SUVs are one of the hottest vehicle segments in the market today, and drivers have a lot of choices. Among them, Japanese carmaker Toyota, whether it’s a Toyota or Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, offers some of the best SUV’s on the road. Two perennial best-sellers are the Toyota Highlander and the Lexus RX 350. Both are great family cars, offering high quality performance and great reliability, along with a wide range of amenities and technology features, lots of room and excellent safety records. They both offer a smooth quiet ride and are a great long-term value. They have a lot in common. And it’s no wonder, as they share a common Toyota platform.
But, representing two high-quality car brands, each with its own identity and style, these two SUV’s, while alike, also are distinctly different. And, even beyond features, performance, and design, one brand, Lexus, offers a luxury car experience that takes your ownership and driving experience to a different level. Let’s consider some of the ways your experience will differ with each of these two quality SUV’s.
The Toyota Highlander for 2016 is available in versions ranging from the LE at a base price of $29,990 to the LTD V6 (base price $40,415). The Highlander LTD version offers many of the same luxury features found in the Lexus RX 350 which retails at a similar base price of $41,900. As similarly outfitted SUV’s, it’s worth taking a look at both vehicles to consider the differences between them.
Built on a common Toyota SUV platform, both the Toyota Highlander and the Lexus RX 350 are front-wheel drive models. The Toyota Highlander Limited is powered by a 3.5-liter, 270-horsepower V6 engine. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and gets 19 mpg in the city and up to 25 mpg on the highway.
Expect a slightly higher level of performance with the Lexus RX 350, which offers slightly more power with a 3.5-liter, 295-horsepower V6 engine. With an eight-speed transmission on the RX, expect faster and more efficient gear changes which help boost performance and fuel efficiency, averaging 20 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway.
|Base Price||2016 Toyota Highlander Limited V6 4Dr Front-Wheel Drive
|2016 Lexus RX 350 Base 4Dr Front-Wheel Drive
|Engine||270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (Regular Gas)||295-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 (Regula Gas)|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic w/OD and Auto-manual||8-Speed Automatic w/OD and Auto-manual|
|Horsepower||270 @ 6200 RPM||295 @ 6300 RPM|
|Torque||248 LB Ft||267 LB Ft|
|Fuel Economy City||19 MPG||20 MPG|
|Fuel Economy Highway||25 MPG||28 MPG|
|Sunroof – 1st Row||Open / Close / Tilt Sliding Front Row||Available Open / Close / Tilt Sliding Front Row|
|Sunroof – 2nd Row||N/A||Available 2nd Row Fixed Glass with Power Sunshade|
|Heated Front Seats||Driver and Front Passenger||Available|
|Cooled Front Seats||Driver and Front Passenger||Available|
|3rd Row Seats||60 – 40 Split Bench||N/A|
|1st Row LCD Screen||2||2|
|2nd Row LCD Screen||1 Available||2 Available|
|Fog / Driving Lights||Front||Front|
|Rain Sensing Wipers||N/A||Available|
|Headlights||Halogen||LED Low/High Beam|
|Airbags||Driver, Front Passenger, Seat Mounted Side Impact||Driver, Front Passenger, Seat Mounted Side Impact|
|Knee Protection Airbag||Driver||Driver and Passenger|
|Stolen Vehicle Tracking||Available||Standard|
|Lane Departure Alert||Available||Available|
|Basic Warranty (Months/Miles)||36/36,000||48/50,000|
|Power Train Warranty (Months/Miles)||60/60,000||72/70,000|
|Corrosion / Perforation Warranty (Months/Miles)||60/Unlimited||72/Unlimited|
|Roadside Assistance (Months/Miles)||24/Unlimited||48/Unlimited|
For a cutting-edge exterior look, the 2016 Lexus RX 350 beats out the Highlander. The Highlander exterior is unchanged for 2016, sporting a strong, but more traditional, profile. The Lexus RX underwent a complete redesign for the 2016 year model – and it shows. The exterior is sleek and more car-like than the traditionally more boxy looking SUVs on the market. While the Highlander offers a front row sunroof, the Lexus RX offers both front open/close sunroof and a fixed second-row glass roof that gives the illusion of a “floating” roof line.
For transporting crowds, the Highlander is a workhorse, offering more seating than the Lexus which has slightly smaller passenger space. The Highlander accommodates seven passengers to the RX 350’s five-passenger capacity. The Lexus, however, leaves room for more luggage capacity at 18.4 cu ft vs. the Highlander’s 13.8 while the seats are in place. Both vehicles offer more storage capacity when the seating is removed, with the larger Highlander coming in ahead of the Lexus for extended storage capacity.
Just as you’d expect from a luxury automaker, the RX is packed with technology that, whether for driving safety and controls, navigation, communications or entertainment, enriches your Lexus driving experience. A 12.3-inch multimedia front display and dual-screen rear entertainment systems area ideal for long drives, while voice command and remote touch also highlight technological features. As far a safety, both vehicles offer front and side impact airbags, ABS brakes and driveline traction control, blind spot monitor, ignition disable, rear child safety locks and keyless entry, as well as a backup camera feature. The Lexus also includes a vehicle proximity notification and rain-sensing wipers. Lane Departure Alert and Pre-Collision System (PCS) are available options on both vehicles.
Driving a luxury car means you should expect reliability and quality every step of the way. The car’s warranty is an important factor in making sure that your investment is protected for the long term. As you’d expect as a luxury car owner, the vehicle warranty periods for Lexus exceed Toyota’s. Of course, with the best engineering and quality assurance processes in the automotive world, Lexus is confident in offering its generous warranty coverage. While Toyota offers a basic warranty of 36 months/36,000 miles, Lexus basic warranty period is 48 months/48,000 miles. Lexus powertrain and corrosion warranties are also longer (see table). In addition, Lexus offers roadside assistance for a full 48 months or 4 years, double Toyota’s coverage period.
In addition to superb road performance, luxury and comfort, along with the latest designs, technology, and superb Lexus engineering, owning a Lexus means stepping into the exclusive world of luxury car ownership. Your experience is more than just owning one of the world’s most finely engineered brands. It’s a full suite of special luxury car ownership experiences and advantages. As a Lexus owner, you’ll experience VIP treatment, from the first visit to your dealership to buy or lease your Lexus, to each and every service visit and road trip that you take. Your dealership experience will mean VIP treatment, from the respectful and personal handling of your vehicle selection and purchase to extra comfort and conveniences at the dealership, including online appointment setting, free service loaner cars, and a comfortable client lounge with free Wi-Fi and gourmet coffee and snacks. On the road, you’ll be noticed, not just because of your quality Lexus vehicle, but through Lexus Enform service that includes navigation, weather, roadside assistance, and concierge services. Enjoy perks of Lexus ownership like special events, wine-tastings, travel discounts at quality hotels and resorts, retail discounts and more.
Think about it. Wouldn’t you really rather drive a Lexus? For more information on the Lexus RX 350 or other luxury Lexus vehicles, call or visit Lexus of Las Vegas at 6600 West Sahara Ave today.