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2003 Toyota Highlander

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 856 Ratings for the 2001 - 2007 models.

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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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My second Highlander

By on Monday, August 6, 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 bought a 2007 Highlander to replace my 2003 because this is the last year of that model and I wanted the economical 4 cylinder engine which will not be available on the 2008. The 2003 was reliable, comfortable and problem free for my four years of ownership. The 2007 Highlander is a greater value because of the additional safety features such as side curtain air bags, VSC and traction control and better designed with more storage area under the rear deck because the full sized spare tire was relocated to exterior storage under the rear deck. The suspension of the 2007 appears tighter than the 2003 resulting in an uncomfortable ride where each ripple in the road was felt because the OEM Bridgestone tires rode hard. These tires, manufactured in Japan for Toyota had a 7/32" tread depth and only a 6" tread width. The poor ride was corrected by replacing the OEM Japanese Bridgestone tires with Michelin Cross Terrains which have a tread depth of 10/32" and a 7" wide tread. The 2007 Highlander is a great mid-sized SUV that has been improved in design and safety features over the years and gives a refined, comfortable and secure ride if equipped with Yokohama or Cross Terrain tires."

27 people out of 27 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"

15 people out of 15 found this review helpful

The most trouble free car I have owned

By on Thursday, June 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 225,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Smooth, strong, quiet and trouble free"

Cons: "Could have used more power outlets in the back."

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

"I am a Toyota technician for the past 20+ years so I see it all. Lack of maintenance through kids abusing vehicles. This model 2003 Highlander V6 Limited, has almost no recalls and/or issues. I have 225,000 miles on mine and I have kept the maintenance up regularly. It has never left me on the side of the road or given me an ounce of trouble. Only things I have had to replace over time were the B1S1 and B2S1 (A/F oxygen sensors) and the temp control blend door servo. I haven't had to repeatedly replace them either. I would recommend this model to anyone looking for a midsize SUV with decent HP. I will say the allwheel drive models are heavier and you can feel it when driving them."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Very reliable, comfortable SUV.

By on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great reliability, drives like a car not a SUV."

Cons: "No front cupholders."

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

"At 145,000 miles nothing has failed on this SUV. Regular maintenance has been done and it has never let me down. At 90,000 miles the struts were replaced and the cooling system renewed with Toyota long-life coolant, along with new radiator hoses."

11 people out of 11 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!!"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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!"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned.

By on Tuesday, April 3, 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."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

best car ever had I'm 62yr old

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,453

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great for night problem driving"

Cons: "cassete tape is kinda out dated"

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

"Bought used at dealer in florida car had 113k miles and I paid $13k for it and may have found deal but I liked the car. Three 1/2 yr latter i'm putting my first money into it which is simply the car battery! It runs great,smooth ride, I LOVE all the window space to look out for other cars. Its great I can put my dogs in the back, or lots of groceries. I've even slept VERY COMFORTABLY with plenty of room in the back. It now has $126,400 miles which Kelly book says is above average. I hear the car can go 200k miles and i'm not selling until it starts costing too much $ to keep it- I LOVE IT gas mileage not so great but its a suv and its really not so bad avg 20mpg it now has 126,455 miles was 113k miles 3 1/2 yr ago"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

incredible SUV to own

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 164,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "VERY reliable!"

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

"Bought new. Has never broken down in all these years, and as a mother of 3 children, can't say enough how much that means to me! The only issue I have had is with the air conditioner, but was not an emergency to fix so I am still thrilled. Get 18.8 mpg city, but I wonder if stupid ethanol in gas contributed to this, as I was getting more until they started adding it to all gas."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Absolutely tops among mid-size SUV hybrids!

By on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, quick, uber-practical!"

Cons: "Spare hard to reach (but it's a real tire)!"

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

"I've owned this car for 3 years, having owned a Honda for the family (Odyssey)and Bimmers (5 series--530i, 528e) for my ego. The 2006 Highlander green is, hands down, and head and tails over what I'd espected. It's both practical and stylish (for an SUV), comfortable, and is mechanically super competent. As far as practicality is concerned, it serves well as a vacation car in that it is roomy enough to carry 5 passengers in relative comfort on day trips while carrying a load of "stuff"--suit cases, beach gear, beach house grub, etc., and do double duty as a rather svelt get around car, ferring grandpa, grandma and a 5 grandkids to lunch, the beach, and the Flying Horses! And it does all of this whilst zipping from 0 - 60 in less than 8 seconds! Great pickup, great passing; I love surprising pickups, Cherokees, even the occassional 'sporty' import off the line, so to speak. And I average 24 mpg; better if I drive anywhere close to the speed limits. It actually does better in town than on the highway, which makes sense considering the hybrid attitude. All around, a great ride. Not sure how the newer models fare, but the 2006 is a genuine conversation piece well worth the price."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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