The Toyota Highlander scores high for its refinement, quiet interior, ride comfort, power, fuel economy, and flexible and roomy second-row seat. It's one of our top-scoring three-row SUVs, but it is not without its drawbacks. The third-row seat is tight. And while the handling is secure, it's not very agile.
Alerts
There are 9 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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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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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 Toyota Highlander scores high for its refinement, quiet interior, ride comfort, power, fuel economy, and flexible and roomy second-row seat. It's one of our top-scoring three-row SUVs, but it is not without its drawbacks. The third-row seat is tight. And while the handling is secure, it's not very agile.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
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
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.7-liter 4 (187 hp)
  • 3.3-liter V6 hybrid (270 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (270 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Toyota Highlander owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

"The CD player would not eject a CD. I took it to the dealer. They told me they could not get it out. To correct the problem I would have to replace the navigation system since the CD player is part of the system. Since the navigation system still worked I was unwilling to pay a ridiculous price to fix the CD player"

Cindy P., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Unit ate CDs, and stopped playing. As part of the navigation system, the entire unit had to be replaced by Toyota. The extended warranty covered the $1,900 cost for a refurbished unit. I realize you are against these warranties, but I'm glad I had"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"System seems to short out and eject CDs when pushing radio buttons. Especially true in colder or damper weather"

Stephen S., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Had to have it replaced twice when I first bought it- It would jam and you couldn't get the CD's out. I hadn't used it for a long time, now it won't take any CD's. I didn't take it in because I know it's out of warranty. So the CD player is basically"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"CD got stuck in the CD player and could not be removed. It is integrated into the navigation panel and radio. very expensive to fix. Luckily it was covered by our extended warrantee"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"Radio/CD screen has gone wacko a few times in the past couple of years. May be heat realities as I live in the desert"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"About 90% of the time the system does not work. Once I type in the address it won't move to the next step - the actual directions. Plus the voice is extremely loud and cannot be turned down"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Radio controls do not work properly. It keeps shifting control from the radio buttons to the controls on the steering wheel and it is impossible to shift them back"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"When turning the volume down, it gets louder. Sometimes, when turning the volume control, nothing happens"

Mary A., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"First, the screen went out - covered by warranty. This year the volume knob quit working. Can only control volume via steering wheel controls"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"From beginning, have had trouble with radio when weather is cold - the screen will freeze, the CD player will suddenly start/stop playing. Had Radio replaced with OEM, problem occurs less frequently but still occurs"

David H., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Radio volume would change and radio would turn off intermittently"

Charles A., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"change radio stations with presets and cd pops out"

Jim J., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The tuning display periodically went blank or displayed indistinguishable characters. Toyota replaced the radio/CD player unit"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"I hear a break up in my speakers and cannot hear my channel properly"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Volume control -- volume goes up and down on its own randomly"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Controls stopped functioning, sometimes it would repeat only the same song other times it would play a song for a few seconds then go to the next. Had to pay for a software update... even though it worked fine for the same device for years"

William E., DC (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

"back speakers on one side stopped working"

Julie W., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-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

Alignment

"Alignment problems were mostly caused by tie rods' seizing issues. Also, I consider that the car gets out of alignment too easily, especially since it is an SUV-style and should be able to accept rougher service than a sedan. Same comment applies to my 2008 RAV-4"

Thomas P., NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Struts wore out and needed replaced around 86,000 miles. First major issue with this vehicle in 8 years"

David R., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"premature failure of struts resulting in replacement"

Cheri L., LA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"left front strut leaked at 70,000 miles. Had to be replaced"

Dave B., NJ (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Noticed uneven wear on front tires. Checked and found leaking strut"

Paul M., WI (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"both front shocks failed, replaced under warranty. Toyota dealer did not realign wheels after changing shocks, causing tires to wear prematurely"

Anonymous, QC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Experienced unusual "clunking" noise from the steering system randomly. Replaced intermediate steering shaft"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Tie rods

