2020 Toyota Highlander Reliability - Consumer Reports
The redesigned, fourth-generation Highlander looks, feels, and drives in a very familiar way. It benefits from incremental improvements across the board and remains competitive in the three-row midsize SUV class. All told, it’s a smart choice for families looking for a do-it-all vehicle—but it is not a standout. The smooth running, lively V6 engine serves up lots of power for passing or climbing hills.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

We expect the 2022 Highlander will be much more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2020 Toyota Highlander has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2020 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

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"If smartphone is hooked up and a call comes in the radio station song playing gets stuck and starts skipping like a old scratch record"

Anonymous, SC (2020 Toyota Highlander Limited 3.5-L V6)
Software update fixes

"My car stalled while in motion, driving down the street! Cut completely off! date: 4/28/2020. I am aware that there is a recall on this vehicle to correct the software. Being this happened today, I have an appointment tomorrow to get it fixed."

Anonymous, SC (2020 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

Wind noise

"above 45 mph the faster you go the worse it gets"

Anonymous, FL (2020 Toyota Highlander XLE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Recall because of automatic start/stop malfunctioning"

Anonymous, TX (2020 Toyota Highlander Unsure 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

"Windshield trim molding detached on second day of ownership."

Anonymous, (2020 Toyota Highlander XLE 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.

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.

Engine Major

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

Transmission Minor

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

Exhaust

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Drive System

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

Climate System

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

Compare 2020 Models

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Toyota Highlander
This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS, SEATS
Oct 14, 2020
Improper deployment of the seat-mounted side air bag increases the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2020 Highlander and Highlander hybrid vehicles. Incorrect seat trim covers on one or both of the front seats can prevent the seat-mounted side air bag from deploying properly.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the front seats and replace the seat trim covers as necessary, free of charge. The recall began December 11, 2020. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is 20TB14 / 20TA14.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V633000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3121
ENGINE, FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE
Mar 19, 2020
Improper fuel supply programming can result in a vehicle stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2020 Highlander vehicles equipped with a 3.5 L, V6 (2GR-FKS) gasoline engine. Due to an Engine Control Unit (ECU) programming error, fuel may not be correctly supplied to the engine while using the stop and restart feature.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the ECU, free of charge. The recall began May 15, 2020. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is 20TA06.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 20V162000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 38810
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