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Good Overall But Could Be Better

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 9/11/2015 Scott Congleton

There are some serious blind spots caused by the outside rearview mirrors. You have to look over/under the mirrors to see curbs, etc. I had serious problems with the rear tailgate struts the first winter I had the Highlander. We had a cold winter...minus 20 on one day. The tailgate would only open a few inches and then stopped...you had to force it up or closed. The dealer was slow to admitt there was a problem. After four trips to the dealer they finally admitted that the struts were toast and replaced them under warranty...not under warranty $600+ each. The battery died for some reason and my jumper cables were under the rear shelf. The rear door/tailgate will not work manually with a dead battery so I had to climb over the middle seat and haul out all of my equipment sitting on the rear shelf lid. I am 65 years old with serious arthritis and this was not easy for me. Some engineer for Toyota was out to lunch on this detail. You should always be able to manually open the rear tail gate....not on the 2014 Highlander. As I mentioned we had a hard winter with snow fall that hit the 20inch mark. I was very impressed with how well the AWD handled the snow. I did not get it stuck and I put it in some real tough places on my wife's farm as her little Corola could not handle the 20inches of snow. I have a heavy foot and I am pleased with the accleration from the six...it can be slow to respond but it will get the job done when you put your foot on the front bumper. There is a down shift lag that could be better in my view. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best I would give the Highlander an 8. The engineers missed some obvious details on blind spots and not being able to work the tailgate with a dead battery.In the first review I did not mention the stereo/GPS system...it sucks and seems to be getting worse. The system shuts down randomly but re-boots in a few minutes. Sometimes it locks up completely and you have to turn the car off and re-start the car to get the system to re-boot. So far the dealer has refused to acknowledge the problem. I have yet to talk to a Highlander owner, 2014, that did not have similar problems. I still love the AWD system having just gone through another snowy winter. I feel safe and secure on snowy roads.

Average Rating : 4

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