RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus?

Jason · Apr 13, 2021 06:30 PM

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 01

Perhaps the biggest news surrounding the launch of the 2021 Toyota Harrier is the demise of the 8AR-FTS turbocharged power unit. One way or another, some will moan about this, but there are solid reasons why Toyota did this. 

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 02

At RM 249k, the Toyota Harrier asks quite a sizeable chunk of your hard-earned money. Interestingly, the Lexus UX occupies a similar price range to the Harrier (RM 236k - 290k). Will this cause some sort of cannibalisation within the brands? Let's delve further and have a look.

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Price Comparison (OTR w/o insurance, with SST discount)
Model & Variant Price (RM)
Toyota Harrier 2.0 Luxury 249,706
Lexus UX200 Urban 236,443
Lexus UX200 Luxury 274,998
Lexus UX200 F Sport 290,335

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 01

The size factor

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 02

All cards on the table, the Harrier is actually the bigger car, as it sits on the TNGA-K platform. Conversely, the UX is underpinned by the smaller TNGA-C platform (Lexus just calls it GA-C). It is patently obvious when you step inside. The Harrier is more spacious and airy, while the interior space of the UX remains its one glaring weakness.

Dimension Comparison
  Toyota Harrier Lexus UX
Length (mm) 4,740 4,495
Width (mm) 1,855 1,840
Height (mm) 1,660 1,520
Wheelbase (mm) 2,690 2,640
Boot space (litres) 396 271

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 03

Inside, both cars don't fare all that well when in comes to places to put your stuff. The UX is the poorer of the two in this aspect, having no rear door bins and a paltry 271 litres of boot space. The Harrier fares a bit better with slightly more storage spaces and 396 litres of boot space.

2020 Lexus UX 200 Boot Space

Lexus UX 200 Luxury & F-Sport boot space, 271 litres

The same goes for road presence. The Harrier, being the bigger car, does look the more imposing of the two. The UX carries off that typical Lexus styling - sharp, distinctive, bold - but next to the Harrier, looks a little compact. That said, it really is down to personal preference with regards to which looks better. 

The Lexus factor

2020 Lexus UX 200 Exterior

Everything about the Lexus UX feels a cut above the Harrier. Look at the spindle grill, the wing mirrors, the LED headlights, the aero blade taillamps and the finishing in the interior (did I mention I adore the 'Washi' finish on the UX Luxury?). This is where your money goes to, the little extras that elevate the UX to a more special plane. 

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 06

Is there a more special interior trim than Lexus' Washi?

The Harrier is by no means a poor relative, serving up a sumptuous interior in its own right. It's just that, at various touch points, you'll notice shared Toyota switchgear scattered across the cabin. Is it a dealbreaker? Hardly, but it does make the Harrier feel a little less bespoke for the money. This is especially evident in the Malaysian-spec infotainment screen, which is reduced in size.

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 07

Even so, both cars score quite well in the kit counter. Full TSS ADAS suite, many airbags, powered tailgate, wireless charging, and smartphone connectivity. Special mention goes to the Harrier's ingenious fixed panoramic roof, which is equipped with electro-chromatic glass that can be dimmed or darkened at the touch of a button. Neat!

Equipment Comparison
  Toyota Harrier Lexus UX F Sport
TSS ADAS Yes Yes
Panoramic Roof Yes No
Wireless charger Yes Yes
Electric steering adjustment Yes Yes
Head-up display Yes Yes
Smartphone connectivity Yes Yes
Powered tailgate with easy open Yes Yes

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 08

The drive factor

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 09

Seeing that both cars have TNGA roots underneath, both the Harrier and UX excel in the ride and handling department. In the performance stakes, the Harrier and UX share the exact same powertrain, a 2.0-litre, Dynamic Force engine paired to a Direct Shift CVT transmission. Curiously, the output for both cars are slightly different, the Lexus with 171 PS/205 Nm and the Toyota coming in with 173 PS/203 Nm.

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 10

The UX, being the lighter car, does feel more responsive and nimble compared to the 70 kg heavier Harrier. Having spent extensive time in it, I can safely say that it is the most accomplished of the premium compact SUVs in driving experience, even if it loses out on outright grunt.

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 11

Less grunt, but drives infinitely better

We expect the same of the Toyota Harrier (although we have yet to drive it yet), in which it is the most proficient in its class where ride and handling are concerned. However, the Harrier occupies a space in the market where it is a class of one, so it is the best by default (chuckle chuckle). Much has been made about the loss of turbo propulsion, but the XU60 generation can only dream of having a chassis as talented as its current successor. 

Conclusion

RM 249k 2021 Toyota Harrier vs RM 236k Lexus UX: Why Toyota when you can Lexus? 12

Choosing between these 2 cars is a lot harder than it seems, but for my personal preference, I'd plump for the Toyota Harrier. Living with it daily would be a little easier compared to the UX, extra space and all. Don't get me wrong, I love the Lexus experience as much as anyone, but the Harrier probably meets my needs in a better manner.

2020 Lexus UX 200 Exterior

If you're looking for a sense of occasion everytime you get in, then the Lexus UX will be that car. More than just a posh Toyota, it carries off this air of effortless luxury that is borne from decades of perfecting Lexus craftsmanship. It is more expensive, it is the smaller car, but boy does it feel special.

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