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Hi everyone - first post here, and I was wondering if I could get some insight from Highlander Hybrid owners.

My situation -
I have a 2017 RAV4 LE with under 20K miles on it. It's occurred to me that I could sell it and make a profit, paying off my loan. I'd then buy a very high-mileage car with a third row seat, which will help with my new reality: transporting teenagers constantly. My goal is to contribute a bit of cash, but to stay out of loan territory, which would keep me under 17K purchase price.

I went to look at a very high mileage Highlander Hybrid this morning - 178K 2013, Limited - and I really liked it. But, I'm wondering about the feasibility of such a purchase. Is this a bad idea? (Other options include a 2014 Acura MDX and a few different Highlanders (not hybrid) - all in the 80K to 120K range).
 

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2003 Prius, 2012 Prius, 2012 Highlander Hybrid Limited
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under 17K purchase price.

178K 2013, Limited
I am a big fan of keeping cars and trucks well into their senescence. I myself bought a 2012 HiHy with 120K on the odo just 2 years ago, before all the current inventory stress. $14,500 before dealer stuff.

However, if I can torture a metaphor within an inch of its life: This isn't adopting a 3-year-old retired racing whippet. I'm pretty sure if you bought this, it's more like fostering a 13-year-old Great Dane with lymphoma and two legs.

I think buying in this market is possibly a mistake, for the same reason you can sell your Rav4 over the payoff balance: everything is way over-inflated price-wise, so you'll get much less car out of your surplus money from the sale + out-of-pocket.

If you absolutely must have more space, you'd be better off buying a domestic minivan coming off of a lease or certified out of a fleet (no idea what pricing is like right now), or an off-brand Asian, like Kia Sedona. I actually just searched cars.com and found two 2017 Kia Sedonas hovering around 100K under 17K.

One last bit: you're only a few years from sharing your vehicle or buying one for your teen. Maybe don't do anything for now - and buy them that embarrassing minivan.

Also, @ukrkoz will tell you: don't buy a vehicle with tons of expensive parts and no warranty. Bad juju.
 

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Firstly you probably need to change spark plugs most people don’t do this and supposedly you have to do it around 120,000 miles it’s quite expensive $600. Secondly the Hybrid batteries who knows, you can get them tested but even though ours test OK we only get around 22 miles a gallon. Also stuff like tires and the struts probably needs to be replaced I don’t care what anyone says struts only last so long.
We bought the Highlander hybrid two years ago for about 11.5k K before the increase but I guess it’s been pretty reliable but things do go wrong and right now I’m having some problems with a potential expensive repair but Saint can be said for any car right. I always say better the devil you know.

Also just by looking at a car you never know, when I took my car into the hybrid mechanic there was a really nice looking Highlander a lot nicer than mine sitting up on the lift, the mechanic said the car was pretty much shot needing new suspension and a whole lot of other stuff costing thousands of dollars so you really should get a checked out by a Toyota Expert.

After my long 30 year history of buying used cars I think my next one is probably going to be something that is new 🙁 and I’ve done a lot of work myself on my vehicles from the past. Then again if you’re able to take a Toyota to a mechanic that actually knows what they’re talking about and get a thorough inspection then go for it - that’s what we did with our Highlander and it turned out OK until now I guess.
 

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I’m curious if you ever ended up pulling the trigger on this!

I can only speak from my own experience. We bought my wife’s 2009 HiHy 4 years ago with 135k. It was in great shape, no leaks, interior was near perfect, but I didn’t have much history on how well it was maintained. This has been the most unbelievably reliable car I’ve ever owned. It’s now at 208k, needed a new 12v battery at 189k but other than that no unexpected maintenance whatsoever. I am pretty on the preventative maintenance but it’s a car we mostly don’t have to think about. Still have no leaks, hybrid battery seems solid. I just changed the inverter/engine coolant and trans fluid and did a thorough inspection, still nothing wrong that I can find! Don’t expect to be impressed by the gas mileage though, this gen only gets 23-25mpg realistically.

I am a big fan of Toyota hybrids from a maintenance perspective. Yeah the hybrid battery could be a scary fix but I hear just as many stories of people getting 300k-400k out of them as I do about them failing. You also have no alternator, no starter, electric power steering, no serpentine belt, brakes are hardly used, simple transmission. All replaced by a very reliable hybrid system.

Keep in mind that the 2006-2010 have a timing belt that needs to be replaced every 90k, 2011 and up have a chain. That is not a DIY job unless unless you’re way more skilled than me! Also, like everyone else said every used car is different. As someone who’s owned an older Acura (2004 TL, very similar to the MDX drivetrain-wise) I would pick Toyota any day for reliability. My Acura constantly had stuff breaking by the time we hit the mileage on our Highlander (broken axle, all motor mounts, stereo amp, belt tensioner, valve cover leak, wheel bearings, brake calipers, etc).

I hope that helps, either way good luck with your decision!
 

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I went to look at a very high mileage Highlander Hybrid this morning - 178K 2013, Limited - and I really liked it. But, I'm wondering about the feasibility of such a purchase. Is this a bad idea?
In case you are still interested in responses...about two years ago, I purchased a 2008 Highlander Hybrid Limited with about 195,000 miles on the odometer. I drove it the past two years and it now has about 210,000 miles on it. Not a single problem. I really liked that car. However, the only reason I purchased it was because after examining the Carfax, it showed that the previous owner took good car of it, (mechanically). Only missed one or two services, (every 5,000 miles). I had confidence that things were fixed as needed.

However, I traded it in last week on a 2013 model. Same exact except for color and no rear-seat DVD player. About half the miles too. Nothing wrong with the '08. I just wanted a post-refresh model, (timing chain instead of a belt).
 
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