2008 Toyota Highlander Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
All V6 2008 and newer highlanders will develop piston slap according to the dealer and factory rep I talked to. It causes the engine to sound like a diesel for the first 10minutes of driving. The dealership could not fix the issue and bought our vehicle back. I'm writing this to help educate people about this and hopefully save someone from making the same mistake I did, purchasing a certified highlander....
Tighten up piston/cylinder wall clearance tolerances so pistons don't "slap" when they are cold.
2008 Toyota Highlander Sport 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
After researching a "family" vehicle purchase for over two months, I eventually decided on a used 2008 Toyota Highlander, 7 passenger - FWD V6. I test drove all the 2012 Dodge, Chevy, Ford alternatives. I decided on a used Highlander for the price point & TCO. No buyers remorse currently. On my first long trip I decided to test out MPG's. Half the trip I drove interstate, 75-80 MPH; MPG were between 20-21, I was disappointed. On my return trip I took an alternate route & drove 60-70 MPH; MPG were between 28-29, I was impressed. I chose a FWD in anticipation of better MPG. Power and performance of the V6 engine is great. If you can adjust your driving style, you can get 2012 MPG in a 2008.
Driving comfort and engine power are the most impressive.
My main focus when deciding on a 2008 highlander were core vehicle capabilities; Performance, Comfort/Feel, Passenger capacity.
I could drive this vehicle all day and not get uncomfortable in it.
The Sport model has a smooth but stiff rid, I believe a lot of the ride will depend on the tire.
The features available in the 2008 model are all relevant and still make it a competitive choice to any 2012 alternatives available.
I agree as to the above comments regarding the tires. Toyota should be ashamed to place such cheap dunlop tires. I have replaced them after 30k with Michellin cross terrain , huge improvement in handling. The truck sticks to the road like crazy glue. Also , the sqeak from the dashboard is getting on my nerves. Other then that love the vehicle. It is very family oriented , the 3rd raw came in handy. (optional) So far 45k.
The functionality as a family vehicle is great. Plenty of room , and storage for gadgets or drinks. Installed backup camera and love it. Noticed i get a bit more mileage with BP invigorate. Checked few times and i do about 320 on a tank. This is v6 AWD. My maxima 98 does exactly just that on a tank. Not bad for this size vehicle. Overall i am very pleased.
Not sure what Toyota thought putting these type of tires on but they were horrible. Only lasted until 30k. Also ,please step up to the plate and imrove the sqeak issue with the dashboard, i understand i am not the only one. Other then that I love it. Smooth ride.
2008 Toyota Highlander Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
had 30,000 miles and had to replace the tires. at 52,000, had to replace the water pump. otherwise, good value and ride. gas mileage could be a little better, 19 city, 24 highway. lots of room and very consumer friendly.
My 2008 Highlander started making a severe sparkknock noise upon cold start. A trip to the dealer and they could not find anything. At 61000 miles the noise is still there and the check engine light comes on code P0017. Trip to dealer and they replace the spool valves for the VVT. problem still there. Dealer pulls engine replaces 4 cams, timing gears, and cam holders. Get car back still making noise. 2 weeks later ck eng lamp on P0017, along with p0301,303,305, and 300. Dealer said it was old codes. I knew better. dealer clears codes. Lamp on again this time p0017 & p0018. I called Toyota customer service. Dealer tells ,e that they cleaned the top eng internal problem has not ret now 85k
The original brake pads lasted 80K before I replaced them.
Toyota has had problems with te 3.5 VVTi system this is noted by TSBs. The dealer that I purchased the car from did not care that I had a problem. They got a real caring attitude when they got a phone call from Toyota. I know that companies are in business to make money, but why do they hide issues from the public. If there is a problem, fix it. The bill for the repairs was covered by an extended warrenty from Toyota, but the bill was in excess of 5K$. Toyota should have replaced the engine with a new one. Probably would have saved repeat trips to the dealer, and would have made me happier an have more piece of mind as a Toyota customer. Probably should have bought a FORD