The Highlander was the first car-based, mid-sized SUV in its price range. The refined and effortless powertrain is combined with a supple ride and easy access. These serve to enhance the spacious, quiet, and comfortable interior to make Highlander a pleasant vehicle for everyday driving. Emergency handling could be more capable, but it's secure enough overall. In sum, the Highlander is a very good choice.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2001
2002
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2001
2002
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2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2007. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking available from 2014, standard from 2017.
Road Test

The Highlander was the first car-based, mid-sized SUV in its price range. The refined and effortless powertrain is combined with a supple ride and easy access. These serve to enhance the spacious, quiet, and comfortable interior to make Highlander a pleasant vehicle for everyday driving. Emergency handling could be more capable, but it's secure enough overall. In sum, the Highlander is a very good choice.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (160 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (220 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Toyota Highlander owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"The A/C system had a very slow refrigerant leak, it takes 4 months for all of the refrigerant to leak out. Many trips to service were needed to track down the problem adding a dye to the refrigerant and looking for the leak. At this point we are told the compressor is the leak but the price for replacement is too high relative to the value of the vehicle to get it repaired"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C went completely out. I don't know if it was the compressor or another part. I just know it stopped working and had to be fixed"

Pat D., AR (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"The A/C was not cooling"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"A/C quit cooling in March 2017. Toyota replaced the compressor saying there was loose metal in the system. Two weeks later, A/C quit cooling again. Retuned to Toyota service. They found and repaired a Freon leak and it was cooling again"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"AC light came on and I took it in expecting a coolant leak. Instead I was told the compressor had failed and there were metal shavings throughout the system"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The compressor failed and pushed metal components into the condenser and evaporator. All had to be renewed"

James L., GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C would not cool...system was noisy...replaced compressor. Metal was found in the unit making the noise and affecting the output of cold air....no leaks were found of fluid"

Grace K., NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"On third A/C compressor"

Anonymous, MS (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"compressor shaft seal failed. compressor replaced by private mechanic"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Air conditionwe blowes hot air"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure Unsure)
Automatic climate control

"Part wore out"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"these and the other issues are all combined with the electrical failure previously discussed"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The A/C does not provide cooling. Repeated repair shop visits have not resolved the problem"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"control wiring connection to short and needed to be reattached"

Larry H., NE (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Connections to temperature control knob failed (knob/potentiometer's anchor nut loosened and allowed knob to spin and break tiny wire inside dashboard"

Dave S., TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"erratic tempature change"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The temperature control knob no longer adjusts consistently. You turn it and turn it until it finally moves. They want $1,000 to replace the whole assembly, so we just play with it for several minutes it until it gets to a good temp for the season"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Dashboard control replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"the electronic circuit board that controls the AC failed and had to be replaced, costing $1200"

Tony G., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The air/heat temperature control knob stopped working. The wiring from the knob disconnected. Cost almost $1000 dollars to fix with complete panel replacement"

Anonymous, NE (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The climate control dial for heat/cold broke-950.00 to replace"

Robert S., OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The temperature control (rheostat) failed"

James L., GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The middle control knob became loose after 145,000 miles and caused the thin electrical wires behind control knob to heat and cooling panel to break and cause the whole panel to be inoperative"

Noel H., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Loose wire in temp control. $600 for replacement module"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Replaced defective A/F sensor heater circuit"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Low on refrigerant"

Jeanette B., IN (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The air conditioner stopped cooling and was leaking freon"

Anonymous, KY (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Minor leak that was easily repaired"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"leaking freon"

Danny Q., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to be replaced because of a leak"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Condenser had a hole in it and needed to be replaced. It was a $1,000"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"continued replacement for continued cracking and failure of condenser"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"An ignition module failed, dumping fuel into the cylinder and causing the catalytic converter to overheat"

