Last post on Oct 27, 2013 at 4:38 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
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Toyota Highlander, Toyota, SUV
#2330 of 2954 Highlander and families
Mar 29, 2008 (3:01 pm)
This may be mentioned in the previous 117 pages of posts, but I didn't see it cruising the last few. I looked at a new Highlander today, perhaps to replace my 2005 Sienna whose lease is up next month. The dealer got it out, about ready to take a drive, and then I looked at 2 things that totally turned me off. One, the middle seat is really for 2 people, not three. The back seat is a bench only and does not split. Why Toyota? That is so stupid, because with 3 kids as I have, one is in the back seat. But for storage purposes, splitting that seat is a MUST. The second turnoff is the glovebox size storage behind the third row. I looked at it, and realized, a good size suitcase can't fit in there, or barely. And what about the other 3-5 suitcase we will have on a trip? FOr a fairly good size vehicle, the storage space is really poor. So I didn't even bother with a test drive, I'm sure it drives nice. The fuel economy wasn't too bad either, but with the issues mentioned, I just can't why anyone with larger families would consider this vehicle. It would be perfect for a family of 4 or less though.
Looks like I'll get another Sienna until something else comes around, it is still the best vehicle for families with 3+ kids, who don't need to tow something heavy. The Nissan Quest also doesn't split its back seat, and I won't consider that model either.
#2331 of 2954 Re: Highlander and families [irg]
Mar 29, 2008 (5:53 pm)
I think you should stay with the Sienna. We have a new Highlander and our daughter has a Sienna and three children, so I have been in both a lot. With 3 seats up, the Sienna has a lot more space for luggage, especially with that deep well in the back. I doubt if many other mid size SUV's have much more storage than the Highlander, unless you compare some of those that are several inches longer. My son also has the new Highlander and 3 kids, and all sit easily in the second row....the filler really works better than you would think, and the second row has tons of leg room, which lots of people like. The full .length 3rd seat has been roundly criticized, and I would look for Toyota to maybe change that next year. I think many young families would be better off with any of the good mini-vans, but a surprising number won't be caught dead in them....something about that image I guess!!
#2332 of 2954 Re: Highlander and families [irg]
Mar 29, 2008 (7:26 pm)
Sounds like the Highlander is a bit small for your needs. This is why Toyota makes both the 4Runner and the Sequoia - so you have choices.
#2333 of 2954 Re: Highlander and families [irg]
Mar 30, 2008 (12:59 am)
The fuel economy wasn't too bad either, but with the issues mentioned, I just can't why anyone with larger families would consider this vehicle.
I think what you found is exactly the reason why Toyota will probably continue to sell a minivan, even as some manufacturers move towards large crossovers.
I disagree with your assessment of the second row. The center position is still very usable, even though it doesn't seem like it would be.
I would use the third row in the Highlander strictly for rare occasions when I need to carry more than 5 people. If I had to carry 6, or if I regularly transported someone in the third row, I'd definitely look at a minivan.
I guess if the third row was split, you could make the person sitting in the third row responsible for holding down your cargo so it doesn't roll around (that person's lap would probably be below the surface of the cargo floor).
#2334 of 2954 Diferent Strokes......
Mar 30, 2008 (2:17 pm)
No wonder car manufacturers can produce so many different models. Those of us (well at least me) that bought a Highlander felt that it meets their (my) needs. I have no need for a third row seat. I am another that will use it only if I need to transport more than 5 people and I do not think I have had more than 5 people in a vehicle in many years. I do wish that there was more flexibility within models so that you could get EXACTLY what you want and not have to settle for what the manufacturer wishes to sell to "most" customers. As I said in an earlier post I remember being able to order a vehicle and it was built to my spec. No more... and that is too bad. I bought a LTD with every option except the glass sensor and the remote start. If I had my choice I may have opted for no moon roof, no leather and probably no third row but these things were not possible. I also remember years ago fighting with a dealer as I was being charged for a rear window defroster which was an "option" but required in New York!
