Used 2004 Toyota Highlander Consumer Reviews

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this car for safety

russelllarson, 07/23/2015
Fwd 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
19 of 19 people found this review helpful

If your looking for safety this is a great car. I was in a accident with a semi truck should of been dead this car saved my life. I'm sad to see it go would like to get another. And it ran great no problems

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No Complaints

peakcoach, 10/07/2011
49 of 52 people found this review helpful

My 2004 Highlander has 170,000 miles on it, is running strong, and not one problem This vehicle has served me well. Only general maintenance like fluid flushes, filter replacements and tire replacements.

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Expensive to maintain

doug128, 10/02/2011
29 of 31 people found this review helpful

I enjoy driving the Highlander but I have found it very expensive to maintain. I have had to replace 7 wheel bearings and the drive shaft to the rear wheels because of the bearings. It has 93,000 miles on it now. Brakes have also been expensive as it seems the ABS sensor are quite sensitive to failure and have had to replace some with the brakes which makes it very costly. I bought the Toyota as it was rated as a reliable car. It has turned out to be very expensive!

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My Highlander

santino, 10/08/2003
26 of 28 people found this review helpful

My Highlander is the 3rd Toyota I have owned in twenty years. I love Toyota's reliablity. I very much like driving this car, the only disappointing thing is that I cannot ride with the window down because the car has a warble type hum that bothers my ears.

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My Baby

John Zawisza, 07/26/2017
Limited AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

I bought this baby new in 2004 with the trailering package ,and have only used full synthetic oil. I never pulled anything with her even though I had the trailering package. I now have 221,000 miles on her, and she does not leak any of the full synthetic oil. I changed timing belt ( it is still intact hanging in my garage ) at 200,000. Other than batteries, tires ( only Michelin ), brakes and coolant flushing, I have had 3 repairs, as follows: 1) rack & pinion steering ( where I live we have two seasons winter and construction ( pot holes everywhere ). 2) power window not functioning ( I tried to open the window in friged weather and I caused the failure. 3) oxygen sensor at 210,000 miles. I think the trailering package helped with longer life on the suspension system and engine life ( larger transmission cooler ). She rides like a luxury car always has and still does !!!

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xticx

james, 08/22/2010
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

No doubt Toyota highlander is wonderful on road and comfortable to drive, the only problem i have is the fuel consumption when the a/c is on.

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11 Years In Still Solid

Steve, 11/28/2015
Fwd 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
26 of 29 people found this review helpful

We bought out Highlander new in 2004 and now more than 120,000 miles later its still running great. I don't really think jinx's exist but I hope there isn't one coming after writing this! Tires are a bit of an issue the OE's were junk. But after having two sets of Michellin's on them you get what you pay for and a good set of SUV rubber will make the Highlander a much better vehicle to drive around. Since having the car we have replaced the brakes only once an axle. The front OE lasted until 115K miles. We did have a sized caliper but otherwise just pads and rotors all around. I've changed one O2 sensor and oil changes. I waited till 120k miles to change the timing belt, cam seals and water pump, but all was well in the run up to replacing it. Its over the normal replacement schedule but I pushed it a little with no trouble on my end. I have had the very common A/C Heater problem. I fixed it myself and saved about $700 - $900 dollars. The others are right, look it up on internet and try to fix it yourself. Other than those issues its been a trouble free ride. I think its a fairly comfy ride for a mid-2000s SUV. Better tires make it quieter on the road. After very good record keeping we average about 18-19 mpg. Its 16-17 in the city and about 19 on the highway. I have no idea how one person here can say they were getting 26+ mpg on the highway. I simply don't trust that number. I tried my best to hypermile it one time on a 200 mile road trip and couldn't break 24. Its a good safe car. New SUVs will have some more refinements but its great for around the town driving and some highway miles and it should be on the reliable side of things. If you get one enjoy it.

