Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. Lexus RX 450h

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - January 20, 2016

The Lexus RX 450h has long been the answer to those who demand a luxury crossover with fuel economy more like that of a midsize sedan's. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid, meanwhile, is for those who want the utility of a three-row crossover with that midsize sedan's fuel economy. But the Highlander got a lot more premium in its latest iteration, and with the Lexus's ever-increasing price, does it make sense to step up to the two-row 450h?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Highlander Hybrid and RX 450h »

What We Like About the Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander Hybrid has been successful for Toyota, helped by the fact that the conventional Highlander is already a strong contender among mainstream three-row crossovers. But the most recent Hybrid has been given a step up in terms of premium content -- it now comes standard with a raft of luxury options such as leather seats, navigation and JBL audio. But it still does the crossover basics right, with seating for seven and a flexible interior with plenty of storage. With fuel-economy ratings of 27 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined, it also does a good job of saving fuel.

See more hybrid car comparisons here »

What We Like About the Lexus RX 450h

The Lexus RX 450h is a quiet living room on wheels, plus its redesign makes it look sharper than ever. There's great space for five people and all of their luggage, and a neatly finished interior that's also well-equipped. Lexus also offers extensive options such as LED headlamps and Mark Levinson audio. The redesigned RX450h's new powertrain pushes fuel economy to a new level, as it gets up to 31 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined.

Is the Lexus Worth the Extra Money?

The new RX 450h is stylish and has the advantage in terms of fuel economy and style, but is its cargo room is significantly lower than that of the Highlander Hybrid, and its price tag is significantly higher.

Our Verdict: Toyota Highlander Hybrid

In the end, it's hard to justify buying the Lexus RX 450h over the Highlander Hybrid -- at least right now. With the Highlander's inviting interior, spacious seating and still-good fuel economy, it's the more versatile and less expensive option, and sacrifices little of the Lexus luxury.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Highlander Hybrid »

Take a closer look at the Lexus RX 450h »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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