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Discussion Starter #1
We are looking for inputs to help our choice between 2020 highlander hybrid (HH) and lexus rxhl. It will be driven predominantly by my wife. Our preferences in descending order

1. Fuel economy of the hybrid
2. Luxurious interior and bells & whistles
3. Comparatively roomier 3 row (family of 4 but would love extra seating.. for occasional carpooling of teen kids / visiting family)
4. Vegan leather

We haven't test driven the lexus.. waiting to test drive both the vehicles back-to-back once the HH hits the dealers. Ideal would have been HH platinum (caramel interior!!), if it had the option of vegan leather. But since that is not an option.. inclining towards HH XLE softex-leather with options. Thoughts? Even if we go with HH XLE, torn between bench 2nd row and captain 2nd row. Thoughts on that also appreciated
 

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We are looking for inputs to help our choice between 2020 highlander hybrid (HH) and lexus rxhl. It will be driven predominantly by my wife. Our preferences in descending order

1. Fuel economy of the hybrid
2. Luxurious interior and bells & whistles
3. Comparatively roomier 3 row (family of 4 but would love extra seating.. for occasional carpooling of teen kids / visiting family)
4. Vegan leather

We haven't test driven the lexus.. waiting to test drive both the vehicles back-to-back once the HH hits the dealers. Ideal would have been HH platinum (caramel interior!!), if it had the option of vegan leather. But since that is not an option.. inclining towards HH XLE softex-leather with options. Thoughts? Even if we go with HH XLE, torn between bench 2nd row and captain 2nd row. Thoughts on that also appreciated
Have you been inside the RXL? I have and I suggest you take a look. If you think about putting a living human inside the 3rd row, then the RXL is not for you. It is practically useless, even for kids, no legroom at all. Even the salesman laughed and said, " yea, people who look at that all say the same." Lexus attempt at biting into the 3row SUV craze without a total redesign of the RX, is almost comical, plus lexus is asking several thousands premium over the regular RX!

IMHO, your only choice between the 2, IF 3 rows, is a necessity on your list, is the HL.
 

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I was just looking at the RX and RXL and they seem to have some decent offers (but may vary by zip code). Check out the Lexus website and see. I would not wait, because there might be some real bargains on the 2019 RXL, which are about the same as the 2020.
 

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Like it was mentioned above:
1. 2020 HH wins in fuel efficiency hands down
2. Interior is going to be more luxurious in RX, but you'll need to add options and packages for that - meaning it will be not just more expensive, but substantially more expensive. RX L wins here.
3. cabin room: RX L is still an RX with just longer trunk, still same wheelbase length, it's a smaller car to begin with, very cramped in 3rd row even compared to 2020 HH (which also has 3rd row on a smaller side to begin with, compared to other competitors). 2020 HH wins hands down
3. As for vegan leather, there are Softex materials in HH, but you have to get XLE trim, no higher, as LTD and Platinum all come with natural leather. Same in RX L, if you want to stick with synthetic leather you will have t oskip some packages and will have mediocre trim. That been said it's still going to beat XLE trim in 2020 HH in luxury looks and feel - so RX L wins here.
4. Bench vs Captian's is up to you, you get more seating room with bench, but more comfortable seats with individual armrests with captain's chairs. Heating is only available on captain's chairs in 2020 HH (in Platinum trim). Embossed stitched treatment is only available in Platinum trim and Captian's chairs. With Captian's chairs you can also get easier access to 3rd row between captain's chairs (if desired).
 

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I would not wait, because there might be some real bargains on the 2019 RXL, which are about the same as the 2020.
2020 is a mid-cycle refresh for the RX. Changes aren’t major, but the OP’s wife would need to decide how important these are to her — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, screen is now a touchscreen.

If the 2020 changes are not important, I agree that leftover 2019s could be had at a good price.

My two cents on the RX-L: this is purely subjective, but I do not like the way it looks. It looks like a hunched over RX. I thought it would grow on me as I saw them on the road, but it hasn’t.

I just don’t see the value prop of the L, but I understand why Lexus did it. They are severely lacking in that 3-row space: GX and LX are niche, low volume vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2020 is a mid-cycle refresh for the RX. Changes aren’t major, but the OP’s wife would need to decide how important these are to her — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, screen is now a touchscreen.

If the 2020 changes are not important, I agree that leftover 2019s could be had at a good price.

My two cents on the RX-L: this is purely subjective, but I do not like the way it looks. It looks like a hunched over RX. I thought it would grow on me as I saw them on the road, but it hasn’t.

I just don’t see the value prop of the L, but I understand why Lexus did it. They are severely lacking in that 3-row space: GX and LX are niche, low volume vehicles.
thanks for the response and the recommendation on deals to be had on 2019. Yeah apple carplay is important for us. Too bad none of the toyota vehicles come with wireless carplay
 

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2020 is a mid-cycle refresh for the RX. Changes aren’t major, but the OP’s wife would need to decide how important these are to her — Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, screen is now a touchscreen.

If the 2020 changes are not important, I agree that leftover 2019s could be had at a good price.

My two cents on the RX-L: this is purely subjective, but I do not like the way it looks. It looks like a hunched over RX. I thought it would grow on me as I saw them on the road, but it hasn’t.

I just don’t see the value prop of the L, but I understand why Lexus did it. They are severely lacking in that 3-row space: GX and LX are niche, low volume vehicles.
They have some good deals on the 2020 RX and RXL also (at least compared to the 2020 HL going at MSRP or more).

I agree with you about the way the RXL (and even RX) looks. I think it is border-line hideous, and I would probably buy one right now if they weren't so ugly. The rear roof line slopes down too much, reducing cargo space and rear headroom.
 

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I agree with you about the way the RXL (and even RX) looks. I think it is border-line hideous, and I would probably buy one right now if they weren't so ugly. The rear roof line slopes down too much, reducing cargo space and rear headroom.
I like the way the RX looks in general and am not that bothered by the sloping roof line even if it cuts into cargo. But from certain angles, the front bumper area seems very large and very “heavy.” Like it has a huge nose. Head on, I like it. I’m probably one of the few that likes the spindle grill. I prefer the 2020 Highlander’s nose (resembles the CX-9 from certain angles).

thanks for the response and the recommendation on deals to be had on 2019. Yeah apple carplay is important for us. Too bad none of the toyota vehicles come with wireless carplay
I think BMW is the only one with wireless CarPlay right now, thought I thought I read Ford would also support it with SYNC 4 in certain 2020 models. I agree; wireless CarPlay would make it much more useful, as I don’t like removing my phone from my belt while I drive. Out of sight, out of mind, and it also means I won’t forget it when I leave the vehicle.
 
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