Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2010 Toyota Highlander

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Toyota Highlander Review

By

The first Highlander arrived in 2001 as Toyota's third car-based crossover SUV, following the compact RAV4 and the mid-size luxury Lexus RX 300. As the Toyota brand's more affordable version of the RX, it, like the RX, was built on the Camry sedan platform. And like its Lexus cousin, the Highlander has been very successful. Although its styling is far from distinctive, the Highlander offers its owners multiple benefits that include excellent ratings in the areas of safety, service and reliability, not to mention resale.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a well-regarded mid-size crossover with an optional third row tops your wish list, you should take a good look at this one. It's feature-laden, neither too big nor too small and should prove reliable for many years.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For buyers with more specialized needs or wants, the Highlander's well-rounded personality might not be as appealing as the sporty character of the Mazda CX-9 or Ford Flex. Similarly, the Highlander can't match the higher towing capacity of the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Toyota adds more options to the base Highlander models. The base four-cylinder Highlander can now be equipped with a power sunroof, while the base V6 offers a rear backup camera.

Driving the Highlander

Driving Impressions We drove one of our test Highlander Limited 4x4s in intermittent rain on alternating wet and dry asphalt and found it confidence-inspiring all the while. Even if it isn't as...

fast as the V6 version of the RAV4, its little brother, the Highlander's 270-horsepower V6 is about as silky and powerful as you'll find in the category. Informal zero-to-60 miles-per-hour acceleration tests showed the Highlander to accelerate with sport sedan alacrity, while we noted fuel economy ranging between 16 and 20 miles per gallon. Except for its still difficult-to-access third row, the Highlander's seating was roomy and comfortable, and its ride, handling and braking excellent.

Center Stow Seat
This clever feature allows the second row of seats to be converted from three-across to two-across seating, opening a convenient pass-through area to access the third-row seats. The seat stows easily out of sight in the center console.

Hill-Start and Downhill Assist Control
If you live in rolling terrain, you'll appreciate these features that prevent the Highlander from rolling backward at a stop on steep up-grades and controls downhill speed (on non-hybrid four-wheel drive models) during slippery descents.

2010 Toyota Highlander Details
Interior

The new Highlander's spacious interior is at once conservative, functional and attractive. Nice touches include huge round knobs for the primary radio and climate controls – easy to find and operate even while wearing gloves – and plenty of convenient spots for things like drinks and cell phones. The steering wheel offers manual tilt and telescope adjustment and, on Limited models, easy-to-access audio and climate control buttons. The reclining second-row seats also slide 4.7 inches fore-aft and offer a lift-out middle seat cushion for pass-through into the rear row, while the bigger new third row can comfortably accommodate not only children but even limber adults, at least on shorter trips.

Exterior

Styled in California, the 2010 Highlander design intentionally moves away from traditional SUV styling. Toyota says it makes a statement of strength instead of ruggedness, intelligence over toughness. We can tell you that it is an attractive vehicle that is designed more to blend into the automotive landscape than stand out from it. While it's definitely more curvaceous than the original Highlander, it offers a traditional SUV profile but is lower and more car-like, which makes sense based on its Camry roots. It is not as distinctive as the Hyundai Veracruz or the Buick Enclave crossovers, for instance, but it is handsome. Available 19-inch wheels help balance the more substantial look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base front-wheel-drive Highlander rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels and comes with halogen headlamps, AM/FM/CD MP3/WMA-capable six-speaker stereo, tilt/telescope steering wheel, interchangeable Center Stow seat and center console and an aerodynamic rear spoiler. The V6 trim adds a hideaway third-row seat. Standard safety features include seven airbags, stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. The Sport trim adds 19-inch wheels/tires, a back-up camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-CD changer and a 3.5-inch multifunction display. The top-of-the line Limited coddles its owners with full leather and woodgrain trim, power front seats, dual-zone climate control and a "smart" keyless entry and ignition system.

Optional Equipment

Options available on the base V6 Highlander include a two-row seating package that eliminates the standard third-row seat, rear backup camera, manual rear heating/air conditioning for the second and third rows, a cargo-area tonneau cover and a tow-prep package. Stepping up to a Sport or Limited brings a much broader spectrum of add-ons, most notably front dual-zone automatic climate control (standard on Limited), automatic rear air conditioning, multi-stage heated leather front seats, power moonroof, rear-seat entertainment system, power liftgate and a navigation system with premium audio, voice activation and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Four-wheel drive models are available in all V6 grades.

