You're drawn to the Toyota Highlander for its functional, family-friendly nature, frugal gas mileage, consistently good reliability, high resale value, and standard advanced safety features. Those buyers looking for snazzy styling, exhilarating performance, or an engaging driving experience should be forewarned -- these aren't the Highlander's strengths.
Alerts
There are 3 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

You're drawn to the Toyota Highlander for its functional, family-friendly nature, frugal gas mileage, consistently good reliability, high resale value, and standard advanced safety features. Those buyers looking for snazzy styling, exhilarating performance, or an engaging driving experience should be forewarned -- these aren't the Highlander's strengths.

The Highlander is a practical three-row SUV with a manageable footprint and civilized road manners. It's one of the most popular vehicles among Consumer Reports subscribers and it does well in our owner satisfaction survey. 

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 3 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
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2.7-liter 4 (185 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 hybrid (306 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (295 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2019 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

Display screen goes blank

"Radio/GPS display went blank and was replaced by dealership free of charge (under warranty)."

Michael C., TN (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)

"the display was replaced"

Leo T., MO (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The navigation system will not pair with Apple phone. There is no map when paired with Droid phone. Picked a longer route from south Alabama to fort worth than Google maps on phone or computer."

Anonymous, AL (2019 Toyota Highlander LE Plus 3.5-L V6)

"There is no voice navigation prompt while driving due to JBL amplifier issue. Toyota is replacing amp next week under warranty. This also affects phone in that incoming text messages cannot be read as it usually does. There is a workaround. If you push ignition button twice and then start the car everything works as it should. Many owners having this problem, that's how I finally found out what was wrong. I thought I must have missed something when programming, but this is my third Highlander and they have all programmed the same in the voice/audio area."

James G., ME (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Turn by turn voice prompts do not work properly. They only work if I jump thru hoops to get them to work. And the Go Home turn by turn voice prompts never work. Dealer not able to fix the problem."

Gregory M., GA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The GPS map won't have sound for turn by turn."

Anonymous, WA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"i am not getting prompts when trying to input desired destinations as a result i have to keep repeating the addresses, very frustrating"

Andrew L., WI (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Map is the problem for me as well as other feaures."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)

"Out dated maps. Software repeatedly gives poor directions. Often saying to go in the wrong direction. When I go the way I know is better, the software then displays the new way, indicating shorter distance and faster drive time."

Scott V., MI (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Apple phone will not pair with car. Droid phone OK. Steering column display is Distracting and awful compared to the 2015 Highlander. Engine shutoff when car stops is Scary. Instruction manual is not clear."

Anonymous, AL (2019 Toyota Highlander LE Plus 3.5-L V6)

"The Bluetooth always had a echo when in use."

Anonymous, ON (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"You do not have enough space!!!! Using the phone system in the Highlander platinum, is absolutely disgusting and worthless. No one told us about this problem in the vehicle had been on the market for over eight months. The sales rep had no ideal that there was a problem with the toilet platinum phone systems. I am a businessman and I use my phone three or four times each time I'm in the vehicle and I need a hand free phone system that works. See Toyota tech tip T-TT0517-18 more detail about their problem and their ridiculous solution to the problem. Toyota does not care about the consumer needs and is not going to correct this problem. The steering wheel will freeze up several times during the Starting process. Why? Because you cannot get in a hurry or put your foot on the brake until you have pushed the starting button twice. If you put your foot on the brake and hit the start button within the first two push of the start button and phone system will not work properly. Your phone system will not be clear to talk on and will cause lots of echoing and background noise, that is if you get it to work at all. Believe me, the dealership has tried many different things until one of the technicians read this Toyota memo. you cannot get in a hurry to start a Toyota Highlander platinum. Why, they now require three step procedure just to start their car and if you get in a hurry and touched the break with your foot the car will start in the system will be useless. Toyota could correct this by reprogramming or replacement with the system they now have in the 2020 models. But that's not gonna to happen! All they were able to give me was sorry and information under the Toyota tech tip as how to work around this problem. I am in a financial agreement and would be upside down if I tried to make a trade now. Toyota should make a recall on the 2019 Highlander Platinum models and this is the only one that they know of that has this problem. I understand that the 2020 models all came out with new software using Apple and not this cheap, worthless entune program. This entune program is worthless and even when, it does try to work, 9 out 10 times it will take 5 minutes and up to an hour to connect to your system, and it's worthless if you have no phone single. Sometimes it will not connect at all and you had to manually connect it. So no, I would not purchase this car again and given my bad experience with Toyota, I will never purchase another Toyota vehicle. I would send this to someone who counts in the Toyota company, but who? I have talked to Toyota about this and there is nothing they can do about it at this time. They do not see any changes in the future with the 2019 Toyota Highlander platinum's. The road noise is probably the worst I have experience and other similar SUVs. I have tried the Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Nissan SUVs in the similar size of the Highlander, and every one of them are much quieter on the road."

