Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Toyota Highlander Real World MPG



  • mtairyordgemtairyordge Posts: 144
    Try changing the fluids. I have a 2004 AWD w/68K and I changed flids and got a 2mpg bump.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Was the 18mpg highway the tank average on a tank that included some city driving? Unless you've run 2 or 3 consecutive tanks of 100% highway driving, I submit that you don't really know what your highway mileage is. The chance for error on a single tank is pretty great.
  • On my 2008 Sport 4x2 HL with 1900 miles I've been getting an average of 18 MPG. That's mostly city driving with one, maybe two, HWY trips of only 60 miles each. One week I made about three or four 60 mile HWY trips and my MPG got precariously close to 20.4 MPG!! :surprise: I'm pretty sure on a long HWY trip I could easily get 22 MPG.

    Previously I had an Infiniti G35 and my gas mileage on it was NEVER as good as I've been getting on the HL. :P
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    I have a Highlander 08 Limited AWD, and since January when I purchased it, I'm continuing to see improvement. In the city which I drive less than 2 miles to work, with short stop and go most of the time, I get between 17 -18 mpg. This does include some across town driving, but mostly short trips during the week. This is driving very sensibly - slow acceleration and non quick stops. It was around 15 - 16 when I first bought it.
    I will be traveling in July, and I will again post the highway mpg.
    I find the Highlander to be very gas efficient considering weight, & size. I find it somewhat disturbing that many are posting on the reviews that mpg needs to improve. For an SUV, this is very good IMO. My Avalon didn't get any better than the Highlander. I do think how you drive plays a big part in getting the great mpg.
  • thardgravethardgrave Posts: 57
    I now have over 6,000 miles on my 08 2wd Highlander, and my overall mpg since new is right about 19.0......which includes a good mix of city driving mixed with some freeway driving. I do drive pretty conservatively, and do not jump on the gas unless I need to. A recent 650 mile round trip including going over a 4,000 mountain pass twice resulted in an average of about 24 mpg.....freeway driving at mostly 75 mph, without a/c on, and pretty steady cruising...with one leg at almost 26 mpg....probably a slight tail wind. At these speeds the car was very quiet, super stable, and very comfortable....minimal buffeting from any wind or trucks. As much as I like this car for its nimble in city driving, it is also a very good long distance cruiser...and comfortable also. I have both nav and Bluetooth phone, so those were also very useful on a trip.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Hey Thardgrave,

    Hope you are doing well. I enjoy your post.... I have a question for you

    How often do you change the oil? My Highlander has 1800 miles, they say 3000 on the sticker in the corner. Should I have it changed before I go on a trip in July? ( I will not have 3000 on it) It will have over 3000 when I get back.

    You are doing great with your mpg. I can't wait to get mine on the highway!

    Have a great day,
  • Considering 08 AWD Highlander against Acura MDX and am concerned about mileage on both. Can someone give me latest stats on their Highlander MPG?
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Why would you be worried about the mpg on the 08 Highlander? If you look at other post, you will see that many are getting between 17-18 in city, and as much as 27 on the highway. This is excellent for the size and weight of this SUV. There are very few SUV forums that I have looked at that have better mpg then the Highlander. There are a few, but not many for it's size.
    I have been very pleased with my mpg, and it gets better all the time. Of course, alot of it depends on how well you drive. My latest is 17 -18 for city with alot of stop and go. I live close to work, so it is short trips with weekend driving being more.
    The Acura ride is not as nice...I tried it out.

