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Toyota Highlander Real World MPG



  • My wife has a relatively new '09 V6 Limited with about 750 miles on it, and she is getting about 19.6 mostly city driving.
  • kkd1kkd1 Posts: 1
    I bought my 2009 Highlander a couple months ago- not even 1000 miles on it yet. It started out getting 18 mpg in town, then 15, then 13. Today it used 1/4 tank of gas in 20 miles. There has to be something wrong, but what?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    My minivan has averaged 21 mpg lifetime over the last nine years. But the first ten tanks varied between 11 and 20mpg. It really didn't settle in with consistent mpg until 3,000 miles, and even then it kept creeping up over the years. It didn't hit the EPA rating until 7,000 miles.

    I'd try to fill the Highlander consistently (i.e., no partial tanks, fill it just to the first click, and even use the same pump every time if you can), and keep good paper records for the next 2,000 miles. Then you'd have reason to worry that something is wrong if the mileage doesn't approach the EPA estimates.

    In the meantime, there's not much you can do about "winter" gas, but these tips may help.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Just wanted to post that with about 6k on our 2009 4 cyl. Highlander, we're averaging right at 23 MPG. We do a mix of highway and city driving, but no long mostly highway trips yet. Overall, we've satisfied with the mileage and power. We're getting about the same mileage as we got with the 2003 4wd CR-V we replaced, but with a lot more space and comfort.
  • tjcattjcat Posts: 3
    I have an 09 Sport with just over 4300 miles on it. I drive a very short commute (2 miles each way) to and from work. When I bought the car this summer I was getting 16.5-17 MPG on all my tanks for this same in-town driving. For the last 2 months (November to now in KS) I am only averaging 13.5 or worse! I have taken it to the dealer and they claim nothing is wrong. We even took it on the highway at the holidays and going got only 15.5 but managed 20.5 on the way back. I am VERY disappointed in the mileage. Our V8 4x4 Silverado does better than this! Any suggestions from anyone? Should I get a second opinion from another dealership or give it more time (I realize I drive short distance in stop and go and it is winter)?
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Only 4300 miles.....short commute.....winter blend have nothing to worry about. It will get better.
  • tjcattjcat Posts: 3
    I hope so. I can't justify keeping it if it doesn't. Our truck is doing better and the HL was supposed to be our better MPG vehicle.
  • I agree. I have the 2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 4x4; my last FULL tank of gas got me only 230 miles...230 miles in a 19.2 gallon tank! It's awful...I cannot stand the mileage on this car. I'm considering trading it in because of it's awful mileage.

    I do city & highway driving. I drive to work and it's about 10 miles round-trip. I only reached 24MPG ONE time since owning the car...and that was after driving highway for close to an hour. I have never, ever been in the 20's other than that day.

  • tjcattjcat Posts: 3
    I've got trade in thoughts as well. I LOVE the car otherwise. It handles well, did awesome in the crazy blizzard we had over the holidays, but we already have one gas guzzler. This thing would have qualified as a clunker this summer! When I questioned it with the service advisor at my dealership, he didn't believe me when I told him the window sticker said 17 and had to go look for himself. The service manager told me to give it time, "they don't fully break in until 15K miles". I'm not sure I can wait that long.
  • How many gallons did you put in when you filled up. I'm assuming you didn't run the entire 19.2 gallon tank bone dry. I know my '06 Avalon still has 3.5 gallons left in it when the low gas light comes on. It's an 18.5 gallon tank; minus the 3.5 reserve leaves 15 and that's a typical fill-up for me.

    Doing a little math in my head, if you refilled when the light came on you might have only used 16 gallons or maybe even as little as 15.5 gallons. I've only had my 2010 Limited a couple of weeks and I haven't measured my reserve yet. Anyway, 230 miles divided by 16 gallons equals 14.375 mpg. Not too far off from the 17 they claim.

    I had a 1978 Datsun B210 with an engine so tight that it didn't break in until it had 12,000 miles on it and then the gas mileage increased by 50%. I don't think a Toyota will do that well in this day and age, but some improvement is expected.

