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The Expected Mileage Of A Toyota Highlander

How many miles can a Toyota Highlander last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Highlander, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Toyota Highlander lasts between 250.000 – 290.000 miles. A Highlander needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.33 times per year, with an 13% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, Highlander owners spend an average of $489 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a Highlander can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a Highlander costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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How Many Miles Can A Toyota Highlander Last?

We are answering how many miles a Toyota Highlander lasts by considering a significant number of facts and figures, which we have calculated by rigorous research on several different platforms. We looked at thirteen thousand four hundred and ninety-nine Toyota Highlander units and sorted all the data into the following table:

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+6.77%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.0009.66%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99931.35%
Cars With 0 – 44.99952.22%

We aim to see how likely a Toyota Highlander will achieve high mileage. To know for sure, we have calculated the percentages of Toyota Highlanders according to their respective mileage data. The highest mileage seen on the Toyota Highlander was 350k miles – the highest mean.

The important value in this table is the 150k+ miles percentage. According to our research, if a vehicle can show more than 3% above the 150k mile mark, it is considered reliable. Otherwise, it is considered to be a money pit that no one wants to buy. The only exceptions to this data are the newer models, which did not have much time to cross this percentage as of yet.

In the case of Toyota Highlander, we get this value at 6.77%, which is more than the bare minimum of 3%. This 6.77% represents that Toyota Highlander is, in fact, reliable. We have also compared this data to Toyota Highlander’s rivals, which we have given in the next section.

The data further illustrates that most Highlanders on sale have not been driven much.  This data suggests that owners are not keeping this vehicle. To understand why, we will look at the common problems and the maintenance cost, which might give us a clue.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Toyota Highlander Uses (All Generations)

How Reliable Is A Toyota Highlander Compared To Its Competitors?

We might have been stuck with the American gas guzzlers of the past had it not been the competition, which gave us economic and reliable alternatives. Toyota has long been giving fierce competition to its American and German rivals.

The biggest plus to the Japanese manufacturers is the low overall cost paired with reliability. Both Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse are fighting for second place on reliability scales. When we looked at the highest mileage achieved, Ford Explorer did get better results than the Toyota Highlander; however, the sheer bulk achieving higher mileage still belongs to the Toyota Highlander.

We performed similar tests on the competition and retrieved the following data:

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Toyota Highlander134999146.77%350000
Volkswagen Atlas4526130.28%148000
Ford Explorer2490013095.25%360000
Chevrolet Traverse112345825.18%260000

Volkswagen Atlas shows a poor percentage because it has not been in the market long enough. The production started in 2017 and was introduced in the model year 2018. Therefore, not many have been able to achieve higher mileage. After some time, many of them will achieve a higher percentage.

When we look at the other two competitors, it becomes clear that Toyota Highlander is the best among its competition. It is to be noted that most people would want to sell their Ford Explorer, whereas the Chevrolet Traverse owners are not selling as much.

The only problem in the Traverse is the transmission issue, which happened due to a manufacturing defect. The reliability rating might have been better for the Chevy Traverse only if the transmission problem did not occur. 

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Reliable Is A Toyota Highlander Compared To Other Toyotas?

After winning the reliability award among the competition, it is now time to raise the stakes even higher and put it against its brethren. We will now perform the same procedure with many Toyota lineups and see how well the Toyota Highlander performs. The data from all those calculations are given in the table below:

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Toyota Highlander134999146.77%350000
Toyota Avalon27632649.55%360000
Toyota Camry1850315338.28%349000
 Toyota Yaris99210110.18%260000
Toyota Rav417,0277274.2%300000
Toyota Sequoia173549828.70%370000
Toyota Sienna61661953.16%296000

Even though the Highlander showed a very good highest mileage and put up a good fight in that section, other Toyotas have performed much better overall. The most reliable Toyota turns out to be the Toyota Sequoia as it has achieved the highest percentage in bulk – most of the Sequoias are now at great milages, and finding those with fewer miles could be an ordeal.

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

To encompass a vehicle in the reliability chart, we must first know how much it would cost for maintenance and repairs. A reliable vehicle would have lower running costs than a non-reliable vehicle. The idea is; any vehicle can last hundreds of thousands of miles if the repairs are taken care of, no matter how unreliable the vehicle is.


In the case of the Toyota Highlander, we looked over a wide range of model years and their respective maintenance cost. The data is given in the table below:

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost
2021$489
2020$489
2019$599
2018$419
2017$462
2016$489
2015$489
2014$454

Similar to other Toyotas, Highlander’s annual maintenance cost is much lower than the competitors, costing about $700 on average. But in the case of Highlander, the yearly maintenance cost is only about $500. The only year with a much higher maintenance cost is 2019.

We have a section dedicated to common problems that lead to higher maintenance costs. When you are shopping in the used market, make sure to check for any common issues because these common problems will cost you on top of the buying price.

Toyota Highlander Common Problems

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

If you’re interested to know more about the problems of a Highlander, read this article we wrote earlier: 6 Common Problems Of A Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Audio system settings reset

Toyota sound system decks are outfitted with an anti-theft highlight requiring the client to enter a code to reset the gadget after disconnected power. This implies that you should enter the code before working the sound system after any fixes or substituting the Toyota’s battery.

