Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Gecko, Jan 16, 2019.
Toyota Alludes to All-New 2020 Highlander
I think it will be a nice redesign. I wonder how much room they will add. When I looked at a 2019 recently I couldn’t believe the lack of space in the third row. It almost shouldn’t exist. Toyota sure has had a lot of unveils lately with more on the way. Still on the way is the Sienna, Tundra and 4Runner just not sure when they will debut.
Clearly an evolutionary design, which I was expecting based on rumors.
Something about the side profile gives me a Sorento x Velar vibe, and the front end seems very similar to the Rav4 (which I really like). I think this design could come out to be really nice... though I do wish the wheels were pushed out to the corners a little further.
3.5L 2GR-FKS with 301hp and 267 lb-ft
Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD
... possibly a TRD model, since Rav4 is getting one? Or maybe not since 4Runner is about the same size
.... Adventure model?
I'm mostly curious about what will happen with the 4R, as it's been my dream-car for years. Just this week I test-drove a new Rav4 Limited and the 4-cylinder is a no-go IMO. I moved away from my '17 Highlander SE because I thought it felt sluggish... meanwhile the new Rav4 was much slower... and yes, I promptly turned the dial to "sport".
What I really can't figure out... I won't keep asking this same question, but seriously (nobody's addressed it, I can't find an answer anywhere)... How can an RX be so quick and a Highlander be so slow? Even using the "Power Mode" in the Highlander doesn't make that much difference... meanwhile, an RX in "normal" feels very quick... and in sport, is fairly nutty-quick.
On paper... and in CLAIMED specs... the two engines shouldn't be that far apart. What's up with that? What is Toyota doing in the Highlander differently to hamper it?
Highlander (fat-full) weight: 4,464lbs.
RX 350 (fat-full) weight: 4,387lbs.
So... equal HP... 4 more lb torque (4lbs? That's nothing)... and 77lbs lighter (again, nothing really)... What is the deal? 0-60 times puts these two close in performance... and yeah... I didn't spend (blow) $38K (negotiated deal) on a Highlander to still have people giving bad info. I bought that car because of all this stuff I read online... meanwhile... the reality... is the Highlander is slow (below average, cars always pulling away) and the RX leaves everything that isn't actually trying to race... all the time.
Any guesses on what's different in the Lexus? Where's the power coming from? Or where is it lost in the Highlander? I'd guess it's a hardwired programming where it just keeps trying to shift into the highest possible gear... but even slipping into "S" doesn't seem to make it quicker PER gear. Also... as I gradually became annoyed at the S/S button... I kept reading how that was a government thing... that they HAD to have that. To my surprise... this button doesn't exist in Lexus... not that you disable it... no, it's just not even THERE. So about the laws and regulations that are forcing that into the Highlander... is a sort of "luxury tax" built into the higher Lexus prices where people are essentially paying to not have performance "governed down"(?)
EDIT: PS... I heard a rumor that Toyota may bring a V8 back to the 4R... and considering you can buy a GX460 w/ V8 for around $48,500 (during incentives) I'd think a V8 implementation in the 4R wouldn't be a stretch... hell, just put that SAME engine in the 4R and watch them fly out the door.
First, welcome to Lexus Enthusiast!
If a 4Runner is your dream car but you think the new Rav4 is slow... it might be time for a new dream car. As a current 4Runner owner and previous Rav4 owner, the old Rav was quicker on it's feet and the new one can only be faster than that. 4Runner is a true pig with a lazy shifting 5AT, so nothing ever happens very quickly, even when you really need it to.
Since you had a Highlander SE, you must have the 2GR-FKS 2017+ compared to 2GR-FE. I have a lot of seat time in the Highlander with 2GR-FE and a bit with the 2017+ model that has the updated engine, so, two things:
1) not sure if your Highlander is FWD or AWD, but the FWD model is very eager to shred tires and has a hard time getting traction when accelerating. The AWD model is a LOT better.
2) The 2017+ with the 8AT seems to shift lazier to me, compared to the 2014-2016 with 6AT. That makes it feel slower despite the power advantage in my experience.
I have also driven the RX a fair amount and it feels just like the 2017+ Highlander to me: bad hesitation, no torque until 4k rpm and about average acceleration for the class.
Unfortunately, V8 definitely isn't coming back to the 4Runner. Even the Lexus LS doesn't have one, and rumors are the Tundra and Land Cruiser might not either. Your best bet would be the TT V6.
Gecko's observations are all very valid, but this took me back 13 years to something I wrote for the My.IS site. Could this simply be a matter of you having sampled a "slow" (but within the acceptable 1% variance in production tolerances) Highlander versus a "fast" (again within the 1% tolerances) RX? Rather than "cutting-and-pasting" the whole thing, I'll post the link and suggest you also read the whole thread, where I note an autocross instructor's impressions of 4 seemingly similar 1st-gen IS 300s.
