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Toyota Highlander



  • eds9eds9 Posts: 1
    Outside of the price, is the difference between these two vehicles monumental? When looking over the brochures the motors, transmissions, body platform, weight, height, shoulder room, wheel base, etc., appear very close if not identical. Is the RX300 worth the extra money? I have had a test drive in each vehicle and the drive seemed compatible to me. Yet, others have told me that comparing the RX300 with the Highlander is like comparing apples to oranges. The prices on both cars seem to run the gamut and nowhere does the price seem to stabilize. I live in the Tamp Bay area of Florida and am not certain which car I should favor. Any thoughts or help?
  • bironbbironb Posts: 63
    I am presently in the market for a car based SUV with reasonable gas mileage. I have test-driving a Tribute, Escape, Santa Fe and the new Highlander (without Limited package) and all vehicles were equipped with V6's. In the area of performance/handling I found the Tribute/Escape to be on par with the Highlander, but when it comes to NVH and fit and finish there is no comparison. I personally found the Highlander to be much more refined with a solid overall feel and higher quality interior materials then the other vehicles.

    Now when it comes to pricing, comparing a similar equipped Escape and Highlander (minus tonneau cover and alloy wheels) the price difference is $7,105 MSRP more for the Highlander. Perhaps it is not a fair comparison knowing Ford quality and reliability in general compared to Toyota's but it does seem to be somewhat overpriced to me, no.
  • Many people seem to compare the Highlander with the RX300. Since they have the same engine, etc., perhaps this is reasonable, but personally I would prefer the Highlander to the RX300, since the RX300 has an annoyingly large blind spot produced by the large angular post separating the small back side window from the window in front of it on the driver's side. The Highlander has fixed that by its more conventional design of side windows and posts. So I see no reason to pay more for the RX300, which I don't like as much as the Highlander. It is not difficult to get luxurious amenities from other SUVs that do not have such an unpleasant blind spot in the side rear area. So if I do not buy a Highlander, it will not be to buy an RX300. I tend to compare the Highlander with SUVs produced by Infinity (being heavily discounted now), Acura, BMW, and manufacturers that will be introducing their new SUVs in the spring. Personally I think that the current RX300 is on the way out in perhaps another year or two. To me, its blind spot is simply unacceptable.
  • I cannot believe none of the new HL owners have felt the series of bouncy vibrations in the driver's seat when driving on city roads. The HL takes big bumps like train tracks very well but expansion joint roads, no. All I hear is how smooth the ride is, but I think that is only in comparison to a traditional SUV.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Does it look like Japanese version Highlander [Kluger]?

  • qguqgu Posts: 93
    There were a few posts talking about the rough ride. In fact, in Motor Trend's brief review, it was said the ride was not as comfortable as the upcoming Buick SUV. Many people in this forum will probably not be able to notice the problem because they fall in love with Toyota.

    Somebody, who sells Toyota, suggested to take the Ford Explorer approach which is to reduce tire pressure.
  • pkdlpkdl Posts: 10

    This post about it costing more to add the console after the car lands confused me. Isn't the PIO-port the arriving port in the US?
  • I lowered my tire pressure from 39 to 32 pounds on each tire and pretty much eliminated the expansions joints" bounciness. Have Bridgestone Duelers on so hope they don't shred like Firestones with the lower pressure.
    Ordered a center console, sight unseen, from my dealership, as long as it comes in under $200. Kinda hoping it looks like the Japanese one but almost anything is better that that dead space between the seats. Of course, I'm not married so don't have to worry about a place for the wife the put her purse and since I'm retired I don't worry about putting a brief case in that spot. Under either one of those circumstances, I would probably leave the space alone.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I am the Toyota guy who made the tire pressure suggestion and you completely missed the point. These things are shipped with the tires over inflated to prevent flat spots on the tires. It is the dealer's job to drop this back to the factory recommended pressure. That had not been done in the vehicle I described which lead to the bouncy ride. Please get your story straight before making statements like that in the future.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Many dealerships in the US will buy cars from Canadian dealers when a vehicle is in short supply in the US. There are a couple of problems a buyer must beware of. When the speedometer/odometer cluster is replaced, there is a legal question about the odometer statement. This is not a settled issue and you may be required to make a "true mileage unknown" statement if you ever sell it.

    The other issue is the warranty. If the selling US dealership does what it is supposed to do, there is no problem. They must enter the VIN into the Toyota system. If they don't, you have no warranty. If they do, you have the same warranty any other used (yes, these are technically used cars) car has.

