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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Toyota service centers can alter some aspects of HVAC system behavior from the factory defaults using their diagnostic scan tool. I'm pretty sure that recirculation parameters are adjustable in some way, but I don't know if the specific issue you describe can be changed. It's worth looking into.
  • Greetings:

    Sorry to say, I did not get the NAV system with my 2008 Highlander Limited. Darn thing has just about everything else though. Do not have any little kids in household, thus I did not get the DVD/NAV system. By chance, the Limited I did find on my dealer lot had all features that were must have including the hard to find Blizzard Pearl White paint job. Good luck with your question though . . .

    Do you find vehicle slow in responsiveness to slow down when you take foot off the gas in preparation to stop at stop sign or red light? I feel as though I really need to hit the brakes rather "firmly" on this vehicle. Light rolling resistance maybe?

  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Hey...thanks for the reply. Maybe somebody out there with the nav can help me with my question.

    I have not noticed the slow responsiveness that you are referring to, but haven't really given it alot of thought. It is a solid heavy SUV, so maybe that is why it is moving along until the brakes are hit firmly. I will pay attention today to that.

    Do you get alot of looks with the Blizzard Pearl? I do !!! I have had many folks stop and tell me what a gorgeous car this is.

    Enjoy it.... It really rides better than my 2005 fun awesome SUV

    Have a great day.

  • jgantjgant Posts: 10
    I appreciate your note of Jan 15 about the Buick and your Highlander purchase. I'm seriously looking at the '08 Highlander. Our close friends, he's about 6'4" (so likes cars with space) recently purchased a '08 Buick Enclave. They rave about it. However they've always bought GM don't think they'll ever buy foreign. I was planning to test drive an Enclave to compare. I have looked at one on the lot and what I noticed (same on the GMC Acadia), was that there was no transmission hump so the floor in the back seat area was flat across. What this seemed to create was that when you sat in the back seats, you felt like you knees where in your chest, and I'm only 5'6". I'm sure taller people would find this uncomfortable.
    May I ask what other things you did not like with the Buick vs. the Highlander? Thanks.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    During wintertime driving the very BEST way to operate a Toyota or Lexus climate control system is to turn the A/C compressor off(***), totally and completely, switch the airflow mode to footwell and windshield combined air flow and then set, maintain, your temperature setpoint to your own personal comfort level, or that of your passenger(s). Ignore the actual temperature setting "number", it my case it seemed to be above 75F in order for the cabin to be a comfortable 70-72F.

    Saturday morning I drove home, Portland to Seattle eastside, ~200 miles, temperature hovering around 34-36, overcast and light snow flurries the full way.

    The significant level of warm airflow diverted to the windshield surface helped to keep mine and my wife's upper body warm. Otherwise NipponDenso, Denso US' unique dual layer airflow would have left our upper body subject only to the radiant cooling effects of the surrounding landscape amd more likely than not an encounter, an episode, with sudden and unexpected windshield fogging.

    *** In earlier times I resorted to unplugging the a/c clutch circuit.

    In my '92 LS400 I added a "winter mode" operational switch so the OAT sensor always indicated sub-freezing conditions during the winter months. Lexus disables the A/C entirely if the OAT is below ~35F.

    My '01 AWD RX300 has two c-best optional settings that address this issue. one of those allows you to disable the A/C indefinitely by simply switching it off manually one time. The second unlinks the A/C from operating automatically (with no A/C "on" indication) in defrost/defog/demist mode.

    Later Lexus model have additional C-best options, one that prevents the system from automatically switching into cooling mode when the cabin temperature rises to within a few degrees of your temperature setpoint. A bit discomforting, that.

    I notice that '08 models automatically switch to heating, footwell airflow with slight flow to the windshield, once OAT declines to the point of the A/C being disabled.

    Previous models are prone, HIGHLY prone, to instances of sudden windshield fogging when the A/C is automatically disabled as the OAT declines below ~35F.

    '90 LS400 to '08 models, 18 years and they still haven't gotten it "right".

    That's what they meant by...

    "Relentless Pursuit of Perfection"

    Relentless = NEVER getting to your goal(s).

    Do you suppose that's why they changed it too....??:

    "Passionate Pursuit of Perfection"
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Hi...I didn't test drive the Buick Enclave, but I had a freind that did. She is short and said there were alot of blind spots. She also had heard that Buick has alot of issues with electrical problems. I have 2 freinds with Buicks, and they have both had lots of computer electrical issues. Lights that come on, and then nothing shows that there is a problem. The one freind has replaced to computer chips that cost over 500.00 to replace, and then after doing that, the lights came on again. That car is now for sale!

    I have had 8 Toyotas, and I have never had any electrical issues are problems with them. The resale on a Toyota is something to also consider. It is much higher than a Buick. The quality, fit and finish in my opinion can't be beat!! Good luck on whatever you choose.

