After five years and 27,000 miles, I have mixed feelings about our 2002 Highlander. Like all Toyotas it has been super-reliable, and maintenance has cost less than $600 including one pair of tires. However, even with the V6 engine this vehicle is fairly sluggish and gets about 16-17 mpg around town and 20-22 mpg on the highway. Handling is secure but feels ponderous. There is a bewildering array of levers protruding from the steering column. The storage compartment between the two front seats is horrible: narrow and deep, with a two-part cover that jams easily. The seats are only semi-comfortable on long trips. OK if you need an SUV, I guess, but nothing to get excited about.
Roomy, reliable, holds lots of stuff. Not bad looking for a SUV. Decent ride.
Easier-to-use controls. Redesign the storage area between the front seats or ditch it altogether. Fix glitch that causes a warning light to come on if gas cap is not tightened 100% - which only the dealer can reset!
2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 2WD 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 4A)
I had bought this car used at a local dealership with 10k miles on it. After a few months, I had started to notice some minor rattling coming from the trunk area. I had brought it back to the dealership and they claimed to have replaced some clips. Still rattles. A few months later, I bought it to another dealership for the recall and again complained about the rattle. They added some foam, but the noise is still there. Over the years, more rattling started to appear from the dash and trunk. It's beginning to sound like my old 1984 Supra. At least the car is reliable. Hasn't broken down once.
Comfortable seating and large trunk space. Easy to read/use dashboard controls.
Fix the rattling and stiffen the suspension slightly.
Besides the expensive $35K+ SUVs, this has to be the best buy for your money! This car is so reliable, and hasn't broken down yet, even at 65,000 miles! All we have done is changed the oil twice, and changed the tires at 30K miles. Oh, the goodyears that originally came on the Highlander were "interesting." We replaced them with michelins. very satisfied with this purchase, way better than any van or the honda pilot! Very comfortable car, can tow up to 3K pounds (tried it before, works great with the V6, even up the steep hills in the Grapevine in N. LA county), good acceleration, nice looking, average gas mileage is about 20 MPG, mostly street driving. Not bad eh? Great car overall!
Reclining back seats, towing ability, cargo space, overall design, V6 engine, gas mileage, running boards, full size spare tire!!
Navigation on the 06-07 highlanders be more "integrated" and luxurious, more back seat leg room (there is enough, more would be nice), better standard tires, thats it!
My lease on this Highlander runs out soon and I am undecided whether I should buy it, or turn it in. It's been very reliable, with one odd recurring problem: if you don't tighten the gas cap completely, a light comes on to indicate a problem with the emission controls. To get it reset, you have to take the vehicle to a dealer! It is heavy and feels ponderous. Fuel efficiency (19 mpg) is OK for a two-ton vehicle, but acceleration is mediocre even with the V6. The seats are not very comfortable on long trips. The controls on the steering column are confusing at night. The deep, narrow console between the front seats is horrible; stuff at the bottom is impossible to reach!
Reliable, fairly roomy, decent cargo capacity.
Redesign the center storage console! Move some controls from steering column to dashboard.
I have owned many different vehicles, mostly american made, but this was my 1st non-american made vehicle, and should I add... BY FAR the BEST of ALL!! I am sold on my Toyota. Great mileage, freat ride & handling & gives me the SUV look & room that I love. What more could you ask for?
Mileage, looks, handling, ride & the snow button is awesom! I love everything about it!