Thoughts on Toyota Highlander

lisah23, Dec 19, 10:54pm
for towing. 2014 Petrol, thanks

sw20, Dec 19, 11:01pm
Yep good cars. Have driven quite a few of them before. 2000kg braked tow rating. Would actually be a decent vehicle when not towing as well. Better than the ute options you had previously been looking at.

3.5 petrol V6 in them is bulletproof.

bwg11, Dec 20, 2:13pm
I would look for the AWD variety if towing more than a garden trailer. Unbreakable as sw20 says, if a bit thirsty when pushed, but fuel is cheap compared with repairs.

sw20, Dec 20, 2:22pm
Petrol $1.65 a litre down this way so it won't make you broke.

nightboss, Dec 20, 2:33pm
Agree with the above comments.
I bought the earlier shape (series 1 Highlander) new in 2006, 3.3L petrol auto. Towed like a diesel very good torque for overtaking or cruising uphill passing lane with 1800 kg boat, but for that there is always the compromise, fuel economy. With no load it got just under 10L/100km open road and about 12L/100km around town, towing boat and loaded with a fortnight’s gear for family of four the fuel use jumped to about 16L/100km. I expect the 2014 would get similar figures, 3.5L vs 3.3L and about 200kg heavier on newer model. Only issue I had with over 350,000km driving was a failed aircon pump, everything else was just normal service costs. I have traded the old faithful in on a 2021 RAV4 GXL hybrid, due in NZ second week of January.

s_nz, Dec 20, 3:08pm
Did 1000km+ around the south island in one as a rental car. Perfect car for that trip. Spacious, smooth, powerful, comfortable, quiet, acceptable handling.

The 3.5L engine in them is a great. 200kW+ v6, runs 91RON etc. Pretty economical on the open road to, but petrol tank could do with being 80L or 90L rather than 73.

Man can it drink in town though. was seeing dash report 13-14L/100km in city running.

But of a beast to park.

Note that there was a facelift in (late?) 2017 where it got more gears and direct injection for a big efficiency gain.

With regards to towing, it is a transverse engines Frount end biased AWD system, built on a unibody car platform. As such the tow rating is 2000kG, and it won't be as good as the likes of the Rear wheel drive (when in 2wd mode) fortuner (Hilux SUV) with a solid rear axle etc.

That said, if what you are towing is well under 2000kg, or just under 2000kg and infrequent, might as well enjoy the better performance, comfort & interior space of the highlander rather than a full frame vehicle than the fortuner.

[edit] - also note that the current shape Highlander is just about to be replaced with a new shape one. Toyota NZ is no longer going to offer the 225kW v6 in this, opting exclusively to offer the cira 180kW hybrid power train.

lisah23, Dec 21, 10:35pm
thank you everyone, I had not considered petrol but diesel is not as cheap as it use to be and the RUC and rego have gone up so should pretty much even upped. I will be towing a double float with one horse.

s_nz, Oct 7, 3:44pm
Float will be around 1000kg, + 500kg (each) for a horse, plus a few Hundred kg for horse related stuff I assume (water, hay, saddles, covers).

So the 2000kg rated highlander should be fine with just a single horse, but would be getting quite marginal to overloaded if you put a second horse in. Of course, you could take your float (and horse) across a weigh bridge to find out exactly.

Vehicles like the Prado, fortuner, everest, FJ cruiser etc. have tow ratings in excess of 2500kg.

The way the fuel tax system is set up, diesel + RUC is still cheaper than petrol in this size of vehicle, so would normally be the default pick. Many vehicles with higher tow ratings (prado, fortuner) are only offered in diesel in NZ.

That said, diesel has been falling out of favor of late. The combination of diesel emissions tech causing issues (especially DPF's), fumes being confirmed as carcinogenic, and some places like the UK starting to ban diesel's from town centers has turned off some buyers.

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