"Front tie rods prone to seize in rack and can't be removed or adjusted. Dealer remedy: replace entire rack&pinion. Practical remedy: have alignment done at each regular service to forestall corrosion and seizing. Rear tie rods also seize. Same thing happens with RAV-4"

Thomas P., NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"I was told that the tie rods and the bearings were worn and needed to be replaced for safety"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Springs or torsion bars

"Not sure that "torsion bar" is the right terminology. There is a curved steel support member in the rear to which the rear suspension is connected. It supports the entire rear suspension. This member had a crack, about 1/2 inch long. Failure whil"

Thomas P., NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

"At speeds around 70, steering wheel vibrated. Mechanic suggested new tires, which took care of the problem"

Paul M., WI (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Wheel bearings

"Loud noise from front wheels"

Werner S., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"rear wheel bearing went out, parts and labor $400 covered by extended warranty"

Anonymous, ND (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-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

Headlights

"I had to replace them twice"

Pamela L., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Driver side headlight failure"

Anonymous, AB (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Light plug shorted and bulb burned out. Much time to figure out and dealer not helpful"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"wires were disconnected so that the auto headlight feature did not work properly. this affected both the headlights and the taillights. Item was fixed by dealer warranty after vehicle purchases in Jan 2015"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Recurrent failure of headlight - must be electrical, dealership can not figure out the problem"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Unsure)

"the headlight bulb stopped working and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"The tire pressure light came on this winter. I filled the tires with air but the pressure light did not go off. It's still on as of May 2015. I will have to take the unit back to the dealer to have it repaired"

Anonymous, IA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"There was a known issue with the security sensor on the hood latch getting triggered by wind. I had it replaced at the dealership because the wind kept triggering the alarm in the middle of the night"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Body control module

"replaced by recall"

Anonymous, NC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Cruise control

"Periodically the cruise control does not work"

Anonymous, IN (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Horn

"The horn would start beeping when parked and you would have to keep pushing buttons on the remote to make it stop. Had it fixed under warranty two years later it broke again and cost $150.00 out of warranty"

Gary A., IN (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Warning lights

"The check engine light comes on and off. I took it to the dealer but the light was not on at that time and they found nothing wrong. This happens periodically"

Anonymous, IN (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Rear wiper motor failed"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

"sunroof drainage holes became clogged and flooded car interior when raining"

Julie W., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"trunk would not shut"

Christopher J., CT (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"irritating air noise at higher speeds. Body shop repaired"

Larry G., MO (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Numerous rattles are coming from dash and doors"

Jeffrey B., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Squeaks in the dashboard and tailgate areas"

Anonymous, NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Heat shield became loose and started to rattle loudly"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rattles in right front quadrant. Expensive repair. Took car to dealer three times before it was fixed"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.5-L V6)

"noise at time start"

Roberto C., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"many annoying squeaks from dash"

Anonymous, QC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"Dash below display screen tends to rattle when going Down roads that are not really smooth"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"As the SUV has gotten older lot of wind noise. When new very quiet"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"There is a leak in the small fixed window at the seat behind the passenger seat (2nd row of seating) which allows road noise into the car"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

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

"Compressor failed. Replaced under extended warranty at no additional cost"

John D., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Loss of a/c very suddenly this winter; serviced it for issue and had system recharged; a/c then only worked on passenger side (front); returned for service to find compressor needed replacing"

Kelly K., OH (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"a/c worked, stopped, started again on own, will take to shop this week, unsure exactly what is going on or if will work when I use the car tomorrow"

Anonymous, DE (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Compressor went out 2 days ago. 150000 miles"

Anonymous, OK (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

"AC quit working. Evaporator was discovered to be the problem. Cost $1700 to replace"

John I., SC (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"Had leak in difficult to reach spot. Cost $2300"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.5-L V6)

"Had to add freon, it's a slow leak, so it has not been repaired yet. AC still blows cold air"