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2004 Toyota Highlander

Kent, 03/26/2016
Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
18 of 20 people found this review helpful

This is the best vehicle I have ever owned

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2004 Generation Highlander Most Reliable

Cal, 06/24/2018
AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
19 of 22 people found this review helpful

Own a 2004 Toyota Highlander. Other than routine maintenance, it has only needed timing belt changed (critical to do every 100,000 miles because a failure will destroy the engine), cat replacement at 220,000 miles, wheel bearings replaced at 200,000, front sway bar linkage replaced at 220,000, and corroded power steering hose replaced. Later Highlanders (post 2007) switched to a less reliable timing chain. If you want the good ones, go with 2003-2006. My mechanic says this generation Highlander is one the top three most mechanically reliable vehicles he has ever seen. I notice many of these 14 year old SUVs on the road. Can't say that about most 2004 vintage cars.

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OH WHAT A FEELING TO DRIVE A TOYOTA

follow edmunds, 10/20/2017
Fwd 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
9 of 10 people found this review helpful

Never knew driving a toyota could be so much fun, this vehicle steers like a go cart it is super responsive on the road, the interior looks awsome,the lumbar support really helps me out greatly. The radio has some great sound loud and clear,the seating is super. Also she has real horse power on the 3.3, To be honest about the highlander its a beaut well worth its price and the re-sale value dont depreciate like other vehicles. THUMBS UP TO TOYOTA you got me.

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Solid As A Rock

Steve, 02/23/2010
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

We have had our Highlander since it was new and run up 70k on it. So far so good. No major problems. I have only changed the oil and tires. We do have an AC problem with it getting warm as you turn corners or hit a bump. Its a common problem and you need to pull out the control panel and soder the wires back on. I will get around to it some time. The gas mileage is fine for a midsize SUV, what do people expect when the buy the car? Highway driving will get you maybe 22 if you drive 65 otherwise its 19-20 mpg. Combined we average about 17. The Highlander suffers from some wind and road noise and the back seat could use a little more leg room. I have found it to be a very capable car.

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Good, but need better mileage &visabilit

twr923, 03/19/2004
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Love Love Love the Highlander, but I have noticed when changing lanes, visability on the side is impaired, hate hate the mileage, seem to be putting more and more gas in it than my 1999 camry, can anything be done, otherwise, great vehicle, good family car

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2004 Toyota Highlander

Desarae, 02/08/2007
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

This has been the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned! I keep up with the recommended maintenance and have NEVER had a problem. The oxygen sensor had to be replaced but that was covered under the warranty. At 73,000 miles, I am still running the original tires (with every other oil change rotation). Sometimes after a check-up, the tire pressure sensor light comes on (on the dashboard) and has to be reset. This usually only happens when the tires are rotated. My Highlander is a Katrina survivor. It survived 4 feet of water (NONE in the engine or interior) and a 30 foot pine tree ($8,000 in damage). We have been considering adding a Hybrid to the family.

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Perfect

Helen Stein, 04/19/2016
Limited AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
9 of 11 people found this review helpful

We purchased this car in 2004 brand new. Has been terrific all these years. Basically just required maintenance. Have taken it to the Rockies and the Smokies several times and have not had any problems. Love this car! We have 155,000 miles on it, what can I say, it's a Toyota!

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Overall Great With a Few Questions Marks

Trying to Decide, 01/05/2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

I purchased in 2007 with under 30,000 mi. Now at 95,000 mi curious if it'll start needing repairs. Until now, virtually maintenance free. Snatches a little at take off or low speeds; hope no transmission issue. Love the height and lumbar support for my aching back. It's really easy to park and handling is good. Miss the handling of my sporty Acura coupe, but love the fact I can make the long trips without constant stops to stretch my back. Sometimes wish I had AWD, but we get snow once or twice a year, so I just park up the hill on level ground. Spoiled with the cargo space-I don't want a car! Great vehicle overall, but a little overpriced purchased new. Happy I made this purchase.

