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2013 and Earlier - Toyota Highlander Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • Hi,
    I just picked up our new 07 Limited V6 FWD Highlander last night in the Metallic Silver color. Its such a nice SUV so far! I was hesitant to actually get an SUV as I've been driving a 95 Nissan 200SX for the past 12 years, but the research I've done and the various test drives finally convinced me. I had a wonderful experience at Longo Toyota here in CA. The price was incredible and so was the service. I paid 29,100 for the limited with everything except nav and dvd + tax and license, with 2.9% financing through Toyota.
    I'm really looking foward to learning a little bit more about my new "baby" from this forum.
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    Congratulations, teachgal. My 07 Toyota Highlander, nearly identical to yours is still in Japan. With delivery expected in 2 to 4 weeks. My Silver Baby has Leather Seats as well, does yours? I too did not want the Navigation but did get the DVD player.

    You will have to keep me up to speed on your break in etc. as I will be doing the same in less than a month purportedly.

    I also am in CA but in the Sacramento area. And there was not a single Highlander that I wanted at any dealership near here. Hence I had them get me one "under plastic" coming from Japan.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    Congratulations and welcome! There's a wealth of knowledge in past discussion as well as current members. Try the search feature and you should find more than you have time to read. There are a few negative posts, but far and away the HL has positive posts. Enjoy!
  • jslyjsly Posts: 4
    I just found out my 2007 HL Limited can't play MP3/WMA. I am a little disappointed.
  • I was also bummed when I found out that the 07 didn't have an mp3 plug...the dealer I worked with said the 08s will have it. But I use a sony cassette adapter and its plugs right into my ipod and the sound is incredible through those jbl speakers!

    I was also wondering...have any of you new HL owners bought the Toyota Platinum or extended warranty? It was pushed on me during financing, but I didn't take it. I've gotten a better quote thru another dealer in another state.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    The extended warranties require answering several "ifs" for yourself. If you plan to keep it for 7 years/100K miles, it may be a good deal for you. If you worry about large repair expenses, it may be a good deal for you.

    The HL is a reliable vehicle. However, there are a lot of complex (expensive) electronics... Whether a warranty is warranted ot not is your call. You have until the 36K/36-month factory bumper-to-bumper warranty to decide. There are a few of the warranty perks you give up by waiting (free loaner cars, trip interruption, etc...). I've also heard of some dealerships charging an extra $100 for the warranty if you buy after 12 months/12K miles.

    Toyota of Iowa City, IA; Toyota of Greenfield, MA; and a VA dealership offer the Platinum warranty at a great discount. Last, but not least - if you buy, buy the Toyota warranty and no other brand. Your dealership is to be commended for offering it rather than some off-brand warranty. You might be surprised how many dealerships (all brands) push non-factory warranties and the customer must almost argue for a factory extended warranty.
  • terry921terry921 Posts: 3

    I have received the following quote from a dealer in Colorado.
    '07 HL Hybrid Limited AWD 3.3L in Sonora Gold, with Nav, Leather, 3rd Row and Value Package #3 (basically every option except the DVD system) - $38,106.
    All the dealers have quoted me $399 for Dealer Handling.

    I have prices from 4 different dealers ranging from $39,224 to $38,106.

    The Edmunds TMV price is showing as $38,786.

    I am paying cash and not planning to finance.

    Some questions:
    Is this a good price or should I push for deeper discounts?
    What is the dealers true price for this car (as opposed to the invoice price which I understand is an artificial number)?
    Is the Dealer Handling negotiable?

    Many thanks!
    This forum is amazing.

  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    In searching for my new Highlander I found that getting bids on the Internet beats dealing in person in many cases.

    Definitely worth a shot. Check out for starters.
  • terry921terry921 Posts: 3
    Thanks Toyotagal,

    I did the research on Edmunds and have secured 4 bids from the internet....definitely the way to go in terms of negotiation and leveraging dealers against each other.

    Do you have any insight to the 3 questions that I posed in my original post?


  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    Q 1. Good Price? What is the MSRP for your chosen vehicle?
    I usually consider how much off MSRP when looking at final price. When you get to 4K-5K off MSRP you are close to

    Q2 &3. From "Invoice" there is also the Dealer's Preparation Fee and Dealer Hold Back which are negotiable. Although they will often tell you it is not.

