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Toyota Highlander



  • Thank you all. It sounds like mpg are pretty low in the city w/ the 6 cyl. I guess we will eventually adjust the 4?? I never thought we would purchase a 4 cyl - oh the changes we make when we have children - or when gas is $3/gal!

    Thanks again, and if others out there wouldn't mind, I would love to hear more opinions.

  • If you must have the power of the V6, then you CAN get better than CR got on their city loops. If you aren't flooring it at every light and aggressively passing everyone on the road, then you will likely notice 18 mpg in the city. I can easily get this with my daily commute - not a problem. I think the CR numbers are needlessly low - problably because they are thrashing the pedal.

    Similarly, if you do opt for the 4 cyl then you will likely get ~22 mpg city with reasonable driving habits.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "If you aren't flooring it at every light and aggressively passing everyone on the road, then you will likely notice 18 mpg in the city."

    I beg to differ. My wife is a very conservative driver and I don't think we've ever gotten 18mpg on a city driving tank. Part of our problem is everything is a short hop, she goes <3 miles to work, 2 miles to the grocery store, etc. This is especially bad in the winter when the car rarely gets fully warmed up.

    Unless one's city driving includes long stretches of uninterrupted travel at 30-40 mph, I don't think the EPA 18 mpg rating is attainable. As the say, YMMV :)
  • I think it depends on the type of driving you will be doing. I live in a mountainous region and like my vehicles to be able to easily handle upgrades with more than 2 ppl on board. I have an '05 HL AWD w the V6 and would not get the 4 cylinder for the type of driving/terrain I live in.

    If it's just a 'round town, errand vehicle, the 4 would be fine. If you like power, the 4 may disappoint. Just my personal take on it.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758 3&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=389451&bmUID=1126202086364

    I present this as just another data point. As you can see, CR generally reports anywhere from 3-8 mpg less than the city EPA rating for their driving and often 3-4 mpg more than the EPA highway rating. Based on my experience, I doubt that their highway mileage figure is based on freeway driving at legal to 5 mph above legal speeds, at least not for a box-like vehicle like the Highlander.
  • I just bought '03 Ltd so I can't attest to anything on gas mileage but do know someone who has a 4 cyl and she went from a 6 cyl car. She has had this vehicle for several years and drives probably 30 miles or more to work one way. I asked when we started looking at the HL and she said she saw some difference in power of her 4 cyl HL and previous car but not enough that she thought she should have bought a 6 cyl HL although I don't know what kind of car she had. She said she was happy with her vehicle especially since she needed the SUV type vehicle because of bad weather but didn't want to give up gas mileage and I think the price of the 4 cyl was a deciding factor as well. Bottom line this friend is happy with her 4 cyl HL as far as power and gas mileage.

    We looked at the 4 cyl but never drove it and ending up buying the Ltd 2wd just because we felt we got a good deal on it with all the options andI had had a van that felt sluggish so I was ready for a little get up and go for a while. We may regret it if the gas mileage is really terrible but I would sure test drive the 4 cyl and see if it has enough power for you with everyone on board and if so, get it. Only you know how much power you are happy with in a vehicle. They have made a lot of changes to the 4 cyl motors over the years in all cars. If you aren't on the highway having to deal with aggressive drivers and are a mom staying around town with your child, the 4 cyl may well be what you are happy with.

    Good Luck with your decision and these forums are really helpful and informative.
  • We do live in IL; the terrain is flat, very flat. I would say that we drive 50-50 city/highway though. Most around town driving is within 5-10 minutes with many lights. I do drive to school once or twice a week and it is 30 mi. one-way highway driving. I like being able to pass w/ confidence, so the 4 cyl worries me in this aspect. We do also travel to visit family about once a month and this is all interstate driving 60 mi. one-way. I wish we could stick to a non-gas guzzling sedan (we have a Buick Regal and love it), but we are too long-legged to fit and the baby gear doesn't help.

    I love the Highlander, but are there other SUVs that get decent gas mileage, have get-up, and don't cost over 25k? I really want 5-star safety ratings as well. (I don't ask too much do I?) I have researched forever and the Highlander just seems to be the best choice. The CR-V does great on gas mil also, but again we are back to the 4 cyl. The Ford Freestyle has good safety ratings and gas mil., but I don't like the look. We keep our cars forever, so I really want to make the right choice!