    Good luck with your decision.
  • lucy10lucy10 Posts: 7
    We are getting 17-19 around town. We most recently drove from Portland, OR to Bend, over the mountains and hills. With being careful to keep the speed steady at 65 and not doing rapid accelerations, our MPG was 25. We were very pleased with this size of car. We decided that the difference in the Hybrid, other than for environmental reasons, was not that much of a difference in gas mileage alone. It would take over 300,000 miles to make up the difference in costs. We did own a Subaru Outback before this and our mileage was 20 city, and 25-27. It was a smaller car.
  • Reason I asked is because I have been on 2 business trips and rented a base model AWD highlander and drove them 90% highway and both of them got 20 MPG highway best case @ 70 MPH with 10K miles on them. Can't say what around town was. Ride was excellent for sure. Just thought it would do a little better.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Yeah, that mpg is really not good compared to most. Maybe the rental Highlander 08 has not been maintained as it should, and with different folks driving it, that could also make a difference in the mpg. In most post, everyone is getting around 25-27 on the highway, so I feel that particular Highlander is not the norm.
    Good luck with your decision. Hope you buy a Highlander. Let us all know!
  • tarugstarugs Posts: 16
    I have a 2008 2wd limited highlander, with the additional weight of the OEM chrome side steps and cross bars. A/C has always been on. Overall mpg for the total 6k mi it has (from 0 mi) as shown on the display is 19.4. I have driven it twice back and forth from Dallas to McAllen, TX (around 520 mi one way). Right now I am getting on average 16.7 mpg for the 7 mi (one way) city driving from work to home and vice versa. I try to get higher mpg by cruising whenever I see from a distance traffic light turn red, slow traffic ahead or if I am on a downhill. Also, I don't gun it during acceleration.

    The things I do not like about it is the wind noise I hear on the driver side window at around 40-50 mph. It sounds like wind coming in from window that is slightly open. I read in the toyota autonation forum from other folks having the same complaint that it is an A pillar noise. I also don't like the breaks, it breaks too strong even with little pressure and also you can feel sometimes the ABS engaging.

    Previous vehicles I have owned are 2004 Limited Honda CRV (traded), 2001 Nissan Xterra (traded), and 1993 camry (which I still have and in great condition for a 15-yr old car and getting 23 mpg).
  • Wound up going with Loaded Ford Edge. Was going to go with the higlander limited but for $40K they don't give you memory seats. Since we didn't need the 3'rd row Edge came in to play and won hands down in overall value + 0% financing for 48 months. Toyota dealer couldn't get close to the numbers. Granted not apples to apples trucks but didn't see the need to spend $5K more and not get memory seats in a $40K vehicle. I have no idea what Toyota was thinking with that move.
  • montalvomontalvo Posts: 52
    I'm about to buy a 2008 Highlander and much as I'd like to do my part to save the planet from certain annihilation, I just can't justify buying a hybrid version based on cost-savings. If I keep the hybrid seven years, average 24 MPG vs. 20 MPG, drive 15K miles/year and have a 6% cost of capital, the cost of gas has to AVERAGE over $8/gallon in order to re-coup the ~$6K initial cost hit. And while the hybrid may possibly have a higher re-sale value, it may also have substantially higher maintenance/repair costs.

    Has anyone been able to come up with a different answer on this?

  • texasestexases Posts: 8,846
    You're right with your calculations. Unlike the Prius and Camry hybrids, which make good economic sense, the Highlander hybrid is not a money-saver. Part of the reason is the exceptional fuel economy the 3.5 l standard engine gives. It's the best in the industry.
  • bikeman3bikeman3 Posts: 85
    Just wanted to pass this on recently on a 500 mile trip with 100 miles around town the rest hway at 65mph I averaged 25-26 mpg. My 03 has 98000 miles and just had all the belts replaced incl timing belt. Not bad for a 5 yr old ;)
  • mtairyordgemtairyordge Posts: 144
    I worked out the numbers and came up with a 6 to 7 year payback scenario. That's why I bought the gas version. I can't wait till the kids get through highschool (2014) so I can get back into a sedan/coupe and save more.

