Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Highlander

toyota highlander 2012

While the original Highlander was more of a wagon than an SUV, the 2012 Toyota Highlander is an entirely different beast. It’s large enough to compete with the cargo and passenger capacity of a Honda CR-V, but it’s small and light enough to feel like you’re driving a car around town instead of an SUV. It also shares a lot of its design and structure with the luxury Lexus RX 350, which gives it even more of an advantage over other crossover SUVs in its class.

Key Features

If you’ve ever felt like you were sweating bullets trying to start a heavily loaded SUV on a hill without rolling backward, you’ll appreciate one of our favorite features on the 2012 Toyota Highlander. The hill-start assist prevents rollback and gives you more control as you get started. Additionally, the downhill assist control also helps keep your speed at a reasonable rate when you’re descending, too.

Changes for 2012

Because 2011’s model represented a refresh for the Highlander, 2012 didn’t see any major changes or new features.

What We Like

The 2012 Toyota Highlander has higher resale values and better owner satisfaction reports than just about any other crossover SUV in its class. Plus, it has a wide range of trim levels to choose from to suit anyone’s needs and tastes.

What Concerns Us

If you’re looking for a vehicle with good towing capacity or one that’ll stand up to really rough terrain, the Highlander is not the car for you. It’s more of an around-town crossover SUV than an adventure machine.

Available Models

All trim levels of the 2012 Toyota Highlander have the same engine under the hood:

  • Engine – 2.7-liter 4-cylinder
  • Power – 187 HP at 5800 RPM
  • Torque – 186 kb-ft at 4100 RPM
  • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 20/25

Major Recalls

There have only been two recalls on the 2012 Toyota Highlander. One was to resolve an issue with the calibration on the occupant sensing system. The other was to correct an inaccurate load carrying capacity label.

Common Issues

There have been very few problems with the 2012 Toyota Highlander, but some owners have reported issues with using their rear lift gates and a few problems with the air conditioning shutting off while the vehicle was in motion. Most owners, though, are highly satisfied with their Highlanders.

toyota highlander 2012 interior

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: Car recommendations for a College bound kid?

Hi Cathy, thanks for writing in. Thanks for your question and good for you to be responsible to carefully research safe vehicle choices for your daughter. The widely respected publication "Consumer Reports" has an annual issue that contains comprehensive used...

Q: I was wondering what a good first car would be for myself mileage wise and cost wise and cost of parts wise

Hello. If you are looking for a good and reliable car that has a fairly low cost of ownership, Honda's are a good choice. When it comes to Honda and Toyota for that fact, both of these are great vehicles....

Q: How do you remove the head restraints?

While you should never drive or ride without head restraints, there may be times that you need to remove them. For instance, if you’re lowering the second row seats, you’ll need to remove the two outside head restraints (the center...