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View Full Version : The last word in heresy - Highlander


SteveH
04-17-2008, 05:02 PM
As a long term plan to replace the '95 FZJ80, I'm considering a Highlander. It seems 99% of them have the V6, with the attendant marginal gas mileage. Does anyone have a 2wd or AWD 4 cyl. Highlander, or comments in general about them (v6 or otherwise)? The 4 cyl may be gutless at our elevation, but I'm buying it for mileage, not power.

Before you jump me, our FZJ is a mommy-mobile, and as such, it's replacement needs an auto tranny (grrr), some ground clearance, AWD, and an upright driving position. This rules out Subarus and smaller stuff. I have a '98 4Runner, 5 speed with diff lock, an FJ40 and an FJ45, so I'm not selling my only tow vehicle or competent offroad truck.

Does anyone on this forum have a Highlander? Thoughts?

Thanks - Steve

Corbet
04-17-2008, 05:29 PM
I don't currently have one but I'm trying to talk the :Princess: into one to replace her Subie when the time comes. So I also will follow this tread.

cbmontgo
04-17-2008, 06:39 PM
I rented one on a recent trip to Denver. I will tell you this: it was impressive. It seems like it is bigger and looks beefier than the old body style Highlander, and it drove great. Like it or not, it looks very similar to the new Land Cruiser and it is sometimes hard to tell them apart from the distance (other than the size).

It's probably at least worth looking at, since it is half the cost of the LC and probably gets twice the gas mileage.

wesintl
04-17-2008, 08:06 PM
Ben and Bill probably know the most about them. Inlaws have one and it's nice so I can't speak to daily use. I like the Honda Pilot too as a wife/kid mobile.

MDH33
04-17-2008, 08:15 PM
For gas-mileage, it also comes in a hybrid. AND it's toyota, so you can't go wrong.

nakman
04-17-2008, 08:54 PM
We have (ok, my boss has) a Highlander Hybrid as a company vehicle. It is nice inside, fast as hell, but does not get good mileage.. the hybridness is for low emissions and performance, not MPG. Figure 22-24mpg, on average.

If I was in that market I'd also be looking at used RX330's, which are about the same thing with many more creature comforts. The RX300's are a 3.0L and they are slower get worse mileage, the 330's are a 3.3 and they perform a little better, about on par with the highlander mid-20's.. but you get a pimpin' Lexus, for maybe even less money.

farnhamstj
04-17-2008, 09:12 PM
I drive a highlander Hybrid for work sometimes. I am surprised how fast it is and how quiet. I'd buy one if I were never going to take it off the pavement.

subzali
04-17-2008, 09:14 PM
I wouldn't worry about 4 cyl - you just learn how to drive it if/when you ever have to go to the mountains. I have a '91 4cyl that I've driven for the last 7 years, no worries - it gets! :thumb:

Three Wheel Ben
04-17-2008, 09:17 PM
We have (ok, my boss has) a Highlander Hybrid as a company vehicle. It is nice inside, fast as hell, but does not get good mileage.. the hybridness is for low emissions and performance, not MPG. Figure 22-24mpg, on average.

If I was in that market I'd also be looking at used RX330's, which are about the same thing with many more creature comforts. The RX300's are a 3.0L and they are slower get worse mileage, the 330's are a 3.3 and they perform a little better, about on par with the highlander mid-20's.. but you get a pimpin' Lexus, for maybe even less money.

My :twocents:, but I'm biased:D

Highlander and RX are very similar. Look at em both and figure out which one you like better. Powertrains are identical.

X2 with nakman, don't get a hybrid model thinking you're getting a prius cause your not. 25 city and 27 hwy. Gas model is 18 city, 25 hwy. Not much difference. I've got a hybrid coming for the summer, the new ones are really nice. My only complaint is they don't have a lot of character, but nothing in there class does. Great with kids.

hth

MDH33
04-17-2008, 09:40 PM
Figure 22-24mpg, on average.



that's smokin' good mileage compared to my 60. :hill:

Nay
04-18-2008, 08:00 AM
For a mommy-mobile, why not an AWD Sienna? They meet all of your criteria, and you get monster creature comfort and twice the room for the same spend.

If you have kids under 10, you cannot beat a minivan. The days of a minivan costing you your set as a man are way over ;)

Having said that, I like the new Highlander. I'd hate to drive an 80 around all day long if I could drive a Highlander for sure. And 25 mpg around town for the hybrid is double what an 80 will deliver on a good day. 18-25 for gas is the same as the Sienna (expect 23 for either IMO).

SteveH
04-18-2008, 08:42 AM
Thanks for all the discussion - much great input. I should state that I would likely get a used Highlander, and the 4 cyl is no longer available anyway - so if you want a 4, you have to go used. I have read also that the hybrids are more about power than mileage, and I'm not a hybrid guy at this point.

My pain with most mid-sized SUV-things is that you give up the towing capacity and room and sometimes get just a few more MPG out of the deal. If it comes to that, I'll keep the '80 and just put gas in it. I'd love to skip the AWD, but our driveway is killer.
An AWD Sienna is a possibility - but generally those have distressingly little ground clearance. I should examine those again for price/performance.

Steve

RockRunner
04-18-2008, 08:55 AM
We are looking to buy one for my mom, V6 limited. We drove several of them and I really like them, smooth and quiet. We looked at the 4 cylinder but decided against it, mom is not the best driver and sometimes needs the power to merge. The AWD is nice for her since she won't have to mess with buttons etc. to get it into 4x4.

We are looking for used, a 2007 or even 08 now. From everything I have read and researched on the net they seem to be very nice and dependable vehicles, it is a Toyota after all ;-)

Good luck on your search !

FJBen
04-18-2008, 08:58 AM
We had a Sienna for a short amount of times 2months? and I hated every second of it. Hate how it rode, they way you sit everything the looks were awful and it wasn't comfortable for me to sit in (seat room, I'm 6'4" ~6'5" with shoes) We only got 20mpg usually, and on trips we've got 17 in the wifes cruiser. :eek: I hated the road feel in it to...just like a car...


Was is easier to get kids in and out, sure...would my wife get another? probably until is snows bad again :lmao:

SteveH
04-18-2008, 01:11 PM
There are seemingly dozens of '07 Highlanders on the Denver Craiglist right now.

FJ Ben's comments on the Sienna (thanks!) are why I'm not in a hurry to 'upgrade'. Unless the replacement vehicle gets at least 10mpg better than our '95, it's not really worth it. We get 14.5 in the 'cruiser in all-around driving. Almost 16 on the highway. And it's the devil I know, vs. the one I don't.

farnhamstj
04-20-2008, 08:31 PM
I like the Sienna it's got better clearance than a highlander hybrid. You can buy a lot of gas for the price of a more fuel effecient car.