David G., FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"check engine light is on less than 3000 miles after having repair"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"needed replacement"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Having issues with my catalytic converters causing the engine light to come on. Do not want to replace them due to excessive cost to replace all 3"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check Engine caution light code indicates a problem with the catalytic converter not working properly"

Allen C., NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Catalytic converter failed"

Gordon I., PA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Fuel cap

"check engine light is on frequently. Traced back gas cap. Used a cap purchased at Advance Auto. Light came back on. Bought cap from Toyota dealer-problem solved, but the cap was more expensive"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"DEALERSHIP DID NOT SUGGEST THIS AS THE PROBLEM, BUT AN ON-LINE SEARCH DID. THE FIX WAS CHEAP BECAUSE IT WASN'T DONE BY THE DEALER"

Patrick C., AK (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Cracked fuel cap triggered "check engine" light. Nothing serious, but situation unknown until diagnosed"

Thomas S., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Fuel injection system

"Car does not idle well"

Brian C., ON (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Multiple sensors showing"

Brian C., ON (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Multiple times per year we have to have the check engine light checked, turned off or reset because the sensors are failing"

Anonymous, MO (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Nox sensor replacement"

Laura S., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light came on and computer scan revealed it was the Air/Fuel Sensor that needed replacing"

Carla R., WA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Sensor failed and replaced"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Had one O2 sensor replaced, but that did not turn off the warning light. Then had to have another O2 sensor replaced before the warning light went off. In the process had the manifold gasket replaced as well as the ignition coil for cylinder no 1"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Emission lights on and the mechanist states it is most likely due to the bad sensors"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"A couple sensors failed and per mechanic and computer needed to be replaced. Difficulty for shop to get one and overall the cost of two were extremely high, around $1000 for both and time"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Causes Engine light to come on"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine warning light/vsc warning came on. Diagnosed as air fuel ratio sensor. Replaced bank 1 sensor 1 a/f sensor only"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Repeated failure code P1135 for emissions system, dealer changes multiple parts but the problem persists"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The Check Engine light came on and the bank 1 sensor 2 oxygen sensor had to be replaced"

Grace K., NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light came on. Solution was to replace sensor"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Sensors went bad because of age, engine light came on. We always maintain our car in top shape, so, we had it fixed"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Service engine light lead to code suggesting sensor failure"

James H., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Oxygen sensor failure triggered "check engine" light. Auto tech reported that failed sensor was causing fuel mixture to be out of normal parameters and could contribute to premature failure of catalytic convertor"

Thomas S., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"There are 2 sensors in the system. One failed first and the second sensor failed about 6 months later"

Alan H., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Both catalytic converters have had to be replaced and one of the O2 sensors"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"check light comes on"

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Sensors failed, NOT the system. It was still costly to repair"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"Connecting hose failed in addition to entire power steering unit quitting"

John D., MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Same engine as Camry is in the Highlander. I expect I'll have to have this gasket fixed at the next servicing just as with the Camry"

Paul H., MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Leaking fluid"

Richard W., FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Power steering motor failed complete"

John D., MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"needed to be replaced"

Judy B., FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Replace rear strut"

David H., BC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"had to pay 3500 for something in front end I think it was control arms"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"replaced front and rear due to normal wear"

John R., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Just needs to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"had to replace all four struts"

Van M., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"rear struts needed replaced"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited Unsure)

"Had to replace all four struts at a significant cost"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Rear struts failed. But they lasted 200,000 miles. This car owes me nothing. It's great"

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Routine replacement"

Anonymous, RI (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Parts wore out. Needed strut mounts as well as struts. All expensive"

Glen D., GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"It began to squeak and I knew what it was. Took 2 trips to get it fixed"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"second time rack and pinion has been replaced from leaking"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The right front wheel bearings started vibrating at 45-50 mph, requiring us to replace them for $350. That solved the problem"

Jason S., WA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Alignment

"The vehicle no longer tracks true"

John V., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"required alignment twice in past 9 mos"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"Axle faceplate leaked and needed replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The part wore out. It was expensive to replace"

