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Toyota Highlander Owners: Meet the Members

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
Please take a moment to introduce yourself and share some details about your Highlander!

My name is KarenS and I am the host of the Owner's Clubs. Please let me know what discussions you would like to see in your Club folder. I will create them ASAP. You may want to take a look through the other clubs to get ideas for discussions.

Also, if you are interested in a live chat, I can arrange that for you. All Club chats are set up on

Tuesdays: 4:00-5:00 pm PT/7:00-8:00pm ET

Thursdays: 5:00-6:00pm PT/8:00-9:00pm ET, 6:00-7:00pm PT/9:00-10:00 ET, 7:00-8:00pm PT/10:00-11:00pm ET
(The latter may be rather late for East Coasters, but is available if you want.)

Let me know if you are interested in a chat and the day/time convenient for you.

Looking forward to meeting everyone!

Owner's Clubs

Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor



  • ellybillellybill Posts: 5
    Karen/ Got my highlander on 1/09/01,was fist one in my county. Had been waiting over 6 months to see and drive one. Drove it about 60 miles and bought it. Needless to say, dealer didn't give it away, but I was satisfied with drive out. It is 2wd,v6 and can find no problems or nothing to complain about! Had 2000 4runner which I had to get rid of as my hip joint has gone out and after climbing up and in the 4runner, the pain was really bad,the HL is great as you just slide in.
    as for discussions, it would be great if folks would read their manuals before posting questions and post only their comments about likes and dislikes and operating tips like they run great on regular gas, performance and MPG. thanks for starting this' owners club'
    old bill
  • twillowstwillows Posts: 5
    Purchased my V6 HL with leather (withOUT getting the Limited Pkg), with convenience pkg (keyless entry & tonneau), roof rack, pwr seat, tinted glass, hitch installed, mats front,rear,cargo; alloy wheels, wheel locks, CD, etc. for $2K below MSRP. Yup...I know I could have done better six months from now on price, but I wouldn't be driving the closest thing to a Camry wagon for the next six months either! It is my third Toyota purchase since 1988 and they are as near to flawless as you get. With only one fillip to its credit, I shouldn't even quote the 23.0 mpg, but maybe it is an indication of things to come.... but am still keeping it in the 55 mph range for the first 1000 miles per the book. I plan to add photos to the Owner's page as soon as gets cranking. Uploaded them an hour ago and they still have not posted to their site for me to reference to Edmunds with. The HL is solid white with taupe perforated leather and feels real soft. Ted in sunny Florida....
  • shl72953shl72953 Posts: 53
    Wally at this end. Read about the Highlander on Sunday (local newspaper), took a look at a stripped down black one on Monday, and bought a fully loaded white Limited on Tuesday. (2-6-01) Had previously ordered an Escape on 9/1 under the Ford Z Plan but when it wasn't even scheduled to be built by 1/5, I cancelled. Had figured on waiting until the 2002's were eligible to be ordered and planned to get one of those, sans all the troubles that Ford has encountered during the first year of production. Gave up the Escape and about 9 grand more to get into the HL but figured it was worth it. Probably would have preferred something other than white but didn't want to wait and with the gold package it turned out pretty well. Have added some creature comforts (CB radio, backup alarm system, temp and compass cromatic mirror,Valentine One radar detector, all hardwired in) and am very impressed overall with the vehicle. Have put around 1600 miles on and am averaging right at 19 mpg. Had I known a little more about the Matrix, I might have been tempted to wait but details were awfully sketchy at the time. Waiting now for a center console from the dealer but not getting much encouragement as to the availability. Will try to respond to any questions but am very limited in terms of mechanical abilities. My former students also accused me of lying a lot. Oh, well...
  • sstobersstober Posts: 14
    Picking up my Limited HL in 2 hours from now. Millenium silver and completely loaded. (I'm not happy about having to wait for the centre console, however). Reason for choosing the HL over the MDX was twofold. 1. I like the drive of the HL over the MDX (wasn't at all impressed with the MDX). 2. Honda lease finance limited what I could put down in cash to 25% of the MSRP which would have left me me with a hefty monthly payment. Toyota allowed me to put down whatever I wanted and I'm left with a very low monthly. These chat rooms are terrific; I use one for my BMW cruiser motorcycle & has been very helpful with tips, common issues etc. - Steve
  • tomshadletomshadle Posts: 11
    Could you tell me who installed your mirror/compass? The salesman said I could get the
    mirror/compass from the Camry installed after-market.
    Thanks, Tom
  • shl72953shl72953 Posts: 53
    I had a local customizing shop recommended by the sales manager and service manager do the installation of all four items. I had asked that the dealership do the work because I didn't want any hassle over warranty violations. They said that any problems would be covered by the customizer and that the Toyota warranty wouldn't be affected. The mirror is the same one commonly advertised in many car magazines but I can't think of the name right off hand. I saved a few bucks by not having the temp feature connected since it is displayed on the information center.
  • rousselroussel Posts: 15
    We will be picking up our limited edition HL tonight. Paid $3K below MSRP thru Costco. Also inquired thru Autobytel. Both are willing to beat each other's price. So, ended up getting the lowest price from Costco dealer, who threw in the center console option at no additional cost. Test drove HL several times, and loved the smooth ride. We initially set our mind in getting just the SR5 with leather seats, but thought the additional cost to get all the other options that we like is worth getting the limited edition, plus we think we really got a great deal on this one anyway.
  • sasfiedsasfied Posts: 1
    Good experience in buying--I take delivery tomorrow. Managed to negotiate a $2,300 discount off MSRP on loaded Limited. Chose over ML320 and MDX primarily on build quality of ML and lack of vsc on MDX. Saw picture of MDX on roof with remark about how strong roof pillars were and that was enough.
  • sam815sam815 Posts: 3
    Presently negotiating price on HL 4x4 4cyl with options. I went to dealer since a friend of mine
    had previously done business there. The Sales Manager I'm working with is Tim McPherson and he is at Autoland in Springfield NJ off Rt. 22. He can be reach at (973)467-2900 Ext. 6051. Mention that you were referred by Serafin Melecio, I,m sure he will know who that is. Should be able to get below MSRP. Who know's I may get even better price. Good Luck!
  • rousselroussel Posts: 15
    Picked up our limited edition HL yesterday. Paid almost $3K under MSRP (YEAH!), purchased Toyota Platinum warranty, 6yr/100K, for $1025, since we plan on keeping this vehicle for good. Highly recommend those serious buyers to check out Autobytel or Costco. We really love our new car!
  • Our 4 cyl HL is on it's 1st thousand miles of what we hope (and believe) will be 100K! Excellent in ALL areas....except fuel consumption. Anyone got any ideas?

