2018 Toyota Highlander Consumer Reviews

5(52%)
4(27%)
3(10%)
2(10%)
1(1%)
4.2
100 reviews
2018 Toyota Highlander
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Great, but lots of road noise on some highway surf

John A., 03/21/2018
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
116 of 118 people found this review helpful

I bought the 2018 Highlander due to the many standard features, great reviews, and lastly price comparison. No matter what the price, if you don't buy what you like, you'll never like it, so why cheap out. There are many great features in the highlander, nice interior, power, safety features. My previous vehicle was a 2010 explorer and I found it nearly overwhelming to test drive and compare all this new stuff on different vehicles. It’s a lot to consume in a relatively short test drive; it takes days to get to know a vehicle. I settled on the Highlander, considered Jeep, Kia and more. Other reviews pointed out there are many things that beep at you. Yes, but all are expected, seat belts beep if you take it off, lane departure alert beeps, if you have it turned on and change lanes without signaling. Also the lane Alert button is a "sticky button" and does not reset each time vehicle is started, so I only turn it on when I want it for long highway drives. Love the adaptive cruise, makes CC useable. Love the collision alert, have heard the beep and actual braking once when going into a turn a bit too fast (distracted by all the new stuff), it detected the trees on the outside of the turn and braked just enough to slow you down a bit and alert the driver. So I think this was an appropriate response. Obviously there’s a lot more to these systems that I am yet to experience. Lane departure will nudge the wheel in the right direction, but ultimately the driver is in control and the nudge I deem appropriate. I like everything about the new Highlander (including auto headlights, lots of driver legroom, good GPS, great looks, plenty of power, smooth ride, quiet around city, and more) except, the LOAD road noise on some highway surfaces. Need to determine if the Toyo tires are the cause or what I can do about it. I spent 8 hours in it this weekend on Highways and hated the road noise as 91N and 89 through VT seemed entirely like rough surface that produces too much road noise. The road noise changes dramatically with the road surface and I have not noticed/experienced this with previous vehicles including the2010 Ford Explorer I drove 142k with various tires. Also, the JBL speakers are not good. I have a good ear for music and no level of adjustment could make it sound good. The front speakers bounce off the windshield and the whole system is tuned too much for base. I turned base way down but still not good. I never tried the stereo during test drives , assuming it would be good enough and didn’t want to blast the sales person or spend the long time it takes to check all these things, stereo was lower on the list. I was wrong. I would like to hear other reviews/comment on road noise and sound system. The styling of the Highlander is also great, and I like the interior over all. Driver’s seat is VERY comfortable for me and adjusts many ways. Overall I like the Highlander a lot, but the road noise is a big issue for me, and if reduced would help the sound system. With only 2150 Miles, I’ve gotten to know it but will update this review and I hope it helps someone.

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Review for serious shoppers

Dennis, 02/12/2018
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
283 of 291 people found this review helpful

