2020 Toyota Highlander

Messages
586
Reaction score
973
It hasn't won any comparo's yet. It just lost to the van looking Pilot again. The Telluride also won a big comparison.
-___-

Car and Driver did a test between the Highlander and the Pilot and it actually won against the Pilot. Not sure which comparison you are looking at......

Also the Highlander only narrowly lost to the Telluride.
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
-___-

Car and Driver did a test between the Highlander and the Pilot and it actually won against the Pilot. Not sure which comparison you are looking at......

Also the Highlander only narrowly lost to the Telluride.
True, Toyota paid C&D off but not MT lol
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,585
Reaction score
2,599
It hasn't won any comparo's yet. It just lost to the van looking Pilot again. The Telluride also won a big comparison.
Telluride won because it was $5k cheaper, I was surprised to see that Highlander with GR engine got 4mpg better on highway than Telluride. That is crazy.

In general, Highlander is better than ever, but it is not a car to win competitions, never was... it is like Camry, 5 years later nobody will ask why was Highlander best selling SUV in its class in 2020.
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
Telluride won because it was $5k cheaper, I was surprised to see that Highlander with GR engine got 4mpg better on highway than Telluride. That is crazy.

In general, Highlander is better than ever, but it is not a car to win competitions, never was... it is like Camry, 5 years later nobody will ask why was Highlander best selling SUV in its class in 2020.
The price difference isn't that much. The Telluride they used was the top of the line SX trim; Highlander trim for the test was a mid level XLE, which would be the one most buyers are getting. The Platinum is nice, but the 3rd row was one of the bigger complaints. But yeah, it will sell pretty well, just waiting for this virus to go away. So will the Explorer, and it was at the bottom.

However, some Toyota dealers still had a good selection of 2019s left, and better incentives are starting to appear on the 2020s (more so now that sales are in a tank), so Highlander has always been a good value.
 

Gecko

Connoisseur
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,821
Reaction score
5,716
Something I see at play with the Highlander is media complaining about the "small third row" vs. owners loving it. Almost all of the Highlander owners I know have 1-2 young kids or are retired, and they see the third row as "just in case I need it." The media makes it out like most buyers lug around an entire football team and the Highlander is inadequate.

What do they think - families with 4-5 kids go, test drive a Highlander and say, "Wow we barely fit in here, but that's ok, we will buy it anyway,"? No. Most of the three row midsize CUV buyers have a kid or two and like the extra room when they need it. Larger families go for Suburbans, Expeditions or minivans.

This is why the Highlander is such a great package and top seller - it's wonderful for 3-4 people and can fit extras when needed. The media is always answering questions nobody asks...
 

Ian Schmidt

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,790
Reaction score
3,024
Something I see at play with the Highlander is media complaining about the "small third row" vs. owners loving it. Almost all of the Highlander owners I know have 1-2 young kids or are retired, and they see the third row as "just in case I need it." The media makes it out like most buyers lug around an entire football team and the Highlander is inadequate.
"Just in case I need it" was the entire reason for the SUV/CUV craze initially. I'm a little surprised the car media keeps missing it.
 

LexsCTJill

Follower
Messages
240
Reaction score
175
Something I see at play with the Highlander is media complaining about the "small third row" vs. owners loving it. Almost all of the Highlander owners I know have 1-2 young kids or are retired, and they see the third row as "just in case I need it." The media makes it out like most buyers lug around an entire football team and the Highlander is inadequate.

What do they think - families with 4-5 kids go, test drive a Highlander and say, "Wow we barely fit in here, but that's ok, we will buy it anyway,"? No. Most of the three row midsize CUV buyers have a kid or two and like the extra room when they need it. Larger families go for Suburbans, Expeditions or minivans.

