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.
There are 9 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Excellent veh for the money."

T G., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Mpg great acceleration great In dash camera small but at that time very good. Ire OME got 70,000 miles Brakes got 90,000"

EDWARD K., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"4 c7ylinder not enuf. Need turbo boost or a six cylinder engine."

VICTOR L., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The Toyota Highlander drives and handles great. It has a great turning radius. It's very comfortable to drive. I'm very glad I bought it."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Bad: It needs armrests! Good: heated seats, very comfortable ride and quiet, good visibility, smooth, easy ride and control, acceleration is great and is easy to handle."

BEVERLY H., OR (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"This car handles well for a vehicle of this size and is simply easy to drive."

CAMPBELL R., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Steering was a bit loose, which was corrected on the 2013"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"drives great"

PAUL B., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It just handles a bit vaguely for my taste."

CHARLES M., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"meets all my needs"

Anonymous, AL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Acceleration and handling are great. Interior is well thought out and user friendly."

Anonymous, SC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It usually handles well. However, there have been times when it would start to accelerate on its own with my foot off of the accelerator. That caused an accident for me."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Same as 2007"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"4 cylinder is a bit under powered"

Anonymous, TN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Excellent acceleration and handling."

Dave C., KS (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Powerful V-6, great handling"

Steven M., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"good acceleration, great handling on wet and wintery roads"

Anonymous, AK (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"With the V-6 engine, the Highlander has good pickup and ease of handling."

Jackie Y., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very good comfort and handling, acceleration could be better, but is pretty good for its size."

Jeffrey F., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"More than adequate power."

Anonymous, AB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"accelerates and handles well"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Sluggish acceleration for the horsepower"

Richard Z., AB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The vehicle drives extremely well in heavy traffic as well as on highways. The vehicle handles as well as new cars"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very good. Very comfortable, but fuel consumption doesn't hols a patch on our 2017 Highlander Hybrid."

Austin T., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Acceleration both from a full stop and when at speed is very perky; seems to have plenty of power in reserve. Handling is very responsive similar to that of a true sports car."

T M., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"This particular highlander (sport) is very agile, extremely pleasant to drive, well balanced steering but not as sharp as BMW, making it easier to drive over long periods of time, without getting tired. Excellent handling, extremely well poised at high speeds for a car of this size, shape and weight, feels very secure even at its limits. Very good acceleration at mid 7 secs, a little hesitant on hard acceleration, but has plenty of passing power."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Acceleration and operation in snow"

Gary K., NY (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Good: Smooth ride, ease of driving, reliability, long term satisfaction, stylish, safety features Bad: fuel economy"

Amanda C., AL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"No problem merging with traffic. Engine/transmission is smooth and powerful with good mileage. steering, braking, and handling are all more than adequate for in-town & interstate driving. Rarely take any to limits."

Anonymous, GA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The V6 engin performs as well as any V8 I have ever owned"

Anonymous, ME (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"We have the front wheel drive Highlander, didn’t get the all wheel drive version. Our last SUV was a rear wheel drive Ford Explorer. The Highlander drives more like a car than an SUV. The ride is comfortable, acceleration and handling are very good."

M M., GA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"very stable car on the road even when pulling camper"

William G., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Excellent driving car. Smooth acceleration. Easy steering. The driving quality of this car is the single most satisfactory item about this vehicle."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Responsive powerful engin"

John H., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"I can't figure out how to go back and change the year of the car - it's a 2007 Toyota Highlander! The car was preowned but has been a great vehicle. We have not had any mechanical problems with it. It drives well and handles well."

Sharon H., MD (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Sufficiently powered to accelerate smartly. The transmission is less responsive to driver inputs than I would like. When iselect a gear either going up or down, it take more than a moment to change the gear. I would like more rapid response similar to a manual transmission"

Bruce Z., OH (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"great pickup / acceleration"

Anonymous, NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Great acceleration when needed. Big enough to haul larger items & lots of groceries; yet small enough to comfortably manover in traffic."

Kathy E., IN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The ride is soft without feeling vague. Quick lane changes, cornering, can feel top heavy and awkward. The engine delivers good power and torque even when pulling a trailer. The transmission will shift up and down while pulling a trailer uphill. This is easily controlled by simply moving the shifter into the manual position upon downshift."