    Also, we noticed a vibration/rattle sound on our bumpy road and on the h'wy. Dealer was baffled until my wife finally deduced: the roof rack had a loose bar. We tightened the knob on it 1/2 turn and, "Voila" noise!
  • devlopperdevlopper Posts: 44
    Thanks to all of you for reporting your purchase price in relation to MSRP! Now, if you would be so gracious as to let us know what state you bought your vehicle it would sure help the rest of us.

  • rousselroussel Posts: 15
    Hanlees Toyota in Davis, CA is where I bought our car for about $2900 below MSRP (thru Costco). Roseville Toyota, CA has offered it to me about $2800 below MSRP (thru Autobytel). Got the 2 dealers to beat each other's price, why I got the lowest discount from Hanlees. Good luck!!!
  • john_lisejohn_lise Posts: 22
    Well... soon to be anyway. This is why we purchased our HL, picked it up last week. Safety, comfort, luxury and no center console (so we can get to our new baby quickly). We purchased a fully loaded LTD., AWD V6, black in color. In Canada they come only two ways: base and fully loaded. Although fully loaded is 9200$ more, for a total MSRP of 45300$ (if you are curious what this runs in USD: 1$Can=1.54$US), it is definitely worth it! The deal we got (after some tough negotiating) is $2800 under MSRP (or dealer cost + 5%).
    The heated leather seats are awesome, the 6 CD changer, JBL sound system.. again awesome, but most of all VSC AWD. We live in Nova Scotia and we got the ``Norwester`` storm...(8 inches) a couple of days ago.... The HL is phenomenal in snow!!! We are very happy. Got 20 mpg on the first tank.... of course this is break in speeds and acceleration. Still waiting for my hood defector....
  • bosco13bosco13 Posts: 2
    Picked up my HL on 2/28. One week old. Handling, ride and creature features are all that I've come to expect from Toyota. A co-worker looked at mine and said she heard it was "the next step up" from a 4Runner. She was shocked to learn it was about 20% less than a comparably equipped 4Runner. One suggestion for future models. You need more cubby-holes to stash things like cell phones, wallets, garage door openers, etc.
  • cooziecoozie Posts: 2
    Hello HL Folks,