Glen D., GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Unknown "rattling" in the steering linkage when going over bumps. Still haven't figured out what it is"

Allen C., NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"I reported a vibration to my mechanic and he found that all motor mounts were broken. The motor mounts were replaced and and 99% of vibration is gone"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"The vehicle's steering feels loose and the tires wear rapidly"

John V., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"ABS encoder broke. Required replacement of rear axle"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"abs control system shorting out causing brakes to grab at first acceleration. not fixed since cost was $2200"

Al R., NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

""Vanes" on rear axle broke so that signal could not be sent to warning system"

Anonymous, NH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"No codes but bakes make noise when applied. If the antilock relay is removed the noise stops"

J S., MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"ABS failed because one of the tone rings in one of the wheel axle (rear passenger side) was broken. Also the ABS sensor for that wheel had to be replaced - apparently due to the seized caliper. A very expensive job. ABS very noisy on this vehicle"

Anonymous, ON (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"left rear caliper frozen; part not available at dealer. Toyota part very expensive"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Frozen caliper had to be replaced"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"Parking brake does not hold sufficiently to pass inspection"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Parking brake cable froze. Cable needed to be loosened and lubricated"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"This car has had multiple brake repairs for sticking calipers that have ruined rotors. Twice about 2 to 3 months after the 12 month dealer repair warranty for repairs. NOT HAPPY"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The front brakes had been replaced 12 months ago--total brake work including resurfacing of rotors and new calipers and brake pads. Recently had the same work done again and had to pay again. Car vibrates badly when front brakes are worn. Also, rot"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"front rotors make noise going over rough roads"

Danny Q., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"rear rotors replaced at about 80000 miles"

Anonymous, CO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Entire rotor knuckle had to be replaced due to rust"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"experienced twice now, with warped front brake rotors. first time I had a brake shop remove them and turn them flat again. withing a year, they warped again. so this time I ordered in new rotors and since I was doing that I replaced the pads as well,"

Craig C., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Each time I press the brake I hear a grinding sound"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"Brakes were making quite a loud noise regularly"

Ray B., MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"none out of the ordinary"

Roy C., TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Time for new front brakes"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"new disc brakes"

Robert H., CO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Very expensive routine brake work. Normal for age of vehicle"

Rick K., WI (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"needed new brake pads"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed brake job. Normal"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"Normal wear"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

"The Catalytic converter failed without warning and had to be replaced. The repair cost was approx. $1000"

Dan R., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Persistent problems with emissions testing for much of car's history. Finally replaced cat converter"

John H., WA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Needed to replace several of the catalytic converters and exhaust pipes. But after 13 years in winter salt use area perhaps that was to be expected"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Muffler and pipes have had to be replaced twice, 2nd recently"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Check engine light comes on. Take it to the dealer for inspection. Dealer finds a hole in the exhaust pipe next to catalytic converter and can't fix the leak without replacing the converter though nothing is wrong with it. Big bucks, over $700. D"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"This is the original exhaust system on this car, minor leaks have occurred that are quickly remedied by my mechanic"

Tony A., ON (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"rusted out"

Anonymous, AB (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Front muffler failed due to age"

Robert B., MN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"mufflers rust from salt in winter. After market parts are not good"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"makes a noise"

Karen O., MN (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Original equipment. Suddenly became very noisywith a hole in the muffiler, @204000"

Anonymous, SK (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Cracked pipes and joints had to be professionally repaired"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The exhaust pipe rotted away at the clamp before the muffler"

George M., PA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Replaced because of corrosion"

Anonymous, MN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"broken flange behind muffler"

John U., CT (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"A small leak developed in the mid pipe area"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Due to the street salt applied in the Cleveland (OH) area, over time, there were several perforations in the manifold resulting in accelerated deterioration. It thus make a loud noise, and will not likely pass emission inspection come renewal of the"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Oxigen sensor on manifold needed replacement. Sensor was only $125, but the manifold needed to be retapped for a total of $300"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Wore out"

