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Toyota Highlander Real World MPG

steverstever Posts: 52,462
Please report on your gas mileage - include your odometer reading, driving style, city/highway mix or anything else you think may be helpful. Thanks!

Steve, Host


  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 737
    05 with 22,000 miles...conservative driver

    I'm getting 21-22 "in town" and 25-26 highway, per the computer readout...Calculated at the pump, it runs about .5mpg less, if i don't top off the tank...

    At a steady 75mph on level road with a/c on, and no head or tail winds...and only 2 people in car, the trip computer reads about 27-28...and as low as 24 ....varies as A/C cycles on and off...

    in town, if i do a lot of short trips, it drops to about 19.5...which is the absolute lowest i have seen yet for a full tank fillup

    03 with 32,000 gets about 20 in town, and 23 highway. The 3.3 L and 5 speed in the 2005 model makes a big difference.

    oh! and I use regular (87?) unleaded exclusively
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    MPG has improved to 24.0 on highway (65 to 72 MPH). City is 18.0 to 19.5. Hilly terrain for both city and highway. Was getting 21, then 22, then 23 mpg on highway...

    I have two long trips scheduled this next month (700 miles and 1,600 miles). I may switch to Mobil 1 synthetic between the two trips to see if there's a difference. First trip will be to SW MO by myself. Second trip will be to NW SC with 4 adults. My comparison won't be on a level playing field, but I'll post the results.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Thanks for including the 2WD drivetrain info (you too Gasman). ;)

    Steve, Host
  • master1master1 Posts: 340
    V-6 2WD Highlander

    16 mpg city
    23 mpg highway
    21 mpg combined
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,786

    I am getting about 10.8 l/100km in mixed city and country driving using 98 Octane Premium Unleaded.


  • rantainrantain Posts: 2
    06 HL 2WD 4Cyl.

    I just bought it so it's under 5K miles. I get an average of 23 MPG with mixed city/freeway driving. While on the freeway I drive around 65-75 Mph.

    I'm a little dissapointed at the MPG that I'm getting but obviously I need to drive slower in the highway. I wanted an average of 25 MPG at least, oh well.
  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    ~19 mpg mixed city and highway, conservative driver, calculated based on gallons/odometer (computer reads 1 mpg higher).
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    '04 V6 4X4 13K mi. Just filled today, based on the trip odometer reading...17.1 MPG. All suburban, short (5 or less miles) cold-start trips at max. speed of 45, typical of 30-35 MPH, throttle "hammered" periodically, AC on all the time and 1 or 2 adult occupants.
  • chinaboychinaboy Posts: 3
    56K on 2001 AWD. Using Cruise Control & fully loaded, always
    get 19.9 MPG on Interstate.
  • brandonitbrandonit Posts: 2
    Our first interstate trip (~70 mph as we were still in the break-in period and fluctuating our speed) we got approximately 27.3 mpg

    Around town with a mix of highway/city, we got 23.7 on our first full week.

    That's 1-2 people using 87 octane.
  • 18 MPG city and 20 MPG Highway. Is that about right or I should be getting more?

  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    City sounds right on but I'd think you should be getting almost mid 20's on the highway.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "City sounds right on but I'd think you should be getting almost mid 20's on the highway."

    Not in the 4x4. Best I've ever done with our 2004 is 23. Usually it's 21-22. Going to try premium on our next trip. Premium improved the highway mileage by 2 mpg on my 3.3 liter Camry. No savings but I felt better ;)
  • Less than 1K, Conservative in town driver, highway speeds 75-80 mph.

    I'm getting between 21-22 mpg mixed driving. I thought I'd get better with the 4 cyl, but perhaps my driving is the root of the less than advertised mileage? Will mileage improve as the car gets "broke in"?
  • Didn't necessarily want the 6 cyl, but wanted side curtain air bags and Toyota is stingy with regional options.