I clicked on the link... and so far it doesn't want to load (will read when it does)... but yeah, my '17 Highlander SE was FWD... the RX 350 is AWD... no way in hell are they anywhere NEAR the same acceleration, not even in the same ballpark... not even REMOTELY. How would I know? I BOUGHT both. "Felt the same"... um... no... not even remotely. Unless you OWNED both, I don't believe your analysis.
The saying, "put your money where your mouth is"... well... this isn't a $20 thing... or $100 thing... or $10,000 thing. I bought a $40K car and no... there is zero comparison. The RX is pulling off it's base compared to the Highlander. Why did I hate the Highlander so much? Because I spent nearly $38K on a car and watched everyone pull away from me at every light... EVERY... LIGHT... unless I FLOORED it... then I kept up as normal. Yes... I'm flooring it JUST TO KEEP UP. Meanwhile the RX... LAUNCHES from a stop and pulls with a torque curve that keeps pulling harder as the RPMs increase. The Highlander never hits any power-band. If you floor it in 3rd... the Highlander is almost fun, but that's it for the thrills... basically, hit about 30 then floor it.
Why would Lexus offer an F-Sport trim in the RX? Because buyers are un-aware that the Highlander feels the same? Um... guessing all the F-Sports... AND Lexus themselves... know that's literally preposterous.
I'm imagining a sport version of the Highlander (ironically there IS... I bought it) where they offer the trick instrument cluster, drilled-out stainless steel pedals, paddle-shifters... and a bunch of other stuff that adds $6K to the car... then the light turns green and there I am slapping those paddles and watching the redline... JUST to keep up with the Chrysler Pacifica that's left me in the dust at the past 3 lights.
There's a reason Lexus makes the F-Sport version of the RX (with the exact same engine)... it's because everyone who drives one knows it's exciting to drive. It's not a "real" sports car... but nobody's paying $10K over a Highlander... AND THEN... and EXTRA $6K for an F... for a car that accelerates like a Highlander. There is zero comparison.
I own both. Highlander sucks... RX rocks. Anyone following this thread... here is the message that could save you. If you can afford a $40K Highlander... for the love of God test-drive an RX before you buy that Highlander.
I'm sorry but reviews saying the Highlander was "fast" made me WASTE $38K on a car that was a total dog... the RX is downright startling (by comparison.. in a good way). They are in no way comparable. The RX shoves you back in the seat from a dead-stop and doesn't quit pushing until you hit the speed limit. The Highlander is... ugh... UGH... crap. I felt mugged... tricked... into buying it.
This was another lesson in "sour grapes" and "extra sweet imaginary grapes"... and the internet... because when I actually bought both and DRIVE both... it doesn't take long before I'm simply observing the truth... because no matter what car wins or loses... I owned them both at the same time.
The 4R was my "dream car" for all that it represents. 100% Japan... 100% fanatically perfect construction. An engine that lasts 400K miles... one of the last TRUE SUVs (body on frame) and the idea of such a bad-ass "truck" has always been appealing. I drove all versions, and once you drive an ORP with KDSS, you can't go back to the SR5... THEN I drove a Limited. KDSS is a better suspension, but X-REAS is approaching it, and the wheels and stance of the Limited combined with that, makes the drive even more refined than the ORP... Now add all the extras of the Limited (that are minimal features on almost anything else) and it made it impossible to consider any other 4R. The 4R also feels noticeably quicker than the Highlander, but I'm sure part of that is squat... although KDSS and X-REAS squat is minimal compared to the SR5... but yes... as you pointed out... if you value "quickness" than yes, the 4R isn't the best choice... and the new Rav4... I'm sorry, but it is absolutely SLOW also (and LOUD road/engine as you try to make it NOT slow).
That is why I got an RX. More than anything for the driving experience. The feeling of effortless and composed power. If anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the RX F-Sport... have a close look at one. Logic will be impossible to ignore... nobody's buying "fake" peppy cars for $62K... just wanting to PRETEND like their car is quick by slapping paddles and stepping on drilled-out stainless steel pedals... watching a heads up display count the RPMs... and struggling to keep up with a minivan.
But if you get a Highlander... you will be... unless the next gen makes some serious changes. How do I know? I bought one... because of a few articulate folks on the internet, who didn't.
According to information posted by Carmaker1, next-gen Toyota Sienna is slated to go into production in early March 2020 for an early 2021 model year debut. That means we could see its public unveiling at either the November 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show or (more likely) at the February 2020 Chicago Auto Show. (Remember that the Detroit Auto Show moves to June starting next year).
