Jump to content


2008 Rx400 Or 2008 Highlander Hybrid


Recommended Posts

I was about to pull the trigger on buying a 2008 RX400 but then started to read about the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid that will be available in December. Some interesting points to consider...

Highlander will be the platform for the 2009 RX400

Highlander comes standard with 3rd row seat

Highlander will have an EV button for operating the car in electric only mode (i.e when idling in a garage)

I like the styling of the RX better than the new Highlander but does it make any sense to pay the premium for an RX when the Highlander is in essence, next year's RX available this year? Fit and finish are typical Toyota... very good but not up to Lexus standards.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

SloopG

Link to comment
Share on other sites


hi sloop - i had a 2007 highlander for about 3 months - did not like the handling - too much rocking side to side

so i traded it for a 2007 RX400h - a world of difference !! if you want true luxury get the Lexus - it does everthing better than the toyota - if money is a factor the highlander would be o.k. But i can afford the BEST = Lexus !!!!!

why not take a test ride in both - at least for a weekend in both - a ride around the block is not a good test - my dealers are glad to give me 2-3 days of test driving - go for it !! richard

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking into this also. The new 2008 Highlander Hybrid is a thorough redesign and has some features that are not available on the RX.

See http://reviews.cnet.com/suv/2008-toyota-hi...l?tag=pdtl-list

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=121374

For example, the smart key and the mp3 inputs are big things for me. I love the smart key in my prius and hate the half baked solutions for adding an ipod to a car that doesn't have it ready to be plugged in. I haven't bought the RX up until now because I've been waiting for it to get the smart key like other Lexi and Toyotas, but am thinking of getting the Highlander now instead of waiting.

It seems that it would be a long wait: see http://www.thecarconnection.com/Enthusiast...s_RX_Spied.S178

stating: "The RX will be undergoing a major update for the 2009 model year, with production beginning in late December of 2008, toward an on-sale date of early spring of 2009."

These are all the differences that I could find between the new design 2008 highlander and old design 2008 RX:

the new Highlander has -- and the RX doesn't have:

Smartkey

third row (can delete if you don't want it)

mp3 input

more cargo space

EV button for hybrid

19" wheels

driver's seat cushion extension

dual dash LCDs (main one is really large)

flip-up lift gate window

Auxilary engine cooler

fan control on rear vents

cruise on steering wheel

cargo area tiedowns

rear reading lights

95 cu. ft. cargo (vs 85 for RX)

5000 lbs towing capacity (vs 3500 for RX)

59.7" shoulder room (vs 57.9 for RX)

1" (front) 2" (rear) more leg room

cheaper

but the RX has (and the new Highlander doesn't have):

memory seats/mirrors/steering wheel

headlight washers

xenon headlights

real wood trim

"retained accessory power" (whatever that is)

auto dimming outside mirrors

4 one touch power windows (vs just drivers on highlander)

passenger seat height and lumbar adjustment

driver seat adjustable 10 ways (vs 8 for highlander)

faster (at least hybrid Lexus is faster than hybrid toyota, and maybe non-hybrid also?)

laser cruise

turning headlights

rain sensing wipers

Mark Levinson stereo

better warranty

better dealers

Ultimately I decided that memory seats are essential and without memory seats I can't buy the new Highlander.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. That really helps. The memory seats and adjustable passanger seat are key features for me. Looks like I will go ahead with the Lexus. Also, hope the new Highlander does not suffer from the Toyota reliability problems that they are experiencing with the redesigned Camry and Tundra (per consumer reports)

SloopG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

snip

. . . . .

These are all the differences that I could find between the new design 2008 highlander and old design 2008 RX:

the new Highlander has -- and the RX doesn't have:

Smartkey

. . . . . . . .

Errr, nope/ Better watch the video again. No SKS for either model . . . which ticks me no end.

That there key hole (75 year old technology) on the collum is a dead giveaway.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=121374

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the RXh goes the direction of the HH, longer, HEAVIER, 3rd row seat, etc, I expect we will see a Lexus hybrid version of the RAV4 at about the same time.

IMMHO an AWD Lexus RV230h and a Toyota RAV4h with an Atkinson Cycle I4 engine would bring STELLAR value to the product series.

Might even put an end to Ford's hybrid Escape and Mercury Mariner.