Anonymous, WI (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint was doing all of the above, resulting in signs of rust"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat faded and peeled. Underlying paint is dull"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Clear coat is peeling"

Donald C., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint on hood cracking/peeling just aft of windshield. Car parked outside on street"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Clear coat is peeling and paint is fading on hood and some side areas"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"clear coat is pealing"

Anonymous, HI (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"The gold paint is chipping and peeling in various locations throughout the exterior of the SUV"

John H., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"with plastic bumper cover any little bump causes paint to chip off"

W V., AL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Some paint fading below front head lights"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Paint peeling on roof and hood"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure Unsure)

"the paint in the top and the hood"

Albis R., PR (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"extreme rust in area where windshield meets roof. Has caused related issues with windshield stress and cracks"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Starts to develop rust in the back top area where rack is"

Albis R., PR (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Both front mudguards cracked and failed. Easy to replace, put had to order rather expensive parts from the dealer"

Anonymous, MO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The visors on the Highlander drop down suddenly, and it is very distracing to the point of being dangerous for the driver. No obvious fix. Checked online (Toyota Nation, etc.) and find this is a common problem Toyota refuses to address"

Paul H., MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"Pulley repl. same time serpentine belt; noise returned after 2nd replacement; need to take car back again"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

"harmonic balancer came apart, ruined timing belt cover and two belts replaced knock sensors, trouble shifting into OD"

Van M., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Broken mount needed replacing"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"I have to add oil often as there seems to be an oil leak"

Joseph F., BC (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

"Upper seal leak between engine and transmission,"

Frank P., CO (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Valve cover gaskets needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Replacing a rear motor seal solved this problem"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Had the oil gasket and valve cover gasket replaced"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"oil leaks and heavy smoking at start up, we are told there is excessive buildup in the engine for these years of toyota"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"may be that after oil. change it was not properly sealed - ongoing problem"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Upper oil pan leaked. expensive fix"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Engine computer

"Check Engine light indicated an engine sensor failure"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Engine light stays on. Not able to get resolved. One mechanic thought it wasn't worth the cost to pursue further"

Anonymous, MI (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Took 3 visits to correct tail lights not working"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"right rear brake light seems to get loose at times, a simple adjustment of re-positioning the lamp is all that is needed to have the light become operational. It may be that road vibrations loosens that lamp occasionally. No real problem though"

Anthony C., NJ (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Passenger side rear brake light quick working even after replacing bulb. Dealer is stumped. I researched on line and repaired by bending the light bulb holding "claw" to a tighter position"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"All exterior brake lights failed repeatedly over last year. Tag lights and both left and right rear brake lights"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Electrical connectors for the brake lights (on each side) went bad"

Donald S., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The wiring on one rear brake light is faulty. Replacing the bulb did not fix the problem"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Cruise control

"the controller for the heat/cooling system, for the does not work - not sure were to put this"

Anonymous, AB (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Horn

"Horn is very stupid on this vehicle - barely can't hear it. Also stupid is the exhaust system - whole exhaust pipe had to be replaced because of the leaking flexi (flexible joint). The heater sensor is hard to control - going from very cold to very h"

Anonymous, ON (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Interior lights

"The interior dome light doesn't work all the time"

Donald S., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"check engine light came on, was bad gas cap"

David D., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

"Seal on third brake light wore out & water leaked into vehicle when it rained"

Laura A., GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"may be related to rust issue but air and water leaks in several areas on roofline of vehicle"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"When it rain's it leaks from the sun roof"

Anonymous, UT (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"The Highlander is 12 years old. The seals wore and cracked. I had oil leaks. They had to be replaced at $1100"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Rear Lift Gate or Window rattle.while traveling on rough road"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Plastic components on interior of vehicle squeak in cold weather. Also a few rattles on bumpy surfaces"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Wind noise

