We had the chance to test out both the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the 2020 Lexus LX570 recently and we came away thoroughly impressed by both SUVs. The most interesting part was that the Toyota Highlander felt more technologically advanced and luxuriously on par with LX570 although it cost half the price. This made us realize that if you want a luxury three-row SUV, you can just buy a Highlander instead of an LX570.
The Toyota Highlander has come a long way
The Toyota Highlander used to be a five-passenger, small SUV that was about the same size as the Honda CR-V and RAV4. Now in its fourth generation, the Highlander has grown quite a bit and is able to seat up to eight passengers, has an available 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and comes standard with all of the safety and driver-assist features you could possibly need. During our time with the Highlander, we especially liked its well-sorted, and comfortable, driving dynamics – thanks to its unibody construction – as well as its well-appointed interior.
We had the Highlander Hybrid Platinum which came specifically with the enlarged touchscreen, the panoramic moonroof, and the bird’s eye view camera that displayed a few different angles from the outside of the car. It worked especially well for the tight confines of the local grocery store parking lot, however, we’re sure it would work wonders if you using it for off-road obstacles like it’s meant for.
The Lexus LX570 is equally tech-savvy
Speaking of going off-road, the Lexus LX570 was made taking you and your seven other passengers off the beaten path in the ultimate comfort and style. We had top-trim LX570 complete with seating for eight, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, and all of the safety features and driver-assist sensors possible. Does that list sound familiar? That’s because it literally came with everything that the Highlander Hybrid did, but at twice the price.
The real difference is the LX570 puts more emphasis on its off-road worthiness thanks to the 5.7-liter V8 engine that’s stuffed under the hood in addition to its body-on-frame construction. It’s a gargantuan SUV that almost no one really needs unless you go desert running on the weekends and need the benefits of first and second-row ventilated seats to keep everyone happy. Otherwise, something like the Highlander should work just fine.
Cost and fuel economy are the deciding factors
Considering you can outfit the Toyota Highlander and the Lexus LX570 with the same luxurious amenities including a semi-aniline leather interior, a premium sound system, and all of the USB ports and 110-volt outlets that your budding family needs, there’s no contest that the Highlander is the more economical choice. Toyota’s three-row SUV comes with either a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway or a 2.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain that’s good for an EPA-estimated 35 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.
In contrast, that big V8 in the LX570 return an average of 12 mpg in during the time we had it. And on top of that, it costs $101,000 in comparison to the top-trim Highlander’s $52,500 price tag. In that case, the choice is clear: If you need a three-row SUV, dream about the LX570, but buy the Highlander (or two of them). Your bank account will thank you.