"retained accessory power" Keep the accessory power (windows, etc.) on until the driver's door opens, even with the key removed from the ignition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking into this also. The new 2008 Highlander Hybrid is a thorough redesign and has some features that are not available on the RX.

See http://reviews.cnet.com/suv/2008-toyota-hi...l?tag=pdtl-list

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=121374

For example, the smart key and the mp3 inputs are big things for me. I love the smart key in my prius and hate the half baked solutions for adding an ipod to a car that doesn't have it ready to be plugged in. I haven't bought the RX up until now because I've been waiting for it to get the smart key like other Lexi and Toyotas, but am thinking of getting the Highlander now instead of waiting.

It seems that it would be a long wait: see http://www.thecarconnection.com/Enthusiast...s_RX_Spied.S178

stating: "The RX will be undergoing a major update for the 2009 model year, with production beginning in late December of 2008, toward an on-sale date of early spring of 2009."

These are all the differences that I could find between the new design 2008 highlander and old design 2008 RX:

the new Highlander has -- and the RX doesn't have:

Smartkey

third row (can delete if you don't want it)

mp3 input

more cargo space

EV button for hybrid

19" wheels

driver's seat cushion extension

dual dash LCDs (main one is really large)

flip-up lift gate window

Auxilary engine cooler

fan control on rear vents

cruise on steering wheel

cargo area tiedowns

rear reading lights

95 cu. ft. cargo (vs 85 for RX)

5000 lbs towing capacity (vs 3500 for RX)

59.7" shoulder room (vs 57.9 for RX)

1" (front) 2" (rear) more leg room

cheaper

but the RX has (and the new Highlander doesn't have):

memory seats/mirrors/steering wheel

headlight washers

xenon headlights

real wood trim

"retained accessory power" (whatever that is)

auto dimming outside mirrors

4 one touch power windows (vs just drivers on highlander)

passenger seat height and lumbar adjustment

driver seat adjustable 10 ways (vs 8 for highlander)

faster (at least hybrid Lexus is faster than hybrid toyota, and maybe non-hybrid also?)

laser cruise

turning headlights

rain sensing wipers

Mark Levinson stereo

better warranty

better dealers

Ultimately I decided that memory seats are essential and without memory seats I can't buy the new Highlander.

You could have bought a nice set of RX3x0 or ES3x0 seats, w/memory, off of Ebay for less than $400 w/shipping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You could have bought a nice set of RX3x0 or ES3x0 seats, w/memory, off of Ebay for less than $400 w/shipping.

Doesn't seem necessary to quote the entire long msg.

but anyway, where wld the memory buttons go -- usually they are on the door panel? And how can I be sure that seatbelts and airbags will all work properly? ripping out the brand new seats and putting in something from ebay doesn't seem like a good solution. memory seats seem to be one thing toyota/lexus use to distinguish brands.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

snip

. . . . .

These are all the differences that I could find between the new design 2008 highlander and old design 2008 RX:

the new Highlander has -- and the RX doesn't have:

Smartkey

. . . . . . . .

Errr, nope/ Better watch the video again. No SKS for either model . . . which ticks me no end.

That there key hole (75 year old technology) on the collum is a dead giveaway.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=121374

This is not true. For 08 The Limited gas engine Highlander and both the Hybrid and Hybrid Limited Highlanders have SKS. It is not available on the Sport or the base Highlander. I know, I just drove a Limited 3 days ago with SKS and if you look on Toyota.com it lays it out well.

Personally? I'd hang onto whatever I had and wait until I saw info about the 09 RX. You also have to remember though the hybrid wont be refreshed until 8 months or so after the RX...so its going to be a significant wait.

If it were my car to drive primarily and work out of I would buy the Lexus (actually I wouldn't buy the Lexus I'd buy an FX35 or an MDX but thats another story), if it were for my spouse or as a secondary vehicle I'd buy and actually prefer the Highlander over the Lexus. The Highlander has a "SUV-like" feel that I like a lot which the RX doesn't have. Its also more masculine looking than the RX which is kind of Minivan-y. The new Highlander is a FANTASTIC vehicle, it really is. Its such an improvement over the previous car its not even funny. Tons of room, good materials, much better styling and design. Its a real winner.

