer Assoc) fees are different in different regions. In the Southern CA regional area I am in (LA Metro area) it's approx. 1.25% of the base invoice, but it's "capped" at $300 max. Dealers far south of me, in San Diego area, don't have a "cap" so it's more on more costly cars like HL, Landcruiser, and just about anything with a base cost of $25000 or more. Yes, it means that dealers in Northern CA, way-south southern CA, and even in east coast pay more for the same car I do. It's a "regional" thing. Nothing fishy about it. That's just the way it is.

    By the same comparison, you may actually see a trend of people insisting that they went to a small out of the way dealer for a better deal, but that smaller out of the way country dealer also probably pays more for their cars too. One thing balances out the other.

    For the fellow in Northern CA at MSRP, an example is that their dealer pays $432 TDA where mine is maxxed at $300. Means my car invoices for $132 cheaper to begin with. Before you say "lucky you", allow me to share with you the flip side of the coin: a dealer in a metro area, I have higher overhead, higher tax costs, higher expenses for employees and far higher costs of flooring and such because they expect me to take more cars and every single car they allocate me, regardless of how many I already have. At times, that $50 or $100 or even $150 a car seems to add up, but it's eatne up just as quickly on a Landcruiser I floor for 4 months in a not-so-great color that I already HAD one of. Flooring on a $52000 car is about 350 a month, and if it sits 4 months, well, you get the picture.

    This is big business, and the accountants get to the bottom line quickly and quietly. It all washes out. Believe me.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Click on Most Frequently Asked Questions and then drill down to FAQ #12 for Edmunds' take on ad fees. Remember that you can always negotiate an "out-the-door" price to avoid these little $350 surprises.

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  • Anything, from the Echo to the mighty Landcruiser, CAN be built to order. Some faster than others. I have gotten "just the right Tundra or Sequoia" for someone in as little as 4 weeks (not a normal allocated truck, mind you) and some cars like order-built Echos or 4Runners (Japan-built) take 4 months' time. Solara convertibles, really never available in a 4cyl or a V6 "SE" with no extras, are a 3 month turnaround. A dealership with a knowledgeable and willing fleet person will be able to do anything. As long as you have patience.

    Matter of fact, there is really only one car we make that I refuse to build order and that's a Landcruiser when someone wants no 3rd seat or rear a/c package. Why? It's a 5 month wait for those, and if something happens and the customer changes their mind, I am stuck with a pretty saleproof rig. The possible sale of the car with no rear seat/rear air isn't worth the risk of the customer not taking the car when it's ready almost half a year later. I am all for the customer but also have to protect the dealership on that one.

    Most dealers are "in the moment" but there are those of us like Cliffy and me who are more focused on getting our people exactly what they want vs. stuffing a car down their throats becuase we think it's close enough.

  • How about "Partial credit" for being close.

    On a special order, it's never a *maybe* 2 months, 4 weeks, 6 months, or maybe never.

    There is proper process to go thru that ensures a car will be built. You will get exactly what you want, and in most cases, it's 4-6 weeks for USA or Canada-built Toyotas. Japan built cars are up to 16 weeks.

    Lots of dealers do not like this process because it means tracking a car for weeks and months, and watching for it. Candidly, I don't like it either, because it means I have to babysit 20-30 build orders all the time, every day. There are times it takes me over an hour every single morning to carefully check my inventory to see where the sold units are in process, make sure they get the proper PIOs, that they are being built right with color combos requested, and that they don't land without me knowing about it. Would it be easier on me if I didn't have to do that? Oh yes. That's the double edged sword here. I wish I didn't have to, but I do it because people ask me to and because I offer it openly.

  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
    Thanks for the TDA info. Do you know what the fees are in Oregon?

    Any knowledge on the aftermarket leather question?

    Are you familiar with any dealers within 100 miles of Portland OR. who are decent to work with? I'm one of those who orders and doesn't care how long it takes to get. Out of about 30 cars purchased in my life, at least half were factory order (American). I have generally found it much easier to get a good price that way. No flooring cost and on repeat orders from same dealer, we both know what to expect from each other and we usually do it all over the phone until the vehicle arrives. I offer what I consider a fair price and don't shop it when a dealer accepts my price. I only do no trade - no finance deals which doesn't excite dealers much since those are two more opportunities for them to make more $$$$$$.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
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  • grplavloffgrplavloff Posts: 138
    "toyota usa breaks up the use into selling regions. each region has its own Advertising Fee (TDA) based on a % of the price of the car in question. ex. ...."

    etc, etc, ad naus.