    Good Luck in your negotiations!
  • HL Hybrid Limited 4x4 w/ 3rd row, VP #3 and nav price according to Consumer Reports new car buying kit (which I paid $39 for so I wouldn't get ripped off at the dealer):

    Consumer Reports Bottom Line Price
    What the dealer paid for this car. 36,248

    Dealer invoice price. 36,979

    Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. 41,295

    Dealer Holdback 731

    I personally would push for 37,800-37,900, in fact, email a few dealers with the 37,900 price and ask them to match it. Thats how I got over 4,000 off msrp for mine...I pit about 8 dealers against each other and the lowest price won!
    By the way, dealer handling is definately negotiable, its just their way of making you pay for having the car take up precious space on their lot.
  • terry921terry921 Posts: 3
    Many thanks!!

    Your response was absolutely perfect!
    Thanks for sharing the benefit of your experience.
    I have 4 dealers currently bidding and one of them just called and dropped the price to $37,500.

    I will let them know they have a deal if they decrease their dealer handling to $0.....but would be willing to pay $99.

    Thanks again,

  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    I did the same thing Teach Gal, i.e. CR Buying Kit. You will love the story I got when getting into the "Dealer Holdback". The Dealer told me that the Dealer Holdback in general is fiction since the Dealer does not own the vehicles, Bank of America does and they have to pay interest to B of A. Which is not uncommon with dealers.

    And they noted that cars sit on the lots for a period of time which costs money. I tried to put that to bed by noting my new Highlander would not be sitting on the lot since I was getting it almost as it came in off the Boat. But he responded by saying that they had to look at average costs not just the cost of my vehicle.................................LOL

    In any case, I had absolutely no luck in my area in regards to the Dealer Holdback. But getting wheels close to invoice is a good deal in any case.
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    I have noticed at a number of sites on the Internet that the $1,500 rebate ends on April 2nd. Does anyone know what the rebate, if any, will be after that date?
  • My dealer told me that they didn't anticipate any rebates or apr specials until summer...but he may have told me this to urge me to jump on the purchase.
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    We can hear almost anything from Dealers I have learned. From what I am hearing they expect the Rebate to continue but they won't know for sure until April 2nd.

    Maybe with a little luck the rebate will even increase? (they didn't say that)

    However, my astute feeling is that it can go up, go down or stay the same...Depending primarily on how many 07 Highlanders are still on the lots. Is that a profound thought or what?

    Toyota can sure keep a lid on things, much better than the Government can.
  • aronbritaronbrit Posts: 1
    The rebate is actually a federal tax credit for 2007, which is $1300 thru the end of this month. Then it drops to $650 for the next quarter. Then it disappears. We bought ours this month with the credit in mind.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    aronbrit - there are current cash rebate or APR incentives on non-hybrid HLs. The Hybrids have an APR incentive plus the fed tax credit you mention. As the new '08 HL model comes out, there may be more financial inventives. However, the vehicle selection will also decline.
  • dave_h2dave_h2 Posts: 100
    I'll soon be coming off a lease and am considering an '07 Highlander. I took one out for a test drive yesterday, and thought the ride and interior comforts and functions were quite good. I was a little concerned about the slightly limited headroom, however. I am tall, but not *real tall* (at just 6 feet).

    I'm also looking at the Hyundai Santa Fe.

    As I'm moving over from a Minivan ('03 MPV ES), my biggest worry is the loss of storage space in the back. Have other Highlander owners made this transition, and if so, were you able to adjust?

    Thanks for any info you can provide.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    We had mini-vans from 1988 until out first HL in 2001. Yes, the storage space is different, but we don't regret our move. You're the only that can answer wether you need the additional space or not. Consider what you normally haul in the MPV. Also, do a vehicle comparison for interior specs between the two at

    We're on our 3rd HL! I to am 6' and prefer the non-moon/sun roof HL over one equipped with it.
  • dave_h2dave_h2 Posts: 100
    Thanks for the thoughts, gasman1.

    Yeah, we're making the transition from really small kids (and all the stuff they need) to mid-sized kids (ages 10 and 12 - and they'll be 13-15 and 15-17 by the time the next lease is up).

    We bring a lot of suitcases and stuff on our vacations - so much of that will have to be paired down. But no more wagons and things like that.

    Yeah, to me the "moon roof" seems like a luxury I can live without. So, as a 6' tall man - you haven't had any issues with "headspace"? Maybe I just couldn't get the seat all the way down during my test drive. The salesman (who was shorter than me) didn't see all that concerned about it.

    What are the pitfalls I should look for, regarding a non-hybrid, 6 cylinder 4WD Highlander?

    I asked him about the Navigation system, and he said I'd be better off just getting one of those TomTom things and using that.

