The Toyota Highlander has been a popular SUV choice for years. It offers all the essentials, including generous interior space, efficiency, and plentiful technology. And because it’s a Toyota, the Highlander is unsurprisingly one of the most reliable SUVs.
And the more reliable a car, the less you’ll have to spend on repairs each year. Many factors determine a car’s dependability, including the condition of parts, your driving habits, and maintenance. A Toyota Highlander can last well over 200,000 miles, Motor and Wheels reports.
The near-indestructible Toyota Highlander
Stats have shown the Toyota Highlander can run up to 300,000 miles, or about 20 years. That’s a long time to keep any car, but Highlander drivers seem to be satisfied with their purchase. According to iSeeCars, 12.4 percent of Highlander owners keep their cars for over 15 years, double the average SUV’s span.
That percentage was even higher in cities like Jacksonville, Florida, up to 17 percent. Additionally, 300,000 miles is a longer lifespan than most other SUVs. Rivals such as the Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer typically last up to 250,000 miles.
Consumer Reports also stands behind the Toyota Highlander’s exceptional dependability. The Highlander has had a perfect or near-perfect overall reliability rating since 2001. Owners have reported some problems with their Highlanders over the years, but most are fixed without issue. In many cases, such as recalls, Toyota also reimbursed owners for repair costs.
Highlanders typically don’t prompt many complaints, but some model years are worse than others. The 2003 model is widely considered the worst because of its faulty brakes and engine block bolts. The 2015 Highlander also isn’t a consumer favorite due to its uncomfortable seats.
What you can expect to spend on Toyota Highlander repairs
Although the Toyota Highlander is built to last, most components will need to be fixed eventually. RepairPal says you could pay an average of $489 in repairs. Rust is usually the first thing that needs addressing, typically after three to six years.
However, depending on the weather in your area, you might see corrosion sooner. The rust usually forms around the Highlander’s doors, tailgate, and exterior handles.
The brake rotors and pads reportedly last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles. YourMechanic says that brake pads cost a minimum of $140 to fix and that brake rotors replacements are pricier at $280. If you frequently brake from higher speeds, you’ll see faster wear on these components.
The Toyota Highlander’s tires can last up to 60,000 miles in the right conditions. Regular tires cost up to $300 apiece, while performance versions can cost $500 each. The spark plugs should be replaced every 100,000 miles. The Highlander’s transmission usually lasts the longest, up to 200,000 miles, and costs $3,500 on average to replace.
Keeping your car in good shape
Few cars, even the Toyota Highlander, will live up to their estimated lifespan in bad drivers’ hands. Practicing safe driving will reduce the wear on your car’s brakes and tires. Besides taking your car for regular oil changes, you should also change or flush the transmission fluid.
Don’t ignore potential issues, such as strange noises or leaking fluids. You should also frequently clean the inside of your car and take it through a car wash when needed. Clean cars retain their value better than dirty ones, and dirty windows are a potential safety hazard.