    I will add that freinds of mine rode in the Highlander 08 Limited of mine today, and they both have Lexus. They said the Highlander was as quiet, smooth, and had all the luxury they have. They were totally impressed with this SUV, and loved the look of both the interior and exterior!
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Personally, I prefer the styling of the GM CUVs (i.e. Enclave) over the Highlander, Murano, CX-9, and the upcoming '09 Pilot. GM seems to have found a good blend of rounded, sleek lines and squarish-utility. I want my SUV to look more like a truck -- otherwise I'd buy a station wagon.

    My problem with the Enclave is that it's too large for my needs. I really don't need a 7-seater. The Murano and the Highlander are about the same length as my 4Runner, and that's about as large as I want to get.

    Speaking of my 4Runner, I did have an electrical issue with a side airbag sensor that required my entire driver's seat to be replaced, so Toyotas aren't immune from electrical problems. I've also had several rattles and poor fitting interior trim that required multiple visits to the dealer to correct. I'm still happy with it, but I'm well aware that Toyotas have their challenges too -- hopefully less so than other manufacturers, though.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Did you look at the Mitsu. Outlander? Alot of people like those. I drove one, the ride was okay, but the Rav4 ride was better. Have you tried the RAV4? It probably isn't as large an SUV that you want. It handles great though, and they are selling like crazy! I will say the Enclave looks good except I don't like that grill that Buick uses in the front! Ugly to me. The back of the Enclave looks sharp.

    Highlander made the #2 SUV for sales in December, so it is very popular and has excellent reviews. I do love mine......I actually hate to get out of it. I just want to drive and drive!!!

    Good luck with your choice. I hope you get the Highlander!!
  • I have been researching a new SUV to replace my 2003 Murano. The new Murano is nice but I just don't see enough on the outside to purchase the 09 it just looks to close to the current. I am stuck between the MDX and Highlander. A few months ago I was pretty much sold on the MDX but the Highlander has grown on me and looks very sharp. One of my favorite features of the car are the nice rims especially the ones on the Sport. I can't really find out the main differences between the Limited and the Sport except for some additonial standard items on the Limited. Anyone have a list of differences or know the differences? I am interested in the Sport with the NAV

  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    The Outlander and the RAV4 are both on the small side. The Highlander is "just right" for me. One thing I did like about the Outlander was the 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, but it seems like Mitsubishi's resale value -- in general -- isn't as good as Toyota's.

    I'm currently debating between the '09 Murano and the Highlander. The former is just starting to trickle in to dealerships, so I hope to test drive one soon.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Hey, I recently purchased the Highlander Limited, but I drove both the Sport and Limited. I compared on line the differences as far as options, and they come close, however the Limited has a more cushion ride than the Sport. I felt more bumps and a more stiff ride with the Sport, and tighter steering. The Limited does have the push start which is nice until the keyfob battery goes out. Always have extra batteries with you. I learned this with the Avalon. One morning I got in the Avalon, and the thing wouldn't start. Luckily I had my other keypod in the house, and I was home and not out somewhere.
    Many prefer the Sport with the different suspension and steering , but coming from an Avalon I felt more at home with the Limited. If you don't care about Leather seats in the Sport, you can save some money there, and get most everything else the Limited has as well.
    They are both great SUV's, and I hope you decide to get one. I cannot tell you the number of people that have stopped me and told me how beautiful and sharp this SUV is. I bought the Blizzard Pearl with gray interior, and I love it. I never want to leave this car!!
    The MDX is also a great SUV, I drove one several years ago, but I think it is still more pricey, and I have always owned Toyotas. My dealership has always taken great care of me...and I use one mechanic for oil changes and check ups which is all I've ever needed.
    Best of luck. You would love the Highlander. Hope you get one!!!

  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    I'm surprised at the Ads Toyota is running here in the SE. Not sure if it is regional thing or not. They are offering the New 08 HL for $289/m, 4 yr, 1999 down. Didn't catch the model but that's still lower than a 03 HL I leased and it was a strippo model 2wd.
    Is that a sign they are not selling well? I have yet to see one on the road here.
  • I think it has more to do with the economy instead of the car not selling. The auto market is the slowest it has been in a while so i think most cars can be had for near invoice just depends on the area of the country as well
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Plus, it's winter -- the slowest season for car sales even in good years.
  • Has anyone driven an AWD Highlander on the beach with areas of deep/soft sand? I presently have a 2002 4WD Sequoia and never have needed to lock the center differential. The 2008 Seqoia would be more vehicle than I need/want, but we do frequently go out on the beaches in the warm weather. I have a friend with a Pilot that is several years old and it handles the sand well.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Here's a list of features by trim level from Toyota's pressroom site:
    2008 Highlander Features (PDF)

    From memory, I think the main features that are exclusive to the Limited are:

    Puddle lamps on the mirrors
    Smart Key
    Door scuff plates (metal)
    Satin wood-grain trim
    Chrome door handles
    Auto-dimming rear view mirror
    Power front passenger seat

    There are also minor exterior trim differences between the Sport and Limited (e.g. Sport has smoked headlights and dark accents on the wheels).