Larry D., OK (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)
Software update fixes

"Saftware glitch. You need to push the start button twice, tap on the brake then push the start button again to get the GPS system to work properly. If you don't do that every time you start the car the GPS will not provide voice prompted directions."

Anonymous, CA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Speakers

"vehicle has premium sound system; however, front speakers on passenger's side do not work. dealer diagnosed problem with a failed amplifier. part has been ordered, but not fixed."

Anonymous, MN (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

"The actual pairing of the Bluetooth and my phone was fine, but the voice control system is not infrequently balky. Most times it's fine, but sometimes it just inexplicably can't understand my repeated prompts or will just shut down. Pretty frustrating."

Anonymous, MA (2019 Toyota Highlander LE Plus 3.5-L V6)

"Limited Platinum edition voice navigation does not initialize without using a work around of pressing the start button twice to put in auxiliary mode before starting car. No fix available from Toyota. if car is started normally the voice system does not work at all which I consider a safety issue as I have to look at maps for direction. if I do the work around then the car talks to me for directions so my eyes remain on the road. Per the internet this is a known problem for the Platinum edition only which Toyota does not want to discuss and has not software update or solution other than the push the start button twice prior to actually starting the car. I have taken the car in for repairs and after insisting on talking to the manager he admitted there is a problem but not solution. I am concerned because the 2020 model will be different and Toyota may not want to fix the current problem. I am very unhappy about this problem."

Anonymous, NV (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"The vehicle is a limited platinum model and the voice commands associated with navigation and hands free does not work and is a known problem. The navigation system works but the turn by turn instructions are not oral."

Stephen L., TX (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"Does not function properly including voice navigation feature; considered a safety hazard if using navigation system and no voice guidance available."

Robert M., WA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"driver easy speak doesn't function reliably"

Andrew L., WI (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"the vehicle was sold to me with a defect that Toyota knew existed and for which a technical advice memo had been issued at least 30 days before the sale. The defect was eventually resolved with the replacement of certain hardware, but the process was difficult. The dealership was not aware of the defect when I complained and made several attempts to to satisfy me by using factory default settings for the device. The problem was eventually resolved after I contacted Toyota directly and made a warranty claim. No recall was ever issued, that I know of."

Anonymous, SC (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 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

Rough shifting

"From 0-45MPH constant noisy, clunky up and down shifts. Per Toyota Service, “normal”. Previously, I had a 2015 Highlander with perfect, quiet transmission. Was so annoying I made dealer take back the car and replaced it with a 2019 Highlander Hybrid. Electric transmission solved the noise, clunk issue."

Anonymous, GA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)

"shifts into high gear too soon prohibiting merging with traffic. Requires pressing the gas pedal hard to downshift to merge with traffic. Needs to be reprogrammed."

Anonymous, VA (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)

"Car jumps from a stop position if you step on the gas more than a little and when engine idling and stops to save gas it jumps back on after a period with enough to make you feel someone has run into the back of you."

Anonymous, NC (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 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

Squeaks or rattles

"Occasionally there's a rattle in the center console"

Michael N., CA (2019 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"Road noise is extremely loud in the 2019 Toyota Highlander Platinum model. In my opinion is the worst SUV among the midsize SUV's failure of road noise and the smooth ride of a luxury vehicle. this vehicle does not take country roads, railroad tracks or other types of rough roads without trying to shake you to death. We paid over $48,000 for a luxury SUV and what consumer report rated number two SUV and we received a piece of junk when it comes to luxury in their communication system. Yes, we did test drive the vehicle and the salesperson did take us down some rough roads, and the highway. But it was after we purchased a vehicle and took it on a out of town road trip with family, we noticed it was so difficult to talk to any one over the road noise. I now can see why they have a system in the Highlander that you could use to transfer the driver's conversation to the back of the vehicle. Obviously, it is needed in the 2019 Toyota Highlander Platinum model to overcome the road noise. For the price you pay for this vehicle, they should have better quality shocks for a smoother ride and insulated to overcome the road noise. We drove a Ford Explorer for seven years and at the end of the seven years, this Ford SUV vehicle had a smoother ride and less road noise than the brand-new 2019 Highlander. I would rate this a negative number of possible, but definitely a zero in this performance."

Larry D., OK (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-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)

"White stain from shipping cover under clear coat, had to be repainted, hood and fender."

Mike V., WA (2019 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

4WD/AWD components

"Check engine light came on with an error message of problem with the AWD system. The engine began to lightly rev and let off. Fortunately, we were within two miles of the dealership. It took four days to get a part and make the repair, which apparently was related to an oil sensor."

Glenn F., KY (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 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

"Car drifted slowly and needed frequent correction to stay in it's lane. Not serious but annoying. It would drift with or against the crown or the grooves in the road. Factory alignment was off."

Lary Z., WA (2019 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

Engine Cooling

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

Exhaust

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

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

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.

Engine Major

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

Engine Minor

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

Climate System

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

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.

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.

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