    This is not going to be an easy decision. Thanks again for your comments.
  • Any how about driving in snow? I live in IN which is about the same condition as IL. We got some snow but not as much as in MN. 2-3 big ones every winter, I would say. Would this justify a 6 cyl AWD over 4 cyl? Or 4 cyl FWD would handle just fine? Please kindly provide your comments.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Are you driving a FWD car today? If so, and it's working OK, no need for AWD. Unless you are in the snow belt of Indiana (near Lake Mich), FWD will probably be fine and even there, it's OK 90% of the time. The other 10% you just drive more defensively and allow extra time in the morning. My wife likes the security her AWD HL provides but I've never gotten stuck in the FWD cars I've been driving for the last 20 years. In South Bend, we average 65-70" snow a season.
  • Thanks, Imacmil. We live in Indy and we are driving FWD cars. Never stuck anywhere during winter, just skid once in a while. Does AWD help a lot in preventing skidding? I have never driven an AWD in snow. Sharing your experience is appreciated.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    "Does AWD help a lot in preventing skidding?"

    AWD doesn't do anything when stopping, only when moving. It would help when going around slipperty corners but you can't defy the laws of physics so driving appropriately for conditions is the best strategy regardless of the type of vehicle.
  • You may try test driving the 4cyl just to verify whether it has the power you need since fuel economy is a concern for you; the 4cyl isn't underpowered on the HL as it is on some other cars. Not sure about the CR-V. A base HL plus the V6 option may run you around 25K with a little negotiating based on what I've been reading on the HL Prices Paid and Buying Experiences board.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    According to Toyota. ca the only models available for 2006 are AWD V6 and the Highbred. No 4 cylinder or FWD available this year. Limited trim is available in 7 passenger models of V6 and Highbred. According to Toyota the 4 cylinder front wheel models did not sell well in Canada.
  • Hi Melissa -

    I've got a 2002 with the 2.4L 4-cylinder, and it's never felt underpowered to me. Its usual use is in hilly Southern California, with 1-4 people on board. The 2005 Highlanders have slightly more power than mine, as well as traction control - even with FWD (2WD on the Front), they would be great in snow.

    But, if you need to tow ANYTHING regularly, I'd go with the V-6.

    My last V-6 vehicle was a 1996 Maxima - i loved it, but didn't need all the power. I traded up for more utility, economy, and ground clearance.
  • gpoltgpolt Posts: 113
    I assume everyone here knows that Toyota has released its press release on the '06 RAV4 and that the RAV will offer a 3.5 V6 with 268 HORSEPOWER. That means for 2006, the RAV will have a larger engine, more horsepower, more torque and perhaps better gas mileage than that in the Highlander. So equipped, it will probably be
    similarly priced to the Highlander. Wouldn't want to be explaining that marketing mistake to a Highlander customer.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    I'm a bit mystified at the similarity in size and design between the Highlander (Kluger to me) and the new RAV4. There is threee incehs difference in size and very similar features. Are Toota crowding the Highlander out?


  • I have a 2004 AWD V6 Limited and I've been pleasantly surprised with the mileage. I consistently get 21 to 22 mpg using it for daily rush hour commuting consisting of 10 miles of surface streets w/ lights & stop and go. And 15 miles of crowded freeway. But I consciously monitor my driving habits for mileage, anticipating stop lights to avoid braking, etc.

    But as the others have said, check out the 4-cylinder and see if it suits your needs. I didn't purposely pick the V6, it picked me. (The deal was too good to pass up.) In the past I've had 4 cylinders (Rav4 & Corolla) and both were sufficient. I felt that the RAV4 was a little underpowered but they beefed up the engine in later years.
  • I've never bought a new car in my life and don't have any immediate plans to. There are many people who buy or lease a new car every 2-3 years whether they need to or not. So they eat the initial big depreciation and the rest of us get a deal. I recommend finding somebody in this category who is selling a car. For peace of mind, go with one that still has some warranty left on it. Say, < 3 years old and < 30,000 miles on it. HL as a used vehicle has good ratings from Consumer Reports for all years. I would avoid the first year (2001), though. I've been happy with my 2004 HL Limited. I bought it used but it was only 10 months old when I got it.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I agree with that train of thought on a typical American car, but not on a vehicle from Toyota or Honda. They depreciate so little the first couple years that, IMO, it doesn't justify buying used versus new.
  • Does anyone know why the new Highlanders have 215hp?
    My 2004 is listed at 230hp
    Is Toyota shorting us 15HP??