Under the Hood

The 2010 Highlander base model is powered by a 2.7-liter four cylinder engine, while a larger V6 is optional on the base and standard on the Sport and Limited trims. The 2.7-liter is near the top of its class in the areas of fuel efficiency and power, with 187 horsepower on tap and upwards of 27 miles per gallon in highway driving. The Highlander V6 model packs a 270 horsepower 3.5-liter dual-variable-valve-timing V6 under its sculpted hood. The four-cylinder engine is mated to an all-new six-speed gearbox, while the V6 model makes due with an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission with selectable manual shift control.

2.7-liter in-line 4
187 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
186 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (FWD); 17/23 (4WD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2010 Toyota Highlander Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 357 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Solid pluses, definite minuses

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"The same things that attracted me initially are what I continue to like about this 2013 4WD SE: Toyota reliability and "brand," powerful and very refined V6 (this engine is quiet and QUICK, best in class,) effective cold weather package and winter handling, compliant Camry-based ride, drive characteristics are great (in fact, the critics claim that it drifts too much in hwy driving is not accurate, it does fine in that regard--just my experience.) For a "heavy" 4wd veichle, this car is nimble and impressively quick for passing and getting out of trouble. Again, very strong engine is probably the car's best asset. Also, all the options work just as advertised. HOWEVER: interior fit and finish was subpar on this car, turns out 2013 was not good for Toyota overall in this regard. Too much cheap plastic up front. and so not surprisingly, several ANNOYING rattles quickly developed in the dash area (been in for it, fixed one big one but the others elude a solution.) Also an equally annoying wind noise rattle from somewhere in the rear at hwy speeds. No excuse for this in a $36,000 car. I HATE RATTLES!! Also, the leather seats always did look kind of cheap (definitely not "plush") and have not "broken in" as comfortable enough for extended driving, and the armrests and console are thinly padded and not placed well enough for either me or my wife. New car, and my wife has to use a cushion to compensate for the lack of seat comfort! If I had to, I could live with this car given its obvious strong points, but two years into a three-year lease, I'm looking to get out of it if I can without losing my shirt."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great looking ride

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,075

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great acceleration,cool look,good gas"

Cons: "no hands free phone hook up"

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

"I've owned my Highlander for a little over 2 years now, I purchased her with 18,000 miles and she is now at 35,075. Very minor flaws and minor flaws they are. Great condition, dark window tint and aggressive/cool tire tread."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

2nd highlander. Love it

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,500

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: "Comfy, roomy, 4 cup holders."

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

"Looking to trade in for newer model. Love it. 2nd highlander. Bought 1 st one new. 2nd one used and going now for 3rd used!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Solid SUV

By on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Great people mover (although the third row is not great for an adult for any ride over 30 mins but is doable), powerful acceleration, good handling, pretty good in snow, super reliable and interior is made of high quality material that lasts. The vehicle is a nice split between a full size SUV and a mid-sized cross-over. Cons gas mileage stinks, Less than 15 mpg is common for around town and don't expect much over (in any) 20 on the highway. The cars Bluetooth is complicated to work and set up and the hands-free voice dialing is a joke. All in all, well worth it if your looking for a vehicle like this, Toyota reliability and resale value trump the few cons on this vehicle."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great SUV!

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,770

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great vehicle and very spunky!"

Cons: "Tire monitor mildly aggravating."

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

"I have had this vehicle 14 months now and it has been quiet a pleasure driving it. The power of the 3.5L v-6 is more than adequate and the mileage is better than advertised. I average 20-21 mixed street/highway and 24/27 on the highway if I keep my foot out of the fuel injection. (Used to be carburetor). I have the plus model which is equipped just right for me. The seat is very comfortable with good adjustments. The instrument panel has good visibility and adjustments are easy to make. Bluetooth is a very handy way to use the phone. The only irritant I have is the tire pressure monitoring system. Not terrible, just annoying. Overall, I am very pleased with this vehicle. It replaced a pick-up truck that I dearly loved but being an amputee of the left leg, getting in and out was becoming a problem. I definitely chose the correct replacement. A bit of excitement is back in my driving experience. I would get another highlander."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

more than i expected

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

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: "toyota quality and reliability, excellent in snow"

Cons: "none"

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

"I have owned several Toyota models over the years and have never been disappointed in any way. This Highlander is no exception. The ride is smooth. The reliability is just what you'd expect from a Toyota. What really impressed me about this model was it's handling in the snow. I currently also own a Landcruiser so my expectations are quite high when it comes to bad weather driving. No, it's not on par with the Landcruiser but it does quite well for what it is. No complaints. Awesome alternative to the minivan (traded in our 99 sienna with almost 200k (trouble free) miles on it for this)."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?