2009 Toyota Highlander

1headlight1headlight Member Posts: 24
edited May 2014 in Toyota
(Thread cross posted from Highlander buying experiences)

Finally, I have been able to find a Toyota representative that was able to give some info about the 2009 release. This came not from a dealer but rather a Toyota Corp national rep. involved with what is termed "Toyota Experience" or more simply put a consumer liason.

The Highlander will be on a national release basis in November (no specific date yet), however there will be a "limited" release in regions where in demographic areas where demands are high in October (no specific date).

Also for those interested in the Venza, the limited release is beginning in "matter of weeks" and national release in November. Trimline pricing on the Venza should be available on Toyota.com "very soon"

There you have it.


  • mdhuttonmdhutton Member Posts: 195
    Clear as mud. Thanks.
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Anyone concerned with the fact that NHTSA gave the 08 Highlander only a 4 star passenger rating for front end crash test, whereas all major competitors received 5 star?

    Also, looked at IIHS and found that Toyotas in general have abismall rear end crash ratings.

    Not sure about the rest of you, but safety is #1 for my family, and this may be enough to turn me off the Highlander, and reconsider the Subaru Tribeca, Hyundai Veracruz or Mazda CX-9.
  • qs933qs933 Member Posts: 302
    Also, looked at IIHS and found that Toyotas in general have abismall rear end crash ratings.

    You started off with a good point: the Highlander was rated 4 stars for the passenger in the NHTSA's tests, compared to 5 stars for the Veracruz, Tribeca, and CX-9.

    Your other point was rather weak, however. The 2008 Highlander specifically was rated "Good" for all three of the metrics in IIHS's rear end crash testing.

    The Tribeca, Veracruz, and Highlander are all considered "Top Safety Picks" for 2008 by IIHS. The Mazda CX-9 is not (received a Marginal in Rear testing, which you interestingly overlooked in your quest for safety).

    Not sure about everyone else, but if safety is important, everyone should do their own research and not rely on half-correct posts in forums.

    NHTSA: http://www.safercar.gov
    IIHS: http://www.highwaysafety.org
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    My focus was on the Highlander (the subject of this topic), and frankly, I was shocked that a brand that I had always regarded as producing top quality products, had received less than optimal marks for safety.

    I really do like the Highlander, but will forego purchasing one with less top marks for safety. Perhaps the 09 will rate better...I certainly hope they have made improvements to rectify the front collision rating.

    They are scheduled to arrive in dealerships here in Canada by end of Sept. Anyone know how quickly the NHSTA and IIHS test new model years after they are introduced?

    Also interesting to see price of the new Highlanders increasing marginally when most other manufacturers are decreasing their prices due to the rise in the Cdn dollar. This may be a function of the Highlanders coming from Japan....not sure.

    I have been a Subaru Outback owner for 8 yrs, so I was naturally drawn to the Tribeca, but given they have left out the telescoping steering and force us to get 3 rows (when the 3rd row is absolutely useless), I have been turned off.

    The Highlander still ranks top on my short list along with the Veracruz, but will have to evaluate the two when all the 09 info is available, including safety ratings.

  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Oh, BTW if you're interested in the '09, some info now available on Toyota Canada's site, although, I suspect models and options will differ from the US.

    http://www.toyota.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/WWW.woa/1/wo/Home.Vehicles.Highlander4-d- lZBtRbhbVh5JDcDcjPxo0/3.7?fmg%2fhighlander%2fintro.html
  • luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Hmm....still no 50/50 folding 3rd seat.
  • notsofast3notsofast3 Member Posts: 5
    how 'bout it. A split 3rd seat would be nice. I am also noticing that Auto Trader has a lot more used 2008 Highlanders available and now that it is October, Toyota is starting its 13th month on the 2008 platform so the 2009 has to coming real soon.
  • h_dang78h_dang78 Member Posts: 9
    some dealer already have 2009 highlander. Most of the highlander on autotrader are from rental car companies...i think they dump it to the market because of gas prices and no1 really want to rent SUV
  • ricko4ricko4 Member Posts: 1
    Building my own 2009 Sport 4x2 Highlander on the Toyota site results in a mandatory Option A package priced at $6765 and loaded with useless items. The total price is $37510. 2008 Sports had more reasonable option packages. Anyone else notice this?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    First, try a different zip code, say 38111, in the build your own. By all means DO NOT USE 980XX.

