Skip the 2022 Lexus RX and Buy the Cheaper Toyota Version?

Lexus sells more 2002 Lexus RXs than any other SUV. But it’s built on the same platform as the Toyota Highlander. Is it worth the extra dough for a 2022 RX when a Highlander has many of the same features, especially in Platinum trim? In a Lexus RX vs. Highlander showdown, the Highlander is cheaper, but is that all?

A fully-equipped 2022 Toyota Highlander approaches the Lexus’s price

A red Toyota Highlander on a road.
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

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The 2022 Toyota Highlander starts at $35,855 for a basic front-wheel drive version. Toyota makes 11 different trims, and the popular XLE and XSE midline versions, are about $42,500 and pack in a lot of the luxury you’d expect in a luxury SUV. At that price, you get soft-touch leather-like trim on the dash and doors, two-tone leather seats, a large touchscreen, and more.

The top trim level of the 2022 Highlander, the Platinum, starts at $48,010 for a gas-powered front-wheel-drive version but tops out at nearly $50,000 for the Hybrid version. It comes with heated seats in the front and second row, a 10-way driver’s seat, a bird’s eye 360-degree camera, premium audio, and your choice of four interior colors. It’s also one of Consumer Reports’ best-rated three-row SUVs.

The Lexus RX price starts low, goes high

A gray Lexus RX350Lin a driveway
2022 Lexus RX 350L | Lexus

The Lexus is priced similarly, at least for the base vehicle. The RX350 starts at $46,995 the top-level 2022 RX 450hl seven-passenger hybrid starts at $53,185. The L version is the three-row, seven-seater, while the h denotes a hybrid. Buyers know the RX as a powerful, but frugal, SUV that drives well and won’t make you worry every time you pass a gas station.

Very quickly options can inflate the price. All -wheel drive adds $1,400. The parchment leather with aluminum trim is a $6,000 option. Navigation is a $2,285 option, while heated front seats are a $440 option. The safety systems add a lot, too, like the panoramic monitor with automatic braking package adds $1,365. Very quickly an RX can be a $60,000 SUV.

Is Lexus going to redesign the RX?

2023 Lexus RX in bronze
2023 Lexus RX | Lexus

RELATED: 2023 Grand Highlander vs. 2023 Lexus TX, What’s the Difference?

The current generation of the Lexus RX will sail off into the sunset at the end of 2022. The new 2023 RX will get a sportier outlook to take on BMWs. There is no L version, however, as the TX will fill that niche. But there are a ton of reasons to consider a 2022 right now, including eager beaver dealers that will want to get rid of older models soon.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander loses in the shuffle at Toyota. The off-road (and seven-seater) 4Runner and RAV4 grab most of the headlines. But the Highlander is a capable, nice driving, SUV that seats eight and has a fuel-efficient powertrain. Toyota’s last major refresh of the Highlander came in 2019 when it added Toyota Safety Sense driver aids, a new V6, and an improved interior that has wireless charging, extra sound deadening material, and new trims.

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