Tom S., OK (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very powerful, can easily cruse at the speed limit up steep mountain highways, I pass most cars."

William R., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"V6 good pickup"

Michaelroy S., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"I would like to be able to increase the lumber support of the driver's seat & lessen the forward bend of the seat, otherwise good. Obviously, have adjusted to seat as is, initially was difficult."

Anonymous, DE (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The noise level in the cabin at highway speeds is a bit loud. I hope they improved this on later models. Overall it is the best vehicle that I ever bought and I would buy it again."

HARRY D., MA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Seats very comfortable, very quiet ride, climate control is excellent"

LAURA F., AL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Hands down the most comfortable drivers seat I have ever been in. Easy driving vehicle for such a big unit and it tows an average sized boat with no problems. I love the all wheel drive as a safety bonus, the ride is smooth and predictable, my wife even loves this vehicle as her daily driver!"

BILL S., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The third seat offers flexibility for transporting additional occupants"

WILLIAM P., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"comfort and sight lines"

Anonymous, MB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The heated leather seats are comfortable for me to drive with a bad back. It is a comfortable vehicle to drive or ride in for extended trips or just around town."

JAMES H., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"too long to clear outside windows due to temp change between inside and outside"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Best SUV for the price for anyone looking for a comfortable SUV VS the more expensive SUV's"

T G., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Good car iverall"

JAMES H., WI (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The acceleration, air conditioning, roominess are excellent. However, the driver and passenger seats are poorly configured, too short for adequate thigh support to the knee."

G A., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"No option in the Limited for second row bench seat. I can't take 4 of my friends while they have smaller cars that can take 5 adults. I like my limitied but hate that I can only take 3 other adults in my car."

KITTY C., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"low ceiling to get in and out"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The interior construction, door side panels and dash, are made with poor quality plastic that easily breaks and squeaks. The interior fans have gotten noisy. The overall noise factor has greatly increased over the past years."

HAL S., AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Extremely smooth ride for an SUV, quiet, and after 115,000 there are still no squeaks or rattles."

JEFFREY B., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The driver seat has lumbar adjustment which is great. The climate controls on the dash are easy to reach and easy to adjust. There is very little road noise while driving the Highlander. The ride is very smooth. I live in the snow country and the all wheel drive is a must."

LARRY D., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Uncomfortable seats, cheap fabric on seats"

Anonymous, CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The seats are comfortable for driver and passenger with back problems, can travel in comfort for trips in the seats using the seat heaters and lumbar. Very comfortable and ergonomic."

James H., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"seats are comfortable for long trips. good acceleration, roomy interior, some road noise but acceptable"

Anonymous, AK (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Wide, comfortable seats but without any lateral support. Ride and noise levels are good, but not as good as my Audi Q5. Steering is overly boosted, numb, and does not provoke any "sport" in SUV. A competent cruiser, it's no fun going through the mountains."

Seth E., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Soft ride, great V-6 for passing. Nice up grade from family van."

Steven M., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Comfort is very good in 1st 2 rows, comfortable soft leather. 3rd row is a little cramped but works just fine for a few hours."

Jeffrey F., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It's ok"

Charles B., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"In general good. But wish the front and middle passenger side seats would fold down flatter to haul cargo; also wish the space behind the very back seat was just 8 to 10 inches longer to accommodate groceries and suitcases while the back seat is being utilized."

Anonymous, UT (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Nice ride and good feel for the road when driving. Road noise is more noticeable."

Dave C., KS (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The comfort of the front seats, especially the driver's seat, is not as good as other Toyotas and other brand vehicles."

Anonymous, MN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very comfortable ride and feels quality and brand new still"

Richard Z., AB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very smooth and quiet ride. Leg room for those in the back seat is very spacious."

Bill D., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"For an SUV it has a very comfortable ride. We have taken on relatively long trips and were satisfied with the ride and comfort."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"As a 2009, the seats don't have memory settings; however, they are comfortable and easy to move."

Anonymous, PA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It is comfortable to sit in, but it rides pretty rough. I wish it had a smoother ride."

Rita E., KS (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Seats adjust easily. Ride very smooth. Interior is very quiet."

William C., NY (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The highlander fits my family but as my family is growing it feels like it is getting smaller. I love that we have the option of the 3rd row but it is very difficult to get to. The ride is quiet and it is comfortable."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"This vehicle is the quietest and smoothest riding vehicle that I have ever owned."