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Highlander Limited 4WD

Sam, 04/18/2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This is a great vehicle. Fuel efficiency with good power performance and fun features made this a good choice for me. I needed the room and convenience of an SUV with 3rd row without the need to tow. I travel in field sales so comfort was essential but I also wanted some extras that were available on the Toyota at and affordable purchase & operating price. The navigation system is cool but complicated at times and is tied in to the audio & AC making them the same. The accelerator has a "hair trigger" and takes some getting use to you will experience lunges at low speed until then. The retractable trunk cover was a bad after thought. Certainly not enough to give bad marks to the Highlander.

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Wished I purchased it sooner

Casey, 05/05/2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The Toyota Highlander is fun to drive and very comfortable. It does not ride like my last SUV - Jeep Cherokee, which was like being in a truck. This is just like driving a car. I drive 36 miles a day on the highway and if I didn't know that I was driving a SUV, I would swear I am driving a car. I purchased the base model that had a lot of extras on it. The only thing that I don't use is the Home-link remote on the visor. It will not work on the garage door opener. It handled very well in the snow and ice this past winter. I love it and wish I bought it sooner.

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Good car, But...

jw, 06/16/2005
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The engine is sluggish on take off and the transmission (5 sp auto) seems to slip when it shifts the engine whines on take off, the dealer says this is normal. Some times shifting takes up to 3 sec. to finish the shift. Get the rear air vents it gets a little warm in the summertime. Not as quiet as I thought it should be. The door panels has cloth on them, if you use the window for an arm rest it does get dirty very quickly.

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Great Little SUV

Buckey, 09/19/2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

WE use this for long trips some times in snow country. Its comfortable to drive and has a positive feel on the road. Lots of places to store gear etc. I wish the rear seat would lay flat when down and a little chrome on the grillwork would perk it up. I can't believe I'm driving a 4 cyl. (except at the gas pump) its great. I use it for hunting and pull a loaded trailer with ATV and lots of gear and hardly know its there. The getting in and out height is just right (I'm no spring chicken} the rear loading height is great too. Ride and handling is good also.

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You can depend on this one.

ED, 09/30/2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I always buy Toyota because of the reliability and quality. This is no exception. Yes the ride is a little uncomfortable, and the tranny does feel awkward in certain situations, but so far this car has not given me any problems not one, it had a minor recall issue but Toyota took care of it at no charge; some sensor needed to be replaced. I would recommend this SUV to anyone who needs security to move around on a day to day basis.

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Too many issues

mm, 01/22/2008
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Good: ride, airbags, tether, handling. Bad: quality (started rattling at 20000 miles), warranty repair, failing steering column at 31000 miles in non-demanding driving conditions (mostly flat or slightly hilly terrain). Very dissapointing experience with my 3rd Toyota.

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Overall ok, but a few problems

Allison, 11/23/2009
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Dealer said seats were scotchguarded. Were not and now they are terribly stained. Had brake problem that I took to the dealer 4 times that they couldn't figure out. Local shop fixed it. Traction control terrible. Should have gotten 4WD. Suitable gas mileage. Tow a small utility trailer fine. Good family car overall.

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Nellie Highlander

Colleen, 09/02/2016
AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

I sold my Toyota 4 runner because I am older and short. I have an arthritic knee which made getting in and out of the vehicle difficult. After driving my daughter in laws Highlander I knew this was the vehicle for me. She came with the name Nellie and I Love her. She is the perfect height for accessibility and she drives and handles like a Cadillac. March 2020- Three and a half year's later Nellie is still going strong. I have had no issues other than a moody heat switch. It heat's well most of the time so I haven't felt the need for repair yet. Regular maintenance is all she's had. This is a Great vehicle.

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Amazing gas mileage for suv

04Hldrluvit, 07/21/2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

When I first picked this up, I knew I would be paying a lot for gas, but little did I know how great this thing was on the highway, where 95%of my driving is. With the scan gauge tool, I was getting 28 mpg at 63 mph cruise. Interior is very car like and comfortable, buttons are all huge and simple. The awd is not even noticeable. Standard stability and traction control and abs is just why Toyota is dominating domestics.