This is why the Highlander is such a great package and top seller - it's wonderful for 3-4 people and can fit extras when needed. The media is always answering questions nobody asks...
If the media would go to the Toyota press release, Toyota specifically said they were going to be targeting empty nesters. The media also does not tell you that there is the Sienna for those who truly need a third row seat. HL is also designed to those who currently have Camrys
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
If the media would go to the Toyota press release, Toyota specifically said they were going to be targeting empty nesters. The media also does not tell you that there is the Sienna for those who truly need a third row seat. HL is also designed to those who currently have Camrys
That was the marketing approach they did with the Venza IIRC...I think they can aim this against the Subarus, and perhaps push them as dog friendly too.
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,585
Reaction score
2,599
Something I see at play with the Highlander is media complaining about the "small third row" vs. owners loving it. Almost all of the Highlander owners I know have 1-2 young kids or are retired, and they see the third row as "just in case I need it." The media makes it out like most buyers lug around an entire football team and the Highlander is inadequate.

What do they think - families with 4-5 kids go, test drive a Highlander and say, "Wow we barely fit in here, but that's ok, we will buy it anyway,"? No. Most of the three row midsize CUV buyers have a kid or two and like the extra room when they need it. Larger families go for Suburbans, Expeditions or minivans.

This is why the Highlander is such a great package and top seller - it's wonderful for 3-4 people and can fit extras when needed. The media is always answering questions nobody asks...
yes, but you have to consider that media is generally not the buyer of these vehicles, and never was, hence they do not care about 4 MPG difference on the highway, or better/easier resale, etc... that is where you see Highlander and Camry winning long term and that is what their buyers appreciate.

Average media writer drives it between 4 hours and 2-3 days, they do not care about next 36-48 months with it.

Which is, again, perfectly fine too.

Personally, I would never buy Highlander for myself, it is really an old school Toyota, built to please wide range of buyers... I would recommend it to my wife though, if that makes sense.
 

Gecko

Connoisseur
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
2,821
Reaction score
5,716
In my experience with Pilots, Explorers, Pathfinders, and their shoppers, the Highlander hits a special sweet spot of being better looking than the Pilot (more dad friendly), more reliable than the Explorer, and more premium than the Pathfinder, so it's had a unique part of the market carved out. The Highlander has also snagged a number of premium shoppers I know when in the Hybrid, Limited and Platinum trims. This new Highlander should maintain that position very well.

I think the Telluride and Palisade are well executed vehicles that have done a good job of upsetting the class... this will better the Highlander long term. I can easily sympathize with someone wanting a Telluride because I see the appeal, but it does not appeal to me personally.. it strikes me like a Korean Escalade for some reason. Palisade, from an aesthetic perspective, is a disaster IMO.

On paper, GR is still a good engine for the Highlander and I don't see much reason to change. I will say though that when you put your foot on the floor for passing power, an engine that has to spool up high into the RPM range isn't ideal when you're lugging 4,500lbs + people + stuff. I have wondered if a robust turbocharged 4 cylinder might add more usable torque for some drivers.
 

ssun30

Expert
Messages
1,581
Reaction score
3,366
In western China the Highlander is consistently eroding the market share of Land Cruisers. The strained supply of LC made the Highlander the go-to choice for tourism and for-hire vehicles.

Those 'family SUVs' are roaming the treacherous terrain in Tibet and Xinjiang like it's nothing, with just the standard 2.7L four cylinder and non-fancy AWD. All you need is good skills and a set of AT tyres to drive from Lhasa to Mt. Everest Base Camp (unfortunately it's now permanently closed to tourists) and back. The 2.7L is dirt cheap to operate compared to the hungry 4.0L V6 in the LC/LCP and the Highlander also seats 4 tourists although not comfortably.

The Highlander may not be good for offroading but Toyotas are always good for overlanding due to reliability, low cost of operation and abundance of parts. So yes it's definitely possible to take it more than 5km away from paved road. It's just the moms and grandmas usually don't have the skills or the right tyres to do so.

Personally I would never drive a Highlander for overlanding because I couldn't imagine having less than 120hp for a 2000kg car at 5000 meters. But those badass Highlander drivers have been consistently overtaking my turbocharged XC60 🤣
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,362
Reaction score
8,658
Telluride won because it was $5k cheaper, I was surprised to see that Highlander with GR engine got 4mpg better on highway than Telluride. That is crazy.

