2009 Toyota Highlander

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19 reviews
Best Bet
Available Price Range $9,339-$20,951 Trims7 Combined MPG 20-23 Seats 5-7

Our Take on the 2009 Toyota Highlander

Our Take

Redesigned last year, the Highlander receives a new four-cylinder base version for better gas mileage. A 3.5-liter V-6 powers most trims, while a gas/electric Highlander Hybrid is also offered. It's covered separately in the Cars.com Research section. Competitors to the five- or seven-seat H... Read Full Report

What We Don't Like

  • Some cheap cabin materials
  • Lackluster handling
  • Cargo room behind third row
  • Some confusing controls
  • Gets pricey with options

Notable Features

  • New 189-hp four-cylinder
  • Available 270-hp V-6
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Seats five or seven
  • Seven airbags
  • Electronic stability system

Reviews

Our Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in August 2007 about the 2008 Toyota Highlander. This year's Highlander offers a new four-cylinder drivetrain with segment-leading gas mileage; the V-6 carries over unchanged. To see what's new for 2009, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to succeed, it has its wor... Read full review for the 2009 Toyota Highlander

Consumer Reviews

4.6

Average based on 19 reviews

Best Car I've ever had.

by LuvmyToy from Southern Iowa on April 19, 2011

Bought the car earlier this month. Had 17,000 on it from a lease return. Car has Nav, Bluetooth, DVD, leather/heated seats, etc. The nicest car I've ever owned. Toyota needs to make their owners manua... Read Full Review

7 Trims Available

A trim is a style of a vehicle model. Each higher trim has different or upgraded features from the previous trim along with a price increase. Learn more about trims

Trims Explained

When talking about cars, “trims” is a way of differentiating between different versions of the same model. Typically, most start with a no-frills, or “base” trim, and as features are added, or a different engine, drivetrain (gas vs. hybrid, for example) or transmission are included, trim names change and prices go up.


It’s important to carefully check the trims of the car you’re interested in to make sure that you’re getting the features you want, or that you’re not overpaying for features you don’t want.

Safety

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Highlander Base

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Toyota Highlander Base

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Highlander Base

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Toyota Highlander Base

Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 10 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

36mo/36,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

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.

Powertrain

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.

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).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

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.

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