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Toyota Highlander



  • dawneedawnee Posts: 59
    For those with 2003 Highlanders w/ 3.0 V6, can you give me an idea of the average gas mileage you are getting just driving around town?

    We may have a chance to get a nice pre-owned 2003 and it has the 3.0 motor and was curious if there was difference in gas mileage from 3.3 in current HL's. I didn't see much difference in hp from the 2005 I drove with the 3.3 motor and don't think there would be big gas mileage difference either but curious. This forum has been so helpful in our quest of buying a vehicle. Thanks
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Here's a 3.3 AWD data point: around town, all short hop, mostly sub-freezing temps 14-15 mpg. Summer highway cruising, 70-75 mpg, 22 mpg. Around town really isn't much better than our 1996 Explorer we traded on the HL.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Hi dawnee... I have a 2003 V6 2wd Highlander. We drive around Tucson, AZ. For reference, it is a town with about 750,000 population, most destinations are with in 10-15 minutes, not any significant stop and go, virtually no freeway driving, most average speeds are about 30-35 (some up to 45) day time temperatures are 60-80 degrees winter,(no A/C use) 90-110 summer (definate A/C use!).

    Winter (AZ winter!) and summer city MPG 20-21
    Winter and summer Highway MPG 22-23 (this represtents 75-80 MPH on trips of 450 to CA)
    WORST city MPG was 19.5
    BEST was 21.9
    I always drive till the tank is under 1/4 full, then fill up completely, dividing the miles driven since last fill-up by gallons put in.

    Interesting to note, the insurance costs for this vehicle, are much less than our 2003 Camry...virtually makes up for the difference in MPG between the two cars, in fact, we love the Highlander so much, we are considering trading the Camry for a 2005 Highlander.

    Hope this helps!
    By the way, we have 25,980 trouble free miles.

  • vatrojanvatrojan Posts: 3
    I own an 03 2wd Limited and have very similar gas mileage stats as Jeff reports. Twenty one around town, 23 on the highway.

    No change in gas mileage with the addition of Michelin Cross Terrains, but a much better ride and much safer than the Goodyear's in poor weather. The Goodyear tires are junk.

    Although the 3.0 is an excellent engine, I would try to buy a newer model with the 3.3 because it has the 5 speed automatic. On the highway at speed, that would make a very positive difference. (Not that the 4 speed is a disaster, but I also own another vehicle with a 5 speed, and I can tell the difference).

    My Highlander has 32,000 trouble free miles. My wife and I are VERY happy with this vehicle.
  • dawneedawnee Posts: 59
    So maybe we should consider looking at the 4 cyl model since we are used to getting about 22-23 mpg around town and probably 26 mpg hwy with our Olds van. Just wasn't sure I would be happy with less power than our 3.4 V6 but don't want to get something that ends up worse on gas. And since every vehicle varies, getting a 6 cyl could mean we get less mpg than people who were nice enough to respond are getting. Anyone who has driven the 05 4cyl that can give insight on gas mileage, please respond?

    Thanks Jeff & Vatrojan for the info. I really appreciate it.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Dawnee...I also considerd the 4 cyl, because I was concerned with the gas mileage. However, I decided that the lower resale value of the 4 cyl would prpbably more than negate any fuel mileage savings. Just a fact that more people want the 6 cyl in this type of vehicle. The value of the 4 cyl at resale time will be reduced, just becaue there is a smaller audience for it. Just my opinion...

    hope this helps

  • carzzzcarzzz Posts: 282
    will it be fully redesign?
  • sams_6sams_6 Posts: 15
    V6 AWD. Had it just a few days.

    A few things I don't like:
    1) window switches and cruise controls are not illuminated. I test drove during the daytime and wouldn't have noticed this.

    2) radio station seek from steering wheel controls is difficult to seek through entire dial. Have to press a button for a couple of seconds, wait for audible beep, then let up. Upon finding a station all the steps need to be repeated to find next one. I assumed the seek would work just like the seek button on the radio itself.

    3) can't see odometer and trip meter at same time.

    4) Driver armrest too close and narrow to be useful (I'm 6'1" 200lbs).

    5) some of the doors and lids to various storage cubbies seem kind of flimsy. Time will tell how well they'll last.

    A few things I wish it had/did:
    1) ability to control ALL windows and sunroof from driver-door lock. My 1994 Audi can do this. My 2005 HL can only control the driver's window with the key.

    2) tailgate window doesn't open. My mistake for not checking this feature though I would have still bought vehicle.

    3) external keypad to open door without key ala Ford SUVs. Handy.

    Some things I find puzzling (all might be my misunderstandings):
    1) can't figure out how to turn on the cabin lights from the dashboard. Thought that twisting the odometer reset stem clockwise until it hits the detent would perform this function, but it doesn't seem to do anyting. Anybody know what this action actually does do?

