"I rated the vehicle very well on reliability b/c it never stranded me but I have spent too much time on issues I feel relate to quality. The third row seat belts wouldn't stay hooked in the rear panels when not in use, three trips later it's sort of resolved. I had a horrible rattle in the rear and 7 trips (to the service dept. of course) later my rear door panel was finally replaced to resolve that issue. My toneau cover wouldn't retract and that had to be replaced. My glove compartment door ratteled and that had to be replaced. Many issues that at times required separate trips for service on top of my scheduled maintenance.
My biggest complaint is the humming noise that the air conditioner makes. Although the a/c works it makes a very noticeable noise and Toyota's response was that it works so they aren't going to fix it. I know that there is a fix for it b/c the Lexus RX330 has a similar issue and nobody at Toyota really listened (I provided the Service Bulletin from Lexus!!!!) until 4 trips later and the Regional Service Rep was finally called in. We also own the RX330 so when we heard the noise in the Highlander we just assumed Toyota would fix it just as they had in the Lexus. NOT SO, they admit they are aware there is an issue but they are opting not to repair it as it doesn't hurt the operation of the a/c. My biggest concern is that upon resale I will face nervous buyers that feel something is wrong with the a/c. Such a disappointing experience for a vehicle that has a great engine, nice styiing, tows nicely, but it may require lots of trips to the dealer."
"First the good........reliable, smooth and good acceleration (except: see the "but" section), gas mileage (26 mpg @ 60-65 mph w/ AC and cruise on), tight turning radius, good headroom, nimble for tight city parking which is desperately needed where I live.
but now the quirks of which I have two.....
One...After slowing to a near stop and then stepping on the gas the transmission becomes hesitant, inconsistent and sometimes jerks to a high speed. I have seen postings from other owners related to this tendency.
Two........The front seats are TOO SHORT. After 1.5 to 2 hours of driving the seats become very uncomfortable. There is a definite lack of thigh support which requires us to take a break every 1-2 hours. I was able to drive my previous '90 4runner and '97 Explorer for up to 4-5 hours w/o a break. Driving my wife's car proves that it is not my older age that is the factor. I have spoken to others with same complaint.
Did some measuring with a tape measure which confirms my feelings.
Overall a very good vehicle but the short seats puzzles me."
"We have the hybrid Highlander, and in spite of its complexity it has proven to be totally reliable. We have not had a single failure with it.
Overall size and interior layout is perfect for most uses. We really wouldn't want the larger, new ones. While not the toughest-looking SUV, it is a good design and built to a very high quality. We love the excellent visibility, unlike many newer vehicles.
Our Hybrid gets an average of about 28mpg to top it off. It doesn't have quite the throttle response of a conventional vehicle, but that's a small price to pay for the mileage.
We love it."
"I have been very pleased with my 2004 2WS 6cyl Highlander. I leased it Aug 2004, currently has 30k miles. Like it so much I am going to buy it. I had nothing but trouble with Nissan and Ford before I got this SUV. I have had to do nothing to it except gas, oil change & a new set of tires (didn't rotate the originals as I should have) It's comfortable, handles well, pick-up is good & feels 'luxury' compared to my friends SUV's. It's reliable, cools off quickly and warms up nice in the winter. I couldn't be happier!!"