Consumer Reports: 2016 Toyota Highlander Is a Fuel-Efficient Pick

The 2016 Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV with a fuel-efficient Hybrid option to entice you further. What makes this Toyota SUV a good choice for a used vehicle? The safety score and standard safety features help.

Toyota’s 2016 Highlander has a few recalls, so be sure to read through those to ensure your used vehicle has been properly repaired if needed.

The 2016 Toyota Highlander is a reliable used SUV

A Toyota Highlander SUV
The 2016 Toyota Highlander SUV is still a fuel-efficient pick, according to Consumer Reports | John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumer Reports crafted a list of fuel-efficient SUVs with three rows, and CR included the 2016 Toyota Highlander twice. Once for the regular version, and once for the hybrid. While three-row SUVs might not be the usual vehicle for fuel efficiency, this SUV is different.

Consumer Reports gave the Highlander a reliability score of five out of five and a four out of five for owner satisfaction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated the Highlander “good” in all three categories.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the frontal-crash passenger side five stars. The driver side received a score of four stars.

According to some of the owner-reported issues, some owners had trouble with the in-car electronics. This includes things like CD players, radio, speakers, GPS and other similar systems.

Some owners also reported issues with the brakes and brake calipers, but it was nothing that could not be fixed.

The Toyota Highlander has a hybrid option

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The Hybrid Toyota Highlander was first on the Consumer Reports list. It gets an owner-reported 21 miles per gallon combined. If we ask Toyota, that number is a bit higher, with 25 miles per gallon overall. For such a large SUV, that really is quite good. The hybrid option has a 3.5L V6 that gets 280 hp.

The non-hybrid version of the Highlander has a similar owner-reported 20 miles per gallon. With a 3.5L V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission, the non-hybrid option works just as well. This option gets 270 horsepower. There is also the option of a 2.7L that gets 185 hp.

With a variety of engines and trims to choose from, the Highlander is a versatile large vehicle.

2016 Toyota recall notices

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The 2016 Highlander currently has three recalls open. The first recall is about the windshield. Fujian Wanda Automobile Glass Industry (Wanda) recalled certain replacement windshields used in Highlander vehicles that could leak.

If the windshield leaks, the Engine Control Module might get damaged by the water. Wanda will notify owners and replace the windshield should it need replacing.

In addition to the windshield, Toyota noted that certain vehicles produced between May 26, 2016, and September 16, 2016, might have an issue with the brake system.

If the brake fluid level sensor is not connected to the wire harness, it might not detect the proper brake fluid level. The dealership could fix and connect the wire properly, free of charge.

Finally, an incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label might not correctly reflect the added weight on accessories installed on the SUV. Toyota offered to replace the label with a corrected label for a quick and easy fix.