  • Let me get this straight - you chose a Ford Edge, known for terrible reliability, poor gas mileage and uncomfortable seats, because the options package included memory seats.........what were you thinking...........
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    Where do get your info. from that says the Edge is unreliable? The Edge has had a good record to date.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    I would agree with bdyment........why let memory seats keep you from the Highlander! I wouldn't have a Ford if someone gave me one!!!!!!!!!
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    Well, ronn you are not agreeing with me--I haven't seen anything really bad about the Edge.. I sure would take a Ford if they gave me one. I have owned good and bad Fords and good and bad Toyota and Honda products. Most vehicle producers manufacture a quality product these days, they can't afford not to.
  • ronnronn Posts: 398
    Sorry about that.........thought you were sold on the Toyota over Ford. I guess you have a point about vechicle manufactures and quality, however I have had many Toyotas and only one American made car, and I find a big difference. The over-all quality IMO is still in the Toyotas, they are more reliable. I was always going to the dealership with the GM car. As far as Ford, I find the quality to be more cheap as far as materials and reliabilty. I have friends that own Fords, and they have not held up well, and they have had many more problems than I ever had with a Toyota.
    I do realize that no car is perfect, and any can have problems. IMO, I will keep driving Toyotas due to resale and quality and few problems.
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    '04 V6 AWD HL, loaded with 2 adults and about 250 lbs of stuff, towing a 1,600 lb pop-up camper, 313 miles round trip, mostly highway @ 57-59 MPH, otherwise about 20 miles of it cruising around/through small towns, A/C on nearly all the time. Used 15.07 gallons, read 20.86 MPG.
  • derekgaddyderekgaddy Posts: 32
    20.86 is very high. Don't trust the dreamometer !!
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    Actually not, derekg. On a previous trip I took with actually a bit more weight in the HL (about 60 lbs for another cooler full of food and ice), over 430 miles, again mostly highway and almost no town driving, I got just short of 20 MPG (19.6), but the highway roads were lots of hilly 2-lanes and small towns to slow for; this time it was almost all interstate. I fuel-up as I'm leaving home town, get the same brand and grade of gas (Shell mid-grade) if I have to while on the road, and refuel at the same home town station coming back. I use the trip odometer and pump readings, no in-car mileage computers.
    Regards, BGood
  • derekgaddyderekgaddy Posts: 32
    webgood: With all due respect something's not adding up here. You're towing a 1600lb trailer with 2 adults and 250lbs of gear in a AWD Toyota Highlander getting just shy of 21 MPG? If you weren't towing the trailer and didn't have all that gear would you be in the 24MPG range? I don't think so. I respect your answer but I don't agree with your math.
  • webgoodwebgood Posts: 95
    derekg, I'm not trying to snow anybody. Here's my facts: started out with a full tank and zero on the trip OD, 2 fill-ups 7.688 (on the trip) and 7.382 gallons (back in home town where it started) and 312.8 miles=20.75 MPG. Note: I ran 57-59 MPH on the highways, not 65/70 like so many do and could have done. Also, the trailer's a pop-up, not an oversized shoe-box profile which I'm sure WOULD really hammer MPG.
    I also pulled the original window sticker out of my maintanence file; it was rated (under the old DOE EPA rules) at 18 and 24. I regularly get 17 to 17.5 in town. So it's not so hard to believe, or actually do.
    Regards, BGood
  • my_mr2my_mr2 Posts: 23
    I would like to know if anyone tried the Lucas Fuel Injector treatment and found their Highlander run smother and get better fuel economy like I did? I am not posting the economy benefit I saw until I try a few more tank fulls....
  • jilin74jilin74 Posts: 24
    Quite curious how some of you can get such great gas milage.

    My two weeks old 08 highlander (limited, awd) gets 14 - 17 on the local road ( I am in boston, so the traffic and many traffic lights are killing the mpg) and about 24.4 on the highway. I would say it is pretty close to what the window sticker says.

    I am driving pretty carefully now that I see the instantanous mpg reading. So try not to accelerate too fast and brake easily. Is there a best strategy to drive for a better mpg, for example, if I am going down hill, should I just take my foot off the gas and let it glide and sometimes slow down and step on the gas again once I reach the bottom or should I always give gas and keep at a constant speed.

    Also, I find that when the car is moving at 35 - 40 mph, it is pretty hard to brake (had the same thing with my old ford taurus). If you gently brake, the speed does not decrease that much. It is a little annoying during local driving.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    A lot of cars don't start seeing their best mileage until 5 or even 10,000 miles so hopefully it'll start gradually going up as you get some more miles on it.

    Check out these articles for gas saving tip while waiting for specific responses to your coasting questions in a Highlander:

    What Really Saves Gas? And How Much?

    We Test the Tips Part II
Sign In or Register to comment.