    Or even a New Orleans zip where money is REALLY tight and dealers are more likely to be HUNGRY.

    Or even better yet contact a dealer directly via email for a quote based on the configuration you actually want.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    "Toyota's Highlander four-cylinder is for the budget-minded who know darn well fuel prices are bound to rise before too long."

    Toyota Announces Pricing on More Fuel-Efficient 2009 Highlander With Four-Cylinder Engine

  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Sure, first make it bigger and heavier...

    And THEN add a 4 cylinder...

    And I thought only GM or Ford to be THAT stupid.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    lol ... but...

    Comparing my minivan to the 4 cylinder:

    Quest (FWD with a V6)
    Weight 3830 pounds
    Horsepower: 170 hp Max Horsepower: 4800 rpm
    Torque: 200 ft-lbs.
    MPG 15 mpg / 23 mpg

    Highlander (FWD with the 4 cylinder)
    Weight - don't know, but the base FWD V6 weighs 3979 lbs.
    Horsepower: 187 hp
    Torque: 186 ft-lbs. at 4,100 rpm
    MPG 20 /27 (18/24 for the V6)

    Shave 200 pounds off the 4 cylinder and it may be as peppy as my minivan, which feels nice and torquey off the line at the stop light. (My real world city MPG is closer to 19 fwiw).
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Why develop and introduce a new I4 that doesn't include the advantages and FE improvements of DFI. Lexus has been shipping a GS350 V6 with DFI for several years now.

    And why market a F/awd Venza with the new I4 but not the HL..??

  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Member Posts: 519
    I didn't know that Lexus had a DFI engine in the GS. Over 300 HP for 3.5L. Amazing. When I googled "Lexus 3.5L DFI" I found several posts in other sites' forums that complained about the clicking noise that the hi-pressure fuel system makes. Probably wouldn't bother you or me, especially if it gave me 2 or 3 more mpg. But I trust that Toyota is doing the conservative thing by putting this technology into low-volume production now, and we'll see it evolve and expand over time.

    Do you have one? Do you notice any extra noise?

    As far as the Highlander, it's going to get the 2.7L this year as well. It has the new Dual VVT-i. The upgrade to six-speed auto transmissions will help the off-the-line performance, and keep the revs down on the highway for maximum FE. The Venza also looks to have better aerodynamics as well.

    I'm still waiting for Valvematic. That will eliminate the throttling valve and all its part-load losses.
  • kevinmkevinm Member Posts: 9
    I test drove both the 4cyl and 6cyl in 2005 and did not like the 4cyl performance and noise, ended up buying 2005 6cyl. Very happy with it 4 years later.

    Now time to upgrade my 13mpg Trooper and am very interested to hearing if any one has driven the 2009 4 cyl yet? I've seen a couple in the local internet inventories (DC Metro) but have not found any actual reviews yet online.
  • guapaguapa Member Posts: 1
    I've been searching for a good price of basic 2009 Sport Highlander 4x4 V6. The best I've found is $29600 + $250 documentation fee and + tax. I live in Ohio. Need some input or advice about the price.
  • petepiepetepie Member Posts: 9
    I got a 09 Sport 4x4 with leather, sunroof, value package, tow prep, auto liftgate, for about $31,900 (includes freight), plus tax, tags, dealer add on ($100), total out the door in MD was $34200.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
  • debbiearn1debbiearn1 Member Posts: 3
    I drove the 4cyl 2009 Highlander and it was a great ride. Quiet ride, good control on the road & good performance. You would never think it was 4 cyl.
  • debbiearn1debbiearn1 Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone know what price I might get (OTD) for 2009 4 cylinder base Highlander? Edmunds TMV is 23,589.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You should have a look at Toyota Highlander Prices Paid and Buying Experience.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • steveinpasteveinpa Member Posts: 5
    While highlander 4 cylinder w/3rd row seem readily available in the southeast (florida, texas), they don't seem to be available in the Philly area. Indeed the 4 cylinder highlanders seem few and far between here at all, and none of them has the third row. Does anyone know if this is intentional?
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    To see whether Toyota will allow 4 cyl/w 3rd row for your area, go to Toyota website and build your own. It will ask for your zipcode and then display allowed models and options for your area. I found out when I bought my 2004 4cyl 2wd Highlander that Toyota would not allow 3rd row seat in my zipcode, if I plugged in a zipcode for a different geographical region, I could get a 4 cyl 3rd row.
  • kevinmkevinm Member Posts: 9
    Well isn't that interesting... I too am very interested in the 4cyl with the three rows. I live in DC Metro and all the dealers here only have the 2 row configuration in their fleets. I was confused, so I contacted Toyota, and they sent me back to their main web page which indicates the 4cyl highlander comes standard with 3 rows (with no mention of a 2 row de-contenting option).