Next-gen Tundra should enter production a few months later (no later than early August 2020) for a more traditional 2021 model year debut. Public unveiling should be at either 2020 Chicago (February), New York (April) or Detroit (June) Auto Shows.
The wait for an all-new 4Runner will be much longer. The current one receives a (seemingly minor) refresh/facelift later this year (2020 model year), with a new generation not expected until the 2023 model year.
If you bought a Highlander - or an RX - to drag race people from stop lights, I think you might need to rethink how your priorities match up with your buying decisions.
Honestly, if that was my priority... a BMX x3 m40i is in the same price-range... and it's 0-60 is 4.4... so... literally in Porsche range (faster than many)... however... I want a car that I know will last a LONG time... with little BS... but... I still like pep!
Well... to put this in the least emotional, most scientific way I best can;
I believe one of the most valuable luxuries of luxury cars, is performance. People buy expensive sports cars because they are quick. It's a desirable feature. Everyone I know, even my Mom in her 80's... appreciates the feeling of ample power.
My point was that I actually bought a '17 Highlander SE, based on multiple online reports/reviews that it has that quality. When I test-drove it, I felt as though it was somehow disrespectful to give this car, that technically wasn't mine (yet) any real challenge with performance, etc. Clearly this was a painful and expensive life-lesson for me.
So, for anyone wanting to employ the scientific method, as best you can, through personal experimentation. Please, before you buy a Highlander (if you're in the upper trims and already in the low $40's)... do yourself a huge favor at go test-drive an RX. If you get a good deal on a Highlander you'll get around $5500 off MSRP... during sales events (if you're not taking the interest option) you MAY even get about $6500 off. Either way, depending on options, you will be within about $5-6K of an RX (if you've maxed options on the Highlander "top of the line"). So... go drive an RX before, or after, you drive a Highlander. See if the feeling of "effortless power" is a luxury you can forget... now, aside from that... look at all the tech, fit 'n finish, etc.
It isn't that I'm "drag racing" anyone, but it feels stupid having to floor the Highlander to NOT BE LEFT by ordinary people... by everyone. That hesitation Gecko mentioned? Yes... that's very real, but NOT in the RX. In the RX it's not like you're racing anyone... the point is the car is fast without even trying.
Let's say I'm just venturing an opinion like anyone else. The Highlander SE (sport edition) has some cool details on the interior... ambient lighting, slightly racier styling... and on the exterior you get different wheels (I'd prefer the Limited wheels anyway, compare them for your own opinion/choice)... and that's it for the Highlander SE. It's a nod to the father who doesn't really want a mini-van and this "sport trim" (which is barely different than a limited, except fewer luxuries) is his pat on the back. NOW look at the F-Sport trim on the RX. The seats are completely different, drilled out metal everywhere, paddle shifters, different head/tail-lights, heads up display... and the cluster is out of this world trick. If you've never seen it... YouTube it... it's ultra-cool. Here's my point... Lexus didn't go THAT far to trick anyone into believing they were getting a sporty car, when in fact it drives like the Toyota Grocery Getter... drop the kids off at soccer-practice-mobile. Drive an RX and see for yourself. It's the same engine, so you don't have to do F-Sport to understand... any RX will do.
What drew me to this forum is in an early search I came across a post stating what's wrong with the other Lexus forum... "it's mostly Lexus bashing by people who don't even own one"... so I thought, yep... this here... Lexus ENTHUSIASTS... is for me. I'm so blown away by this car... and the greatest thing of all is it has undone "the curse"... the absolute regret I've felt ever since I got that Highlander and realized it wasn't going to get any better than the "miss daisy" test drive I gave it.
I'm definitely not drag-racing people... however... before falling in love with the RX I was absolutely dead-set on a 4Runner. What made me step back from that, was test-driving a Subaru 3.6l Outback (trying to find a car for mom at the same time)... and THAT reminded me that a car could be fun to drive. (Go try one of those... $39K sticker negotiated to $34 OTD + TTL we pay that separately here)... but... the RX was all the pep of the Subaru (and a lot more) with a crazy beautiful interior... so... that's how I ended up where I did. (also, when I got back from the Subaru test drive, it smelled strong like the engine was hot... even though I kept asking the salesman if how I was driving was okay... he urged me to give it heavy gas going up hills etc. to feel the power... and I did).
If you're reading this because you're shopping Toyota... I URGE you to test-drive options... so that no matter what you get... you at least know... that you know. I will STILL get a 4R... I love them, but to me the Highlander, in it's current form... has got to be one of the worst choices for either fun to drive... or luxury... or cargo. It's a great option for a family of 4 or more, and that's it. It's a people hauler. Fortunately it only cost me about $7K to learn this.
