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Old 08-10-2017, 01:30 PM   #1
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Towing with a Highlander question

We have been towing our 17' Escape with a 2006 Sienna. Although added air shocks, it still tows low, scraping often, and has a vibration. We don't tow often enough to buy a new vehicle just for that reason, but a broken door on our Sienna and a general dissatisfaction with how comfortable it is, especially leg room for passenger side, has made us consider a Highlander.

We've looked at both a 2015 and some 'good deals' on 2017s at the local dealer (local means 1 hour away). It is a big investment for us and we want to make sure it is the right one, so would love to hear from other Highlander owners about how they tow, and what they like and don't like in general. This would be our 'main' car, my husband has a pick-up, so 'my' car is our travel car, tow car, general all purpose car. We are rural folks, rarely drive in a city, and we are 'aging', would love to find a car that will last into our golden years! (BTW, before Sienna we were Previa owners and LOVED it, had it for 15 years. At over 200,000 miles it needed a bit of work and at the time we needed something easier for my aging mom with Alzheimer's to get in and out of so we got the Sienna)

Appreciate any and all feedback on Highlanders! Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:28 PM   #2
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Is Toyota brand a hard requirement?
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:36 PM   #3
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Ha ha! Good question! Well, yes it is, because every Toyota I've had has been a gem and lasted a long time, even the Sienna, though doesn't fit my body's comfort needs, and has the towing issues, has been a good vehicle. We put 20,000 miles a year on a car and Toyota is up to that for many years. Going waay back - I've had a pick-up, a Corona, the Previa, my husband's older pick-up and now the the Sienna and not one was a bad deal. (My husband bought an older Ford Explorer pick-up a few years ago, it was like changing religions or political party for me! )

Having said that......Did you have another suggestion? I'm open to it!
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:43 PM   #4
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The only suggestion I have - look at another manufacturers too. There is absolutely no reason to stick with Toyota only.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:48 PM   #5
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There is absolutely no reason to stick with Toyota only.
If that were true, they wouldn't hold their value like they do.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:01 PM   #6
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Glenn, do you tow your Escape with your Rav4? Toyota says Rav4 tow limit is 1500 and Escape 17'B is just over 2200 empty!?
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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Mine is a 2008 with 3,500 lb tow and 350 lb tongue max.
In 2013 they dropped the V6 option and tow rating plummeted.
I tow my 17B easily, using a weight distribution hitch.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:03 PM   #8
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We've pulled our 16' Scamp 10k miles with a 2002 Highlander and it's been a great tow vehicle, no problems at all. It's the 'Limited' edition so has the V6, aux trans cooler, double cooling fans, heavy duty alternator. Factory hitch. No weight distribution. We avg 24mpg not towing & 17mpg towing. Very comfortable vehicle (for us). Ours is the 4x2 version and we sometimes wish we'd gone the all-wheel drive model since we boondock a lot, but that being said we've yet to actually get so stuck we couldn't get un-stuck. Best of luck with your vehicle search!
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sokhapkin
There is absolutely no reason to stick with Toyota only.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
If that were true, they wouldn't hold their value like they do.
Well... it is true and they do hold their resale!

Still... for the OP , Toyota is the choice and the Highlander is thread subject.
So there can be only one!



Still again... they are only immortal 'til the head comes off!

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Old 08-10-2017, 05:40 PM   #10
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We've pulled our 16' Scamp 10k miles with a 2002 Highlander and it's been a great tow vehicle, no problems at all. It's the 'Limited' edition so has the V6, aux trans cooler, double cooling fans, heavy duty alternator. Factory hitch. No weight distribution. We avg 24mpg not towing & 17mpg towing. Very comfortable vehicle (for us). Ours is the 4x2 version and we sometimes wish we'd gone the all-wheel drive model since we boondock a lot, but that being said we've yet to actually get so stuck we couldn't get un-stuck. Best of luck with your vehicle search!
Wow, your gas mileage is great for that vintage! We had a 2003 Highlander V6, tow package, etc. On a good day with the wind at our back, no pulling, 60mph, we might have touched 16mpg, and I think I might have hit 18mpg once. Pulling it was like 11mpg. No idea why, but it felt like a car, drank gas like a truck. We used it so little because it was terrible on gas, and sold it with very low miles. I see a lot of older Highlanders with very low miles, and I think I know why. Ours was the AWD version and maybe why the gas mileage was so bad, as well as a 3.0L V6. Engine was strong and capable but had to be wound tight with any weight being so small dispacement. Loved it for reliability, not a speck of rust, but it drank its way out of our life.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Originally Posted by sokhapkin
There is absolutely no reason to stick with Toyota only.
Well... it is true and they do hold their resale!

