Used 2003 Toyota Highlander SUV Consumer Reviews - 306 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Toyota Highlander SUV - Consumer Reviews

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV

Average Consumer Rating

306 Total Reviews

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Good Car
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By graphical87
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I've had my Toyota highlander for about 5 months now. When I first got it it had almost 216,000 miles. It's a great SUV and pretty reliable with decent gas mileage.
At about 218,000 miles the temperature gauge
started going up , almost to red. It would go up and then down to normal and repeat. Turned out I blew a head gasket. While it was at the shop being repaired they found that the head bolts were stripped which is a known problem with this year ,make and type of engine my highlander has. Ended up paying $3,700 to get fixed. Despite the major repair I haven't had any other problems with it. I'm at 222,000 miles and it runs great.
I'm hoping on making it to 300,000 + miles.


Best Features

Spacey cabin.


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High Mileage pitfalls
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By shaggs
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV AWD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I bought this SUV new in 2003 and have it maintined regularly at the dealer.
I now have 216,000 km on it and am starting to experience some high mileage wear items that have become prohibatively expensive.
The oil cooler developed a leak and cost $1,000.00 to replace.
The rear hanger bearing on the drive shaft (the shaft that connects the front transfer case with the rear) is noisy.
For a worn bearing or universal joint the whole drive shaft must be replaced at a cost of $1,700.00 just for the part.
I am looking for a good used one but am finding it impossible.
There are no after market shafts, only ones available from the dealer.
Highlanders will last many years, but at what cost!!!


Best Features

For the first 200,000 km no major repairs axcept for wear items repaired at fair cost.


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2003 highlander Engine Failure 147,000 miles Coolant leak
6 of 10 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By anderswl
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Just like others I have read on this site, my 2003 run hot and after having it towed for service and repair I was told the engine needs to be replaced.
The cost for the re-built engine was $6,400 - $8,500 depending on who you called. Very disappointed in the built strong organization I put so much trust in.


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Stripped Head-Bolts
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By lsthkr
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Never had a problem with this vehicle until Jan 25 2011 as I was driving across town. Coolant leak brought me to a dead stop. I discovered a common problem with this engine (2.4L 4cyl). Just Google Highlander stripped head-bolts to see how many of these engines are dying and how expensive the fix is. Mine had only 126,000 miles on it. I am the original owner. The dealer will not help with repair costs even though this is a manufacturing and or design issue.


Best Features

Was a very comfortable, roomy vehicle.


Worst Features

This is easy...better quality Toyota


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Mechanically reliable, no frills vehicle.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By j_ash
on

Vehicle

2003 Toyota Highlander SUV Fwd 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)


Review

I bought my '03 about two years ago with about 70k miles.
I had to replace the HVAC blower motor (approx $250) because of an annoying rattle.
Aside from that issue I've had no other machanical problems at 115k.
I will say that the front seat is uncomfortable and is ill suited to long drives.
The cabin materials in general are cheaper than other cars I've owned in the past.
The carpet is super thin and the leather is of substandard quality in my opinion.
A good car if you dont care about the ugly, cheap interior.nion.
Not a bad car if you don't care about the interior.


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