My wife and I bought this car as the Family vehicle. Luckily, we purchased an extended warranty when new. The Gold standard I have of a reliable vehicle is just gas it up and go. I also include regular service intervals at dealer. This Highlander is not that vehicle. Although mechanically it seems great the car has its flaws. Automatic tailgate does not work reliably. Ours has been replaced but the problem has returned. Check enthusiast web sites and you can see the problem well described. We have also used our extended warranty on AC water leak into cabin, replaced sensors and a headlight switch. The warranty has paid for itself. My wifes 1st toyota and she does not want another toyota.
I purchased my Highlander in November 2009. 72k miles later and she still drives like she did off of the lot. Plenty of cargo space to accommodate our family of 4. Enough acceleration to make merging onto any freeway a breeze. It's average around 20 mpg. The interior of the car has held up very well. Plenty of room and head clearance (I'm 6'3"). Quiet and soft ride. It handles much like a Camry. We've had no problems, other than the tires wearing out
at 30k miles. Put some Michelin tires on and they have had limited wear after 40k miles. Full brake job completed at 60k miles. Battery lasted 6 years. I do wish it had an outside temp reading on the dash. The 3rd row is very cramped, and hard to get to, but we don't really need it anyways. The car feels like it could go another 100k miles, no problem.
Just traded an 2007 Acura MDX with a 2010 base 2.7 base Highlander with 3rd row. At first , i regret it. The Acura is so much fun to drive while the Highlanders including the SE's and Limited are sleepers and drove like Minivans. Recently, I installed a much better looking leather than the factory ones called Classic soft and had DVD with live TV called Flo-TV and this van has been amazing. We could watch ESPN, MSNBC, Disney,Nick Jr. ,MTV., abc, nbc, etc. This 4 cyl is high on low range torque and just as powerful as a V6. Great MPG and zero percent deal
I bought the highlander about a month ago after doing my research on crossovers and SUv's. I chose the highlander after seeing all of the wonderful reviews it had. I am very pleased with my decision although I do believe as with other people there could be a few added upgrades on these vehicles. I purchased the 4 cyl and average about 28 mpg highway going about 60 mph. I'm very satisfied with my choice.
After owning 10 other cars and driving over 850,000 miles I decided to give the Highlander a try even with the recalls. I am very impressed with the build quality. It feels solid on the road and the handling is very good for this size of vehicle. I am coming from an Audi which has tight steering and I have had no problem adjusting to the lighter steering feel and I do not notice any wandering on the highway. The V6 is very smooth and I have been seeing 22 MPG on the highway. There are some interior components that appear cheap, but they work fine and that is what counts. The leather seats are comfortable. Overall, I find the Highlander to be a solid performer.