Is Lexus Sedans More Dependable Than Toyota’s?

Toyota is one of the top-selling brands for anyone looking for a cheap but highly reliable vehicle. Lexus is another brand that gets a lot of praise from critics, although it does tend to be overlooked in favor of more well-known luxury brands like Porsche and BMW. Some consumers may find themselves torn between Toyota and Lexus sedans. So which brand is better, and how are they connected?

How are Lexus and Toyota connected?

A black sign with Lexus and the company's logo in gold on it.
Lexus sign | Getty Images

Toyota decided to do something about the customers leaving its loving arms to upgrade to a luxury vehicle in 1989. The only way to do this was by becoming a luxury automaker itself, but that isn’t exactly what Toyota did. Instead of trying to become more upscale, the Japanese automaker created Lexus. 

According to U.S. News, this was an experiment to see how well consumers took to a luxury offshoot of Toyota. As it turns out, people loved the idea of having a luxury brand from Toyota, and Lexus is still going strong today. However, is the fancy badge and increased prices actually worth it, or should you stick with a Toyota?

Toyota Corolla vs Lexus NX

In spite of the growing love for SUVs and trucks, some drivers still prefer to stick with a compact car. The Toyota Corolla is undoubtedly one of the best-selling vehicles on the market, and it continuously gets high praise from critics. Even if it’s not their favorite car of all time, very few find enough faults that prevent them from recommending it.

The 2021 Corolla has a price range from $20,430 to $26,380. The base engine produces 121 hp on the standard engine, and gets 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The speed is respectable enough. It can go from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds.

The Lexus NX might be a crossover, but it’s considered by many to be the direct competitor for Corolla. The starting price is $37,610, which makes it $11,230 more than the highest trim level for Corolla.

The horsepower for the NX is clearly superior. It produces 235 hp as compared to 121 hp. However, this comes at the cost of fuel economy as the 2021 NX gets a mere 22 mpg city and 28 highway.

The NX also doesn’t offer a hybrid version yet, but there will be two when the 2022 NX comes out. If you’re trying to decide between a Corolla or an NX, then the Corolla is your best bet. Unless you just have to have a luxury vehicle, of course.

Toyota Camry vs Lexus ES 350

The Lexus ES is based on the Camry with a lot of similarities. The most obvious difference is the price. The Camry starts at $24,970 and the ES starts at $40,000.

The standard engine for the ES is a 203 hp inline 4-Cylinder, and the Camry’s is a 203 hp Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder. The gas mileage is also a win for the ES. It gets 43mpg city and 44 mpg highway compared to 28 mpg city and 39 mpg highway on the Camry. 

The ES has a much more upscale interior at the lower levels, but the highest price trim on the Camry starts at $35,340. This means that you can get more in the TRD trim than the base model ES.

Toyota Avalon vs the Lexus LS

The one major difference between these two vehicles is the price. It’s a difference of nearly $40,000. The 2021 Lexus LS starts at $76,000 while the 2021 Toyota Avalon starts at $36,125.

The LS comes with a 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 gas, while the Avalon has a 3.5L V6 gas. The Avalon has superior gas mileage with 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The LS trails behind with a mere 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

The LS does make up for this with a larger gas tank. It has a tank that can hold 21.7 gallons as opposed to 14.5 gallons on the Avalon. Even so, the superior gas tank isn’t enough to justify a nearly $40,000 difference in price, so the Avalon is the clear winner if you have to choose.

RELATED: Why Would You Get the Toyota Avalon Over the Lexus ES?