    Imagine you went for a job interview, and somewhere along the way you were asked "what kind of salary are you looking for ?" And you sat there and said "well, my daughter takes voice lessons, they cost $35 a week, and my son is in the midget football league, that's $20 a week and oh yeah, I'm paying off a coupla hundred a month on my Visa, let's see, add that to what I need for food...."

    These Toyota people have you coming and going. Why the heck should you care one iota about what dealer A is paying vs dealer B ??? What you need to get from them is their bottom line price and go with the best one. How they go about it is their problem, not yours. Once they convince you otherwise, you are lost.
  • Has anyone asked for second row captain's chairs? My 91 Previa, with four captain's chairs, has comfort for four adults and can accomodate the length of skiis and poles for all four in the center channel. Our new vehicle must meet this criteria. I would prefer the HL but have seen no discussion on second row seating options. I know that the Sienna has the option but because the third row seats tumble forward, they block the center channel and therefore one must be removed. I have emailed Toyota but have not had any response.
  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
    I disagree. I expect you will almost always pay more if you simply ask dealer A and B what their best price is and then accept the lowest. First, I wouldn't know if the price was fair if I didn't know as much as possible about what their true cost for the vehicle was. Second, lets face it, they are there and in business for a reason - to make money. I have learned I can buy any vehicle I want for $500 over TRUE invoice cost. Sometimes that takes trying to deal with several dealers, sometimes it means waiting a few months. Sooner or later, there is always a dealer hungry enough to except that figure. Usually, the only time you can do better than that is when their are additional factory incentives. Sometimes, it is impossible for the consumer to find out just what they are. You can't do worse when you are armed with more knowledge. You can do much worse when you don't have a clue what you're doing. Worse yet, if you are willing to believe everything dealers tell you, you must be operating on less than 4 cylinders!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    "You can do much worse when you don't have a glue.."

    Llloyd Bridges in Airplane!: "Damn, I picked a bad week to give up sniffing glue."
  • daltexdaltex Posts: 19
    Is anybody having success finding a 2WD with VSC? (Also, is anyone else in the TX-OK-LA area?)
  • pauleulpauleul Posts: 116
  • You asked to have the TDA explained. I did so.

    Don't like the answer? Dunno what to tell you. That's how things work. All I can say is that if you don't like the way Toyota Motors handles their invoices in Detroit, Seattle, or Los Angeles, then don't become a dealer there. Besides, truthfully, why should you be so concerned about what the invoice is. Be more concerned about the price you are paying. Not what a dealer pays.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    You're welcome! Just trying to lighten things up ;-)
  • The issue has arisen here and in my email about the fact that a dealer who pays less will make a better deal. Woohoo, whatta can of worms! Now, this is always a matter of opinion on any and all cars, but it isn't always the case. A dealership's decision (sales manager, fleet manager) to take a specific deal at any given time is often subject to trade value and possibility of its resale, interest rate issues with lease or buy, one-way problems, and even down to the finance manager's ability to make a long-term warranty make sense, and sell it to you too.

    I could type for HOURS on the things I have seen and heard and how I feel about this. I have folks checking with me all the time about their deals in their states, and asking for advice in regards to these things. I believe it's a privilege to be here as a recommended dealer/fleet manager by so many in this and other arenas that I do take the time to reply to everyone with as best advice as I feel suitable. When I ask someone where they are geographically, it's to get a feel for their market area, not to see if it's worthwhile to answer! I can't tell you what a 4WD ought to sell for unless I know if you are in Tennessee, Tallahasse, or Upstate NY!

    To end this rambling on here of thoughts, I have to say it isn't always about 'what a dealer's invoice is' vs. the next. I know for a fact that I, in the past, have given someone $x. amount more for a trade-in because it was worth more here than in their own area. Same can go the other way as well. And, when someone comes to a dealer who's advertising loss-leaders to bring trafficv to the store and someone wants the car n the ad, do you think they offer them their 7.5% if it's financing available? Usually not. Consider that there are many components to a deal. TDA for the invocie on a Toyota is the least of your worries!

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