My Idea to Buy a 2023 Highlander Hybrid Just Met Market Reality

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I stopped by a local Toyota Stealer yesterday to actually sit in a Highlander. I am (was) interested in selling off my Santa Fe and Altima and settling for maintaining two rides (‘19 Outback), not three.

At 6’3” headroom is often an issue for me with sunroof equipped cars. Even with the driver’s seat bottomed out.

The HL had acceptable but not great headroom up front.

The downside was sitting in the rear captain chairs. For some reason Toyota lowered the headliner in that area such that there is headroom directly above each rear seat, but it is noticeably lower directly in front of the seats and in between the seats.

If you’re tall, looking forward you end up seeing the lower half of the windshield and the upper one third is all headliner.

Does anyone know if the Platinum trim with the panoramic sunroof has the same “droopy” headliner in the rear seat area? The stealer only had a non-hybrid V6 Limited on the lot though I figured the interior would be the same.

Not that it really matters as this is the current auto dealer extortion racket here in the WKRP area:

STEALERSHIP details:

The Stealer takes whatever comes in from Toyota, though it’s limited.
He automatically charges a non-negotiable $5,000 gouge for all hybrid vehicles regardless if it’s a car or SUV.

To rub salt into the wound, he adds a non-negotiable fee of $1,295 for “paint and upholstery protection!”

And not only is that protection fee on new vehicles, he puts the fee on all used vehicles!!

The salesman said I was the only buyer who had an issue with the additional markup and protection package. He claimed all of his hybrid SUVs and cars are sold before they even arrive on the stealership lot, with everyone paying the current “market pricing.”

And I believe him.

Though as long as there are morons willing to bend over the sales desk to grab a key to a new car, finding a new ride at or below MSRP will be a major challenge.
 
It probably has the same headliner. Or rather, the non-sunroof cars have the same headliner as the sunroof cars so that Toyota can use the same headliner for all models and not have to use 2 different ones :sneaky:
 
At a $5k+1,295 markup, I'd easily justify negotiating any place else and flying to get what I wanted. A night or two in a hotel, plus plane ticket?

I'd make sure to point that out to the salesguy--as I was walking out the door. Not that it'd matter, as apparently they'll just find someone else who would pay.
 
Here's some info that you didn't ask for but I wanted to share. We have a 2014 Highlander and like it quite alot...however we've had 2 instances where we regretted the purchase....and I curse Toyota to this day.

Long story short, we have the AWD XLS and I wanted this so when the wife had the kids during inclement weather, I would feel good knowing she had a capable vehicle.

Three years ago, she was driving home from a friends house and the snow started ramping up big time....almost 2" per hour. About halfway home, she got a warning on the display reading: AWD disabled, Check Engine light came on also. Now she has lost the AWD and when she made it home, I ran the codes.....

Needless to say I was FURIOUS when I discovered it was for the O2 sensor heater circuit.

WTH! This was an emissions related code so Toyota has the AWD system disable itself because it cannot operate 100%.

Well who cares? Let it get poor mileage, and not work 100% but get the vehicle to a safe place...instead it jeopardizes the occupants.

This same thing happend a year later for a camshaft position sensor....disabled the AWD.

That's total BS.

My GM vehicle can have 2 dead cylinders, evap codes, lean codes, overheating, you name it...and the 4WD stays active.

Just some food for thought.
 
While visiting a local Jeep dealer to try and set up an appointment for service I passed through the showroom and looked at a 2023 JLU Rubicon. They were asking $7,500 over sticker, and called it a "Market Correction Price." I laughed and walked out w/o stopping into the service department to set up an appointment. If they'd try and price gouge that much in the showroom I could only imagine what goes on in the shop. As the saying goes a fool and his money are soon parted. As @supton mentioned someone else will pay it, that someone won't be me. There are better deals out of state which would easily cover a trip or having the vehicle shipped still costing a lot less if I really wanted one that bad.
 
Toyota and Lexus have always had headroom issues. At 6'5" I was going to buy a GS350 years ago with a moonroof but with the seat bottomed out and the seat reclined to a point where I could actually fit my head, I could not reach the steering wheel and I was looking out the back window. That was supposed to be a full-size vehicle. My current RX350 is acceptable but not great as to not have my head touch the headliner I have to tip the seat back so far I'm not comfortable driving. That too is not a small vehicle.
 
Be a trendsetter.
Don't pay outrageous sums for autos...

Oh, believe me, I won’t!

There has to be more than 1 Toyota dealer in Cincinnati.?

Indeed there are. Whether they want to add to the MSRP is something to be determined.


How much was the bottom line?

We never got that far. But, with an MSRP on the Limited at $53k-ish, plus extortion fees of $6,300, it would be just under $60k pre-tax and pre-doc fees.

At a $5k+1,295 markup, I'd easily justify negotiating any place else and flying to get what I wanted. A night or two in a hotel, plus plane ticket?

I'd make sure to point that out to the salesguy--as I was walking out the door. Not that it'd matter, as apparently they'll just find someone else who would pay.

