Spread Love through Journey

Home » Toyota Highlander years to avoid (A Buyers Guide)

Toyota Highlander years to avoid (A Buyers Guide)

Toyota is one of the most well-known vehicle manufacturers. Over the years, they have created a number of high-performance automobile models. Regarding quality, Toyota Highlander is one of the most durable products. However, numerous upgrades have occurred while presenting a new product in different years. It is critical that we pay close attention to the downsides of each year so that we do not wind up purchasing a subpar model.

According to the research, the Highlander years to avoid are from the model years 2001 to 2005, at any cost. The 2003 model, however, was the poorest overall due to issues with the engine and gun. Additionally, there were problems with the brakes, cooling system, and interior accessories. The biggest issues with the 2001–2002 and 2004–2005 versions were the brake and engine issues, which made them risky cars to drive.

Toyota Highlander Years to Avoid:

Here are the prior recommendations for what year Toyota Highlander to avoid if you’re seeking a vehicle that will last. 





That’s a relatively short list of trouble years for a car that has been in regular production since 2001, in all honesty. Consumers today should avoid those four years because they had the most severe issues. 

Additionally, there was a rocky time between 2010 and 2012, and those model years nearly made this list. Despite the few complaints, the 2010 and 2012 models are less reliable and helpful than the model years before or beyond 2015. 

On the other hand, a 2010 or 2012 Highlander can still be a wise purchase if it’s priced reasonably and has a decent maintenance history. However, research any of the models we’ve already discussed if you are interested.

Common issues with the Toyota Highlander:

In general, Toyota builds high-quality cars, and the Highlander is undoubtedly one of them. The years mentioned above should be avoided at all costs.

Also Read: Chevy Equinox Years To Avoid

  • The main problem addressed was the engine. About 125,000 miles into its journey, the Highlander began to have coolant leaks. It had major engine issues.
  • The front seats are another topic that has received a lot of attention. Despite the Highlander’s capable handling, most drivers claim that the front seats were so uncomfortable that they gave them backaches even on short rides.
  • Wind noise is another issue that drivers frequently voice. This issue becomes more apparent when traveling at a speed greater than 25 mph. After many complaints, the company discovered that the big side mirror caused the noise issue. 
  • The brakes are yet another concern with these vehicle models. After some time, the drivers claimed, the car brakes began to screech. The rotors warped out too quickly, and the brake pads were worn out.

Toyota Highlander: Model Years that Are Best Buys

Naturally, now that we’ve covered the model years to stay away from, it’s time to discuss the most reliable and cost-effective model years. 

All cars risk something going wrong, and parts break in all vehicles, so these models aren’t ideal. However, these cars are frequently reliable, robust, and enjoyable. 

From 2016 on, Highlander models have all been more reliable and have received far fewer issues or complaints overall than earlier models. The 2021 model is excellent so far, but it is fairly recent, so it’s possible that customers need to drive the car farther to experience problems. However, based on Highlanders’ recent performance, we anticipate that the 2021 model will be a strong long-term performer.


  • What common problems do Toyota Highlanders have?

An oil leak caused by a ruptured VVT-i line is the Toyota Highlander issue reported most frequently over the years. The only method to fix this oil leak, which is significant enough to result in a drop in oil pressure, is to replace the line. Toyota is aware of this issue and has created an updated line to address it.

  • What model years are the greatest for used Toyota Highlanders?

The amount you wish to pay will be crucial if you want a used Toyota Highlander. A Highlander from 2010 to 2013 would be the most cost-effective option. These still exist with relatively little mileage, and most of their depreciation has already been absorbed. Although they lack some of the newest technology, they offer a great, dependable engine and gearbox.

Also Read: Yokohama Avid Ascend GT Review


Knowing what kind of performance to anticipate from each model year is crucial to purchase a Toyota Highlander. Although Toyota is a reliable brand and the Highlander is a well-liked and sturdy SUV, only some years were successful for this car.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on Toyota Highlander years to avoid if you’re looking for a new or used vehicle. It also lists the most common problems with those models and how they influence the car. Knowing the best and worst years for Toyota Highlander, you may make an informed choice if you have one from a less desirable year.


Back to top