Oh well ...lets just say that with almost 5500 miles on my Blue AWD LTD.. I am still very happy with my purchase. I learn something new about the vehicle almost every day. Yesterday I learned that the headlights do not stay on after you turn the engine off during the day and if you lock the doors with the remote (at night) and hit the lockbutton on the remote a second time it turns the headlights off right away. I think it is time to look over the manual again. I have been driving the vehicle long enough that maybe some things will make more sense. I still think the manuals are poor! I also discovered that at least some of the commands for the nav will not work if you have the audio screen up on the screen. I did add an after market IPOD adapter so I have started to keep the nav screen on the audio page more so I am sure I will be finding out more little quirks to the system. I have dealer installed side mouldings and so far they seem to be staying put fine and I did not notice any rough edge. The only thing I am waiting on is I want to put vent visor rain guards on the windows. I want to put the "in channel" type, the ones that install in the window channel and not outside on the door frame with tape. I paid for these when I bought the vehicle but as of yet they are still not available. This has been the only thing I can find at fault with the dealer. The parts department has called me twice to tell me the product is in and yet both times it was the "tape outside mount" product that had arrived. I have now been told that they should be in sometime in May. Again thanks to all for the information this site has made available. I hope there are more wonderful tidbits of information here in the future.
#2335 of 2954 Re: Diferent Strokes...... [gymnbat]
Mar 30, 2008 (2:58 pm)
An article over on the GM boards about GM.. catch this.. cutting 90-95% of it's model variations. On some models there are 15000 variations. On some Hondas there are 6.
GM and Ford and Chrysler are trying to rationalize their production because they finally realize that Toyota and Honda are doing it right. It's impossible to make 15000 variations profitably on one model. And make them well.
#2336 of 2954 Re: Diferent Strokes...... [kdhspyder]
Mar 30, 2008 (3:08 pm)
"On some Hondas there are 6."
I hope GM looks to Toyota and not Honda - it's impossible to get a nice Honda without a sunroof, something I don't want. Not a problem with Toyota.
#2337 of 2954 Re: Diferent Strokes...... [texases]
Mar 30, 2008 (3:26 pm)
I found the thread. It was based on a Yahoo article about the direction of the detroiters... this is almost unimaginable.
"They're unhappy and we're losing money," he said of Ford, which posted losses of $2.7 billion in 2007 and $12.6 billion in 2006.
Ford's chief of marketing, Jim Farley, who was hired away from Toyota Motor Co last year, said he was stunned to find that Ford was offering 100,000 combinations of options on its entry-level Focus sedan. Some 80 percent of Ford's sales came from just 4,000 of those combinations, he said.
In response, Ford has cut complexity by reducing the number of "buildable combinations" of the 2008 Focus by 99 percent. On the 2008 Expedition, it has cut combinations by 95 percent.
#2338 of 2954 Re: Highlander and families [irg]
Mar 30, 2008 (4:11 pm)
My Wife and I have been shopping for a new vehicle for a couple of months. We've checked out and test driven the Ford Edge, Hyundai Santa Fe & Veracruz, Saturn Outlook and today for the first time the new Highlander Limited FWD. I found the same issues myself with the Hylander. Very nice vehicle, but one other thing I thought was odd that it did not have memory settings for the driver seat. I know this is probably sacrilage to a Toyota devotee and in this thread, but you really should check out the Outlook. To me it was quieter as far as engine noise, Rode every bit as good and most of all had tons of space. In addition, the 3rd row seats are split. Of course, it's 201" long. You can get more vehicle for the money with some items you would expect on a upscale trim such as memory seats, power folding mirrors, and remote start for about the same price. I know that I'm probably going to get pummeled now by all the naysayers, but believe me you need to at least give it a look. The only downside is in some markets the selection might not be that good. In the city I live in there are 3 dealerships that carry a wide selection of Outlooks. I'm not 100% sure if we will end up buying now, but I think if we do I'm about 90% certain it will be an Outlook.
#2339 of 2954 Re: Highlander and families [mtnman1]
Mar 30, 2008 (4:23 pm)
There are 2 more I would test drive also : Honda Pilot & Buick Enclave, before decision to buy.