The one I would want is the Sport, I think the grey plastic dash trim looks better than the fake yellow wood on the Hybrid for sure, and probably better than the matte finish fake rosewood on the gas Limited. No SKS makes the Sport a non-starter though and the better half really wants a Hybrid.

There is a very real possibility we'll be replacing the Prius with a Highlander Hybrid next spring.

The memory seats are a real bummer, especially since we'd both be driving the Highlander a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Minivan-y...

I've always figured that the reason the RX sets so inordinately "high" above the wheels is to prevent the "minivan-y" "view".

Lower it to a reasonable heigth and it definitely takes on the look of a minivan.

I think I'll buy a set of lowering springs for mine....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No SKS makes the Sport a non-starter though and the better half really wants a Hybrid.

There is a very real possibility we'll be replacing the Prius with a Highlander Hybrid next spring.

The memory seats are a real bummer, especially since we'd both be driving the Highlander a lot.

I certainly don't blame your better half for wanting a hybrid. Many RX400h owners are getting at least 50% higher gas mileage than does the typical SUV owner. We are saving $20 per week, which means in the 10 years we normally keep our vehicles, we will save $10,000+. That easily pays for the hybrid's extra cost over a non-hybrid, such as the Rx350, Acura MX, or BMW X5.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But she drives so little, we actually are lucky to get 35MPG with the Prius because it never warms up and in the winter we only get in the high 20s. The only gas savings would be when I drive it and when we drive it on trips. Now we drive the Lexus on most trips because the Prius is so uncomfortable, but if we had the Highlander we'd always drive that. Wouldn't be worth the $5k premium IMHO for our specific situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like she'd be better off with an all-electric car. Not driving a long enough distance is certainly not good for the oil and battery. How about the Camry Hybrid? - quiet, comfortable, and 36 MPG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

snip

. . . . .

These are all the differences that I could find between the new design 2008 highlander and old design 2008 RX:

the new Highlander has -- and the RX doesn't have:

Smartkey

. . . . . . . .

Errr, nope/ Better watch the video again. No SKS for either model . . . which ticks me no end.

That there key hole (75 year old technology) on the collum is a dead giveaway.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=121374

Errr, nope. Better get information from a source other than the "tee vee" again. Smartkey is available on the Highlander.

"Clever and convenient standard features include: a third-row bench seat with foldable

headrests for a flat rear cargo area, a rear glass hatch for quick access to the rear cargo area

(optional on Base grade), and Smart Key System with Push Button Start for Limited." http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/minisite/highlander/pr.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like she'd be better off with an all-electric car. Not driving a long enough distance is certainly not good for the oil and battery. How about the Camry Hybrid? - quiet, comfortable, and 36 MPG.

She just commutes 2 miles and back and does errands. We do need a second car with a hatch though, so an electric car, even if one existed, wouldn't fulfill that need.

The Camry would serve no purpose either since its so similar to the Lexus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • 1 month later...
But she drives so little, we actually are lucky to get 35MPG with the Prius because it never warms up and in the winter we only get in the high 20s. The only gas savings would be when I drive it and when we drive it on trips. Now we drive the Lexus on most trips because the Prius is so uncomfortable, but if we had the Highlander we'd always drive that. Wouldn't be worth the $5k premium IMHO for our specific situation.

the heat definately will drop your MPG, but I just drove one for 800 miles in Arkansas and was getting 38MPG going 80MPH on the highway. When I was doing lower speeds on other roads, I was over 40 MPG. That was with it 45 degrees out and the heat cycling on and off. Maybe she is putting her foot down too hard always causing the gas motor to come on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure you'll get better mileage when you're driving it on a trip. I drove it out to Ashburn yesterday 35 miles round trip and got 45MPG at 75. The issue is her extremely short commute (2 miles). The car never warms up and never gets into the operating range where it runs efficiently.

If the car is cold, the gas motor will never kick off, no matter how carefully you drive it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the car is cold, the gas motor will never kick off, no matter how carefully you drive it.

"GAS MOTOR?" Written like a typical non-hybrid owner.

EVERYBODY knows that when referring to the "petroleum fueled power source," you use the acronym, "ICE." It's one of the really kewel things about hybrid vehicle messaging.

Golly, with all the experience you have, SW03ES, you shoulda had this "inside lingo" down. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership