2001 Toyota Highlander

  • 2001 Toyota Highlander Base Sport Utility

    Base Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.0L I4
    • MSRP
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2001 Toyota Highlander Review

Toyota combines the best aspects of station wagons, SUVs, and minivans into a single vehicle at a good price.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2001 Toyota Highlander helps solidify Toyota as one of the world's most prominent car manufacturers. It deftly combines the elements that people love about station wagons, SUVs, and minivans, resulting in a powerful, attractive vehicle that seems easy to drive.

Toyota intends the 2001 Highlander as a family vehicle. Suitably, it has excellent safety features that help parents feel more relaxed whether they have young kids strapped in the back or teenage drivers who take the Highlander out for the evening.

The Highlander's debut shows that Toyota thinks seriously about meeting the needs of modern drivers. While the company primarily earns recognition for its smaller vehicles, the Highlander offers plenty of interior space for passengers and cargo. It also comes with standard features that appeal to today's buyers without forcing them to spend a lot of extra money on options.

Overall, buyers in the market for an SUV, station wagon, or minivan should definitely consider the 2001 Toyota Highlander. It remains one of the best options available.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Toyota Highlander, Toyota Highlander V-6

What's New

2001 marks the Toyota Highlander's debut.


The 2001 Toyota Highland includes a mixture of features that remind drivers of a station wagon, SUV, and minivan. The exterior, however, undoubtedly looks like a raised station wagon. That seems like a good thing for people who don't care for the fake ""dominant"" look that some SUVs try to convey. With the 2001 Highlander, you get sensible exterior aesthetics that make you feel confident without forcing you to get all macho.


Buyers usually start looking at SUVs because they want more interior room. In addition to plenty of space for passengers to relax, the 2001 Highlander offers 38.5 cubic feet of space when you have passengers sitting in the rear. With fewer people in the SUV, you can fold down the rear seats to take advantage of 81.4 cubic feet. The rear seat also has a 60/40 split for when you need it. This versatile storage capacity should surpass the needs of most buyers.

The 2001 Toyota Highlander offers a lot more than just roominess. It comes standard with plenty of features to keep you comfortable and entertained. A six-speaker stereo with a CD and cassette player, air-conditioning, cruise control, and a tilt steering wheel all come standard, as do bottle holders and grocery bag hooks. Hey, this vehicle really does meet the needs of families.

If you want to get a little fancier then choose the Limited trim. It gives you automatic climate control, an upgraded stereo, privacy glass, and wood grain trim. If you like leather upholstery, get it as an option on any of the V6 models.

Performance & Handling

The Toyota Highlander comes with one of two engines. The base contains a 2.4-liter inline-four that offers 155 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. The RX comes with a much heftier engine. Its three-liter V-6 pumps out 220 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 3500 pounds.

The 2001 Toyota Highlander offers excellent handling that impresses drivers who are used to the heavier feel of most SUVs and trucks. Sit behind the wheel of the Highlander, and you could mistake it for a car. Of course, you get the advantage of a larger vehicle with more ground clearance. While the Highlander doesn’t fare well offroad, its 7.3 inches of clearance certainly comes in handy during winter months. The Vehicle Skid Control system also works well in slick conditions.

Overall, you'd be hard pressed to find an SUV that handles this well without spending substantially more money.


The 2001 Toyota Highlander avoids testing by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it a ""good"" rating in frontal-offset tests.

The 2001 Highlander also incorporates several features that make it pretty safe. Highlights include emergency braking assist, four-wheel ABS, ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes, and electronic brake force distribution.

EPA Fuel Economy

Toyota Highlander Base: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Toyota Highlander V-6: 17/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Large interior
  • Carlike handling
  • Reliability
  • Peppy engine

You Won't Like

  • Uncomfortable rear seat
  • Questionable interior aesthetics
  • Driver's seat could be more comfortable

Sum Up

Toyota combines the best aspects of station wagons, SUVs, and minivans into a single vehicle at a good price.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Escape

See the New 2017 Highlander.

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