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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    There are clearly people who want 08s and buy them (look at prices paid thread). I got one for myself and happy with it. Don't forget that there is good number of old generation HL available at discount prices and dealers motivated better to move old stock off the lot .
  • Hi. I agree wholeheartly with you that the blue is a terrible color.I just got a silver highlander sport & really like the color.
  • They don't call it no-sale blue for nothing.

    Personally I don't like the color choices on the 08 gas Highlanders. Waveline pearl looks purple in the light. I'd rather they had offered cosmic blue.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Please elaborate-Mackabee.

    Ok, this has been discussed before here but in my opinion the new bloated size of the 08 HL is bad timing. With the cost of fuel spiraling up and never going down again(yes,it has been stable for awhile now which is fooling some) a more fuel efficient affordable utility vehicle was more in order. It seems the third row seat is the biggest culprit in this bloating. A seat that is not usable by adults for more than short trips that is used maybe twice a year doesn't make sense to me. Toyota invented this class of crossover non off road utilty vehicle with the RX300 which I gladly owned. The Highlander came out and added 6 inches to the RX platform and was the idea size in my mind. It worked for 7 years. The claim is the gas mileage is similar to the previous model but I'm waiting for real world experience before I believe a larger, heavier vehicle can be the same in the long run. The last issue I see is the higher cost which pushes it into a level of unaffordability for a lot.
    I think I'm the only one left here that isn't thrilled with the new model, it seems the earlier critics have left. I'm still interested in what comments are generated here about the vehicle. It seems that most here aren't concerned with cost or size since most of the chatter is concerning color and bells and whistles of the Limited or Sport. I owned a RX300 then moved over to a base HL for the last 7 yrs and never once missed all the extras most here think they need. The 08 HL doesn't appeal to me at all. Only time will tell if this was the right move by Toyota and the cost of gasoline will be the deciding factor I think. I can see the change in vehicle mix on the highway in the last year. Smaller more efficient vehicles are taking over.
    So that's it in a nutshell, flame away.
  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    Toyota's claim that gas mileage is similar to the previous model is true and there is already enough of "real world experience" to confirm this. I constantly get about 22-23MPG in mixed driving on 4WD gas only model. I looked at the comparable CUVs on the market and HL clearly leads the pack in size/fuel ratio. Hybrid also available to provide better fuel economy. What I fund ironic that smaller Mazda CX7 has same fuel consumption as "bloated" 08 HL but that doesn't stop people from buying it.

    Nobody presses you to buy Limited with all bells and whistles and pay top $$$ for it. Base model sells at modest price and offers enough standard equipment. 6 cyl Camry LE or 6 cyl Base RAV 4 sell for around $22K. Base 2WD HL already being advertised well under $25K and will sell close to $24K soon. I find it to be in line with Toyota pricing.

    BTW. 3rd row seat on HL is quite usable. If you want to use it for adults then 2 front rows can be adjusted so more leg room becomes available for the 3rd row.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    Obviously everyone has somewhat different opinion but if the cost of fuel was part of my decision, I would not be shopping for ~$35K vehicle. The fuel cost would have to double from here (maybe more) for me to consider sticking my family in little dinky car. First I'd rather downsize vacations and other like discrecionary expenses though.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "Toyota's claim that gas mileage is similar to the previous model is true and there is already enough of "real world experience" to confirm this."

    And what, exactly is your point??

    Shouldn't we all expect, therefore, that had Toyota kept the HL's previous size and weight there would instead (rather than just similar) be a significant improvement in FE..??

    IMMHO the HL is now TOO big to remain a FWD or F/AWD.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Went and looked at the 08 HL they come in 2 colors ugly and uglier. Unless you get a sport which comes in a nice black.

    I'm not kidding the tan is almost yellow and the gray is that light gray. Both of which will take up stains like a wet paper towel! What is wrong with Toyota? Same goes for Hyundai. Some of the Hondas have decent darker interior but not that much off from the rest. I even had problems with most of the exterior colors available. Oh the pain of looking at new expensive cars that are ugly. The worst thing is that the 4runner has as nice dark interior. But who wants one of those?
  • roho1-

    You make some good points, a lot of times it comes to personal decisions... For ME:

    On the positive side:
    1. The only real good reason for me to get a "SUV" is for tow capacity. Otherwise, I'd by a sedan.
    2. 5,000 pounds towing cap is the minimum (small motor boat)
    3. I am at a place where I want some luxury (Limited)
    4. I am pro Honda/Toyota but would try some of the German models, not so hot for the rest (personal or family/close friend experiences). Honda's don't tow well.
    5. Toyota picked a fairly interesting price point for the 08 HL Limited:
    a) its not nearly as expensive as the lux-SUVs but rides/feels like one - and much cheaper than the German models
    b) offers more luxury than similar/cheaper SUVs
    c) tows more than the other lux-SUV models under 40k (that I would consider buying -- see point 4).