  • 77,249.8 miles divided by 3,091.0 gallons = 25.0 mpg

    This has included 1 trip per year from Massachusetts to Indiana, and a smaller road trip or two each year (for example, Pennsylvania, Ontario, New York). Otherwise it's a lot of suburban driving with trips several times a week into the city of Lowell, Mass.

    Regarding the comment in the earlier post about giving an engine time to break in and mileage will improve, that's not been my experience. After 10,000 miles my Highlander had averaged 25.7 mpg.

    Similar experience with an '03 AWD Matrix, a '94 Corolla wagon, an '89 Nissan Sentra AWD wagon, an '87 Chevy Nova, and a couple of late 1970s Hondas. The fuel economy held steady or even declined slightly over the years. I have never had a car that got markedly better gas mileage at 40,000 or 60,000 miles than it did from day one.
  • Good numbers, and record keeping.

    I've never seen mpg improve past 5k, 10k or maybe rarely 15k miles and that was primarily in older cars. In the '60s the engines were pretty much worn out by 60k or 80k and using a quart of oil every few hundred miles or so. Sure, some of them lasted longer, but it wasn't a good bet to count on it.

    My father wore out a new '53 Chevy engine in less than a year working as a safety officer for a trucking company. The engine was rebuilt at 80k and he put a total of 113,000 miles on the car in 12 months. Went through 24 tires, too. I can't imagine driving that much entirely on the old pre-interstate roads in Virginia, Tennessee and PA with regular trips to the home office in the GM building in Manhattan. He's 88 and misses driving.

  • I am new to all this forum stuff and this has probably been answered 100 times , but can you help me out. 09 Highlander w/25,000. 6 cyl Summer MPG is 19.5- 21 City and 23.8 Highway. As soon as winter hits it drops to 16.5-17.8 MPG a combination of city and highway. That includes some nasty New York Weather using 4x4 at times. Are these normal numbers for this vehicle during the winter. The dealer had said something about more methanol in the gas for the winter etc. I have never had a car that drops substantially int he winter. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  • Mostly freeway driving, always use the cruise, and run the speed limit. Currently at 148,000 miles, and I've never managed to get better than 22 mpg.
  • kingfans1kingfans1 Posts: 137
    I have 2006 camry le v6. 176,000 miles. last week, i drove 399 miles. average 32.5 mpg. used cruise control. michelin tires, manufactured recommend psi at 29, shell 87 octane..

    I beat epa estimates by 4 mpg. so it is possible you can beat epa estimates...
  • redpearlredpearl Posts: 14
    Sold my 2005 V6 Highlander and purchased a 2009 Sienna. Currently on first cross country road trip: 2,220 miles of primarily interstate driving along with state roads and cow paths. Average MPG=27 which I never attained with the Highlander.
  • toyspenotoyspeno Posts: 1
    2001 4 cylinder AWD Highlander 125k miles

    Just finished up a 2000 mile trip of 90%+ driving at 70-75 average, people + cargo was about 700lbs, averaged 21.4 MPG. There were some really strong cross winds and intense rain down south for about 250 miles that affected the outcome somewhat. I accelerated to pass quite a bit. Mileage would have been better with patient use of cruise control.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    Yes, that is low for the 4 cyl, even at 70-75 mph. Likely all that passing with 700 lbs of freight sucked up a lot of gas, along with the weather you cited. My 2004 4cyl fwd will easily meet old EPA highway rating of 27 mpg at 65-70 mph w/o AC, with about 500-600 lbs.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 469
    86,904.8 miles ÷ 3,465.9 gallons = 25.1 mpg

    This is probably half highway and half in-town. Odd thing about this vehicle is that tanks (350 to 400 miles) on the highway rarely hit 28 mpg, and tanks in town even in the winter rarely fall below 22 mpg.
  • tdivertdiver Posts: 13
    Does anyone have info on the 2011 Highlander? I am looking at a 2010 Limited and wondering if there is enough new on the 2011 to wait for it to come out. Not even the dealers seem to know of course I know they are looking for a sale now. Any info would be appreciated.
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