    I noticed you were also considering the '09 Murano. That's what I'm debating right now -- Highlander or Murano.

    I took my Murano test drive today and I was very impressed with the interior. The materials are noticeably better than the Highlander.

    Where the Highlander has that mouse-fuzz headliner, the Murano uses a nice woven cloth (that extends down the pillars as well, like an Infiniti or Lexus). The Highlander has a nicely textured dashboard, but it's hard to the touch. The Murano's dashboard and upper door trim are all padded.

    It's a really tough decision for me -- the Highlander is the "safer" choice, as I've used the same dealer (and salesperson) for my last two vehicles and I'm pretty confident in Toyota's reliability and resale value. I guess it's good to have options. :)
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    I have a RX300 and its not going to do very good in deep/soft sand. If you air down the tires it will do a little better. It's really not meant to do much of that type of off roading. I do take it to the OBX of NC and go onto the beach, but I limit the amount of time I spend in the deep/soft sand. It can bog down if you're not careful.

    It will do short distances if you don't stop much, but you have to remember there is no protection on the undercarriage. I have broken the flexible part of the exhaust twice while off roading, it cost around 100 to fix. Many parts of the engine are not well protected on crossovers in general so you can easily mess up your AC or other valuable components.

    If you do use it offroad in the sand, just be careful, bring tow straps and a shovel. Its not going to go as far as the Seqoia. I have high centered my rx once in a few dozen trips off road.
  • You have to press the info button on the lower right side, Select Screen Settings on the touch screen and then change the setting of Transition to NAV screen from Music.etc. Setting.

    Hope this helps :)
  • dbaladbala Posts: 1
    I’m looking for a used 2005 or a 2006 Toyota Highlander 2.4 – 4 Cylinder AWD. Anyone had any major issues with these models? Anything I should particularly pay attention when test driving these vehicle?

    Appreciate your tips.
  • Good luck! Toyota hardly made any in this formulation. What's worse is the market that bought these tend to keep them a long time.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    From what I've heard they are pretty much bulletproof -- another reason you won't find many on the used market. You should look at 6 cyl models as well -- they are peppier, more abundant, and equally bulletproof. The real-world gas mileage penalty for the V6 is not as great as you would think -- the 4 cyl is a bit strained in this application.
  • I'm looking to buy an '08 Highlander with DVD Rear Entertainment. I'ved noticed that there are 2 selections one is 9" DVD Entertainment System and the other is 9" DVD Entertainment System w/SRAT. I want to know what does SRAT means and what is the difference between both? And, also which one do you guys suggest I get.
  • I have to drive in a soft clay area every once in a while, and it sucked. Turning off the traction control helped a little, but not enough that i didn't have to rock it out like 5 times. I'm not going to say I know as much as the people on here who talk about how the AWD works, but I can say that my ancient Tahoe 4WD does a 100 times better than the highlander does.
  • Can someone with access to the toyota site see if there is a way to just disable the drivers seat seatbelt beep, I do not want to disable the light, just the beep. Also, don't want to disable any other audible warnings...

    This thing is driving me nuts!!! :sick:

    Thanks so much!
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Did Toyota claim that the HL was designed to be driven off road?
  • I have the SAME EXACT problem with my Highlander Hybrid '08. It really stinks, literally. I have allergies and a sensitivity to smells. I was told by the dealership service department that it is a built-in humidistat, which seems like bull crap as this is the BASE level AC system AND it does not stay on even with the air conditioning on.

    I am VERY upset by this.
  • Put your seatbelt on. If you have seen as many fatal ejections from vehicles as I have you would never drive without a belt on. The latest was a 19 yr old female honor student. She is now on a respirator in a vegitative state. She was the driver and was ejected thru the passenger side window. The occupants of the other vehicle who were belted were checked at the ER and released within two hrs. This was a headon collision. Do you and your loved ones a favor and wear it.
  • I own the same vehicle, same color and interior also. Its awesome. Yes, people love it and the color is wild in the sunlight.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Read the information about their EED at You may be able to fit one of these in your HL.

    Meanwhile if you can park inside each night and lower the windows overnight each and EVERY night that will aid tremendously in keeping the A/C evaporator and plenum area dry and free of mould and mildew.


    wwest demist denso
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    I had a Jeep GC and it went anywhere but it was more of a truck with a 4wd not AWD, it had a low range, skid plates, etc... The Tahoo, 4runner, Sequoia are all trucks and can be equiped with 4wd which does much better the AWD. There's already discussions about which 4wd is better. The AWD's are inferior to 4wd at off roading since they are designed to be mostly onroad.

    I would never dream of taking any crossover for aggressive off roading, but I think some light off roading is not generally harmful. I've seen front drive sedans out at the beach a few times.
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