    The bad:
    1. In order to get nav in the N.East, you must accept the DVD entertainment system which I have zero need or desire for. Together they add over $4k to the price. TomTom, for example, is about $300 and is probably better in function.
    2. The rear a/c and power liftgate is not an "option" on the Limited in the N.East. You must get them. They should be options.
    3. The third row should be an option ADD - not a DELETE. Or it should be physically removable from the vehicle by the owner. I don't need it but maybe 2 days per year and hate the idea of dragging the extra weight around all the time.
    4. The fully loaded MSRP should have been $39,999. Pushing over 40k is a no-no for Toyota.
    5. I always feel 'optioned to death' with Toyota, but then have to take an Acura style "here's what you get" when I get to the dealership... Why give me the options, then? I always feel like I didn't get exactly what I wanted... With an Acura, I expect that before going to the dealer!!
    5. A tow package should include everything except the ballmount and ball -- else, its not really a tow package.

    All in all, if your looking for utility, luxury and reliability in a mid-30's SUV, the Limited - or Sport w/ Leather - might be the only real contender (my stated bias for Toyota aside). The mental block of paying around $40k for a Toy will surely deter a lot of buyers - it kept me from getting Nav.
  • The larger size of the '08 gave me pause but I now appreciate the extra cargo/passenger area and I really like the bigger engine.I'm getting 29+ mpg-highway,about 4-5 better than my '01.If all I wanted was better miles per gallon I would have bought a Matrix, but I use my HL like I used my previous F-150.I hauled 20 bags of mulch & 8 landscape timbers yesterday, I cant do that with the '01.If anyone is considering an '08 Highlander talk to an owner with real life experience,test drive it and make your decision.It's easy to decide an SUV is TOO big when when you don't have time behind the wheel.
  • I understand the negative reaction to the size to the extent that now Toyota has a "small" SUV (RAV4), two ridiculously monstrous ones (Land Cruiser and Sequoia), a "truck based" "mid-sized" (4 Runner) and a "car based" "mid-sized" (Highlander), and I guess some feel that the with the increase the Highlander isn't so mid-sized any more. But I think the target market for the Highlander is clear: families with kids. The Highlander is basically a mini-van for people who don't like mini-vans. In fact, I can't see any reason to even consider a Highlander unless you're using it to haul kids around. Seriously. There are certainly better options for any other use.
    Now back to why we're not seeing that many on the roads, I'll assume at this point it's still early in the game and the supply isn't really there yet. What I find a little odd about this is that I've seen it extensively advertised in print, on the web, and even on TV and you'd think they'd want supply there to meet the demand they are trying to generate. Maybe the demand isn't there? Maybe gas prices and the mortgage crisis are making big dents in demand?
    Since I'm looking to buy one by the end of the year I am hoping demand is low and sales are bad as it can only help me!
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Sorry about the 4 runner pun. They are actually very nice and priced the same as the HL in my area. But does it drive more like a truck?
  • fptgfptg Posts: 10
    I purchased mine in September. Waited almost 4 weeks. I have seen a couple on the road, parked right next to one last Saturday at a local shopping center. Something to note, I have never seen a Hyundai Veracruz on the road, although I read that those are popular.

    IMO this is a family car. A very comfortable, practical family car. I believe it handles and performs well. We are getting 23-25 Highway and 13-15 City.

    My dealer sold several while I was waiting. They even managed to sell one in no-sale Blue!

    I have a Sport - 4WD/Leather/Sunroof in Metallic Grey, which I think looks great with the 19's. Gray interior, which a previous poster called ugly. That is an opinion that I do not share. The interior is tasteful and functional. The only problem is the light shade of gray and the fear of getting it dirty. On the other hand light color interior is cooler and makes the cabin feel more airy, my opinions of course.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Do you realize that you could have bought a single axle trailer at Home Depot for less than $1000 to haul the mulch and timbers and your interior carpets would still be pristine...?

    And the trailer wouldn't be detrimental to FE for EVERY time you drive the HL.

    Just what, how much, did it cost you to go from the '01 to the '08 just so you could haul that mulch and timbers?
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Usually when cars/vehicles are redesigned they tend to get bigger not smaller. As fuel efficient as the new HL is should be commendable considering it has a larger displacement V6 3.5L engine putting out 270 horsies. The third row seat is fine for small adults and kids but not for big adults. The center seat on the center row is basically useless unless you have a very skinny person you want to squeeze in there. I figure most will keep it stowed away and use the center row as captain chairs. We are not having any problems selling them in our area. The biggest problem is keeping the Limiteds and base models in stock. We have plenty of Sports. Even the Speedway or Raceway blue sells. Different markets I guess. :)

  • I purchased a black Highlander Ltd with a black interior in Canada. I ordered it at a local dealer in April 2007 when the dealership ordered their first Highlanders.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,284
    Funny that you should mention that it's basically a minivan. We looked at it (I'm 34, g/f is 29, no kids) and passed on it for that same reason. It wasn't a bad vehicle by any means, but it def. felt minivan-ish.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    In the Hawaii market, I can get a black leather interior in the Limited. It actually looks really nice with the plastic wood -- I think it looks way better than the plastic metal trim in the Sport.