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Not What I Expected

KndOne, 02/03/2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Although the Highlander overall is adequate, it's shortfalls are obvious. The gas mileage is terrible, I've yet to get more than 16 mpg even on the fwy. If you accelerate at the wrong time <when trans is shifting on its own> the trans just winds out while you go nowhere. The seats are the most comfy I found in this genre of car, and the car has alot of pep to it.

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04 Toyota Highlander - Great Vehicle

Mrs. R. Lewis, 05/04/2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The vehicle's overall performance is great. Handles well in snow/ice. The only thing I can't get seem to get over is the fact that I have to hear this short clicking sound everytime I first start the vehicle, put in drive and accelerate. I took my vehicle in twice when I first noticed this clicking and was told it's normal... that's the ABS actuator turning on. Other than that, I feel I made a good investment in this vehicle... spent a little more than I anticipated but it's worth it. I could have paid less and got more incentives for another vehicle but I would have gotten less durability and less quality.

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2400 miles after purchase

gunner12, 11/30/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Taught chasis and suspension. No rattles or creaks. Engine 3.3L has lots of torque, tons better than that whirring 3.0L of old model, nice grunting rumble under load. Smooth tranny. Responsive steering, breaking action is a bit slow to catch, could scare you when pedal pressures are low, won't stop quite as nimbly as you might expect.

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highlander 2004

kdesai, 12/05/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Bought new 2004 highlander. works fine. only 1200 miles on it so can not write more.

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Great Vehicle except for Tires

New Owner 2004, 12/17/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle comfortable and controls well placed. Acceleration is good, ride is excellent. Problem with the Goodyear Integrity tires a road hazard rendered one unusable, learned that Goodyear does not stock the tire since only Toyota is using it size 225/65R17. It is apparently an entry level tire according to tire shop suprised to see it on a Toyota. With 400 miles on the vehicle I have just replaced all tires with Michelin's

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Absolutely a tremendous vehicle

bobr, 12/20/2003
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Being 66 years old, I have shopped for a few cars in my days and always looked at American made cars. I finally relented to my wife insistance and looked at a Toyota Highlander. I researched this Toyota SUV with Edmonds and a couple of others and I talked with people I knew that had Toyota's. This Toyota vehicle is so advanced and superior to any car I have ever owned, I'm can't believe I waited this many years to own one of the finest and the most dependable built SUV's on the market today. I can't find a single feature on it, or in it that isn't superior to all of the competitions.

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Great Highlander

Joseph George, 08/25/2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Highlander has never been returned for warranty work or factory defects, except for 2 minor recalls. My only concern is the ride is becoming a bit harsh at 34K miles

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Don’t hesitate buying

Dan Conrad, 02/04/2019
Limited AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Reliability phenomenal, don’t have anything negative to say. Vehicle has been a pleasure to own and operate.

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Toyota Highlander

jayteemom, 02/28/2004
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

I was encouraged to purchase this vehicle by reports in Consumer Reports. Since purchase I have been more than satisfied with the handling of the vehicle in snow and ice. We have had much of this this winter. I have also been impressed with the roominess. It is not too large to navigate, but large enough for my needs. This is the first SUV I have purchased and I feel I will own this car for a long time.

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Good and irritants of a used Highlander

Darrel, 03/01/2010
4 of 6 people found this review helpful

I bought a used 6 cy Higlander w 55 K miles - now have 75 K. I like the accelleration, power to pass & cruise at max highway speed, solid highway handling in the Kansas wind and great visibility. The 4wd has proven fabulous in rain, snow and ice. 3 irritants: Major irritant with the ABS/TPM, 2 times Toy. dealer rotated tires recommended every 10K. Takes 2 to 3 trips back to dealer to get it reset without coming on at fist big bump. The reset works but lasts until next bump/dip. Loose nut/broke wire on fan switch was surprise - $$$Ouch to fix. See internet for that problem. MPG is OK but less than I thought at just 21 at 65 mph. I'm glad I got the 3rd row seat but grandkids struggle to enter

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2004 Highlander---great quality/reliability

Amy, 10/24/2017
AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
4 of 6 people found this review helpful

2004 is before the electronics, so you wont find those in this model. I have owned this car since 2005---177,000 miles, no major repairs---just the routine tires, brakes, maintence and an alternator. Almost afraid to give it up.