Still... for the OP , Toyota is the choice and the Highlander is thread subject.
So there can be only one!



Still again... they are only immortal 'til the head comes off!

I have never bought a vehicle based on some hypothetical resale value somewhere down the road . I buy a vehicle because it has the features I need at a price I can afford.. I've owned Chevys , Ford's Buicks , Pontiacs , Mercury's , Ram , and Oldsmobiles .
I am not brand loyal so even though I currently own a Ram 1500 my next truck may well be a Ford F150.
Limiting your choice to only one brand of vehicle often means your forced to accept second or third best.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:05 PM   #12
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Before the RAV4, I owned a Ford Explorer. The main reason I bought it was that when it broke down in the boonies, there would likely be parts and somebody who could fix it.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I have never bought a vehicle based on some hypothetical resale value somewhere down the road . I buy a vehicle because it has the features I need at a price I can afford.. I've owned Chevys , Ford's Buicks , Pontiacs , Mercury's , Ram , and Oldsmobiles .
I am not brand loyal so even though I currently own a Ram 1500 my next truck may well be a Ford F150.
Limiting your choice to only one brand of vehicle often means your forced to accept second or third best.
You did get the joke... didn't ya?
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:20 PM   #14
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Hi Penney, Mike, and the Rest of the Peanut Gallery,

We tow a 13' Scamp, the Crab Shack, with ours. The Highlander doesn't seem to know Crabby is back there.

From a different perspective, the Toyota Highlander is greatly recommended by Consumer Reports. It's also listed as one of the best vehicles for older folk. Very easy to get in and out of. Easy to drive and very comfortable. It's high enough to help see well. The controls are easy to use and intuitive. It also has a BACK UP CAMERA!

We have the Hybrid model and have been quite pleased with it. Pulling Crabby we get about 15 mpg. My husband, the Curmudgeon, drives when we tow and he refuses to lower his speed for gas economy. All the Hybrids are AWD, which could come in handy if you are driving through bad weather, but I'm sure that affects the fuel economy as well.

It doesn't have nearly as much cargo space as the Sienna, so that's a consideration. We learned the hard way, you cannot fit a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood in the back. Bummer!

Hope this helps,

Tondra
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:21 PM   #15
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You did get the joke... didn't ya?
Yes , I got your joke !
Hopefully you got the point of my post. ?
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:42 PM   #16
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I put 140,000 towing miles on a 2008 HL awd. Loved it. Miss it. I towed up to 425 lb hitch weight, and rear end sag, though noticeable, was not excessive IMO. With a 17' Burro I got 14 mpg, with a boxy KZ 16' it was 11-12 mpg. 21-22 hwy not towing. At 185k the trans temp light was coming on during long uphill climbs in the Rockies, and my wife always griped about her seat, so I sold it and got a used Lexus GX 470. Note, my HL did have factory tow package.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:08 PM   #17
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My daughter and wife both despise the seats in my RAV4 on long hauls. Means I can't leave for camp until around 10 AM and have to pull into camp around 2 or 3 PM, and crack a beer to ease the pains in my butt.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:22 PM   #18
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Hi guys

I have 4 toyota in my live.
I put 250,000 plus miles on them
Never have a single problem with them.

You will pay a little more but you will not go wrong.
Excellent election with the Highlander.

Highlander will be my next

Good luck my friend
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:34 PM   #19
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We tow with a 2011 Highlander, V6, factory tow package and it currently has 175k miles on it. My husband just had it in today for a full service and it is still in tip top shape. Currently we are towing a 13 foot Scamp, and it is like it isn't even behind us. We have a 16 foot on order and are hoping for a similar experience. I can't say enough about how much we love this vehicle. We bought it new and plan to keep it until the day it quits running.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes , I got your joke !
Hopefully you got the point of my post. ?
What? You're buying a Tundra?
No really, I got your point!

Out of nearly a hundred vehicles I've owned... There is a pretty fair sampling of makes ... Ford, Mercury,VW, Toyota, Chevy, Subaru, Datsun, Mazda,Olds, Studebaker, Chrysler, Dodge,Kia and more.
My immediate family now presently drives four different makes on which I do most of the maintenance...My son even drives a Highlander!

As you know I'm still partial to Ford, both from a subjective and objective perspective.

My general advice to buyers is to buy what they like well enough to perform scheduled maintenance. They will then minimize unscheduled maintenance and have a better overall ownership experience.
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