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    There are new SAE horsepower standards in effect and lots of cars are getting revised numbers (mostly down slightly). Here's one recent post about it:

    alan_s, "Toyota Avalon 2005+" #8589, 10 Sep 2005 1:12 am

    Steve, Host
  • Just purchased 05 V6 FWD..there is a switch to turn on-off the trac-control option.I did try it while the engine running and there was no indication anywhere on the guages or the switch to know if it was on or off..If I turn the ign. off back on.the trac off light comes on on the guages no matter what position the switch is on...Any suggestions....Thanks.
  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks to those of you who posted info about 4 vs. 6 cyl get-up etc. I test drove the 4 cyl and found the power to be sufficient, it was surprisingly peppy. This was a used 2004, and we will purchase a 2005 new though. Probably won't drive the v6 b/c I will want it instead, but am not willing to pay the gas prices!

    Again, I am 6'3" and when I sat in the backseat of an '04 I found the leg-room to be fine, but the bench seemed to be missing a good 6 inches or so! Can anyone attest to the comfort of the backseat for long periods of time? I like a longer seat for more thigh support.

    Thanks again for your help,
    Melissa :)
  • Well I have an '04 and the rear seat has extensive travel back and forth. Slide it all the way back and their is more leg room than I have ever seen in any car. The seat back also will recline which may help with the thigh support. Mine is a LTD and I don't know if this applies to a non-LTD
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Being short on thigh support is a common criticism by the car mags about the Toyota seats. Can't comment on how it would be for a long ride but if you noticed it on a test drive, it will only be more noticeable on a long ride.
  • robsisrobsis Posts: 162
    The back seat on a Base model is the same. Pleanty of comfortable room for my two teens.
  • Vascilating between ordering a Volvo V70 2.4 and HL 4cyl 2wd with 3d row for the Summer when I return to the US. Can't test drive either as I'm stationed at a remote location overseas - will probably send the extended family to try them out. Will supplement our Odyssey and eventually replace it, we hope.

    Anybody tried putting a car seat and two slim booster seats in the 2nd row in the HL? It's a squeeze in my brother's V70, but better if you have the integrated boosters. My oldest daughter may or may not be out of booster seats by next summer - agewise and height yes, but in some states they've got to be 80 lbs... nowhere close - my kids are skinny and tall like their parents.

    I understand the HL with 3d row seats has a fixed 2nd row seating position (true?). If so, how is the legroom in the 2nd row.

    We aim to keep our cars for about 10 years, so so my 2 daughters will be teenagers, though they'll only get to ride with us on their vacations from the convent ;-) , and my Son will be 11 before we get rid of it.

  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    > I understand the HL with 3d row seats has a fixed 2nd row seating position (true?). If so, how is the legroom in the 2nd row.

    No, that's not true. I have a 04 HL Ltd and both sides of the split 2nd row seat are adjustable.
  • I'm not very familiar with the Highlander in dash DVD navigation system. I have a few basic questions.

    What does it do? Is it a DVD player for playing DVD movies and provides maps?

    If it's a DVD player can you watch a movie while the car is not running?

  • mdchachimdchachi Posts: 275
    No, it just means that the navigation system uses a DVD to store its map data. I think it was marketed that way because it's an improvement over the old CD-based systems. But now since just about all systems are DVD-based it's probably confusing and unnecessary to use the term "DVD".

    So, anyway, the navigation system is only used for navigation as well as controlling other vehicle functions such as climate and audio. The system is great. You always know where you are and it will guide you to your destination.

    In vehicles that have a rear-seat-entertainment system (such as Sienna), the nav screen will display the DVD movie that is playing in the rear (as long as the vehicle is not moving). But this doesn't apply to the Highlander.

    For a good audio/visual introduction to the navigation system go to and select the Highlander Hybrid then select "Navigation System". The system is basically the same.
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