"The 2006 Highlander is not quite built to the top-notch quality I have had from previous Toyotas (4 pick-ups, 1 Camry wagon; still have the Camry wagon). The 2006 Highlander is still a near excellent vehicle. This Highlander is used to deliver mail as well as being the owner's primary vehicle.
Handling and control are surprisingly good. Brakes are excellent but I would prefer not to have ABS. Visibility is very good to excellent. Seating comfort is excellent. All controls are easy to read and/or easy to adjust. Engine power and performance are adequate. Shiftable automatic transmission is excellent. Interior road noise with all windows up is pleasingly quiet. Access to the interior of the vehicle from outside is excellent at all locations. Vehicle is very easy to load and unload. Interior adjustments to the seats, cargo area, etcetera are all easy to make and fairly quick.
Gas mileage is accurately rated by Toyota but I consider the gas mileage to be only fair and not good.
The ventilation system is lacking. Air flow through the vehicle is not adequate. Air conditioner is not cold enough in part to the poor air flow through the vehicle. Heater and defroster are not adequate. Defroster especially is deficient. In cold conditions of less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit, one must often use defrost only and not supply heat to the floor. If driving with open windows at least two windows must be open. With only one window open, air causes any or all unused seat belts to flap. This flapping results in low level thumping that is physically painful to the ears. Multiple open windows solves the problem.
Later model Highlanders, in this owner's opinion, are too crowded with options and have poorer visibility. The increase in options has reduced usable interior space and the lesser visibility is due to the vehicles being lowered."
"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!!"
"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."