As used SUV prices continue to rise, turning to a name with proven reliability, like a used Toyota SUV, makes sense. So, if you’re looking for the best used SUV under $8,000, you’ll want to test drive a 2007 Toyota Highlander. So, what makes a used Toyota Highlander better than other options?
The 2007 Toyota Highlander
In Kelley Blue Book’s (KBB) review of the 2007 Toyota Highlander, KBB called the first generation Toyota Highlander “perfect for buyers who usually find themselves in a station wagon” but “prefer the ride height and all-wheel drive traction of an SUV.” The 2007 Highlander delivers on those aspects and more, with an available V6 engine, third-row seating, advanced safety features for its time, and Toyota’s proven reliability.
In 2007, a new fully loaded 2007 Toyota Highlander Limited carried a sticker price approaching $39,000. Fifteen years later, that same Highlander Limited, with about 170,000 miles on the odometer, costs under $8,000 and still has many miles left.
2007 Toyota Highlander options
The base 2007 Highlander features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque delivered through a four-speed automatic transmission to either a front-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) system. The 2.4-liter 2WD Highlander gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. The heavier 4WD version drops to 20 city mpg and 25 highway mpg.
The available 3.3-liter V6 engine provides 215 horsepower and 222 lb-ft of torque with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 3.3-liter V6 improves performance substantially, which is especially helpful when paired with the 4WD drivetrain. Additionally, the 2WD V6 Highlander gets decent fuel economy ratings of 19 city mpg and 25 highway mpg, compared to 18 city mpg and 24 highway mpg for the 4WD version.
Inside the 2007 Toyota Highlander, you’ll find comfortable bucket seats up front that feature “wide bottoms and a good amount of lower lumbar support.” The standard rear seats feature folding center armrests and functional rear-door cupholders for increased comfort on road trips or across town. The second-row seats fold flat for more cargo space and slide forward for easier access to the optional third-row seats. Adding the third row allows seating for seven people. However, the third row may not provide comfortable accommodations for adults.
Every 2007 Toyota Highlander features class-leading safety features, including “traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), front side-impact airbags, side-curtain airbags,” and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Additionally, the first-generation Highlander received a “Good” rating for moderate overlap front crashworthiness from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2007 Toyota Highlander’s features and reliability provide enough value that Kelley Blue Book placed it on its “10 Best Used SUVs Under $8,000” list.
Is a 2007 Highlander worth $8,000?
Given that the price of a new 2007 Toyota Highlander Limited was nearly five times what a used Highlander is 15 years later and that it still has roughly a third of its life left, it seems like a good value for an inexpensive used SUV. The downside is that it is still a 15-year-old car with old technology, so advanced driver assists like automatic emergency braking and entertainment features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available. However, if you need reliable transportation at a reasonable price that likely has a few good years left, it’s hard to find a better choice than the 2007 Toyota Highlander.