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Hi There, newb here and not yet a Toyota owner.
Wife and I with new child are in desperate search for a reliable used Mid-size SUV. We've been debating between the Pilot, Outlander, Santa Fe and of course the Highlander.

We want Japanese reliability - our current GM SAAB is a real lemon and we need an A/4WD car thats not in the shop every 6 weeks.

Never being Toyota owners, we're skeptical with recent quality control issues..although we understand its mostly Media-hyped nonsense.

Are Toyota's, specifically the Highlander as rock solid as the well-known rumors claim? I know at the end of the day its the luck of the draw and I don't mind the odd repair as long as it doesn't come back.

Consumer Reports praise the vehicles we're looking at but it seems fairly Japanese biased.

Cheers,
newbie.
 

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I suggest getting Highlander or Pilot - depending on size you need - Pilot significantly bigger.

Both Pilot and Highlander are extremely reliable - with 06-07 Highlander being virtually bulletproof based on CR survey.

I terms of extra safety get an 07 Higghlander if possible as they come standard with 6 airbags (front,side,curtain) as opposed to 05-06 has only front airbags unless it's a Limited.
 

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'06 Seinna XLE AWD, '04 Highlander V6 4WD
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I terms of extra safety get an 07 Higghlander if possible as they come standard with 6 airbags (front,side,curtain) as opposed to 05-06 has only front airbags unless it's a Limited.

+1 on the Honda or Toyota have seen both will almost 200k on them localy. But some of the Highllanders going back could be optioned out with side curtain Airbags. My '04 "BASE" V6, 4WD, 7 pass. Has the optional side curtain airbags and VSC came standard!
 

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2004 I4 Highlander
2001 Honda Accord
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Biggest problems with the 04+ highlanders are the heat control knobs. It's an expensive dealer fix or a cheap under 1 hour diy fix. Otherwise that's [obviously] what I would buy, they're reliable. The Pilot was a lot larger and I didn't want a timing belt (my HL is 4cyl with chain, v6's have a belt). The Outlander wasn't on our radar and I like the new Santa Fe, but didn't at the time we bought.

Best of luck. 73,000 miles and only "expense" was brakes.
 

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We put 58K on a 2006 V6 Highlander and our only expenses were fluid changes and air/oil filters, and one set of tires. Brakes were still fine at 58k when we sold it and bought a used 07 Highlander Limited this June. The 07 came with 6 airbags, auto climate control, bigger 17 inch wheels and tires, custom interior tinted windows, heated seats, fog lights, and had only 14k miles on it.
 
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