Yeah, I’d readily go out of town to avoid the MSRP Mafia.

I just laughed and said “Norfolk and Waypal!” (Say that really fast!)

He replied, “Maybe so, but everyone else is paying whatever we ask.”
 

I've been able to simply use Autotrader to determine which dealers play fair. If there is any question, just send them an email.

Also, the Costco auto program, while quite neutered lately, still can work to your advantage. As there may be a participating dealer near you. Try different zip codes to search different locations.
 
I stopped by a local Toyota Stealer yesterday to actually sit in a Highlander. I am (was) interested in selling off my Santa Fe and Altima and settling for maintaining two rides (‘19 Outback), not three.

At 6’3” headroom is often an issue for me with sunroof equipped cars. Even with the driver’s seat bottomed out.

The HL had acceptable but not great headroom up front.

The downside was sitting in the rear captain chairs. For some reason Toyota lowered the headliner in that area such that there is headroom directly above each rear seat, but it is noticeably lower directly in front of the seats and in between the seats.

If you’re tall, looking forward you end up seeing the lower half of the windshield and the upper one third is all headliner.

Does anyone know if the Platinum trim with the panoramic sunroof has the same “droopy” headliner in the rear seat area? The stealer only had a non-hybrid V6 Limited on the lot though I figured the interior would be the same.

Not that it really matters as this is the current auto dealer extortion racket here in the WKRP area:

STEALERSHIP details:

The Stealer takes whatever comes in from Toyota, though it’s limited.
He automatically charges a non-negotiable $5,000 gouge for all hybrid vehicles regardless if it’s a car or SUV.

To rub salt into the wound, he adds a non-negotiable fee of $1,295 for “paint and upholstery protection!”

And not only is that protection fee on new vehicles, he puts the fee on all used vehicles!!

The salesman said I was the only buyer who had an issue with the additional markup and protection package. He claimed all of his hybrid SUVs and cars are sold before they even arrive on the stealership lot, with everyone paying the current “market pricing.”

And I believe him.

Though as long as there are morons willing to bend over the sales desk to grab a key to a new car, finding a new ride at or below MSRP will be a major challenge.
Toyota gonna sell regardless but the mark ups are ridiculous. But as long as people keep paying the markups the dealers Win. The Finance personnels and owners of these dealerships had a wonderful year this year
 
At a $5k+1,295 markup, I'd easily justify negotiating any place else and flying to get what I wanted. A night or two in a hotel, plus plane ticket?

I'd make sure to point that out to the salesguy--as I was walking out the door. Not that it'd matter, as apparently they'll just find someone else who would pay.

That dealer deserves to loose your business and maybe for sh tz n gigglez a remember me letter with a copy of a reasonable price paid. Business is business but forcing the "protection" is wrong, immoral by almost any standard, and could be illegal but you'd have to research that one in your area.
 
I stopped by a local Toyota Stealer yesterday to actually sit in a Highlander. I am (was) interested in selling off my Santa Fe and Altima and settling for maintaining two rides (‘19 Outback), not three.

At 6’3” headroom is often an issue for me with sunroof equipped cars. Even with the driver’s seat bottomed out.

The HL had acceptable but not great headroom up front.

The downside was sitting in the rear captain chairs. For some reason Toyota lowered the headliner in that area such that there is headroom directly above each rear seat, but it is noticeably lower directly in front of the seats and in between the seats.

If you’re tall, looking forward you end up seeing the lower half of the windshield and the upper one third is all headliner.

Does anyone know if the Platinum trim with the panoramic sunroof has the same “droopy” headliner in the rear seat area? The stealer only had a non-hybrid V6 Limited on the lot though I figured the interior would be the same.

Not that it really matters as this is the current auto dealer extortion racket here in the WKRP area:

STEALERSHIP details:

The Stealer takes whatever comes in from Toyota, though it’s limited.
He automatically charges a non-negotiable $5,000 gouge for all hybrid vehicles regardless if it’s a car or SUV.

To rub salt into the wound, he adds a non-negotiable fee of $1,295 for “paint and upholstery protection!”

And not only is that protection fee on new vehicles, he puts the fee on all used vehicles!!

The salesman said I was the only buyer who had an issue with the additional markup and protection package. He claimed all of his hybrid SUVs and cars are sold before they even arrive on the stealership lot, with everyone paying the current “market pricing.”

And I believe him.

Though as long as there are morons willing to bend over the sales desk to grab a key to a new car, finding a new ride at or below MSRP will be a major challenge.

Car sales guys say a lot of things.

See how they feel about it if it's still sitting on the lot on the 31st at midnight....

If you really want the car get on auto trader and start calling people that have one and be willing to jump on a plane flight.
 
At a $5k+1,295 markup, I'd easily justify negotiating any place else and flying to get what I wanted. A night or two in a hotel, plus plane ticket?

I'd make sure to point that out to the salesguy--as I was walking out the door. Not that it'd matter, as apparently they'll just find someone else who would pay.
yup

autotrader and cargurus ftw

thats what we did for our van....got it for $5k cheaper than around us
 
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