You haven't experienced the perfect blend of sporty versatility and modern comfort till you've coasted around in a used Toyota Highlander. These mid-size crossovers were among the first to hit the American market, and, since their 2001 debut, they've become exceedingly popular. Before you head out to test-drive yours, read our buying guide to learn more about what to expect from used inventory.
Used Toyota Highlander Buying Guide
Third Generation, 2014-Current
Comfort: The used Toyota Highlander specializes in long-term comfort, with wide, supportive seats for up to eight passengers. On long trips, tri-zone climate controls will appease a cabin full of passengers. The mid-grade Highlander XLE introduces handsome leather upholstery and seat heaters - the perfect antidote to winter weather. In higher trim models, you'll find outright luxury, with features that include upgraded leather upholstery and ventilated front seats to combat a hot summer's day.
Technology & Convenience: Pop in and out of parking lots with timesavers like keyless entry and ignition. Your used Highlander can include the Entune infotainment system as well, making it easy to stay connected with hands-free calling and audio streaming capabilities.
Safety: With the 360-degree parking camera, it's never been easier to glide in and out of parallel spaces. Street-smart driver aids, like lane departure warning and pre-collision warning, help you stay clear of danger.
Performance: The Highlander impresses with its precise steering, a boon on mountain highways or narrow city streets. Some used models include all-wheel drive, maximizing traction when stormy weather strikes. These used crossovers are also known for their ample power, delivering the appropriate burst of speed when you need to merge or pass.
Second Generation, 2008-2013
Comfort: Note that the second generation seats seven passengers max, as opposed to the eight seats you'll find in more recent models. Still, in these used Toyota Highlander models, you'll find every luxury, from leather upholstery to tri-zone automatic climate control.
Technology & Convenience: Depending on trim and model year, your Highlander's tech features can make life much simpler. The rearview camera helps you back out of a tight spot without any trouble. To keep young kids happily occupied on long stretches of highway, look for a model with the rear-seat entertainment system.
Safety: All of these models come standard with anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control, important safety features design to keep you from skidding dangerously out of control.
Performance: Highlanders from this era are nimble, getting you around tight corners with certain skill. They also deliver brisk acceleration for your highway commute.
What Drivers Love about the Used Toyota Highlander
The used Toyota Highlander is simply an excellent all-around choice, impressing families with three spacious rows of seating and kid-friendly gear, like the rear-seat infotainment system. But it's also a great pick for anyone who likes a little outdoor adventure. The all-wheel-drive system helps you maintain your footing on light trails, and it can handle icy roads all winter long.
What to Look for in Your Used Toyota Highlander
If you're part of a big family and shopping for the most in passenger space, you'll find it in third-generation models. However, the second-generation Highlander actually offers more cargo space, which may make it a better option for drivers who haul a lot of cargo or simply love camping trips. But, for most drivers, both generations satisfy with their roomy cabins and cargo holds.
In 2017, Toyota made its suite of driver safety aids standard equipment. All models from 2017 and later will warn you of an impending crash or let you know if you've strayed outside of the proper lane. Before 2017, these features were optional.
Used Toyota Highlander Buyers Beware
This sporty crossover represents an excellent value for anyone who wants an easy-to-handle crossover with impressive passenger and cargo space. However, big families should note that while third-generation models seat up to eight passengers, the second-generation Highlander only has room for up to seven.