Which Years Of Used Toyota Highlander Hybrids Are Most Reliable? (2023)

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For those searching for an efficient family hauler, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is sure to wind up on many shopping lists. And those looking to save will want to consider a used version. However, rushing out to buy any Highlander Hybrid could be a mistake. Not every model year is perfect. With this in mind, let’s explore the most reliable Toyota Highlander Hybrid years.

We’ll see what carcomplaints.com, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), and Consumer Reports have to say about this Toyota. In particular, we’ll focus primarily on the model years with the least engine and transmission troubles. These components are the most expensive to repair, so steering clear of these problems helps significantly with reliability.

It’s important to note we’re reviewing just reliability. Be sure to research other critical aspects of used car shopping, like safety and fuel economy.

Although the Toyota Highlander Hybrid debuted for the 2006 model year (as part of the first-generation Highlander), we’re skipping this first year and the 2007 edition. They’re known for reliability issues. Instead, we’ll start with the second generation.


Since 2006, Toyota’s Highlander Hybrid has been a popular SUV among consumers. If you’re thinking about buying one, you first need to know which Toyota Highlander Hybrid years to avoid.

Before we dive into the details, here’s a quick look at the most reliable Toyota Highlander Hybrid years.

  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2021

Most Reliable Toyota Highlander Hybrid Years: Second Generation (Sold: 2008-2013)

In debuting the second-generation Highlander, Toyota ditched the boxy looks of its predecessor for a more streamlined look. While still not a head-turner, this all-new Highlander gave this three-row crossover a more upscale look. Hybrids came only with an all-wheel-drive setup.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Although the second-generation Highlander Hybrid starts with the 2008 model year, we’ll skip that one due to numerous complaints about the engine. However, this isn’t an issue for the 2009 Highlander Hybrid. Owner reports covering engine troubles are down significantly. Brake problems are the most common theme for the 2009 model year.

2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Brake troubles continue to be an issue for the 2010 Highlander Hybrid, but not at the level for the 2008 edition. And that’s about all anyone with the 2010 model year has to worry about. Carcomplaints.com records only one report about the engine, and there’s no mention of anything going on with the transmission.

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

NHTSA records a total of three reports about the 2011 Highlander Hybrid’s engine, and that’s for the entire model year production run. While some accuse Toyota of making boring products, not having much to discuss regarding complaints and problems is undoubtedly the least of anyone’s worries.

2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid continues as another year with few reports or complaints. And these issues are about non-critical components like interior accessories and the body/paint. In other words, there are no troubles that point to a problematic pattern.


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2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The final year of the second-generation Highlander Hybrid closes without a mention of any engine troubles. That’s more than comforting, especially for a ten-year-old vehicle. Carcomplaints.com cites a single report about a transmission making a “whooshing noise” at the 125,000-mile mark, but that’s the only significant mark against the 2013 Highlander Hybrid.

Most Reliable Toyota Highlander Hybrid Years: Third Generation (Sold: 2014-2019)

The third-generation Highlander is highlighted by rugged styling, shaking off the unremarkable but inoffensive looks of the second generation. Thanks to a potent 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motors, the Highlander Hybrid offers fuel economy of 28 mpg, an accomplishment once reserved for economy cars.

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

We recommend skipping the first year of a new generation to avoid the bugs often accompanying an all-new design. That’s why we’re starting with the 2015 Highlander Hybrid. And just like most other model years, the 2015 edition gets a clean bill of health for its engine and transmission.

2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

There’s not much to say about the 2016 Highlander Hybrid other than its complaint record is a clone of the 2015 model year. Reports are at signal-digit levels and fail to point to any repeated problems.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

There are two NHTSA reports about the engine issues, which is a modest number considering the thousands of 2017 Highlander Hybrids that Toyota made. Interestingly, both complaints involve engine troubles with brand-new vehicles, not well-used examples. That’s as close as it gets to there being a pattern to be concerned with.

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Pointing the finger at problems for the 2018 Highlander Hybrid means looking at single reports concerning wheel issues, HVAC problems, and faulty interior accessories. No one has said anything to carcomplaints.com about the engine or transmission.

2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Consumer Reports first reliability rating for the Highlander Hybrid starts with the 2019 model year. And this Toyota passes with flying colors, a 5 out of 5. It’s a fine way to end the last production year of the third-generation Highlander.

Most Reliable Toyota Highlander Hybrid Years: Fourth Generation (Sold: 2020-Current)

The fourth-generation Highlander gets bigger, enabling seating configurations for up to eight. But despite the extra bulk, the Hybrid version now gets a four-cylinder setup. It packs enough oomph and an impressive fuel economy rating of up to 36 mpg.

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

We’re skipping the 2020 Highlander Hybrid for our most reliable list because of the possibility of first-year gremlins. But the second year of the fourth-generation Highlander Hybrid is a worthwhile consideration. It gets a reliability score of 4 from Consumer Reports, and there are zero owner reports about the engine or transmission filed with carcomplaints.com.

About the 2022-2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: Preliminary information for the newest Toyota Highlander Hybrids (2022-2023) is encouraging. Consumer Reports gives these crossovers a 4 or 5 for reliability. Meanwhile, there are no reports on file with NHTSA or carcomplaints.com. But, these Highlander Hybrids are still new; problems could arise later. We’ll reserve judgment until more time has passed.


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Toyota Highlander Hybrid FAQs

How much does a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid typically cost?

A 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a starting price of about $42,000. Choose the top-of-the-line Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum, and the total comes to around $54,000.

How much does a used Toyota Highlander Hybrid typically cost?

A second-hand Toyota Highlander Hybrid will vary in price depending on condition, age, mileage, and equipment. CoPilot Price Pulse reports show that the average asking price for a 2017 example is $28,662, while a 2019 Highlander Hybrid goes for $33,977.


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Is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid a good car to purchase?

Without a doubt, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a smart choice as a used vehicle. Just concentrate your shopping efforts on the reliable years covered above. Be sure to have any used car under consideration inspected by a mechanic before buying.

Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You

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