    2) when CD is in changer, even if the last thing I was doing was listening to the radio, each time I start the car it switches back to CD.

    3) instructions for initiliazing the tire pressure monitor seem confusing.

    Things I like:
    1) smooth and quiet ride
    2) plenty of acceleration
    3) engine very quiet at idle
    4) doors feel and sound solid when opening and closing
    5) braking
    6) view through windshield

    To conclude - the important features like ride and power are way above average and amongst the main reasons I bought this vehicle (plus reliability). I had considered the Pilot (I liked it quite a bit also) but it was larger than I needed and a little noisier.

    I'm looking forward to a long and pleasant experience with my new Highlander.
  • dawneedawnee Posts: 59
    Thanks Jeff. That is something that I had not considered and since I have a vehicle now that has low resale, I don't want to go down that path again.

  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    I'm not sure that resale on the 4 cyl model would be disproportionately lower than the original cost differential between the 4 and the 6. However, if substantially fewer 4 cylinder models are sold new, then you would expect substantially fewer potential buyers as a used vehicle.
  • rpell46rpell46 Posts: 15

    I just noticed your question regarding gas mileage. I have an '03, 4cy. 4WD now with 15,000miles on it. In REAL City driving, I average 17 and if I hold 60-65 on the highway, the best I've gotten so far is 26. Again, keep in mind that this is a full time Four Wheel Drive vehicle, which most definately affects MPG. However, the pick-up, acceleration and all around power of this 4cyl. has surprised alot of people in my family, including my sons who are into high performance vehicles; and the other son that drives an Expedition with a 5.4 liter and "tuned" exhaust. They can't get over this 4 banger. The way I drive up my son's snow covered and very steep driveway at his mountain hope truly amazes him. This driveway is about 300 feet of unpaved hillside. My wife, two huge dogs and I spend alot of time in the mountains upstate and really enjoy the HL's 4WD capablilies.

    In cold weather, it warms up VERY fast and is MUCH quieter than the Honda 4 cyl. I had in my last car.

    So far, I am very happy with my HL and have no real complaints. Like most other owners, there are always some things you would rather have or wish were done differently. But, did you EVER see a perfect vehicle?

    Good luck.
  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    I have an '04 FWD 4-cylinder Highlander. Overall gas mileage has been just over 25 mpg for the first 15,000 miles. I don't notice much difference driving on the highway versus in town, probably due how wind resistance affects a vehicle with this profile at 70 to 75 mph.

    I would agree with macmil about resale value. The 4-cylinder costs thousands less than the lowest mode V6 to begin with, and I can't see the 4-cylinder being worth less than a V6 a few years down the road in terms of percentage below original purchase price. And with gas prices on the rise again, I think there always will be people interested in 4-cylinder vehicles.
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    I just bought a 2002 HL Base 4-cyl. There is plenty of power for me, and I can cruise at 75 or 80 on the e-way if I care to. At those speeds, it still very quiet inside. I'm very happy with this powertrain, and as gas prices go up this summer, I'll be even happier. Does anyone really believe we won't see $3/gal in the next year or so? So far I've gotten between 19-23mpg per tank for mixed driving.

    Yes, I paid less for it than I would have paid for a V-6, so the previous owner didn't get a lot for it. But he probably paid $3-4k less than he would have for the V-6 initially. So, I think it's a wash there. Plus, around here in So Cal, you can't find a V-6 without a lot of added options that push them close to $30k, but you can find a Base 4-cyl around $24k, and buy one for about $23k. The Base model has everything I need anyway, and I actually prefer the manual 6-way seats over the power seats.
  • junepugjunepug Posts: 161
    My 03 V6 FWD Highlander has averaged exactly 19.93 miles per gallon over the 25,000 miles I have driven it. This figure is mostly city driving with 2 trips to Michigan and 2 trips to Ohio.
  • gman5gman5 Posts: 3
    I bought a 2004-4 cylinder 4WD Highlander last July, and have been averaging about 22 MPG mixed driving. The one time I drove for an entire tank on the highway I got the stated 25 MPG.

    Note that we test drove the 6 cylinder, and felt it was too much like a truck. I do not miss the extra power at all (it feels more like a car, which is what I wanted). Just be sure to get a 2004 or later model (it was revamped to get 10 extra HP).
  • vlanman25vlanman25 Posts: 49
    Does anyone know the right Toyota oil filter to use for a 4 Cyl FWD 2005 Highlander. The manual does not mention a part number. Auto part web sites mention a # A6000-116736 but my dealer used a 90915-YZZA1.