    Anybody considering a new HL needs to be aware of these issues because a dealership who is selling them will not tell you. If you don't care about resale value or slightly different equipment packaging, they can make for a very good deal.
  • Once the car hits the dealership, there is no "sending it back to port" for the cheaper options. You have to decide how your cars are going to be equipped at PORT and when they land, you get what you get. It's a guerssing game: who's gonna want center console, and who isn't. After the fact, it's easy to add mats, trunk area mat, cargo nets etc because they are pretty cheap regardless. A console, after the car's at the dealership, is nearly twice as much, installed.

  • pkdlpkdl Posts: 10
    Ah - I think I understand now. When you say "land", you mean at the dealership. I was thinking it meant the port.

    I second (or third - I tried to ask once before :) the request that anyone who has had a chance to check out the console append their impressions.
  • bironbbironb Posts: 63
    Edmunds new vehicle review list the competing models to the Highlander as the Blazer, Explorer, Jimmy and Cherokee. These are all truck based SUV's. What are the car based SUV's models?
  • lfd440lfd440 Posts: 33
    Emailed you last week.... I'm defenitely leaning more towards a Highlander V6 over the Pathfinder thanks to your advice. I test drove one just north of Boston MA. yesterday.... I had a doozy of a salesman.. I asked him if the two roof rack bars were removable and not a complicated task. I need the overhead room due to the garage door opener. His reply was..I duno..( don't know).Terrific! Can you answer the roof rack bars removal question?
    The dealership only had 2 on the lot.In this part of the country ( northeast)they'll be a longer wait for a larger selection. I'm pretty much sold on Toyota and a big part is due to you !
  • tlcjactlcjac Posts: 10
    We test drove a beautiful black V6 AWD Highlander with the Limited package and tan leather interior which had a center console. The console was fairly low to the ground - about the same height as the seats. The cupholders seemed better than the pop out ones on the seat, but not as nice as cupholders on Camry and Tundra (I am a cupholder connoisseur). There did seem to be ample storage room for cell phones, maps, etc.
  • "I lowered my tire pressure from 39 to 32 pounds on each tire and pretty much eliminated the expansions joints" bounciness. Have Bridgestone Duelers on so hope they don't shred like Firestones with the lower pressure. ..."

    Tires are overinflated for vehicle shipping and storage. Check the tire sidewall to get a sense of what a reasonable tire pressure should be. The sidewall will probably state 35 as the max, and if so, 32 should be fine. I believe that many Ford Explorers were inflated (deflated?) to 26 lb or so.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I'm sorry, but one should never go by what the sidewall pressure says, and then guess at the pressure.

    C'mon folks, the correct pressure for a given car and OEM tires is always in the inside of the driver's door area or the glovebox. No guess work needed.

    Proper tire inflation is serious business. In the case of the Ford Exploder, their marketing/design guys made an improper decision in favor of a "better" ride than what the vehicle was designed for.
  • kem1kem1 Posts: 24
    Well, I did it, I kicked off a discussion on American vs. Foreign Quality in the Smart Shopper section. Have at it.
  • pkdlpkdl Posts: 10
    Thanks for posting.

    Is there a power socket in the console? And do the cupholders fold away at all?
  • ahossaahossa Posts: 152
    Have you updated your site with new HL. The last time i checked you had about 15 HLs. Iguess most have been sold aleady.
  • 00san00san Posts: 14
    There are lots of great posts and varying opinions on the highlander. Everyone seems to compare it to just about every other 4wd out there (e.g. subaru, escape, rx300, mdx, etc). But remember that the highlander is targeted to a specific market! Toyota has bigger (sequoia), more luxurious (land cruiser), smaller (rav) and more rugged (4runner).

    The highlander is cross between an entry level luxury car and an SUV and in this respect it measures up beautifully. This vehicle has a great ride, refined interior (on limited), good looks (toyota conservative), relatively good gas mileage and still provides some utility (3500lb towing, 4wd, interior space).

    Since I'm car shopping, I have driven 10 or so different vehicles in the last 2 months and the highlander is the best (although not perfect - hate the shifter and miss the console) match to my needs. And I don't plan to off-road, especially not with my $35000(US)

    For those who like to compare:

    pathfinder - gas hog; typical unrefined choppy/bouncy ride (grand cherokee does it better); cheap looking leather

    grand cherokee - too unreliable (but nice)

    escape - cute and great value but can't get over the wind noise

    RX 300 - over my price range; highlander has slightly more truck-like styling

    4runner - need a step ladder to get in

    The other great thing about the highlander is that it happens to be a Toyota! You don't see any posts here about staying away from a first year vehicle. Go look at the Escape forum and you'll see what I mean.
  • It's got 24 Highlanders on it... I'd add more but the rest of mine are duplicates of what's already coming. As they change/sell, I try to update as I am able.