    Also, I've got a 4Runner Sport with the black cloth interior. I don't think the other two 4Runner interior colors -- taupe and stone -- are that much darker than the comparable colors in the Highlander.
  • gunga64gunga64 Posts: 271
    Yeah black is usually available in leather here in FL. But all I see is light grey and light tan for fabric. In just about all manufactors not limited to Toyota. If you want the black fabric you have to move up to a sport I think, not sure though. I've seen what my kids can do to light interiors and its not pretty.

    I mean come on these things are made for familys. I guess I can always try to put that toyo guard garbage on the fabric. I have 2 full bottles from 2 past toyotas I purchased. hehe imagine they try to sell that to you for 600.00 two bottles of scotch guard.

    Regardless of stains the light grey is pretty darn ugly. They even have a fake grey wood panel on the Rav4's it just doesn't look right to me. Maybe Toyota is color blind.
  • Minivan: The first picture I saw of the 08 HL, was on the Toy brochure.. my first reaction was "it looks like a minivan". However, in person it just seems more significant. I can't explain it.

    Trailer: Look at ebay, you can get a 1/2 to 3/4 ton capacity trailer for under $500 if you're willing to assemble it. And some fold in half (I tuck mine in the back of the garage stall - it only takes a 4' W x 7' H x 2' D space).

    Tow: Has anyone taken delivery of a new HL out of the port with a hitch receiver on it? Was the DH option included on the sticker, or just the TO option?

    My Limited arrived at port this week and should be at the dealer early next...
  • Just found a car ranking site from U.S News, and 08 Highlander is only ranked No 15 of 26 Midsize SUVs! This is way too low than I would ever imagine. It is definitly a top 3 in this class if not top 1, in my opinion. Dont know how U.S. News ranks cars but hopefully other reputable sources will disagree..
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    The main problem is that they are comparing it to larger SUVs that have more cargo space. And you know how it is here in the US, bigger is better. So the HL will lose that comparison every time.

    The HL is not a bad car, it's just not what I expected, personally in terms of styling. There's nothing bad about it, but also nothing to write home about. During our test drive, I thought it was a nice, competent vehicle that I wouldn't mind buying. That's about as excited as I got.
  • "There's nothing bad about it, but also nothing to write home about. During our test drive, I thought it was a nice, competent vehicle that I wouldn't mind buying. That's about as excited as I got."

    You've correctly described Toyota's niche. Many of us who stay with Toyota do so precisely because they are nice, competent vehicles. Toyotas don't break.

    You can go for a more exciting car and have lots of exciting trips to the service department over the life of the car...or be a little "bored" with a well made vehicle that does its job very well. YMMV.

    I'm liking my HL very much at the 1,000 mile mark. I have a buddy with an '04 4Runner who is already jealous.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    What strikes me is all of the vehicles ranked higher are last years model('07) except the Enclave. I think it speaks volumes for Toyota's redesign of the HL, as a loser. Wait til the other 08 models come out,especially the Pilot, how low will it go?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    With the imminent demise of the SUV segment the midsized/full sized CUV segment is going to be the battle ground for the near future. Every vehicle maker has several entries and given the pricing it's one that's interesting to 'win' from a profitability perspecitive.

    The small car and midsized car segment is less profitable but again there's added depth across the entire industry in these segments.

    What's interesting in a lot of the reviews is that the Highlander gets negative marks for not being big enough in relation to the competition, yet on these boards common comments are 'too big' or 'bloated' or 'I liked the size of the last version better'
  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    The 2008 second-generation Highlander is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces. Even with an increased curb weight, Highlander's estimated fuel efficiency improves (when calculated using 2008 EPA method). It is noticeably quieter, smarter and more spacious with versatility and ride comfort. It is among the leaders in providing standard active and passive safety equipment in a segment where safety is at the top of purchase considerations. And, it's all wrapped in a package designed for buyers who want to stand out and make a statement.

    Toyota recent press release here

    All-New 2008 Toyota Highlander And Highlander Hybrid Raises The Bar In Mid-Size SUV Segment – Again
  • roho1, the Pilot is not being redesigned for 2008. Same tired design until 2009. I was disappointed b/c I fear if I buy the '08 Highlander and like the '09 Pilot better I'll regret it. But I don't think I can wait until then to buy. And since I won't buy American, Hyundai or Subaru, I'm kind of "stuck" with the Highlander in this segment. :(
  • It didn't cost any thing to replace, I still have the '01-it only has 85k on it.The 08 HL replaces a 95 Camry that we gave to a nephew.My wife drives the '01 and we share the '08.If you are concerned with saving money buy everything from Home Depot once a year,they'll deliver for $50-$60.My carpets are pristine by the way, I carry a 5'x10' piece of plastic sheeting behind the rear seats.My point was the larger size is an advantage especially with the improved gas mileage (29+ mpg) and a more powerful engine.Another point I was trying to make is what criteria are you using to declare the '08 TOO BIG since you don't own one and probably never driven one either.
  • I believe the Pilot is to be redesigned in March of 2008, but it is the 2009 model. That is not that long to wait. Best of Luck.
  • Just received another phone call from my dealer on 10/5/07 informing me that my vehicle should be here around Oct 10th give or take a few days. To answer your question, placed the order around the 15th of August. I will keep you informed when it arrives, hopefully next week. Gary
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