We bought this SUV new in 2002. We bought it because we have a 1998 Corolla that's been a very reliable car. But not the Highlander. At just under 200,000 k the old leaky head gasket then the stripped head bolt got us. Last year we thought we would keep the Toyota for a few more years so we put money into the few body chips. Bought new tires, winter and summer and put in a new wind shield in the spring. Now we had an engine that was toast. Our local Toyota dealer found us a used motor from another Toyota and installed it. They say it only has 70,000 k but who knows. So we spent $7600.00 so far. As of January 2016 it's still running great. there hasn't been any new surprises.
Purchased used 5 years ago with 86,000. Didn't flinch at the mileage due to Toyota's reputation for reliability; car drove well, at first. Sold at 109,000 due to expensive repair and maintainence costs including:
All 4 wheel bearings, $500 a pop. Breaks completely replaced, some more than once. $2,000 spent on breaks in just 2 years.
Evaporator sensor went bad; $400 just for the part. Muffler developed a small hole; $400 for a new one. Straw that broke the camel's back: drive shaft developed a wobble and needed complete replacement $1,200. Cut my losses and unloaded the hunk of junk. Other car was a 20 year old Subaru Legacy that had fewer problems and was cheaper to maintain.
Perfect size (not too big or small). Generous cargo area.
Tight turning radius.
Maybe I got a lemon, but I don't think they make them like they used to.
2003 Toyota Highlander Limited AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I just purchased the Toyota Highlander 2003 and upon purchasing the vehicle I was very happy. The check engine light came on shortly after purchase and apparently the cause is a bad "ECM" board in the SUV. I am not sure if this is common but I have experienced this problem. I love the vehicle otherwise and plan on driving it for a while. Currently at 82K hope it lasts to 200K without major repairs.
Ride is very smooth and I really like the way the SUV looks.
I am a big fan of just about everything with this vehicle.