Toyota vs. Lexus: Worth the Upgrade?

Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX
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Is a Premium Badge Really Worth the Extra Cash?

When the Lexus brand was launched in 1989, it was conceived by parent company Toyota in part as an aspirational brand, giving loyal Toyota buyers somewhere to go when they were ready to step up to a luxury car while still keeping them in the fold. 

Thirty years on, it is obvious the experiment was a success. Lexus has long been established as a legitimate competitor to legacy brands not just with Toyota customers, but with conquest buyers from other luxury marques. 

Toyota and Lexus have always shared platforms, and lines between the two brands have blurred over the years. Even basic models from Toyota have followed industry trends by luxury features like leather interiors, moonroofs, and high-end features and audio systems. Some higher trim Toyota sedans and SUVs could easily be described as near-luxury vehicles, further bringing into question the justification for Lexus’ higher price. 

On the following pages, we’ve compared different cars and SUVs from the two brands that could be considered competing for the same buyers. Keep in mind that scores change during the year as new models are introduced and data becomes available, so check back to our Ratings for updated results. 

Read on to find out whether the flagship brand is worth the extra cost.

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