BTW, pretty sure I read Toyota invested some millions 2 years back for 4cly hybrid production for new Highlander.
Can't wait to ede what are they cooking there.
Both Highlander and RX need 4cly hybrid for much better worldwide sales.
And I have no doubt that in some ways it will be nicer than RX and ppl will complain
I think I may have already made this clear... but it's been shop-a-pallooza for me. Looking at LOTS of cars. I've test-driven 4 different 4Runners... and I've been a member on a 4Runner forum for almost 2 years, since I expected to get a 4R next. There are MANY threads of "kdss... does it matter" and it's pages of people without KDSS insisting it's nothing, and people WITH kdss saying it's great. Again... if anyone REALLY wants to know for themselves... they can go testdrive one for free ANY TIME. I think it's more a matter of wanting reassurance. All I can tell you is driving all the versions and turning aggressively made it crystal clear for me... INSTANTLY... first turn.
So... why am I going on about that? Take a new Rav4 for a drive... I drove a Limited. It was a loud, slow, rattle-box.
It'll be interesting to see what they do with the next-gen Highlander... but the sticker on the '19 Rav4 (loaded) was $39K... and it was laughably cheap compared to the RX... nothing about it felt "premium". The Highlander (even the one I owned and disliked) was far superior in power, ride, quietness. Again.. don't take my word for it... go look at one, get in... and drive it. That's what I did.
I guess I just find it weird the level of support for standard Toyotas at the expense of the real VALUE of Lexus by comparison. A lot of people around here imply that RX owners will be upset with how close the standard Toyotas will be by comparison... meanwhile I AM an owner of the cars in question... both of them, and the implied comparisons are really weird to me. I expect that future incarnations of Lexus will uphold their respective positions above the standard Toyota counterparts... as they are already.
I am also excited to see the details on the new hybrid... a 4cyl hybrid + a 6 cyl hybrid would be great options to serve most global markets. The Rav4 AWD hybrid already has 220hp now which is probably plenty for most people. If Toyota could shave ~300lbs off Highlander, 220hp would be decent in a 4k lb SUV for people who are MPG-conscious.
I am also curious if they would combine turbo 4 + hybrid system? I hope Toyota releases most of the specs in New York so we dont have to wait for details on additional models, powertrains, trims, etc.
I expect full led headlights and taillights as standard. Also I think a Xse model would be offer. I wonder if Toyota would possibly offer a two row version or just simply three rows as standard. I think the currrent 2.7 four cylinder would no longer be offer.
A two row, Highlander XSE V6 AWD could possibly have me out of a 4Runner. With that said, I also heard that Toyota has some new SUVs coming soon, and one of them is a two-row midsizer like the Passport and Edge.
If you really enjoy your 4R's capability, but keep thinking about the "cushiness" of the Highlanders, your perfect vehicle may be here in a couple years. Overseas Toyota has the Fortuner... which is kind of like a 4R but unibody, so it's sort of the midpoint of the two. I was originally excited about the GX460, thinking that would be a cushy version 4R, but it only looks like it... low clearance keeps it a world apart from the 4R.
I'm hoping that Toyota figures out a way to get the best of both worlds and keep the 4R more like a truck, but up the 4R game. Right now my gut says a 2021 4Runner is gonna' be super-trick. I'm a 2-car guy... so I hope they do. I still want a 4R, even now, after just getting an RX... 4R for the utility, let the dog jump in, and it's a vehicle you can use in ways that would make any unibody (except a few Jeeps/Rovers) cringe.
The Fortuner is actually BOF as it's built on the Hilux platform. The 4Runner is known to be a little more refined because of its positioning in the markets where it's offered, vs. the Fortuner which is more frequently used as an offroad utility vehicle in less developed countries... not that the 4Runner isn't capable.
Toyota is updating the 4Runner for 2020 with TSS-P, so the earliest we should see an all-new 4Runner is 2022 as 2023MY. Like you, I am optimistic that the next gen will be great. It's definitely time for an update.
I think the 3 upcoming new SUV additions are:
1) Production version of the FT-4X concept (unibody, built on the smaller TNGA platform)
2) Midsize, two row unibody SUV like the original Highlander was... possibly Venza-like in execution
3) Not sure. I can't see what else they would need.
Anyway, back to the Highlander...
I really hope some sort of all new dynamic force engine debuts with the reveal of the next gen highlander. It can either the Gr V6 replacement, an all new hybrid powertrain, or turbo four cylinder. You never know. I’m crossing my fingers.
Toyota should try to make a Fj cruiser successor as a true Jeep Wrangler and ford bronco competitor. That will be really nice to see.