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Still hard to beat after 7 years and nearly 100,000 miles

bbimmer7, 02/05/2011
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

I received my '04 Highlander in 2010 from my mother when she purchased her new BMW X3. It was a great family car when it was hers and now it is a great first car for a teenage driver. Although it was a rather expensive car when bought new back in 12/2003, reliability has been excellent over the past 7 years, and very little money has had to have been put into it. Interior comfort and fit & finish quality are excellent. Exterior styling is a bit too boring for my tastes. Overall, I'm really happy with my Highlander. It's a solid vehicle with so many great features, and it's a great first car!

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Disappointing unreliability

Phoebe, 01/28/2010
3 of 6 people found this review helpful

While the body is solid on the 2004 Highlander, the trim is shoddy. Wipers have scored both front and back windows; seat belt retractors leave belts dangling to get caught in doors; visors are floppy; broken filter rack fell out from under the dash. Yaw sensor went out as soon as the warranty did. Acceleration from a stop is sluggish; mileage is only average. Because it is built on a Tacoma platform, it handles like a truck.

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The once mighty Toyota

Junk John, 10/03/2004
5 of 12 people found this review helpful

We were loyal to Toyota since 1989; the purchase of a Highlander has led us to BMW. We had two problems: when you opened a window or the sunroof the air pressure change was drastic; and the bass in the "premium" stereo varied from engine off and engine on. The feeling in our ears and sound from the air pressure changes was analogous to what it must feel like in a helicopter. The stereo was still very unpleasant when the bass was set at minus 5. Toyota did nothing to accomodate us. In Toyota's view, even though service tech acknowledged two problems, performance was "within specification". We never thought we would get response like this from Toyota. We no longer believe in Toyota product.

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Terrible!!

Unhappy Car Owner, 10/04/2018
Limited AWD 4dr SUV w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
4 of 10 people found this review helpful

This car has been the biggest let down yet. I absolutely HATE my Toyota Highlander with a burning passion. I've almost been hit multiple times because Toyota has created such a terrible car! Before owning this car (which I've had for three months), I owned a 2000 Buick Lesabre. I LOVED my Buick to death. That thing was such a smooth and comfortable ride, I miss it so much. Only reason I had to get rid of it was because the frame rusted thru (gotta love salt during winter season). Anyways, I had to find a new car fast because I needed to get back down to college (which is over 800 miles away). I found the Toyota, and although I had my doubts because I didn't really like how it looked or anything, everyone swore by Toyota and told me they love their Toyotas. So I took the plunge...and have regretted every day since. I obviously bought the car used and it had 132,000 miles on it. Previous owner claimed to be a retired Toyota car mechanic who repairs Toyota's now as a hobby. I bought the car for $5500 (mind you, I am a poor college student who had to take out a loan to get the car). Started having troubles from the beginning...noticed car had poor acceleration and gas mileage, brought it in, turns out it needed a new catalytic converter. That thing cost me $4000 to repair, so now I am $10,000 in debt for a still worthless car. I still have terrible acceleration, I almost get hit because my car decides to not accelerate while trying to merge onto a highway or even go through an intersection. My RPM runs low, and the mechanics (who say they've been working on Toyota's for 22 years) said they've never seen anything as bad as my car. I honestly feel so unsafe in my Highlander and cannot wait to get rid of it. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!! IT IS NOT WORTH ANYTHING AND SHOULD NOT EVEN BE OUT ON THE ROAD IT'S THAT BAD!! I've had nothing but trouble. It's 90 degrees outside and I have to drive with my windows open because if I turn on the air conditioner I lose all power. The CD player doesn't even work anymore and my front bumper is falling down because the clips are all broken. I wish I could go back in time and not get this car because it is not worth the money, time, or headache.