  • herzogtum71herzogtum71 Posts: 470
    My dealer (Acton Toyota in Acton, Mass.) has used the oil filter with the same part number that your dealer used. Mine is a 4 Cyl FWD 2004 Highlander, but I don't think they made any substantial engine changes for 2005.
  • vlanman25vlanman25 Posts: 49
    Thanks Hertzogtum, this was at Rockingham Toyota in Salem NH. Seemed like the right one, I'm just confused over all the wierd numbers. -Ken
  • lewglewg Posts: 1
    I change the oil every 3000 miles on my 2003 Highlander. Brought in for 7500 maintenance and felt like I paid for nothing. Except for oil change, I haven't done anything to the vehicle. I now have 21000 miles. I don't want to pay $300 for some one to inspect the belts, hoses etc. What is necessary and can I have Toyota do it without paying exorbitant amount of money?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "What is necessary and can I have Toyota do it without paying exorbitant amount of money?"

    A $300 amortized over 21000 miles really isn't very much. OTOH, I suspect this is a very profitable service for the dealer since all those inspections probably don't take more than 30 minutes. You could ask an independant shop what they would charge or even another Toyota dealer. Some dealers charge more than others for the same service.
  • vlanman25vlanman25 Posts: 49
    IMO, you should follow the "Maintenance booklet" that you should have received with the car. not anything the dealership gives you. If you don't have it, you can go to the Toyota web site and get the same information there.

    Regards -Ken
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    Hi all! We have been so happy with our 2003 HL NON-Limited V6 fwd, the we just bought a 2005 Limited to add to the family. We now have 2 Highlanders. I was a little concerned about the reports of hesitation in the new 3.3L w/5 spd automatic versions, but we were unable to duplicate that in any of the numerous test drives. Perhaps my driving style is such that it doesn't manifest itself, or ??? For those of you that experience it, I certainly hope that a resolution is found, as I have definately experienced "issues" on other vehicles that the manufactures were unwilling to admit to and rectify. Anyway, in my humble opinion, this is one of the finest vehicles available.

    Our 2003 is Gold, and the new one is Salsa red pearl, a real beauty! I think we got lucky, as the tires are Michelins, rather than the so/so Goodyear Integritys that we have on our 2003, and have seen on many of the 2005 Limited's that we drove before deciding on this one.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "...but we were unable to duplicate..."

    You will probably experience the hesitation by decelerating from 40 down to 15-20 (going around a corner or slowing for a light) then trying to accelerate quickly back to 40 or so. On our 2004, it is not consistent and ranges from barely noticeable to somewhat annoying. It doesn't make me like the car any less and my wife, the primary driver, has never even mentioned it.
  • desertguydesertguy Posts: 730
    Naw. I've tried all the maneuvers mentioned on this board including your 40 down to 15 and going around a corner a tromping on it and it does not occur in my '04 V6 AWD. Face it, some have it and some don't. The question in my mind (and hopefully Toyota's) is why!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    it somehow has something to do, relates, to how you "manage" the gas pedal as/when you're coasting down. Some people release the gas pedal entirely while others may "feather" it lightly during coastdown.

    Or then again what if the driver is somewhat "hesitant" as s/he coasts forward waiting for an opening in traffic to merge into?

    Coasting, gas on, coasting, gas on, coasting.....aha, now, quickly, zoom into that opening!

    What, No ZOOM??!!

    I think that's probably why the dealers are saying that left foot braking has something to do with the hesitation or as a minimum exacerbates it.

    Obviously someone that brakes with the left foot would have a higher likelihood of "resting" their right foot on the gas pedal during coastdown.

    I'm amazed at the number of vehicles I see cruising down the freeway with the brake lights on continuously. But I'll bet the brake shops love them.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I was able to replicate that one by starting up from a full stop and immediately making a very sharp right turn under heavy acceleration. Keep in mind that my RX300 is of the 2001 model and so shouldn't be expected to act exactly the same as the models reporting the hesitation symptom.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "it somehow has something to do, relates, to how you "manage" the gas pedal as/when you're coasting down"

    I think you're right. I never noticed it until almost 6000 miles and it still doesn't happen every time in the expected situation. And when it does happen, it's sometimes worse than others.
  • natharnathar Posts: 10
    I test drove a V6 AWD, but all the extra "options" that come standard on all the V6 AWD's pushed the price up too high for my taste.

    How's the acceleration on the 4 cyl AWD? I really want AWD because of the weather around here, and I like the standard stability assist that Toyota has on all the HLs (Pilot only has it on the versions with leather).
  • Has anyone had any luck buying decent seat covers for an 03 HL? Any help will be appreciated.Thanks.
  • alphawolfalphawolf Posts: 100
    I know it's the same platform, but I was wondering just how different mechanically the Highlander is from the RX 330?

    My best friend owns an RX330 and I've driven it some. I was surprised on the Toyota website that let you compare the HL to the 330 and the HL has some advantages due to less weight.

    Does the HL and 330 feel pretty similar behind the wheel?


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