Ron C., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"don't really know if it was a leak or not, but the level was low and they had to evacuate and recharge"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Heat comes on when system is turned off and only "fresh air" should be coming in. When I put the heat on it puts out cold air until I put the temp at 74 degrees or higher - even when it's 50 degrees outside"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"After the dealer pulled my dash apart for some sort of recall, my AC and heat are both a problem. I recently took it to an independent mechanic who told me it was the blender. He advised me to take it back to the dealer and talk to the manager and th"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"wires became disconnected so that the climate system operated sporadically. Item was fixed by dealer warranty after vehicle purchased in Jan 2015"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Hot air from engine blows intoncabin. Aldo, in winter, cannot switch to inside only sit"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

"Stuck caliper resulted in complete breakdown of rear breaks"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Parking brake

"The parking brake cable on the driver's side was replaced because the original one was seized"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

"The same as my Tundra - the brake rotors and pads seem to wear out much faster than what I would expect"

Steve C., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"NO Problem, IT JUST COSTS MONEY to repair equipment that should be lasting longer"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear brake pads rusted and wore prematurely causing a screeching noise when brakes were applied"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"i had the rotors and pads replaced due to normal wear"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Just like the Tundra, the rotors wear out prematurely"

Steve C., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Premature replacement of brake pads and rotors"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Front rotors were out of round"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"NOISE WHEN I PRESSED BRAKE PEDAL"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Brake pads needed replacing"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"both front and rear brakes needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, MN (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"trim on top near luggage rack came out"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"The rubber runners in the roof rack tracks come up in the car wash"

Charles T., NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"Drivers sun visor kept flopping down - lived with it for a couple of years and finally contacted Toyota. They did a good will replacement which was appreciate. The visor had electrics and would have cost over $200. It appears that 8 months later, the replacement is started to get loose again"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"The drivers armrest broke when I put some of my weight on it to slide into the seat. They want $650. to repair. It needs a $.05 clip, not a $650. repair!"

Charles T., NM (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The plastics around the mirrors is silver - the car is black. Paint around the handles is iffy"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Top & rear spoiler - clear coat peeling off"

Judy S., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Paint peeling on front fender after repainting twice before by dealership"

Gary S., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Top coat paint peeling from multiple locations on the car"

Nancy H., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Paint chipping on roof trim"

Jan V., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Rust

"Rust starting around each exterior door handle"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"one rust spot size of a dime on back door"

Anonymous, AB (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

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

Locks and latches

"back hatch was slow to go up or down"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Windows

"The rubber seals on the rear mirrors is lifting off"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"new regulator"

Raymond F., SC (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Drivers side electric window came partially off the rail and was loose. It rattled when opening or closing the door. Finally it got stuck and had to be serviced for a little over $250"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"The system that raises and lowers the driver window has a broken arm and I was told that it was in danger of failing without being repaired"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"attachment points for window regulator glued onto window. these attachment points failed resulting in window replacement"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Glass defects

"The up & down control on drivers side went bad & window broke. $500 plus to replace and new one gave trouble with in a week. repaired no more problems since"

Anonymous, IN (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 2.7-L 4 Cyl)

"Driver side window came loose in track"

Jan V., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The automatic/electric hatch sometimes does not close on the first or second try"

Dennis R., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Rear Hatch hinges are under engineered & bend from the opening and latch apparatus. Hopefully manually opening the hatch it will prolong the life. Original hinges, out of warranty. Replacement hinges do it also, so I've read and too expensive to fix"

E D., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Power liftgate system failed. Hinges were poorly designed in 2009 model. Hinges became bent, motor/gearbox for power drive failed, and door no longer functions. Cost for repair would be $3900 and would require the entire rear door to be replaced!"

