"We bought our Highlander four years ago and have loved it til now. It seems there are a batch of Toyota 6cyl engines with bad valve seals. Toyota was repairing these engines until 2010. They absolve themselves after a vehicle is 8 years old. We bought our Highlander in 2010 with only 87000mi. It now has 133000mi. Now in the last six months the engine consumes large quantities of oil. The symptom of these engines with bad seals is they consume oil when driven at highway speeds. A service mgr at the local Toyota dealer confirmed this valve seal problem when I described the pattern of oil consumption, a $2700. repair at the dealer if it is still repairable! the six seals cost $6 each!"
-I wrote the review above four years ago and we still have our '02 Highlander. We have not fixed the valve seal problem but live with it. It seems only to be an issue on the highway during which it will consume a quart of oil with each tank of gas! Other than that it is a great vehicle.. We have had few maintenance problems and is incredibly reliable and worry free. Fuel economy is not great, high teens around town and barely over 20 mpg on the highway but i believe this is in line with every other suv of this era. i have to praise Toyota for the durability of the suspension which is still firm and tight and holding up much better than other cars I have owned. If not for the valve seal issue I would rate this vehicle 5+stars!
This car is pure joy. The 4-cylinder has more than enough power, and you save $1,500 + better gas mileage. The quality is great, same as other Toyotas. At first, I had a hard time spending $26k for this car compared to buying a Camry or Accord, but now I'm glad I did. The utility and extra space this vehicle affords is well worth the difference.
Originally was going to get an '02 4-Runner but the Highlander had better interior space and ride. Changing my mind was the best purchase decision I ever made. I now have 114,000 miles with ZERO repairs, just maintenance when it's due. The 'check engine' light came on once and it was due to a vacuum hose coming loose. Correct that in about 10 minutes. Replaced that original battery after 8 years even though it was still working fine even at -10 degrees, figured I would really be pushing my luck by going longer than that. Still running with original suspension components and rear brakes. Front brakes have been replaced once and the rotors resurfaced. Wish I had gotten auto-dim mirror
I bought this car new in 2002 and now have 200,000 miles on it, which to me is amazing.
I've owned a couple of Toyotas in the past (Celica, Corolla, Camry), but this one has lasted the longest.
No problems except AC knob broke last year and cost $900 to repair/replace (had to remove dash to replace a knob?
That doesn't make sense to me).
I know it's on borrowed time, so am looking to replace soon....Also own a 2008 HL limited, but I like this "original" better.
My Highlander has been driven mostly around town, with at least one long drive (1,000+ miles) each year. Other than oil changes and normal recommended maintenance, I have not spent a dime (new tires at 39K miles).