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2002 Toyota Highlander

2002 Toyota Highlander

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$2,477 — $8,101 USED
9
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
20-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Toyota Highlander Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Introduced early in 2001, the car-based Highlander is the newest of Toyota’s sport utility vehicles. It’s the fifth member of Toyota’s SUV lineup. Though structurally related to the Lexus RX 300, the Highlander is a little larger and has a different squared-off appearance. Fender creases are prominent, and fewer features are standard than on the RX 300, which costs considerably more. Both models are offered with front-drive or all-wheel drive.

Due to its debut after the 2001 model year began, changes are few for 2002. They include a new standard console, rear-seat armrest and cabin air filter. Slightly longer and 5 inches wider than the truck-based 4Runner, the Highlander promises SUV versatility along with carlike ride and handling. Toyota expects to sell about 70,000 units annually, the vast majority with V-6 power.

Exterior
Despite the styling differences between the Highlander and RX 300, the two models share the same, basic design. The Highlander rides a 106.9-inch wheelbase and is 184.4 inches long overall — 4 inches longer in both dimensions than the RX 300. Fitted with a rear liftgate, the four-door SUV is 71.5 inches wide and just over 66 inches tall. In addition to prominent fender creases, the Highlander features squared-off styling instead of slanted roof pillars found on the RX 300.

Interior
Seating for five occupants includes two front buckets and a split rear bench that holds three and folds down. The automatic transmission lever mounts at an odd ...

Vehicle Overview
Introduced early in 2001, the car-based Highlander is the newest of Toyota’s sport utility vehicles. It’s the fifth member of Toyota’s SUV lineup. Though structurally related to the Lexus RX 300, the Highlander is a little larger and has a different squared-off appearance. Fender creases are prominent, and fewer features are standard than on the RX 300, which costs considerably more. Both models are offered with front-drive or all-wheel drive.

Due to its debut after the 2001 model year began, changes are few for 2002. They include a new standard console, rear-seat armrest and cabin air filter. Slightly longer and 5 inches wider than the truck-based 4Runner, the Highlander promises SUV versatility along with carlike ride and handling. Toyota expects to sell about 70,000 units annually, the vast majority with V-6 power.

Exterior
Despite the styling differences between the Highlander and RX 300, the two models share the same, basic design. The Highlander rides a 106.9-inch wheelbase and is 184.4 inches long overall — 4 inches longer in both dimensions than the RX 300. Fitted with a rear liftgate, the four-door SUV is 71.5 inches wide and just over 66 inches tall. In addition to prominent fender creases, the Highlander features squared-off styling instead of slanted roof pillars found on the RX 300.

Interior
Seating for five occupants includes two front buckets and a split rear bench that holds three and folds down. The automatic transmission lever mounts at an odd angle below the dashboard, which is actually a convenient location. The Highlander and RX 300 dashboards are similar in layout, but the Highlander’s has different audio and climate controls.

Under the Hood
Both the 155-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the 220-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 were borrowed from the Camry sedan and team with a four-speed-automatic transmission. The Highlander is available with front-wheel drive or permanently engaged all-wheel drive, which has no Low range. Three different automatic transmissions are used, depending on the engine type. A limited-slip rear differential is optional.

Safety
Antilock brakes and Brake Assist are standard. Options include seat-mounted side-impact airbags and Vehicle Skid Control, Toyota’s electronic stability system.

Driving Impressions
An exceptionally smooth ride coupled with confident and capable handling are high points of the Highlander picture. Seldom does this SUV lose its composure, even when the pavement gets somewhat rough. Body lean is minimal in fairly tight curves — within reason. All told, the Highlander is extremely easy to drive, with just the right steering feel and a balanced sensation on the highway.

Though acceleration is strong from a standstill, an extra push on the pedal may be needed at midrange speeds, which can produce some awkwardness or unpleasant noise at times. Inside, similarities to the RX 300 are more evident, led by the console-mounted gearshift lever.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
31 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

I think I'm driving a Cadillac

by Gorman from Port Richey FL on July 25, 2019

It has been reliable and fun.my first Toyota.147000.I got this vehicle from a good friend.which he received from his parents.my mechanic said let him know if I ever want to sell it.his son has one ... Read full review

(5.0)

best suv for the money

by Bob from PEMBROKE PINES on July 13, 2019

very reliable and good in gas updated with GPS and hands free Bluetooth with limited package you have everything you need with comfortable and safety with all the airbags Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Toyota Highlander currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Toyota Highlander has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Highlander Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Highlander received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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