Fair warning, this review is long, intended to provide the kind of consumer details that professional reviewers won’t notice in their few hours with a car. I generally agree with the professional reviews, and if only looking for a 30 second summary, my review is not for you. We’ve owned our 2018 Highlander Hybrid AWD Limited Platinum about a month now. Other contenders included a Lexus RXL, Audi Q7, Acura MDX and Honda Pilot. While never unimportant, price was not the top concern and we bought which one we like the best. That was the Highlander, including over the luxury brands listed. Because we were comparing to and shopping the luxury brands, we ended up at the very top trim level possible. Comments: We’ve been getting about 25 mpg. While not the EPA rating, the EPA doesn’t drive 75 mph either. For a 4500 pound vehicle with over 300 hp, I’m hugely satisfied with the mpg. While many reviews single out the infotainment center as a “con”, it was a huge plus and primary selling point for us. I hate anything that looks like a tablet was stuck to the dash or involves a mouse, joystick, wheel or any other weird input method. The Highlander uses a touch screen, flush mounted in dash, as it should be. Regarding device connectivity, you can connect both a phone and another device for music (like another phone) at the same time if you want. Convenient to have the kids DJ from the back seat, while still keeping my phone connected. The system downloads all contacts, can directly control device music, reads your incoming texts aloud, streams Pandora or other content from a device. OK, it’s not CarPlay……but I think it’s better. Takes about a day to learn, but awesome after that. Toyota, don’t change a thing. The 5 USB power ports (2 in front, 3 in back) are a big deal and a “must have” for our family. Not all competitors had this. The 110 AC household plug is nice too….already used it to keep the crockpot plugged in and warm enroute a Super Bowl party. At the higher trim levels, the interior is luxury level. On par with the Lexus RX, better than the Acura MDX in our opinion. As professional reviewers have noted, the seat comfort is world-class. By far the best of any comparable vehicle we looked at. While I can’t disagree with the professional reviews that XLE is the “value” trim level, it’s not ridiculously more to move up. Limited adds $3K, then Limited Platinum adds another $3K. For perspective, each is well less than 10% of the vehicle price, or collectively, about 15%. For that, you get the following - upgraded wheels, upgraded audio, panoramic moonroof, surround view cameras, front and rear parking sonar, 2 person memory driver’s seat, power passenger seat, LED daytime running lights, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, heated mirrors, air conditioned front seats, rain sensing wipers, cargo cover. To us, it seemed very worth it, especially if comparing to and considering luxury brands. On the luxury brands, the option packages cost more than that and often don’t even deliver nearly as much. While not “required”, many of these options are a big deal to us and certainly worth paying for. We use them all the time. Heated second 2nd row seats…. our teenagers love ‘em. Surround view cameras and parking sonar, tremendously helpful. Driver memory seats – needed for a family vehicle where more than one person drives. Panoramic moonroof that extends all the way over the 2nd row – kids love that too. These are great family vehicle options, which is exactly what the Highlander is. Drivewise, the ride is mini-van-esque, which is a good thing (doesn’t drive like a truck). Nothing exciting, but pretty much what you want in a family hauler. While I wouldn’t call it an everyday 3rd row, the 3rd row is very serviceable for occasional use and more than met our expectations. When folded, it also looks neat and flush. Some of the competitors didn’t. In summary, the family features are what make this car. Specifically, all the USB power ports, the panoramic moonroof, the heated seats for everybody, the adequate 3rd row, the driver memory seat, passenger power seat, the ability to connect multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously. Most vehicles just focus on the driver. The Highlander focuses on the whole family, especially at the higher trim levels, which is exactly why we bought it. A month later, we’re still loving it and are 100% convinced we bought the right vehicle.

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Door lock actuator failer

Bob, 01/21/2018
XLE 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
74 of 75 people found this review helpful

The Vehicle's good and bad are very much covered by other reviews. But...... I have 2018 highlander XLE that is less than one month. A couple of days ago, when I press key fob to lock the doors, it doesn't beep nor flash lights (Unlock is okay). I couldn't figure out what setting made that happen. At the first I thought it is just setting that I need to change, but further research revealed it is failed door actuator issue. By reading, http://www.landerfan.com/archives/door-lock-problems-toyota-highlander/ , this problem has been going on several years and still happening. I'm disappointed Toyota hasn't addressed this issue all this years. :(

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Does everything for $10K-$15K less than MDX and Q7

Bob, 12/12/2017
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
94 of 99 people found this review helpful

I was looking at the mid-size SUVs with AWD and cargo space. The Cadillac XT5 and Q5 were just a bit too tight in back seat (2nd row) for me. I found the 3 best were Acura MDX, Audi Q7 and Toyota Highlander. After test driving, the MDX and Q7 are sportier but the Highlander did everything very well. The Q7 had buttons in unusual places (at least for me) and the MDX had push button transmission and 2 screens for changing settings that took a few touches to change heat settings. Coming from a Lexus, I knew Toyota built a great car but the front seat is very comfortable, has all the safety equipment and is very easy to see out of, I chose to save $15K and buy the Toyota. Reliability, gas economy, resale and initial cost are all better with Toyota and I'll have alot less problems down the road.

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Been Away, But I've Returned to a Highlander

Cornelius C., 02/23/2018
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
49 of 51 people found this review helpful

I had an '08 Highlander Sport for 5 years, then thought it was too big for just myself. I owned two AWD wagons for a while; they are great cars, but I missed the quiet, powerful ride of the Highlander. My local dealer was offering great incentives, so I went shopping. The '18 Highlanders have retained what I had loved in my '08, and naturally, improved on them as well. Now I can ride interstates and large highways for hours at 65-70 and hear my own radio, and not get fatigued. I'm back, and it's great! The XLE trim is the lowest you should go, but get the Limited if you can. The Highlander rides large, but it's quiet and powerful. It does not accelerate in a punchy manner, but you'll be going 55, thinking you're going 35. It's that smooth. Nice interior! Gone are buttons: it's all touch now. Wow. Exclusively, the Highlander has a shelf underneath the dash: once you've seen it, you're spoiled forever. Nice ambient, blue lighting. Great stereo in the upgrade to JBL's many speakers: you can hear the radio at low volumes! Do you know how much that means to me? Wonderful!

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