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CAUTION

raygen, 02/05/2011
6 of 16 people found this review helpful

be warned this vehicle while an outstanding vehicle does seem to have problems with the steering rack at 65 K I fell as if I should not be asked to replace it already.

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Tires humming

Vic Patel, 04/19/2010
3 of 8 people found this review helpful

I bought this vehicle used. No problem for a first couple of months. Even at 125,000 miles, the only problem is tires. I bought all four tires brand new. After about 20,000 miles on the tires they started to hum at speeds of 40 and up. The faster you go the more annoying the humming sound gets. I have had checked the front end alignment, and the tires seem to have worn evenly. Still I do not know what the problem is.

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Happy with a few issues

Bob E, 04/02/2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

85k miles and going very strong. Love how easy it is to park and handle. Gets 23 mpg on highway - not bad. No serious issues. This is my 5th straight Toyota (Camry, Avalon, Highlander) Issues include: original tires lasted 28k miles; transmission slow to shift/hesitates a second or so at times which is annoying; some hunting in 3rd gear at lower (30-40 mph) speeds so I take it out of OD when in town; Loud thumping when only one rear window is down and driving at highway speeds - due to air turbulence - so open two windows at a time - one on each side.

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Excellent Buy

Big E, 08/09/2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have owned my highlander for one month now. I am well pleased with it. The tire monitoring system is excellent it warns me if the tires are low while driving @ high speed. I recommend the purchase of this car.

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2004 highlander

Deb, 06/26/2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I bought my Highlander new.It has been an excellent car up till now @ 66,000 miles. Last week my service engine light came on also vsc and trac monitors were on. I took it to a Toyota dealership and they said my catalytic converter was my and it was still under warranty and it would take a day to repair. Now they say a fuel sensor has gone out and it has been three more days I am not very happy with my highlander now or the dealership

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disappointed

gcoffey, 12/03/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This is our fourth Toyota. We are pleased overall with the Highlander. However, we are having problems with the alignment. Currently, have 23,000 miles. The 6yr/100,000 mile tires are experiencing unusual wear due to back wheel mis-alignment. These tires require rotation and balancing ever 6000 miles(our dealer charges $49.50). To this point the dealer is not standing behind the warranty for alignment.

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My Toy

The Toy Control, 12/20/2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I wanted this vehicle since they first hit the market in 2001. Now with a 2003 I am more empressed than with the 2001. The ride is so smoothe, more like a car but I can see ahead like driving an SUV.

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Expected Better

Norlin, 02/03/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased in Southeast Toyota region. Southeast Toyota leather installation is poor with many wrinkles and little or no padding, recommend getting the factory installed leather. There is a drivetrain vibration feeding into the steering wheel. We drove 3 Highlanders and noticed the vibration to some extent in each.My 1994 Camry with 175,000 miles has less feedback into the steering.There is limited tire selection for the 17" wheels, either the Goodyear Infinity or Michelin LX4. Was forced to take the sunroof since Southeast Toyota delivers with all Limited Highlanders.Very disappointed with this Toyota especially in light of the high cost.

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suggest improvements

gmp, 02/03/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I have only had the vehicle for 2 weeks. I commute between Dallas and Houston. I like the comfortable seats and the great speaker system. Mileage has been about 21MPG on the interstate.

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my review

r23m, 03/26/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

rides very much like a car excellent handling and acceleration. int and ext appearance is a plus very pleased with this suv.

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Love This Vehicle

lmhadley, 04/21/2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Have had the car for 7-8 months and have had nothing but outstanding performance. Not one problem!! Only downside is gas mileage. Have taken it on several trips and it has performed as I had hoped. Would highly recommend this vehicle.

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