    Bought in January 2005, and during a trip that summer averegard 16.9 mpg - not happy. But this summer we went to Virginia (from NY) and enjoyed good highway traffic so went mostly without ac - and the mpg was almost 24! I knew there was a break in period, but it took a little longer than I thought. I haven't done city mpg in awhile (was too depressing last year) but I'll give it another shot.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 321
    Your mileage sounds about right. If you drive 65-70 instead of 75-80, overall mileage will go up to 23-24 mpg.
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    800 mile trip by myself - hills and traffic speeds at 70-75MPH - got 24mpg

    1,700 mile trip - 4 adults and packed heavy - mountains and 55 to 65 MPH traffic - got 21.3 mpg - last leg of trip was open highway 65-72 MPH and got 23.2 mpg
  • 1,300 mile trip some mountain mostly flat-average speed
    70-75 mph-air conditioner continually set at 74 degrees-back heavily loaded-3 adult passengers-using 87 octane-was getting 26.1 mpg
    Average mixed driving-21-22 mpg with one adult no load-87 octane. City as low as 16 mpg one adult no load-87 octane.
  • cortoncorton Posts: 53
    Just a quick comparison number for you regular Highlander owners. I have an 06 Highlander Hybrid 4WD-i (V6 + electric). Over my first 2300 miles (6 tanks) I'm averaging 29.6 mpg (calculated)in mixed city and highway driving (65% city, 35% highway).
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Just got back from a 768 mile trip using premium in my 4WD 3.3 liter V6 for the first time. About 400 miles was pure freeway and I set the cruise at 71 mpg (per my GPS, speedo said about 69.5) The other driving was mostly 2 lane country roads at 50-65 mpg in rolling terrain (northern Michigan).

    Overall average was 23.95 mpg which is the best I've ever done in this vehicle. I took an identical trip (except it was 850 miles) 2 years ago using only regular and averaged 20.95.

    I've had a similar experience with my 3.3 liter Camry (i.e., improved mileage with premium). No big savings ($7 on this trip) but the psychological benefit was worth far more. ;)
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Posts: 159
    2005, 33k miles. 4x2. Last tank, 24.5 mpg, mixed driving.
    Last highway trip; right at 26 mpg.

    Why doesn't Toyota build a 4 cyl hybrid!!!!!!!
  • fsf0803fsf0803 Posts: 1
    Recently purchased an '03 Limited and noticed the 3.0L-V6 engine speed runs between 2800-3000 rpm at highway speed (65-70), with OD engaged. Knowing the AWD would have less economy than the 2WD version, we have intentionally kept the speed close to the posted limits. I wonder why this V6 runs at the higher rpm? :confuse:
    Our former Dodge van w/3.3L engine ran about 2500 rpm at the same speeds.

    Is there any legal way to change the final drive gearing to reduce the rpm for highway driving, without "adversely" affecting normal town driving, or engine monitoring computer controls? or drivetrain warranty? ;)
  • 17 gallons * 6 tanks * 29 mpg should be over 3,000 miles.
    May we assume you do not let tank go even close to empty?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 321
    You need to have it checked out. Rpm should be closer to 2500 rpm. My 4 cyl Highlander runs at about 2500 rpm at those speeds.
  • I just got a 2006 AWD V6 Highlander and was stunned when our first full tank just averaged 13 mpg!! The car has just 250 miles on the clock, so I'm hoping that the mileage will improve as the engine breaks in. Did others have a similiar experience?
  • I've never been happy with my 02's V6/AWD mileage, but it wasn't *that* bad. I just this second walked in teh door from going after my new 06. Had to drive 210 miles home, it took 9.6 gal's so not great, but not that bad.
  • It could be that you didn't start off with a completely full tank. Dealers can fill the tank to the F but not to the first click.
    Since the car is new, break in is expected. Do the standard checks:
    1) Tire pressure
    2) Oil Level
    3) Obvious wheel alignment deviation
  • "17 gallons * 6 tanks * 29 mpg should be over 3,000 miles.
    May we assume you do not let tank go even close to empty?"

    I normally refill somewhere around the 1/4 mark or when I've traveled about 400 miles. It takes about 13 gallons to fill at that point.
  • Just got back from 2000 mile round trip to NY. MPG range from 26 to 28.5!!! Best yet! My HL has 35k miles and just did oil change. I use Mobil 1; 3w-30.
  • I have the same problem, averaged 13 MPG on my first FULL tank (one I filled myself). Haven't been able to verify again but roughly seem to be getting 16 MPG combined city highway since then. I have only 450 miles on it so far. Am very dissapointed and plan to take it back to have the dealer look at it once I can do one more verification of MPG.
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