1st Generation (2001—2007) Highlander Problems

Highlander owners with a 2001—2007 model year have the most problems with the engine (46%), hvac (10%), and the transmission (5%). We've listed some of the most recent complaints below. The full list is available on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Threads for Engine Bolts Stripped 30 complaints at an average of 123,445 miles in the 2003 Toyota Highlander.
  2. Engine Failure 15 complaints at an average of 118,121 miles in the 2002 Toyota Highlander.
  3. Excessive Oil Usage 7 complaints at an average of 81,743 miles in the 2002 Toyota Highlander.

What Highlander Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Toyota model years.

Watch out for the 2003 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
2007 9 4 106 3.28
2006 17 7 115 9.03
2005 34 6 104 13.93
2004 29 5 119 17.07
2003 59 2 74 23.74
2002 38 2 81 21.72
2001 16 3 98 7.62

Watch out for these common problems

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