Highlander Vs. Lexus RX 350: The Ultimate Face-Off

Purchasing a new car is exhilarating! But it’s also a game of comparisons, especially when you’ve got two behemoths like the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 350 in your sights. 

Let’s dive into the intricacies of these two and give you the insights you crave.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureToyota HighlanderLexus RX 350
Brand PhilosophyReliability, Functionality, AffordabilityLuxury, Performance, Sophistication
Exterior DesignRugged & RefinedSleek, Aggressive & Luxurious
Interior ComfortSpacious with 3-row seatingOpulent, High-Quality Materials (no 3rd-row option)
PerformanceComfort-orientedSporty, Responsive
Tech & InfotainmentIntuitive, Toyota Safety Sense suiteAdvanced with Touchpad Interface
Price PointAffordable, Value for MoneyPremium, Luxury Pricing

Highlander: Not Just Another SUV


The Toyota Highlander, a crowd-pleaser since its inception, isn’t just any regular SUV; it’s a statement of elegance combined with functionality.

Pros of the Highlander

  • Affordability: 

Comparatively, the Highlander comes in at a friendlier price point than its counterpart.

  • Spaciousness: 

Families swear by its spacious interior. With three rows, it’s ideal for larger families or those who crave extra cargo space.

  • Fuel Efficiency: 

Especially with its hybrid model, it boasts impressive fuel efficiency figures for an SUV of its size.

  • Reliability: 

It’s a Toyota, after all. Their vehicles are known for their long-term reliability and lower maintenance costs.

Cons of the Highlander

  • Tame Performance: 

It’s not as sporty or aggressive as some other models in its class.

  • Conservative Styling: 

While it looks good, the design may feel a tad bit too reserved for some.

Also Read: Comparison of Pennzoil Platinum, Castrol Edge And Mobil 1 Oil.

Lexus RX 350: The Epitome of Luxury

Lexus RX 350
Lexus RX 350

Lexus doesn’t just make cars; they craft experiences. The RX 350 stands tall as a testament to their commitment to luxury.

Pros of the Lexus RX 350

  • Top-notch Interiors: 

Lexus interiors are almost unparalleled. The RX 350 offers plush seating, high-quality materials, and a serene atmosphere.

  • Performance: 

It packs a punch with its V6 engine, ensuring you never feel underpowered.

  • Brand Prestige: 

Driving a Lexus comes with an inherent sense of prestige and luxury.

  • Advanced Tech: 

From its infotainment system to driver assist features, the RX 350 is a tech marvel.

Cons of the Lexus RX 350

  • Price: 

Luxury comes at a cost. It’s notably more expensive than the Highlander.

  • Fuel Efficiency: 

Though decent, it doesn’t compete with the likes of Highlander Hybrid in terms of miles per gallon.

  • Less Spacious: 

The RX 350 doesn’t offer a third-row seating option, which may be a drawback for larger families.

Key Differences Between Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 350

When scouting for a dependable and stylish SUV, both the Toyota Highlander and the Lexus RX 350 often make it to the top of the list. But what sets them apart? Delving deeper into their features, let’s explore the prominent differences.

  1. Brand Philosophy & Positioning
Toyota Highlander: 

Toyota has always positioned itself as a brand that values reliability, functionality, and affordability. The Highlander embodies these values, providing a trustworthy vehicle suitable for families and those seeking a dependable SUV.

Lexus RX 350: 

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury arm, has consistently positioned itself as an epitome of luxury and performance. The RX 350 showcases these attributes, exuding an aura of sophistication, quality, and comfort.

  1. Exterior Design
Toyota Highlander: 

The Highlander sports a rugged yet refined appearance, embracing practicality with hints of elegance. The latest models have integrated sharper lines, giving it a more modern appeal.

Lexus RX 350: 

With its signature spindle grille, sharp angles, and a more aggressive stance, the RX 350 screams luxury. It embodies a more dynamic and sleek design philosophy that aligns with its luxury positioning.

  1. Interior Comfort and Features
Toyota Highlander: 

The Highlander’s interior is spacious and well-laid-out, focusing on functionality and comfort. With a third-row seating option, it ensures that larger families or groups have adequate space.

Lexus RX 350: 

The RX 350’s interiors are all about opulence. Plush seating, meticulously crafted details, ambient lighting, and high-quality materials ensure passengers experience luxury at every touchpoint. However, it lacks the third-row seating that Highlander offers.

  1. Performance and Handling
Toyota Highlander: 

While the Highlander offers a smooth ride, it’s not particularly sporty. It’s designed for comfortable daily commuting and long drives with the family.

Lexus RX 350: 

With a more powerful V6 engine, the RX 350 offers a spirited driving experience. It is tuned more towards those who seek responsive performance and agile handling.

  1. Technology and Infotainment
Toyota Highlander: 

Toyota’s infotainment system is intuitive and comes with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Highlander also boasts of several safety features as part of Toyota’s Safety Sense suite.

Lexus RX 350: 

The RX 350 offers a more advanced infotainment system with sharper graphics and more features. Lexus also provides an array of tech-driven conveniences like the touchpad interface, although some users might find it slightly more complicated.

6. Price and Affordability

Toyota Highlander: 

One of the Highlander’s strong points is its affordability, given the features it offers. It provides excellent value for money, especially for families seeking a reliable SUV without breaking the bank.

Lexus RX 350: 

Being a luxury SUV, the RX 350 comes with a heftier price tag. It’s designed for those willing to pay a premium for brand prestige, advanced features, and superior comfort.

Also Read: Differences Between Mobil Delvac 1300 Super And Shell Rotella Oil.

FAQ Section:

Which is better RX 350 or Highlander?

That entirely depends on your priorities. If luxury, performance, and brand prestige are your top priorities, the RX 350 takes the cake. But if you’re eyeing affordability, space, and fuel efficiency, the Highlander shines.

Is the Toyota Highlander the same size as a Lexus RX 350?

They’re similar, but the Highlander is generally a bit larger, especially in terms of interior space and seating capacity, thanks to its third-row option.

Is a Lexus or Highlander better?

As stated above, it’s subjective. Lexus RX 350 is about luxury and performance, while the Highlander prioritizes family needs and reliability.

What is the Lexus equivalent of a Highlander?

While the Lexus RX 350 is often compared to the Highlander due to their similarities, it’s essential to remember that the RX 350 is more of a luxury SUV. In terms of size and luxury, the Lexus GX might be a closer match, albeit with a heftier price tag.

Why is RX350 so popular?

It’s the sweet spot between luxury, performance, and utility. Its stellar interiors, brand image, and robust performance have cemented its reputation in the luxury SUV space.

Why is Toyota Highlander so popular?

Toyota’s reputation for reliability, combined with the Highlander’s spacious interiors, affordability, and impressive fuel efficiency, especially in the hybrid version, make it a top choice for families.


In the match-up of Highlander vs. Lexus RX 350, there’s no clear winner. It boils down to individual preferences, needs, and budget. Both cars have their strengths, and choosing between them is like picking between a sumptuous gourmet meal and your favorite comfort food. Whatever you decide, happy driving!

Both the Highlander and the RX 350 are exceptional in their respective segments. Their differences primarily lie in brand philosophy, luxury elements, and pricing. While the Highlander focuses on providing a functional, reliable, and value-packed experience, the RX 350 caters to those who desire a touch of luxury in every drive. Your choice would hinge on what you prioritize more in your next SUV.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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