Toyota Highlander Price Paid vs. Sticker (MSRP)

We bought our shiny new Highlander shortly after they started appearing in showrooms across the country. Supplies were short and we had a specific color combo in mind, so there wasn’t much room for negotiation. With that as a backdrop, I wanted to share some specific numbers.

As a reminder, we bought a FWD Highlander XLE with the BluRay/DVD rear entertainment system (RES). Because we live in the southeast, we had to deal with all the extras that the Southeast Toyota (SET) adds on before they ship the vehicle out to the dealership.

These “port-installed” options included: TOYOGUARD ELITE, clear paint protection (door package), the 4-piece connectivity package, and carpeted floor mats with the lipped cargo mat. None of these interested me.

Note: I’ve replaced the carpeted mats with all-weather floor mats.

Breaking down the sticker

The window sticker thus looked like this:

  • FWD Highlander XLE – $36,040
  • Rear-seat BluRay/DVD – $1,810
  • Delivery Fee – $915

That works out to $38,765 from the manufacturer. To this, the distributor (SET) added the following:

  • Connectivity Package – $49
  • Clear Paint Protection – $199
  • Floor/Cargo Mats – $399
  • TOYOGUARD ELITE – $699

That brings the sticker up to a grand total of $40,111. The dealer also tacks on a $399 processing fee, which means that we were looking at a base asking price of $40,510. So what did we pay?

What we ended up paying

After shopping around, we ended getting our Highlander for $35,713 + $399 = $36,112 + TTL. All told, we were looking at ca. $38,500 (including taxes and registration) out-the-door.

Ignoring the distributor add-ons, we paid $3,052 below MSRP. Including the add-ons, all of which had minimal value to me, we paid $4,398 below MSRP.

As for why we went for the BluRay/DVD system…

I’ve never really been a fan of built-in DVD players, but the only in-stock vehicle matching our other requirements came with the RES. This was from a dealer about 100 miles from home, and their pricing was better than what other dealers were asking for the same vehicle minus the RES.

Given the combination of immediate availability and better pricing, taking one with the RES was a no-brainer. Of course, if we had been willing (and able) to wait, I’m sure we could have done better. But we’re satisfied with the deal that we made. What about you?

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