Anonymous, WI (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"very conformable seating and ride"

Ron C., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Plush, quiet, ride is floaty but not mushy, perfect for long trips. Handling is a cross between a sport truck and a Lincoln."

Arthur R., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The seats are very uncomfortable"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"This car now has 150K miles, still rides and handles very well. The new Michelin tires made a big improvement. This car gets regular maintenance and is kept garaged. This is my 3rd Highlander. Looking forward to newer electronics in my next one."

Tom S., OK (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"BOTH front seats should be electric and adjustable with cloth seats."

Anonymous, SD (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Generally the seats are very comfortable and the noise level is low."

Anonymous, CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Though noise level is not at luxury car level, it is lower than most other similar SUVs, Vans, and wagons I have driven, seats are comfortable enough for a 12+ hours trip, without the need to visit a chiropractor. The ride is very composed, as good or better than BMW X3, X5, both I have driven extensively. Cabin noise level is very good even on rough pavement, and excellent on smooth pavement. Seats could you a little more side bolstered support, and adjustable height lumbar support."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very comfortable traveling car"

William G., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Seating is very comfortable. Vehicle noise level is somewhat high when highway driving."

Anonymous, ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Noise and ride of this vehicle is good. New tires purchased in December 2017 (Michelin Defender) quieted the road noise somewhat. After 9 years of ownership and 143,000 miles the front seats cushioning has become soft and not as comfortable as it once was."

Paul G., PA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Quiet comfortable"

John H., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It has a comfortable cabin with good noise suppression and handling. It also has a nice big back window which is a good safety feature."

Kevin B., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very comfortable seats, noise and ride"

David A., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very good for a vehicle of this vintage. We use it a a second car at our vacation home in Mexico. Toyota Dealer service is excellent and cheaper than NA."

Austin T., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The seats are just not comfortable in particular for long trips no matter what adjustments are made."

Anonymous, MI (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Very comfortable front seat experiences"

Gary K., NY (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Road noise is a little higher than I expected, but depends on road surface - no noise on asphalt; plenty of noise on concrete. Driver's seat comfort is superb."

Anonymous, WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Despite all the available adjustments, I often feel some pain under my shoulders after more than an hour at the wheel."

Anonymous, IA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Altho I prefer cloth seats, the heated leather seats in our 2007 Highlander is exceptionally comfortable in both summer & and winter."

Kathy E., IN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The Highlander is the best and most comfortable SUV I have had. Only wish was that it had a lumbar support in the front passenger seat."

Anne-Tim O., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Large car drives and rides very well, like a car, not a truck"

William R., CO (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"I wish I could adjust the head rest so that it wasn't forcing my head forward as much as it does. I'm used to it, but it took awhile to adjust to the feeling. I also wish I could put the lumbar support out more than I can."

Anonymous, DE (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Wonderful vehicle all around...only problem is electric switches finally failing"

Randolph T., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"very comfortable and quiet car to drive for long distances"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"This vehicle is a great value for the money and has held its value. It handles well and has great acceleration for a 4 cylinder. The MPG is good for a SUV this size. Could not be happier and we plan to keep this vehicle for a long time."

Anonymous, SC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"As per the blue book the highlander depreciated only $1500 per year since I bought it in 2012."

JOHN H., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It fits my needs perfectly, gets very good fuel economy - considering the size and AWD, it handles great for a big SUV and it doesn't break down. What more can you ask of a vehicle, it is reliable, easy to drive, tows and hauls a whole lot of stuff and it's comfortable, it ticks all the boxes!"

BILL S., FL (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It is an exceptional vehicle"

PAUL B., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Low cost maintenance. Quality vehicle"

VIRGINIA S., IA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"very good value when the car was bought. Got more car for the price than I thought I would have at the time. Good gas mileage, comfortable seating, easy to use controls - knobs and not touch screens."

DAVE C., KS (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"All Good"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"It doesn't look the best, but it does what I ask of it in a consistent and reliable fashion."

DANIEL G., MB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Reliability is very high. Aside from a motor for the drivers side window failing, I have not had one mechanical or electrical problem with this vehicle in nearly 7 years."

EARL D., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Better than a minivan"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The value was good, as the price of a new 2009 was less than used 2008's we looked at."

