I researched every car in this class and kept coming back to the Highlander. In sales and I'm a road warrior so comfort, ride, handling and reliability are key. This car characteristics of a SUV but the ride of a luxury car. Very happy with my purchase. However Toyota should include at this price level blind spot sensing mirrors, back up sensors and memory seats. The nav system is a bit difficult to use and should come with lifetime free updates.
I traded in my 2010 Toyota Venza for this Highlander because I wanted something more refined and comfortable. And I was right with choosing the Highlander. The ride is so quiet that when I had the radio off once, I only heard the A/C when I was going 40 mph. The ride is so smooth, reminds me of a 2011 Toyota Camry I drove. This car is so much more refined than my Venza. So Quiet. Its also easier to get out of, especially for my grandmother. I also feel safer in this. I've only had it for three weeks, So I will do another review after I drive through the snow with it. The car handles well, its not thrilling or bad. The steering is better than My Venzas. This is my 5th Toyota.
I got this highlander on the first of december last year. Since then, it has been a great car. I know, it's not that exciting but it repays you with its great reliability. Everything has been fine, despite some issues with routine maintenance at my Toyota Dealer. The steering is unpredictable, it's not dangerous or scary. Sometimes it has a weightier feel (which I like) and other times, a light steering feel. On a trip to Indianapolis I averaged 24mpg there and back. I like the iPhone/iPod integration and back up camera. It does many things well. Quiet ride and handles like a car. It was fantastic in the snow. It went through 6 inches NO prob. Not sure If I like the 2014 Highlander design.
I only have 8000 miles and I got the car in Feb 2013. Every time I go away and leave the car for a week, it won't start when I return. Every time the temperature drops below 25F and it sits even 4 days, it won't start. Toyota has replaced the battery twice although the second time they said there was nothing wrong with it. They have run diagnostics and say there is nothing wrong. Every car in my neighborhood starts. Our Honda starts, our old Blazer starts, but not the Highlander. I am soooo disappointed with this vehicle. Toyota is supposed to be reliable, but mine isn't.
Problems: 1My Multifunction Display intermittently stops working. I have taken it to the dealership and had a soft wear upgrade that did not solve the problem. I contacted Toyota Customer Service and had a case number assigned. I called multiple times and was told it was a district manager decision and they would get back to me. You can guess that they did not get back to me. After more phone calls my problem was sent to the National level for review. My highlander was still 3 months within the 3 year and 36 month Factory warranty period and just over the mileage. (Less than 37000). Toyota refused to help me despite the fact that I have owned a number of Toyotas and keep the highlander serviced. (The replacement cost is thousands of dollars). I usually buy the extended warranty on my vehicles, but online reviews says Toyota is very reliable and that the extended warranty not needed. That may have been true in the past, but in my opinion is not true now. Please don't make the same mistake I did and count on Toyota Reliability. Also don't count on Toyota to stand behind the products.