In general, Highlander is better than ever, but it is not a car to win competitions, never was... it is like Camry, 5 years later nobody will ask why was Highlander best selling SUV in its class in 2020.
I’m literally just reporting what happened. That’s all lol
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
yes, but you have to consider that media is generally not the buyer of these vehicles, and never was, hence they do not care about 4 MPG difference on the highway, or better/easier resale, etc... that is where you see Highlander and Camry winning long term and that is what their buyers appreciate.

Average media writer drives it between 4 hours and 2-3 days, they do not care about next 36-48 months with it.
MT did one more comparo between it and the Pilot by itself
It didn't come up on top of the Pilot either; I actually agree with MT on the Telluride (I like new stuff and am not as brand biased), but not the Pilot being better.

I think you have a huge disdain for all automotive journalism it seems, but you forgot that a reviewers' job is to review new cars, which is to judge a vehicle on its merits as it stands there, and compared to its competition. Agree or disagree, that's your choice, as reviewers are all different. Ask Jeremy Clarkson or James May.

Engineering issues that become relevant later on in its lifecycle don't factor in the new car test, so reviewers aren't able to make a compelling case about its future reliability, unless the car has issues during the testing itself (cough Alfa Romeo). If you had that type of approach where you aren't testing tangible features of a vehicle, no one would hire you to review cars, nor you'd be given vehicles to road test or get invited to press events.

Alex on Autos touches on that
 

Ian Schmidt

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,790
Reaction score
3,024
Engineering issues that become relevant later on in its lifecycle don't factor in the new car test, so reviewers aren't able to make a compelling case about its future reliability, unless the car has issues during the testing itself (cough Alfa Romeo). If you had that type of approach where you aren't testing tangible features of a vehicle, no one would hire you to review cars, nor you'd be given vehicles to road test or get invited to press events.
Right, but that also means there's a fundamental disconnect between reviews as they're commonly done and something consumers value pretty highly when car-shopping. Long-term reviews help a lot with this, but they need to get the updates out as they happen (e.g. in a blog format) instead of waiting 2 years and writing a summary.
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
Right, but that also means there's a fundamental disconnect between reviews as they're commonly done and something consumers value pretty highly when car-shopping. Long-term reviews help a lot with this, but they need to get the updates out as they happen (e.g. in a blog format) instead of waiting 2 years and writing a summary.
Well, the media do get press loans or purchases and do a year in a car such as Edmunds. I just posted one where Automobile has a long term LS. Its up to the reader to look for it. Unfortunately, I think it was mostly the magazines that were doing long term reviews. Of course, the boards here with ourselves is another gauge. It's definitely not always easy or transparent for sure.
 

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,585
Reaction score
2,599
I think you have a huge disdain for all automotive journalism it seems, but you forgot that a reviewers' job is to review new cars, which is to judge a vehicle on its merits as it stands there, and compared to its competition. Agree or disagree, that's your choice, as reviewers are all different. Ask Jeremy Clarkson or James May.
i have no disdain for automotive journalism at all, I am just pointing out why their opinion quite often varies wildly from car buying public, who is voting with their valet.
 
Messages
1,634
Reaction score
1,900
i have no disdain for automotive journalism at all, I am just pointing out why their opinion quite often varies wildly from car buying public, who is voting with their valet.
Because the car buying public isn't generally interested in cars, but may and will research them when its time to find their next vehicle. Toyota does well here, because TCO is excellent and yada yada; and for them, an appliance works fine. Journalists tend to be enthusiasts at heart, and we know Akio Toyoda is too.
 
Last edited:

spwolf

Expert
Messages
2,585
Reaction score
2,599
Because the car buying public isn't general interested in cars, but only research them when its time to replace. Journalists tend to be enthusiasts at heart, so it is surprising that they buy odd ball vehicles.
I think general public loves cars, that is why they spend so much money on them.
 
Top