  • You asked these questions:

    1. Where do they put the 6 disc changer when you get the option EJ?

    **The changer is in the stereo, in dash.

    2.What happen to edmunds prices on the Highlander V6 4x2 and the prices?

    **I do not know!

    3. When edmunds list a 3% cashback does that apply to all of the cars that toyota sells.

    **I know that regionally, there are rebates on certain models at times. I know there are no incentives on Highlander. I do not know what you refer to here.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Yes, there is a 2% hold back and a 1% "wholesale finance reserve" which is similar to holdback on all new Toyotas. Knowledge of this isn't all that relevant on a vehicle that is selling close to sticker though.
  • I agree the HL is a very good vehicle in a lot of ways. But it not perfect nor w/o its problems and compromises (which aplies to all vehicles of course). The critical question becomes what do you get for your money.

    If you are indeed familiar with most of the posts and previous discusions on this forum, then you will know that quit a few people are balking at the price of the HL. You mentioned that Toyota is targeting entry level with this SUV. $35K is not entry level. Infact for that price you can get an Acura MDX (base level - which is much more car tha the HL will ever be. In fact you can get a very nicely equipped Lexus RX300 for not much more than $35K.

    The HL is a very nice car, but not worth paying $35K for. Of course you can get a nicely equipped HL (with entry level packaging) for less than $35, but that is not the level you are considering.

    If you have not driven/looked at a base Acura MDX you owe it to yourself to do so. Base MDX MSRPs at $34850. This has more luxury, more room, more features, more engine, etc than the HL.
  • mak8mak8 Posts: 1
  • llofgrenllofgren Posts: 129
    I am ineterested to know if anyone has taken the HL AWD system on snow (yes, I have read some reviews) and what their experience has been. Especially one WITHOUT the (VSC) skid control. Anyone have any experience? I live in Minn and can take my wife's old Subaru AWD wagon ('92) and accelerate on snow like it was summer.
    As far as buying a first model year vehicle, heres my .02: in 1991 I bought the first model year Toyota Previa ($19,000). 10 years and 170,000 miles later it still drives in many ways like a new vehicle. The only thing I have ever replaced were rear shocks......and that was after probably 100,000 miles and being on a lot of roads I never should have been on in the first place! Toyota has replaced a bunch of stuff on this van for stereo, some engine parts and some seat cover attachments. That van has never let me down! You might pay some extra but in the long run the Toys are FAR more durable and reliable. I would say the first year is the BEST year to buy.....because they retain their value and there might be a small discount (before everyone sees how good they are and the price runs up).
  • 00san00san Posts: 14
    I agree that the MDX edges out the Highlander in almost every category - and only for a few thousand more! Why would anybody buy a loaded highlander??

    Well, in my case I decided against the MDX for a very specific reason. Lexus, Acura, Infinity etc. are considered high end brands and everyone thinks you have to be rich to own one (i.e. if you drive a 35k BMW people think you're loaded but not if you drive a 40k full size pickup). As a salesman (in my industry), I want my customers to know that I am successful but not to think that I am rich. So that brings me back to my slightly overpriced but conservative Toyota.

    I live in Canada, and for some strange reason they only offer this vehicle in a basic v4, basic v6 or v6 with the limited edition. So if you want aluminum wheels you have to buy the fully loaded version that costs $9000(canadian) more than the basic v6 (with steel wheels).
  • 00san00san Posts: 14
    Can someone explain the 4wd system of the highlander.

    Is it a part-time AWD that kicks in when the tires slip (like the Ford Escape) or is it an AWD system that is on all the time? What is the ratio between front and back?
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    The Highlander has a permanent AWD system. The torque split ratio is 50/50, even in no-slip conditions. To familiarise yourself with the different 4WD/AWD systems in the market, read my post (#2) in the 4WD systems vs AWD systems topic.

    FYI, the Highlander (when equipped with VSC) adds a stability control/traction control system. VSC = Vehicle Stability Control. This system drastically helps to prevent skids from happening at all (hence significantly reducing the likelihood of rollovers as well). The Acura MDX does not have such a system. FWIW, the MDX's AWD system is not a permanent system. As you accelerate, the torque to the rear wheel progressively diminishes until the vehicle is 100% FWD (reactive vs. proactive) mode.

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