"Seals are worn out"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Actually, overall road noise. Some caused by wind, other by contact with road"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Much wind noise at highway speeds"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"Ran over something, heard a loud bang, then transmission started slipping. Within 20 more miles, the trans broke apart"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Completely lost the transmission, like the car went into neutral. Considering we have over 200000 miles on this car we can't complain"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The automatic transmission failed completely in last two weeks at approximately 155,000 miles. We replaced vehicle"

Noel H., TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Had to replace the transmission at 152,000. $4000 because AWD. Would have been $2000 if just front wheel drive"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Transmission completely failed at 175k thoUSnd miles. Replacement cost was $5200. Shop told me that transmissions on these AWD Highlanders and older Lexus with the same transmission fail often"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Transmission died at about 130k miles and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)

"Not a good year for this vehicle. Engine block, transmission, engine mount all gone bad over the years. High dollar repairs"

Philip D., TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Torque converter

"Was rebuilt or replaced at the same time the transmission was rebuilt"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

"#2 cylinder failure"

Tom G., NE (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Valve cover gasket was replaced. Found oil leaking over the exhaust manifolds from the valve cover gaskets"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"A very common problem in 2AZ-FE engines where the aluminium block threads are stripped and the coolant leaks with out the owner knowing. This is because there is a large foam block under the plastic in take manifold that absorbs the coolant. Because there is no tell-tail signs of coolant on the ground it goes unnoticed till there is a major failure. This is not isolated to the 4 cylinder Highlander. It affects every other 4 cylinder vehicle that Toyota manufactured from 2002-2006. Which is a"

Nayan L., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"The engine burns oil. The mechanic tells me it has sludge (or gelling). I have not had the engine rebuilt yet and probably won't. Will get rid of it"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"head bolts pulled out of block. this is a known problem with this engine. toyota offered no monetary help"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

"Engine leaking oil like crazy beginning at 150k miles. Not why we bought a Toyota"

Anonymous, MS (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Chose not to do this 3,000 repair. Filling up with oil regularly instead. Common problem with 2002 Highlander. Thanks Toyota!!!!"

T J., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Moderate leakage"

Anonymous, GA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission leaks

"Small steady fluid leak. Required transmission to be pulled. No issues with repair"

Anonymous, DE (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Normal wear on transmission pan gasket"

Chris K., NC (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 3.0-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"The transmission would not always pull the vehicle; at times it would and not at others. Came on over a period of a couple of days"

Philip D., TN (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

"Sensor located on firewall malfunctioned causing the light on my instrument panel to flicker, would occasionally slip out of reverse and would cause cruise control to shut off"

Michael A., IA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Granted my suv is 15 years old, I've had this leak since year 3. Took it to the dealer and was advised that nothing was wrong. Due to faulty manufacturing the long block leaks coolant into a foam heat pad where subsequently it evaporates. The small leak goes unnoticed till there is a major failure. So much for Japanese quality"

Nayan L., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Radiator

"The radiator failed and needed replacement"

Anonymous, IL (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"There is a board in the dash behind the radio with a computer that controls all the heat a/c defrost controls that totally failed and had to be replaced. very expensive"

Anonymous, MA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)

"Climat control failed, could not turn off the heat. Had to replace the "computer"/sensor system. $1,100"

Donald C., CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"Does not play"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"Screen color was somewhat "monochrome""

Anonymous, MD (2002 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"Right rear door exterior handle came off. Repair shop found bolt for retainer came loose. Reinstalled handle and retainer"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)
Windows

"the window dropped down inside the drivers rear door. the body shop found window had come off the track. The window was put back on the track and the track lubricated. all is resolved"

Anonymous, TX (2002 Toyota Highlander Base 2.3-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Ignition switch

"many times it is very difficult to get the key out- it takes a lot messing around to get it to release!"

Don C., WA (2002 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.0-L V6)
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