    My wife and I recently took delivery of a V6, 4WD, un-Limited (SR5) Highlander. After extensive research on the net (with special thanks to Cliffy1 and Autobytel) and some bottom fishing at a northern Virginia dealership, we were able to land a deal @ 3K under MSRP (in Fredericksburg, Va.). Now, despite my ramblings that follow, I can assure that we are MOST pleased with our purchase. But, I must admit that our first impression of the HL was that it lacked style and pizzazz. This was, of course, after looking at the sporty styling of the 4Runner and the glitziness of the Sequoia. But add the sunroof, spoiler and roof rack to the Vintage Gold color HL and it dresses up quite nicely. After our purchase, we had planned to purchase an extended warranty through 1SourceAutoWarranty.Com. But, the dealer came in with identical B2B coverage, 6 year/100k mile Toyota warranty for $950, slightly (50 bux) above 1Source. (Note: After studying the contractual fine print, I personally became a bit leery of the on-line auto warranties as they seemed to come across as kin to an HMO – and you know how much we all LOVE HMO’s!). Wife also opted for the aftermarket stuff. You know, undercoat, paint and interior fabric protection (kids!) Not bad for $595. What the heck, it’s her HL.

    My thoughts thus far?

    Pros: Nice stable ride & handling. Similar to the Camry we previously owned (before we made the dreadful mistake of buying a 97 Dodge Caravan which proved woefully problematic). Roomy enough for the whole family. The kids love it! Ample legroom for driver & passengers over 6 foot tall. Very practical for those somewhere in between the Minivan-SUV niche. Can’t wait for the first ski trip!

    Cons: (and I hope folks at Toyota take note) Take this test next time you’re cruisin down the road at, say, 45 miles an hour. Fully roll down only the rear passenger windows… and hold on. If I’m correct, you will be visited by an incredible aerodynamically induced, harmonic head pounding thump. What is up with that? I can only hope that the driver door and front passenger door wind/rain deflectors I plan to install will minimize this obvious aero-flaw. Also, the location of the driver and front passenger cup holders are in a lousy location. (I see the potential in the future for a police officer to assume your distraction is due to your fumbling around looking for your non-government approved, old style pocket cell phone). And I find that Toyota, at any level, builds far too superior a vehicle not to include items such as: automatic door locks when shifting into “drive”; a “near empty” gas gauge chime to supplement the idiot light; storage drawer under front passenger seat; fog lights as standard equipment (the silly finned grilles on the un-Limited are rather cheesy); and gee whiz, how about a single pinstripe? Finally, as with the Camry, cool it with the constant flashing seatbelt lights. There are some of us who, at times, cannot get comfortable with ANY seatbelt. Although I use it more often than not, I prefer to make the choice.

    We plan to keep this vehicle for a number of years and delight in our return to Toyota. So instead of the little “bug of dread” that usually plants itself into the back of our minds as we hit the 100K mile mark in previously owned American made vehicles, we look forward to that milestone in the HL where we will simply hit the gas and SMILE :-) !!!
  • Help; I need the e-mail address for costco
  • I joined the proud group of HL owners at the end of January. As most of you did, I tried several SUVs (including the Lexus RX) and even AWD station wagons, but waited until HL came out before I bought. I'm glad I did.
    Never spent this kind of money on a vehicle before, but it is also my third Toyota and therefore it was an easy decision. I got the AWD v6 with Limited, VSC and a number of other goodies.
    With nearly 1500 miles on it, here are my early impressions:
    Pros: Great car/truck whatever. "Toyota Quality" isn't just a pair of strung-together words. Good and comfortable seating thoughout. Built for people! Outside mirrors are excellent (providing good visibility around), controls are intuitive, although somewhat different from previous Toyota experience. While the ride is a little more jiggly than the Camry, it's not unexpected, and the best SUV I've tried. Powerful engine, great brakes. Super sound system (6-cd JBL). And it's got something I hadn't planned for: head-turning potential. I was having supper at a friend's house, and a stranger came to the door to comment on the nice-looking vehicle in the driveway!!!
    Cons: Well, the lack of center console tops the list. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but still results in scarce storage for any item more than three inches across. And the front cupholders are not the best. They also are not as bad as I expected, but the insertion of a soda can or a "Gulp" must be done by the Braille method. No spill yet.
    Now to the name: I don't have children, but I do teach a Jr Hi Sunday School class; and they have historically helped me with naming my cars. The 1990 Corolla was named "the Toy," and later became "Junior" after I got the 94 Camry. (Think Sean Connery's accent when calling to Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones film). The Camry was "Traveler" (Robert E. Lee's horse). The 01 Highlander has already been dubbed "Silver," possibly because it came with the most delightful Millenium Silver finish.
    Hi-yo Silver, away!
  • Notice that several members have received $2000 to $3000 off MSRP for a HL. Our local Costco dealer rep say their contract is only $1500 off. Autobytel indicates about the same. I am interested in how others got this great Costco discount.
  • coozie,

    Where can you get those wind/rain deflector for the Highlander? Will they cause damage to the paint once taken off? Thanks.
  • daltexdaltex Posts: 19
    I live in Dallas, and so far NONE of the dealers in the area (including the Autobytel rep) have hardly even budged from MSRP. For those of you who have gotten the $2-3k BELOW MSRP deals, can you give me a contact/phone # for your dealer??

