Towing with XLE vs LE Plus V6 FWD - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Towing with XLE vs LE Plus V6 FWD

I am trying to decide between the XLE and the LE Plus V6 FWD
I currently tow a A-Frame camper which dry is just under 2,000 lbs.
I was thinking of just getting the LE Plus and adding a transmission cooler and brake module--and having a toyota install hitch.

Then I started thinking about the additional features the XLE offers for towing.
Is it worth an extra $3k to have those features? I mean I know the car itself has more too (heated seats, sunroof) etc.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 11:58 AM
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Get an XLE and all the towing accessories will already be there and supported by the warranty.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 12:04 PM
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totally worth it..



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post #4 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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xle

You still have to pay for the toyota hitch and wiring correct?

Do you all think a brake module is important when towing 2k?
My trailer has the round plug--not a 4 so do I just get a converter? will that work for the brakes?
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
My trailer has the round plug--not a 4 so do I just get a converter? will that work for the brakes?
Lots of info. here if u look. If your round plug is 7 pin then I'll assume your trailer has elect. brakes. If so, OEM 4 pin want accuate e.brakes. I tow, but so far not with my HL. I paid xtra for OEM tow hitch/4pin. Look for updates.

btw...Assuming your T. does have e.brakes might be wise to spend extra. Get set up with 7pin connector on HL , brake controller etc. Overall load wts. tend to grow if not paying close attention.

2014 HL Blizzard Pearl XLE AWD V6 Ash Int. M. Latitude Tour 245/60R18. OEM Tow hitch/4 pin. B/D 04/14
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-03-2015, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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I keep going back and forth on this. Mostly our trailer which is 240 tongue weight and 1900 dry is only towed a few hours around flat Indiana. I currently tow with a '12 4cyl and have had no troubles.
I'd like to save the money between the two models--
Initially I was going to go for the LE Plus and have the Toyota hitch and wiring installed and then have Uhaul do a tranny cooler and electric brake module.
I think that is more than sufficient for what I need.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-04-2015, 07:07 AM
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I was towing an A frame (Aliner Scout - 1700 lbs loaded - no propane or water tanks) with a Subaru Outback and decided to trade for the XLE. I was planning on doing a lot of towing (8,000 miles this spring) and a month of it in the mountains. Too much danger of cooking the CVT transmission on the Outback. I would say you need to go for the XLE unless you are always going to be on flat land. That is too close to the towing capacity of the LE Plus. You also need electric brakes on the trailer so you need to go with the 7 pin and get a brake controller. Just my 2 cents.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-04-2015, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
I am trying to decide between the XLE and the LE Plus V6 FWD
I currently tow a A-Frame camper which dry is just under 2,000 lbs.
I was thinking of just getting the LE Plus and adding a transmission cooler and brake module--and having a toyota install hitch.

Then I started thinking about the additional features the XLE offers for towing.
Is it worth an extra $3k to have those features? I mean I know the car itself has more too (heated seats, sunroof) etc.

Thoughts?
The 2015 Highlander LE FWD's “maximum trailer weight rating” is indeed 2,000 lbs. per SAE Standard J2807. However, this specification is not absolute, as there are several associated “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts”.

Specifically, owners manual page 209 includes this important note:
Quote:
TWR (Trailer Weight Rating) is calculated assuming base vehicle with one driver, one front passenger, towing package (if available), hitch and hitch systems (if required).
In other words, if you want to "legally" tow a 2,000 lb. trailer, then there can't be many normal size people and/or much stuff in the car.

Toyota's specifications for the Highlander LE FWD verify this note. The car's GCWR is 6,660 lbs., and the curb weight is 4,244 lbs. Assuming a 2,000 lb. trailer and a 50 lb. trailer hitch, that leaves 6,660 – 4,244 - 2,000 - 50 = 366 lbs. for the driver and a passenger and/or cargo. If you want to carry more (or largers) passengers and/or cargo, then the trailer's weight must be correspondingly reduced.

There are also several important operational limitations. For example, Toyota says to not use the compact spare when towing (you'd need to consider buying and carrying a full-size spare), and the maximum trailer weight rating for an unbraked trailer is 1,000 lbs.

I think it's unlikely that anyone would limit the vehicle's load to 366 lbs. (driver, passengers, and cargo) when towing a 2,000 camping trailer. Accordingly, I strongly recommend you only consider the XLE trim level and its 5,000 lb. maximum trailer weight rating. I also recommend a thorough read of OM pages 206-223.

HTH,
Jim / crewzer

2015 Highlander XLE AWD (build date 10/14) / 2006 BMW 530xi Wagon / 2000 Ford F250 Super Duty

Last edited by crewzer; 04-04-2015 at 02:48 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-05-2015, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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thanks

thanks for the feedback everyone.

I know this is a Highlander Thread--but do you think I should be considering the 4 Runner as well?
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-06-2015, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlbuffalo1 View Post
thanks for the feedback everyone.

I know this is a Highlander Thread--but do you think I should be considering the 4 Runner as well?
The 4 Runner does have better off road capability but, overall, I decided against it because of Consumer Reports. They really didn't like it.
Highs: Off-road capability, power retractable rear window, reliability [same as Highlander].
Lows: Handling, ride, driving position, fit and finish, access, turning circle, part-time 4WD [same as Highlander, I think].
They only gave it a score of 55 out of a 100 compared with the highlander getting 84 out of a hundred.

The gas mileage is better for the Highlander, also, which was important for me.
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-06-2015, 02:31 PM
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I think highlander looks A LOT better too. 4runner reminds me of fj cruiser too much... Gross.
Love/hate deal for a lot of people.
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