Toyota Highlander Years to Avoid – The Toyota Highlander has been a popular choice for families and individuals alike, thanks to its spacious interior, comfortable ride, and impressive fuel efficiency.
However, as with any vehicle, not all model years are created equal.
In this guide, we’ll explore the Toyota Highlander years to avoid, factors to consider when buying a used Highlander, and alternatives to consider if you decide to pass on this model altogether.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Used Toyota Highlander
Before we dive into the specific years to avoid, it’s important to understand the factors that can impact a used Highlander’s reliability and overall value. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Mileage: Like any car, the more miles a used Highlander has, the more wear and tear it’s likely to have experienced.
High mileage can be a red flag, particularly if the previous owner didn’t prioritize maintenance and upkeep.
2. Maintenance history: Speaking of maintenance, it’s important to know whether a used Highlander has been well-cared for.
Ask for maintenance records and look for evidence of regular oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance tasks. If a seller can’t provide this information, it might be best to move on.
3. Accident history: A car that’s been in a serious accident can be a ticking time bomb. While some accidents are minor and can be easily repaired, others can lead to long-term issues that aren’t immediately visible.
Always run a vehicle history report to check for accidents.
4. Overall condition: Even if a used Highlander has low mileage and a clean maintenance and accident history, it’s still important to give it a thorough inspection before making a purchase.
Look for signs of wear and tear, such as dents, scratches, and rust.
Take the car for a test drive to get a feel for how it handles and to check for any unusual noises or vibrations.
List of Toyota Highlander Years to Avoid
Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider when buying a used Highlander, let’s take a closer look at the specific model years that have known issues or are generally unreliable. Here are the Toyota Highlander years to avoid:
2001-2003 Toyota Highlander
The first-generation Toyota Highlander had a number of issues, including a weak engine, problematic transmission, and frequent electrical problems. If you’re considering a used Highlander from this era, be prepared for potential headaches down the road.
2004-2007 Toyota Highlander
The second-generation Highlander saw some improvements over its predecessor but still had its fair share of problems. The most notable issue was a tendency for the engine to burn oil, which could lead to serious engine damage if not addressed promptly.
2008-2013 Toyota Highlander
The third-generation Highlander was generally more reliable than its predecessors, but some model years had notable issues. The 2008 model, for example, had a known issue with the air conditioning system that could be costly to repair.
2014-2019 Toyota Highlander
The fourth-generation Highlander has been a generally reliable and well-reviewed vehicle, with no major issues to speak of.
2020-present Toyota Highlander
The most recent model years of the Highlander have received high marks for reliability, safety, and performance.
However, they’re also among the most expensive cars on the used market.
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Toyota Highlander Alternatives to Consider
If you’re not sold on the Toyota Highlander or are hesitant to buy a used model, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Here are a few SUVs that are worth a look:
The Honda Pilot is a spacious and reliable SUV that’s perfect for families. It has a comfortable ride, impressive safety features, and a well-designed interior.
Related: Honda Pilot Years to Avoid
The Mazda CX-9 is a stylish and fun-to-drive SUV that’s perfect for those who prioritize performance. It has a sleek design, a powerful engine, and agile handling, making it a joy to drive on winding roads.
Related: Mazda CX-9 Years to Avoid (Facts & Stats)
The Subaru Ascent is a practical and reliable SUV that’s perfect for those who value safety and versatility. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, has a spacious interior, and offers plenty of advanced safety features.
The Ford Explorer is a classic American SUV that’s been a popular choice for families for decades. It has a spacious interior, strong towing capacity, and a range of engine options to choose from.
Related: Ford Explorer Years to Avoid
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a rugged and capable SUV that’s perfect for those who like to take their adventures off-road. It has impressive off-road capabilities, a luxurious interior, and a range of engine options to choose from.
Which is more reliable Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander?
Both the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander are generally reliable SUVs. However, the Toyota Highlander has a slightly better reputation for reliability, according to various reliability rankings and consumer reports.
Is RAV4 more reliable than Highlander?
Both the Toyota RAV4 and Highlander are known for their reliability. However, the RAV4 has consistently ranked higher in reliability ratings and consumer reports, making it a slightly more reliable option than the Highlander.
What is the average life of a Highlander?
The average life of a Toyota Highlander can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, driving habits, and usage. However, with proper maintenance and care, a Highlander can easily last well over 200,000 miles.
Do Toyota Highlanders hold their value?
Yes, Toyota Highlanders are known for holding their value well over time, making them a popular choice for those looking to buy a used SUV.
Is the Highlander the most reliable SUV?
While the Toyota Highlander is known for its reliability, there are other SUVs on the market that are also considered reliable, such as the Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, and Mazda CX-9.
Is Toyota Highlander good for seniors?
The Toyota Highlander is a good choice for seniors due to its comfortable ride, easy-to-use features, and spacious interior. The Highlander is known for its reliability, which can provide peace of mind to seniors who may not want to worry about frequent repairs.
Is the Toyota Highlander a safe SUV?
Yes, the Toyota Highlander is a safe SUV that has received high safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The Highlander comes with many advanced safety features, such as a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking, that can help prevent accidents and keep passengers safe.
When it comes to buying a used Toyota Highlander, it’s important to do your research and know what you’re getting into. While some model years are generally reliable, others have known issues that can be expensive to repair.
By understanding the factors that impact a used Highlander’s reliability and knowing which model years to avoid, you can make an informed decision and find a vehicle that meets your needs.
Of course, the Highlander isn’t the only SUV on the market, and there are plenty of alternatives to consider if you decide to pass on this model.
Whether you opt for the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, Ford Explorer, or Jeep Grand Cherokee, be sure to do your research, take a test drive, and choose a vehicle that meets your needs and fits your budget.
In the end, buying a used SUV is all about finding the right balance between reliability, performance, and value.
With the right research and preparation, you can find a vehicle that meets your needs and provides years of reliable transportation.