Turn the start on; however, leave the motor off. You want to give capacity to the sound system to reset the code. Press the “Source” button at the upper pass on the corner of the Toyota’s sound system to turn on the unit.

Press the principal preset button while likewise squeezing the “Up” bolt button. The principal preset button is named “1,” and the “Up” bolt is to one side of the sound system’s showcase window. Discharge the two fastens once runs show up on the showcase, provoking you to enter the code.

Press the preset button relating to the primary digit of the Toyota’s sound system code. Press the “Right” bolt button after the right digit is shown. Rehash until each of the digits has been entered.

Press the “Right” bolt to enter the code. The sound system turns on if the code is correct. If not, the runs return, and you should begin once again.

Engine failure

Toyota reviewed 44,000 vehicles from 2019-2020 with a 2.5-liter inline-four motor. The review includes the likelihood that breaks could form in the motor, prompting coolant or oil leaks and slowing down, overheating, or motor flames.

Toyota estimates around 250 vehicles will have the issue. Sellers will check vehicles on the review rundown to check whether they are impacted and provide that, if true, will replace the engine. When owners carry their vehicles to a seller, the vendor will prevent the engine’s serial number from deciding if it lies in the list of years of recall.

If your engine does not get repaired or replaced under the recall, then keep in mind to pay somewhere between $1,200 and $3,500 for a new engine.

Uncomfortable seats

Toyota vehicle seats are awkward because they are fundamentally intended to ensure security rather than traveler solace. Continuing to make costs low is also a key justification for why Toyota vehicle seats are not as extravagant as you may trust.

Following are the key variables which are remembered in making seats of Toyota highlander:

  • Less expensive
  • More Safer
  • More Space

The situation of the directing wheel decides your body pose while driving. Your stance is significant to your general solace, as you most likely know. Thinking about this, you should begin by changing the guiding wheel to make it more open and simple to reach.

Assuming the guide is in the right position, you don’t need to move from your usual comfort range.

Also read: Toyota Highlander Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Is a Toyota Highlander A Smart Buy?

The Toyota Highlander can be a little tricky. You get better reliability, which is it. If you are looking for a vehicle that does the job while keeping the cost to the bare minimum, prefer the Highlander to other competitors. But if you are looking for the zest and valor, you might not be satisfied with the Toyota Highlander spirit. In that case, you can go for alternatives like Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.

However, the alternatives do not retain their value as good as the Toyota Highlander, which only depreciates 35% at the end of the first five years of its life span, making it one of the best value for money. An investment in this particular SUV would not be wasted as depreciation.

Reliability is something worth considering. If you are in search of a clean Toyota Highlander, make sure to go for the one with lower miles. Check for any common problems and bargain on the price accordingly. Make sure not to go with a salvage title as they can become a money pit if some pesky problem clings to it.

If you want to know which Toyota Highlander years to avoid? We would advise against the 2019 Toyota Highlander. This model year had shown a higher maintenance cost than any other Toyota Highlander on the list. When you are finalizing your purchase, check the service history. It will help you get a clear picture of where this Highlander stands.

Are you in the market for this Toyota? Don’t forget to check out our extensive list of the largest Toyota dealers per state!

Toyota Highlander Maintenance Schedule

When you buy a vehicle, you have to take care of all the maintenance aspects. Numerous things can go wrong if proper maintenance is not carried out. To ensure your vehicle lasts as long as it last, carrying out regular in-time maintenance is a must.

Before/On Every 4,000 Miles

  • Replace engine oil
  • Replace oil filter
  • Clean air intake filter, or replace if necessary
  • Tire rotation
  • Check all the fluid levels
  • Add washer fluid
  • Lubricate all the joints that need lubrication
  • Recalibrate the system

Before/On Every 10,000 Miles

  • Inspect the cabin air filter and replace it if necessary
  • Check the underside for prevailing rust; if there is rust, carry out the rust prevention procedure
  • Check the suspension components
  • Check brakes, brake lines, brake fluid, etc.
  • Inspect the tires and replace them if necessary

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Give your vehicle a thorough clean inside out
  • Apply rust prevention treatment underneath the frame
  • Check for any engine code
  • Wheel balancing if necessary

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Replace transmission fluid
  • Inspect the spark plugs
  • Inspect the PCV system
  • Inspect the exhaust system
  • Check for any fluid leaks
  • Check the refrigerant level
  • Inspect the coolant and replace if necessary

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Inspect all fluid and replace if necessary. It is advised to replace all vehicle fluids at about 100,000 miles.
  • Replace the spark plugs if not replaced before
  • Check the fuel pump and fuel injectors and clean if there are clogged
  • Inspect the ignition coils

Other Maintenance Tips

  • Keep your SUV clean; it will help keep it protected against rust
  • Make sure to keep the joints healthy by periodical lubrication the ones that need lubrication
  • Try to park your vehicle under a shade; it helps prevent those dashboard cracks
  • Replace the engine oil promptly; you can never be too early on your engine oil replacement.