Anonymous, MN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Costs slightly more but the reliability more than makes up for the difference plus thousands"

Daniel G., MB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The Highlander is one of the best vehicles we have ever owned. It is comfortable, dependable, and fun to drive. We have not had one problem with it and it is still going strong at 120,000 miles."

Rodney B., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Extremely reliable,plenty of room for passengers and cargo, comfortable, handles well"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Although somewhat minor, the leaks, and other issues spread out over the 8 year ownership equates to inconvenience for drop off and pick up at dealer for service."

Anonymous, AK (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Wanted for use both on and off road. Dealer said definitely - turns out to low to ground for this and manual says don't do it/ Also, does not have adequate rust protection in seaside environment. Underside has significant rust and brake shields are essentially gone. Consider this to be unacceptable quality for the price we paid. Dealer attitude is its normal wear and tear. Good bye toyota on next car."

Charles B., NC (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"price and reliability are excellent for the price. No plan to replace yet"

Anonymous, AZ (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"This vehicle is not pretty but is as reliable as possible. I am not interested in a vehicle that needs allot of maintenance, and this vehicle does not. Even with over 300,000 km I am not worried about breakdowns."

Daniel G., MB (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"For a 9 year old SUV, still runs, handles, transports comfortably very well. Very reliable vehicle - would buy another one."

Anonymous, VT (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Good value"

Anonymous, MD (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"In 110000 miles only needed to buy tires, battery and replace (DIY) brake pads. Not bad for a LIMITED."

Karen-Ronald P., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The price paid was very reasonable. The quality of the car is outstanding. Therefore the value of the price paid was very good."

Anonymous, GA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Highlander has had extremely low maintenance and get good gas mileage."

Andrew F., MD (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Reliability has been excellent. We did not need to replace the brakes until the Highlander had 92,000 miles. Gas mileage has has been very good. Comfort and ride is very good. Overall we have been very pleased with the value for the money for this vehicle."

M M., GA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"I feel that the value is great. We have never had an issue with the car and it has been a fantastic vehicle for our family."

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"I bought this vehicle August 31, 2009. End of month and season sale priced discounts made this purchase a very good value."

Paul G., PA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Reliability, versatility, cargo space, towing capacity"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Expect a good combination of features, comfort, and performance, and outstanding reliability."

R S., MD (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Paid about $43,000 for the vehicle in 2009. Met all maintenance requirements at a Toyota dealership. The vehicle has always performed all tasks without difficulty. I have had no breakdowns, except one battery failure. Consistent mileage at 21 overall mpg -- close to 25 mpg on the highway. Vehicle still looks new. Wonderful blue color. The leather seats have only minor wear spots."

Marvin F., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Phenomenal gas mileage, great handling and ride and vehicle styling still looks like a new vehicle. More than enough power to haul heavy loads in the cargo space or passengers & luggage. FYI, I have never used the "third" row, so can't comment on that aspect, but LOVE this vehicle1"

Linda H., VA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"this car has been a real workhorse, very flexible. It has literally been a kid hauler and a rock hauler."

Ron C., TX (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"No problems other than routine maintenance and repairs due to normal wear that Toyota didn't notice and fix under warranty. They even fixed the power tailgate after 8 years and 130,000 kms. They noticed the engineering flaw, notified the customer, and repaired it free of charge!"

Arthur R., ON (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Highly reliable. Other than oil, battery and brakes there is no maintenance costs."

George S., MI (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"With almost 90,000 miles, I have never had a repair or had to add oil. I maintain it well."

Anonymous, ME (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"good car value, a camrey in a highlander body"

George Y., WA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"Great deal,car is 2008"

Anonymous, TN (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"At the time of the purchase any car seems too expensive. And that was surely the case with this truck. However, over time I really began to appreciate the the comfort and reliability the Highlander continues to provide. Styling and technology may have changed but for what I wanted in a truck at the time, the Highlander continues to provide."

Kevin H., IL (2009 Toyota Highlander)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"It has curb appeal & stands out. The pearlized colour is very appealing"

Anonymous, PE (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"The Toyota Highlander is a sleek four door Sport Utility vehicle with a hatchback for loading larger items. It is great."

LARRY D., CA (2009 Toyota Highlander)

"meets all my needs"

Anonymous, AL (2009 Toyota Highlander)
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