Trucks & SUVs

The 2015 Toyota Highlander Comes Highly Recommended By Consumer Reports

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the Toyota Highlander is that it’s a respectable choice to buy new or used. If you’re looking for an especially good deal, you will want to consider the 2015 Highlander. While it isn’t perfect, the 2015 Highlander comes highly recommended by Consumer Reports.

The 2015 Highlander has proved to be reliable 

Toyota Highlanders parked on a car dealership lot
Toyota Highlanders at a car dealership | David McNew/Getty Images

Five years later and Consumer Reports still recommends the 2015 Highlander. When it was new, CR praised this Highlander for being “easy to live with” and for its accommodating car cabin. The Highlander’s excellent reliability ratings are also a highlight on the model.

CR gave the 2015 Highlander a five out of five for predicted reliability. This ranking is based on the organization’s evaluations across 17 potential trouble spots. The Highlander scored high in critical areas, including its engine major, transmission, and drive system. 

Overall, the 2015 Highlander has proven to be reliable, and it’s affordable to own. That said, it’s important to note that the NHTSA recalled this model twice. Once for its steering system and a second time for its windshield. Before you buy a 2015 Highlander, make sure that your auto dealer properly addressed these recalls. 

Driving the 2015 Highlander 

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Base Highlander models feature a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that creates 185-horsepower. This engine offers satisfying power, and the standard six-speed automatic provides smooth shifts. For a more refined experience, CR recommends models equipped with the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V6. No matter which engine you choose, the Highlander is a cool, confident ride. 

CR’s survey data found that owners are most satisfied with the Highlander’s driving experience. Many appreciate the SUV for its quick acceleration and helpful safety systems. Owners also like the Highlander’s “car-like” handling. 

On the flipside, reviews on the Highlander’s interior is mixed. CR notes that this Toyota’s cabin is handsome-looking, but some of its finishings are cheap. Also, some buyers found the Highlander seats as too firm. But despite this criticism, owners are largely satisfied with their SUV’s comfort levels. Depending on the configuration you pick, the Highlander seats up to seven or eight passengers.

The best version to get 

A woman posing in front of her Toyota Highlander
A woman excited about her Toyota Highlander | Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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Picking the right Highlander for you comes down to what your priorities are. If you want to keep things simple, you’ll probably want to stick with the base model. The base model comes with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity, and a backup camera. 

For a unique blend of frills and value, CR recommends the XLE trim level. This trim has leather seats instead of cloth and adds a moonroof and power tailgate. A navigation system came standard on this model too. 

If you’d like a few more helpful gadgets, shop Limited trim models with blind-spot monitoring or the available forward-collision warning feature. Parents might also favor the XLE and Limited models, which come with Driver Easy Speak. This feature has a Bluetooth microphone that allows the driver to communicate with those on the third-row easily.