    Do you feel the same?
  • Sorry to jump in but which year Highlander were you looking at? From what I remember about them, they don't have the greatest leg room in the back seat. That could be tough with the kids getting bigger :-)

    I don't think the nav systems that come with the cars are the best so I agree that you'd be better off buying one. I've personally had experience with the TomTom One and love the device. It's also a little cheaper than other models. If your looking for one with all the fancy gadgets, then you might want to look at the 910, which has text-to-speech, blue tooth, all that stuff.

    None the less, the "moon roof" is a great call and I can't go against that request!
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    With the information that you've provided, I would recommend the HL V-6 without 3rd row (if you can find one). That third seat is worthless for anyone over the age of 10-12. (We have the third row since that was all that was available when we purchased, but don't use it. The 2 row V-6 was introduced a few months later.) The 2007 has side airbags standard. (A very nice safety feature that was a hard to find option in 2006.)

    Also, unless you're north of I-80 or live in a big-hill or mountain area, the 2WD may be all that you need. We had two 4WD HLs and now enjoy the 2WD HL. The standard stability and traction control works great. We live on a cul-de-sac street that is more than a block long and is also a fairly steep hill. Not once did we have an issue through this past winter which included a lot of snow storms. The 2WD gets slightly better gas mileage and should be less to maintain over the years.

    Part of that may be due to the Goodyear Forterra Triple Tread tires that I had swapped out the day after we purchased. Come to think of it, the tires did slip a few times on the way to Goodyear, but not on the way back.

    We have taken two long distance trips (IA to AZ and IA to NC) with 4 adults and luggage. One passenger was 6'2" and still had plenty of headroom. We were all comfortable and the trips were very enjoyable. I'd suggest the trailer hitch to mount a bike rack or one of those caboose type truck units for the rare times you may require additional room.

    Keep it simple and get the aftermarket NAV. I hope you enjoy the HL as much as we have. You're sure not to miss the squeaks and other associated noise that so many mini-vans have. (It must be really hard to get the same structural integrity in a mini-van (box on wheels) as in the HL.) We also love having a hood that can be seen in front of us.
  • How much did you paid for your Highlander (including, license, etc)? Was it a base 2WD V6?
  • dave_h2dave_h2 Posts: 100
    Thanks for the further details, gasman1 and snapcracklepop.

    I'm going to lease a brand new 07. My Mazda MPV ES goes off lease at the end of June. So that is when I have to do the switchover. I've done this twice already (from a '97 Dodge Caravan, to a 2000 Dodge Caravan to the '03 MPV).

    The model the dealer showed and I test drove was the 4WD VL with the third row. I like the idea of having the extra seats but agree that they are probably only good in a pinch. As for legroom in the 2nd row, my kids are only 12 and 10, so they should fit fine.

    I live in New York, so I need all the snow/rain/hill traction I can get. Plus, the wife seems to think we *have* to have 4WD for her to manage those snowy and rainy trecks to the kids school.

    I have so much research to do . . .
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    Suspicions confirmed your dealer was blowing smoke as mine was. Trying to get us to jump on something before April 3rd. Somehow I could not see the rebate ending as the model year winds down. Although I had hoped for more than the $1,500, the rebate will continue to be $1,500 for the rest of the month of April at least.

    My new HL should be housed here at my home by April 15th since it is now on its way from Japan. smile
  • nleedernleeder Posts: 9
    We paid $33,000 OUT THE DOOR - our car has Navigation and all the other bells and whistles. We are very pleased with it. We purchased at Miller Toyota in Manassas VA - Sam was our salesman.
  • nleedernleeder Posts: 9
    We paid $33,000 OUT THE DOOR - our car has Navigation and all the other bells and whistles. We are very pleased with it. We purchased at Miller Toyota in Manassas VA - Sam was our salesman. not sure I posted in the proper position - sorry if it is a duplicate.
  • I'm glad that everyone interested in a HL will still be able to reap the benefits of the rebate. I went for the low financing as it was a little less expensive for me in the end. I ended up with the Limited model with leather and heated seats (-) the nav and dvd for 31,400 OTD. I knew that my dealer was blowing smoke, but for such a great price and a pretty decent offer on my trade-in, I couldn't resist. :shades:
  • toyotagaltoyotagal Posts: 215
    Sounds good to me. Our HL in the Ocean is nearely the same as your without the navigation for about 2K less. It should be arriving in SF on or about the 8th.

    We couldn't see a situation where the navigation system would be of any significant value to us. And that is why we had to order one since generally if they come "loaded" they include the navigation system. Hence we had to order one. And we are looking forward to firing it up.

    Just curious what is the recommended "Break In" for the HL?
    Under a certain MPH and intermitent speeds for 500 miles or?????????
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