    So I'm perplexed on: 1) why would Toyota offer this configuration but not price it on their website, 2) why offer it only in specific geographic regions as you indicated, and 3) how can a consumer in the DC Metro area purchase a 4cyl 3 row configuration.

    Maybe it is a timing issue until they fill the production queue with this configuration. It probably is a low-percent of the highlander total volume and the recent recession and associated impact on car purchases probably doesn't help.

    Even Carmax inventory which only has 6 4cyl highlanders nationwide indicates they are all 2 rows (based on the pictures and pricing combinations.
  • petepiepetepie Member Posts: 9
    I think the only new Carmax Toyota dealership is in Laurel MD, which would put them in the same boat as the other mid-atlantic dealers. Maybe that's why all their 4 cyl's are 2 rows.
  • steveinpasteveinpa Member Posts: 5
    I sent the same message to Toyota and got the same response (that its standard and that 2 row is an option, so it should be available). Guess whoever Toyota has responding is just looking at brochures and not checking local inventory, since the local dealers say the 4 cylinder with 3 row is not available. Not sure if its a production issue or since volume is low dealers are trying to maximize profit by making people buy the more expensive 6 or the hybrid if they want the mileage (the mileage of the 4 makes the math on the hybrid even harder to justify). Options seem to be to wait and see, or to buy the more expensive 6 or hybrid, or perhaps the rav4 with the 3rd row (which will essentially become irrelevant once the 4 cylinder highlander become available, particularly with the silly 4 speed auto in the rav4 4 cylinder--how outdated is that?). At this point I can wait and see.
  • kevinmkevinm Member Posts: 9
    Me too.. I'll wait another 2-3months..or take a trip to Florida and check out their inventories :)

    I don't like the Rav 4 side opening back hatch so much, but the 6cyl rav 4 is a very fast car. Rather fun to drive too.
  • steveinpasteveinpa Member Posts: 5
    One dealer just told me "they are available, but Central Atlantic Toyota is not bringing them into the region.". Not sure who or what "Central Atlantic Toyota" is, but once supply increases, etc. maybe that will change.
  • petepiepetepie Member Posts: 9
    I have an 09 sport with the third row (very happy with the car), but the middle seat in the 2nd row is pretty uncomfortable. It's just a jump seat (comes out for the storage console). I didn't look at any with the 3rd row delete, but if it is the same type of seat as on the 3 row cars, you may want to try the middle seat to make sure you can live with it in case you have to sit 3 across the middle.
  • francooochanfrancooochan Member Posts: 1
    I am looking for the same Highlander myself too. Of course the dealers don't sell you the real "basic" model. They always offer you a model with a few useless extra stuffs. Anyway, the lowest quote I got so far is $25,487 for a 2009 Highlander, V4, 7 Seaters, w/ extra package 2, roof rail, white exterior. I am sure this is not a good deal yet, but I will keep trying. Anyone know a better deal? Thanks!
  • jpettibonejpettibone Member Posts: 51
    That's pretty good if it does not include the rebate. It's just OK if it does.
  • emt27emt27 Member Posts: 6
    Fitzmall.com has an 09 Highlander 4cyl for $24,487. I think this is a 2 row vehicle though. Try entering the options you want at truecar.com and it will give you results from actual deals that were done.
  • emt27emt27 Member Posts: 6
    Anyone know how to find out if Toyota will be extending the 2009 Highlander incentives in the Gulf States Region? The last one was $750 cash but expired a week or so ago and now the only cash rebate is the $400 active duty military one. We would like to buy a 09 Highlander under the CARS program but hate to do that if the company is going to renew the rebate in a few weeks.
  • accordhunteraccordhunter Member Posts: 24
    The Highlander that I purchased comes with remote starter. I'm wondering if I use it often, would that be better for the engine than using regular key? or no difference? Thanks.
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    No difference to the engine, it won't know which method you're using.
This discussion has been closed.