Joel M., NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

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

Driveshaft or axle

"Wheel bearing"

James H., WI (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Wheel bearing failed"

Daniel G., MB (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Tire dealer discovered leaking boot on transaxle. Replaced w/rebuilt unit. Failed in 3 days at location away from home area. Repaired by AAA shop in that area using new part; cost was 3X the rebuilt price. Tire dealer covered the second repair"

Wayne H., GA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Replaced 4x4 drive axle twice in last year"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

"1 of 2 alternators (?) failed, causing car to stop running. Fixed under warranty"

Mike B., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"IPM in Inverter of Hybrid vehicle was replaced under recall in February 2014, in August 2014 complete failure of hybrid system, requiring replacement of Inverter, main high voltage wiring and 2 front wiring harnesses, total cost before tax $23,000"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Transfer case

"We had a protection plan so didn't pay much attention to the specifics. cost was $4000 for a certified pre-owned vehicle. Kind of disappointing from Toyota"

Ben V., NE (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
CV joint

"First major failure in a car in a long time This was an expensive repair"

Anonymous, WA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Both boots were torn"

Werner S., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

"Bad, noisy water pump. Had it replaced. Very expensive and labor intensive repair"

Anonymous, SD (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Sound from engine compartment was louder than usual. When I took it in for a oil change the tech. noticed the noise and informed me it was a failing water pump"

Sharon B., MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Developed leak at bearing had to replace pump"

Anonymous, OR (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"When an oil change shop changed oil, they noticed a possible water pump leak. Toyota confirmed it was a leak. pump replacement covered via my extended warranty"

William L., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"Water pump had to be replaced for $1000"

Doreen G., NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"replaced failing pump for $1000"

Anonymous, VA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

"started making a knocking sound, had to replace pump & idler pulley"

James O., IN (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"i could hear the bearings in the water pump and it needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"Sounds like a Diesel engine when idling and accelerating from a stop"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"Loud valve knock that they have yet to fix. Worse upon starting but quiets only slightly after running, but is still there and audible"

George S., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)
Oil leaks

"A hose that circulates oil and sits somewhere on top of engine burst and we lost ALL the oil out of the car in about 10 minutes. Known problem, according to dealership mechanic. Said the material that hose was made from frequently failed"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"hose feeding oil to engine? Recall for problem was issued 18 months later"

Anonymous, AB (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited Unsure)

"Oil leaking from the differential"

Nancy H., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"The line leading to the auxiliary oil cooler burst, forcing a tow to the dealer"

Steve L., AR (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Difficult to fill up gas tank

"this is a recurring problem. I don't know what causes it, but on occasion the fuel nozzle clicks off automatically every few seconds when trying to refuel. It is very annoying, and I can't figure out how to avoid the problem"

Anonymous, OR (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Engine computer

"Vehicle stalled while driving without notice. Replaced battery, replaced fuel pump - stalled once since fuel pump was replaced but dealer unable to identify what the actual problem was. Vehicle was out of service for a month"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission failed completely and was replaced. Fortunately, the transmission was still covered under the 100,000 mile warranty. We were informed that this was quite unusual. Normal driving only"

Anonymous, TN (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Complete transmission replacement. Toyota partially covered the expense. Warranty expired at 65,000, transmission failed at 67,000"

Anonymous, NY (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

"Bearing gone Bad"

Anonymous, SC (2009 Toyota Highlander Sport 3.5-L V6)

"POWERLESS TRANSMISSION RUN LIKE SLIPPING LOW POWER, ENGINE IN HIGH RPM RUNNING"

Anonymous, QC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

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

Alternator

"my battery kept discharging which was the result of a bad alternator"

Randy P., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Battery ran down after sitting for 2 months and was unable to recharge. It was several years old so not a concern"

Anonymous, BC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Coil

"One of the ignition coils failed. Ended up replacing all of them due to the expense of accessing the set. Failure put vehicle into low power mode which was barely sufficient to get it to a safe place to park"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.3-L V6 hybrid)
Electronic ignition

"Same failure as noted with the other response"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Exhaust was leaking from the previously described issue"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)
Pipes

"A gasket between 2 sections of the pipes gave out and had to be replaced. It caused a rattling noise"

Anonymous, MA (2009 Toyota Highlander Base 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"ONE ?ECTRIC MOTOR DOES NOT RUNNIG"

Anonymous, QC (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

Engine Major

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

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"The timing belt had been damaged because of a leak. The costs were dignificant"

Anonymous, OR (2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.3-L V6 hybrid)

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.

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