The highlander is an extremely reliable car. My first was a 2002 with no problems and the second is a 2006 model that I've had for 10 months and so far so good.
There are 2 items that Toyota should improve upon: (1) Tires--the tires that come with the car will only last around 15000 miles and (2) Road noise--- The noise should be reduced with additional soundproofing
2006 Toyota Highlander SUV 4dr SUV AWD w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
A thoroughly solid, reliable and dependable SUV. Have owned for 7 months with no problems at all. My 4th Toyota. All have been exceptionally reliable, if not sexy. Basically, the Highlander is as advertised. It is not luxurious, nor exceptionally sexy looking. Its performance is vanilla. However, it does everything well and is a versatile vehicle. A bit disappointed with overall mileage and seats could have more support for longer drives. Engine (V6) is rated as 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. I do very little city driving and my mileage averages about 20 mpg. Highway, about 22 mpg.
AWD and versatility to carry cargo or passengers. Also like the higher seating. Ride is comfortable.
Better seats and mileage. Exterior trim to enhance appearance (eg., RX 330 two tone color schemes and trim).
2006 Toyota Highlander SUV 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I have only owned Toyota vehicles, a Celica, 4 Runner and now the Highlander. All in all I like the Highlander, however I do have one big gripe, for some reason, when the car is on, but not moving or moving slowly, the car vibrates (which can lightly be felt in the steering wheel, foot pedal, and seat). I took it to services at the Toyota dealership and was told that it was the motor idling and the sales manager even told me that this was a glinch in the 2006 four cylinder Highlander model. I don't know.
My favorite features are the sunroof, the combo CD/cassette, the interior color (although its gets dirty quick), the cup holders, the upgraded night vision mirror with compass and the 8 way adjustable drivers seat with lumbar support and my son enjoys the third row seats.
I don't like the fact the I can't turn off the daytime running lights, there should be an on/off option. More room should be alloted for the third row seats, small children are the only ones that will fit in this space comfortably and last but not least the vibration problem should be looked into.