    (Also, what is Costco's website? I tried the obvious, but it was just a discount warehouse, not a auto dealer). THANKS TO ANYONE WHO CAN HELP!
  • osoriobosoriob Posts: 44
    Finally made it past the 1000 mile break in period...
    PROS: This SUV rocks going down the Highway, love the power that it delivers. The wife and I are Very happy with it. room and comfort is excellent both up front and rear, those arm-rest really make it comfy during long trips.
    Gas mileage so far---close to 22MPG at 70MPH
    Found a great use for those 2 extra buttons on the visor (HOME LINK system)one controls my Garage opener--the other one the exterior lights around the house (X-10 leviton system) and the third button.... controls the FOG-LIGHTS that I installed on the highlander using the (auxiliary REMOTE LIGHTING SYSTEM by RALLY Manufacturing Inc.)
    It saved me from drilling holes on the firewall and putting in an after market switch on the console.

    CONS: No place, but the floor to put the CELL PHONE while charging, CUP holders should be below the shifter (at least ONE), the fabric on the seats that I wish was a little darker and finally the only thing I really miss is the rear flip up window/ access that I had on my rodeo.I think toyota could fix it by installing an automatic roll down window like the 4-runner.

    We paid 500 below MSRP, it was the best we could do, at the time. 25 days after it hit dealerships in California. But it is worth every penny.
    happy motoring fellow drivers!
  • mkstringmkstring Posts: 53
    Hello, I bought a HL for my wife on 2/15 (I am the only income so yes, I bought it). We're both 28, have a 3 year old and a newborn. We were in the market for a minivan. The walk-thru seating and the room on a van were the things we needed most. Since I drove a 98 Accord, were planning on being repeat Honda buyers. While having her brother finance a 92 toyota pickup i bought used (traded in her old buick), she saw and fell in love with the HL. And, after looking at it seriously, liked it better than the van. And, for the 3 days we had it, we loved it. We expect to get it out of the shop on 3/16.

    We bought a Base V6 AWD with mats, security, tinted windows, compass/temp rearview mirror, and i don't remember what else :).

    Paid $1200 below MSRP at a Houston Dealer, just cuz her brother worked the sales mgr for us. And, we even liked the sales guy.
  • Only had it for 3 days before the shop? Are you the one who, while driving it home, had an accident?

    I bought my wife's Sundown Red Limited on 2-14, and I got her 96 Accord (she drives our children and their friends around town more than me). We love it so far. One drawback - she isn't tall enough to wash it, so I get to do that.
  • ycr1ycr1 Posts: 11
    Does anyone know where I can get aftermarket parts for my Toyota Highlander? Just purchased vehicle on 2/9 and would like to add fog lights and running boards. The dealer doesn't have these parts yet.
  • osoriobosoriob Posts: 44
    There isn't too many aftermarket parts for the highlander yet, is going to be a while before you find running boards, I read some where that NERF bars will have something by the end of april,

    as far as the fog lights go, you have to order just the fog lights from toyota (they are specially shaped to fit on them holes) and here is a good place (Always 25% off Genuine Toyota Parts at then you will have to get a wiring harness from an autostore like pep-boys or autozone, I installed a remote operated one from RALLY on my highlander, it comes with 2 remote controls and you can progam your (HOMELINK) buttons on the visor to turn the lights on and OFF. it works great.
  • mkstringmkstring Posts: 53
    rrmcdonald: yep - that was me. Nice to know I'm famous for something ;-). Once we get it back, I'm going to spend some quality time with it in a large parking lot.

    yc1: look in the "Toyota Highlander Owners" group, there's a section for accessories. I posted the note about them being avail. around the end of April, per one online shop.
  • Glad no one was hurt and you are soon to have your HL back...
  • wh98wh98 Posts: 1
    mkstring: could you post the dealership/sales rep info here? I'll probbaly start shopping around soon... Thanks.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
    The Drivers' Opinion Panel has just launched. This initiative will further establish as the voice of the consumer by becoming a key source for automotive market research. Through this initiative will send traffic to the Opinion Panel promotion and registration area. Members of the panel will participate in key market research studies for Automotive OEMs and related companies on-line as opposed to more traditional market research methods.

    To become a member of the panel, please visit

    Drivers' Opinion Panel

    Owner's Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

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