Critics and Buyers Disagree About the 2015 Toyota Highlander

Is getting a used Toyota Highlander a gamble? It could be for some models. The 2015 Toyota Highlander, for example, has excellent ratings from critics, but it also has the most complaints from actual owners. So, let’s get to the bottom of it. 

Is the 2015 Toyota Highlander a good SUV? 

According to Consumer Reports, the 2015 Toyota Highlander is a great SUV. They gave it a score of five out of five for predicted reliability. That means based on surveys provided to thousands of vehicle owners that includes 17 potential trouble spots, not many issues were reported. 

The 2015 Highlander did have two recalls. One was from the electrical system that could cause the engine to stall, increasing the risk of an accident. The other recall was for the electric steering power steering system due to having an unexpected loss of power.

But these recalls were from 2015 and 2018, so they should have been addressed already. You can also enter your Vehicle Identification Number here to see if your vehicle is at risk. 

Reviewers gave the 2015 Toyota Highlander positive ratings for having a peppy acceleration, a smooth ride, having excellent tech, being safe, and more.

But according to The Car Connection, the negatives include a lackluster interior design, busy dash, and lackluster base engine. The base engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 hp. So, consider finding a model with the 270-hp V6 engine instead. 

Is the 2015 Highlander reliable? 

The 2015 Highlander does have excellent reliability ratings, but a few drivers faced a few problems with their SUVs. According to Car Complaints, the 2015 model year has more problems reported than any other option. 

Actual owners of the Toyota Highlander report the issues that occurred with their models, and the 2015 model accrued 75 complaints. The most common issue includes interior accessory problems

2020 Toyota Highlander in a park
2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

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Some drivers reported that the seats were extremely uncomfortable and seemed worn as early as 3,000 miles. Other drivers struggled with their radio and navigation screen freezing and randomly rebooting. 

Plus, the 2015 Toyota Highlander had intermittent buzzing noises, audio system issues, a detached dashboard, air conditioning, and heater problems, seat belt problems, transmission slippage, and more. But perhaps the recalls helped to correct a few of these issues. 

So, is the 2015 Highlander worth buying? 

If you can find a good deal, yes. The recall may have fixed the most common issues for the electrical system. Plus, reports of significant problems are relatively low. Only four drivers reported transmission problems, and they were reported very early on, but occurring 2,000 miles. 

2020 Toyota Highlander driving down city street
2020 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Steering problems and engine speed control issues were reported by the NHTSA, but there was a recall for the power steering. It may have corrected the issues. Other than that, a few drivers reported that their Highlander lost power or randomly surged forward.

We recommend looking up the history of your 2015 Toyota Highlander before buying it, but other than that, it doesn’t need to be avoided. According to Repair Pal, the Toyota Highlander should last until 300,000 miles, thanks to its above-average reliability rating. Plus, it retains its value, so if you aren’t happy with it, you should be able to resell it.