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2003 Toyota Highlander

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 814 Ratings for the 2001 - 2007 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.0/10
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Solid 9 out of 10 car but keep wishing for a 10

By on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Stylish, dependable, power, seats"

Cons: "No front cup holders, sways on winding roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had this car since new - 2006, the Hybrid model, and have had very low cost maintenance thus far. The recalled inverter problem never surfaced, but was replaced by dealership at no charge but took most of the day until late afternoon to replace (I always drop car by 9am or so). It got great gas mileage when we lived in flat area of SF bay area, but now we live in hills so think that the hybrid feature is now not so effective, and our gas mileage has plummeted. I wore out the brakes at 100K as going down steep hills a lot, and B drive doesn't work to well on really steep declines. Got this car in silver, hardly never need to clean it...the silver keeps in looking clean. Cloth interior (gray) is comfortable, and I avoided leather since prefer cloth much more (less sticky, etc). The light gray carpet has stained though, and not sure from what since I don't allow food in car, only water bottles. I would never have a dark interior though as hate to have a roasting car in summer, and dark colors absorb heat. This SUV has great pick-up and power, and I can navigate the freeways with confidence. The seats are super comfortable with great lumbar support, etc. I got the AWD. So what have I not liked? 1) Dash - doesn't include any of the current technology for music (we don't use the radio or CD, only iPod or iPhone), so I have a triple outlet for usb to mp3 connections in the cigarette lighters. I had to get 6 foot adapters from the front to the back for kids iPods. I have my GPS on a bean bag on dash which I really like a lot. I'm grateful that I got the premium sound package, as the speakers are better than factory. 2) HVAC - no heat or air to the back seats so my kids are always complaining too hot, too cold. All the vents are in the front, so I have to take the blast for hot & cold first. 3) Storage - seriously lacking in back if all 7 seats are in use. No real cup holders in front for driver and passenger, but kids in back each get 3 cup holders on each side? This really really bugs me. 4) Handling - weebles, wobbles, but doesn't fall down (anyone remember that commercial?). Driving down hills at fast speeds is fun for me, but this SUV has a serious sway to it, and BMW sedans speed on by me in frustration to get around. I can't go any faster due to the height of the vehicle without enough width for handling. Think the new Highlander added a few inches in width to help with this challenge. 5) 3rd Row - no split to the 3rd row seat which would help a lot, and very cramped, but small kids love it, not needing their car seats in 3rd row - can't fit a booster back there anyway. Really can't think of anything else. Great car overall, and has needed very little maintenance. Take in every 5,000 miles and invoice usually just over $100. However, I did just this last week have the auto lock for driver's side stop working (must use key manually now until next service). That is why I came on this sight to see what else may start to go wrong. I am at about 110K miles. Cars I have owned in past: Ford Escort Wagon '89 (totaled by husband, no one hurt), VW bus '72 (carburetor problems), Acura Legend '96 (CV axel joints wore out - too heavy a car for axels), Volvo Diesel '79 (black smoker - terrifying entering freeway), Volvo gas engine, '83 (very boxy). Advice if purchase: Go to Costco for Michelin tires instead of the cheap Goodyear tires that Toyota service puts on. I kid you not - they last THREE times longer!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

excellent investment

By on Friday, June 28, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 302,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great investment"

Cons: "better gas efficiency would be awesome"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"best car I have ever owned. if taken well care of, with proper maintenance, continues to run like near brand new off the dealers lot. body and interior has held up so well too. always reliable, only one "surprise" which was the "idle air adjustment valve" went at approx 280k miles. my mechanic believes I will easily get up to 400k on this car then we plan to put in a factory rebuilt engine when the day comes this one has had enough......this car is a great investment"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Over all very happy

By on Monday, May 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very comfortable, lots of head room and power."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the first things I look for is head room. I'm over 6 foot tall and like to wear baseball caps and if I can't do that in an auto I go to the next one. The Highlander gave me more head room than most others of its type. I have the 4-WD Highlander and have used it both in snow and sand. The only thing I had problems with is in deep sand I had to lower the air pressure in the tires a little to help with traction, other wise it preformed great. At first look, I thought the Highlander looked a little small for me but inside there is more room than it looks like and the back seat passangers have said they had good leg room. I have not used the third row seat. I have the V-6 3.0 L and have lots of passing power. I have the tow package but have not pulled anything yet. Overall I am very happy with the Toyota Highlander."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned.

By on Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great car as most toyotas"

Cons: "engine warning light."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Only to shop for changing timing belt at 90,000 miles. The only issue is the check engine light which relates to the environmental control systems."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I Have Owned

By on Wednesday, September 05, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"Without a doubt this is the best and most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. It has everything I have ever wanted in a car and the reliability is excellent. I used to look under the hood every week on other cars, but I seldom do anymore because of the trust I have for this car. A person just cannot go wrong with this car and I will be trading in my 2003 for a 2008 Highlander."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Be careful

By on Thursday, August 23, 2007

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

"I bought this car less than a year ago and now the rear differential is gone...it is under warranty but a sign of things to come...at the dealer we asked if it is safe to drive the car and we recieved an "i dont know" All i can do is wait and see..."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"The most reliable we have owned. Minimal repairs and service. This was involved in auto accident and because of the safety and construction I am here to tell everyone how great and safe this auto is. Great in snow, ice packed roads, and on the highway. Roomy to travel with two Old English Sheepdogs. Good ride for an SUV, rides and handles much like a car. Overall great and would purchase another one when ready to buy a new car."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I've had so far

By on Thursday, May 03, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"I love my highlander. I bought it new at the end of 2004. It handles great, rides smooth. I love how it sits up high. The gas mileage is average for an SUV. I haven't had any problems out of it. I have just been changing the oil regularly and balancing and rotating the tires. I love how the light comes on to remind me it's time to change the oil. A light also comes on when any of my tires are low on air. I also love that I only have to change the oil every 5000 miles. I love the Toyota brands. We have 3 toyotas in the family."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Maintenance free"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this SUV new. In the 10 years I have owned it, other than routine maintenence and tires, it has never ever had anything go wrong with it. I have never owned a vehicle as reliable and trouble free as this Toyota."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I Ever Owned

By on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excellent for Family and Long Trips!"

Cons: "For a 2003 I wish it got better GAS MILEAGE!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Never gave me an once of trouble! In 12 years, replaced 2 Battery's. Drives and handles like a dream. You take care of it and it takes care of you. Maintenance only!!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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