Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid VS 2021 Lexus RXL Near Phoenix, AZ

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2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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VS

2021 Lexus RXL

Safety Comparison

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Highlander Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The RXL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RXL doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the RXL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 84 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RXL is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2019.

Warranty Comparison

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander Hybrid for 1 year and 15000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the RXL (2/25,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 5 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the RXL:

MPG

Highlander Hybrid

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

36 city/35 hwy

AWD

LE 2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

35 city/35 hwy

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

35 city/34 hwy

RXL

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

450Lh 3.5 V6 Hybrid

29 city/28 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Highlander Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RXL:

Highlander Hybrid

RXL

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.9 inches

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the RXL (112.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the RXL.

For better maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the RXL’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The front grille of the Highlander Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RXL doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the RXL can only carry 7.

The Highlander Hybrid has 24.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RXL (141.3 vs. 117).

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 10.1 inches more rear legroom, 1.2 inches more rear hip room, .9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row headroom, 4.2 inches more third row legroom, 1.8 inches more third row hip room and 9.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the RXL.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The RXL’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo area provides more volume than the RXL.

Highlander Hybrid

RXL

Third Seat Folded

48.4 cubic feet

33.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.3 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Highlander Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the RXL’s headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Marginal.”

Recommendations Comparison

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The Toyota Highlander outsold the Lexus RX Series by over two to one during 2019.

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