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Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Toyota Highlander ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Toyota Highlander has a score of 8.4 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Toyota Highlander Review

If you're in the market for a used family-friendly midsize SUV, there are few better starting points than the 2015 Toyota Highlander. The eight-seat Highlander has a comfortable ride, ample cargo space, and good fuel efficiency, along with few negatives.

Pros & Cons

  • Potent V6 engine
  • Hushed, composed ride
  • Plentiful cargo space
  • High-end interior
  • Cramped third row

2015 Toyota Highlander Overview

Is the 2015 Toyota Highlander a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 Toyota Highlander is everything you'd expect a midsize SUV to be, while also adding an upscale cabin. The Highlander has a library-quiet ride and good safety scores. For these reasons and more, the Highlander won our 2015 Best 3-Row SUV for Families.

Used 2015 Toyota Highlander Performance and Interior

The 2015 Highlander has two engine choices: the base 185-horsepower four-cylinder and an available 270-horsepower V6. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines. The base engine's performance is merely adequate, so upgrading to the V6 is recommended to get better passing power. The automatic transmission delivers quick responses and prompt downshifts. 

Its comfortable and composed ride does an excellent job of soaking up road imperfections. The Highlander also feels stable and well-planted on the pavement, even around curves. It gets 19-20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which is good for a midsize SUV.

Read more about Highlander performance »

The 2015 Highlander seats up to eight in three rows. Limited and Limited Platinum models have second-row captain’s chairs, bringing capacity down to seven. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second-row captain's chairs are available.

The Highlander’s first- and second-row seats provide generous head- and legroom. The second row also slides forward to allow easy access to the third row. Adults will find third-row seating short on space. Both outboard second-row seats feature a full set of LATCH child-seat connectors, while the second-row middle seat offers only an upper tether. In the third row, only the middle seat has an upper tether.

Base models come standard with a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, voice recognition, a six-speaker sound system, and a USB port. Available features include satellite radio, traffic and weather alerts, navigation, an app suite, a 12-speaker sound system, and an 8-inch touch screen.

Both touch screens work well, but they can occasionally be slow to respond. The 8-inch version is easier to operate and features better graphics. The Highlander has logically arranged and easily accessible audio and climate control buttons.

The Highlander has 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats upright, 42.3 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 83.7 cubic feet with both second and third rows folded.

Read more about Highlander interior »

Used 2015 Toyota Highlander Prices

The average price of a used 2015 Toyota Highlander ranges from about $25,100 for a base LE model to about $35,880 for a top-of-the-line Limited Platinum model. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, and current demand. See our list ofused 2015 affordable midsize SUVs for more.

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We Did the Research for You: 25 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if the 2015 Toyota Highlander is right for you, we analyzed 25 professional reviews in addition to crash test results, predicted reliability ratings, and more. We've combined all of that information to create an accurate and complete overview of the Highlander.

Why You Can Trust Us

We've been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our writers and editors do not accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and all of the advertising on our site is handled by a third party.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Toyota Highlander?

The 2015 Highlander has a predicted reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is slightly above average.

Read more about Highlander reliability »

How Safe Is the Highlander?

The Highlander scores well in safety. It earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as the top score of Good in four out of five crash tests. In the fifth test – the small overlap front crash – the Highlander earned the second-highest score of Average. It earned five out of five stars overall, five stars in side crash tests, and four stars in rollover and frontal crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The only standard safety feature in the 2015 Highlander is a rearview camera. Available safety features include rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Highlander safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Highlander?

The 2015 Toyota Highlander is part of the SUV's third generation, which launched in 2014 and includes the 2017 model year. There were no significant changes to the Highlander for the 2015 model year. Therefore, buying a 2014 model will save you money and get you largely the same vehicle as the 2015 Highlander. 

Compare the 2014 and 2015 Highlander »

Which Used Toyota Highlander Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Toyota Highlander comes in five trims: LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum. There is also a Toyota Highlander Hybrid model (reviewed separately). The best model to choose is the XLE. It upgrades the infotainment system to the 8-inch touch screen with navigation and adds push-button start, heated front seats, a height-adjustable power liftgate, and a moonroof.

A certified pre-owned Highlander may suit you best. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Toyota certified pre-owned program »

2015 Toyota Highlander and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Highlander or 2015 Honda Pilot?

The Honda Pilot is another eight-seat 3-row SUV. It has generous legroom in all three rows, but its interior is full of hard plastics and cheap-looking materials. The Pilot offers many similar features to the Highlander, such as an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a rearview camera, and a moonroof. However, the Pilot doesn't offer advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning, which are available in the Highlander. Additionally, the Highlander has better passing power on the highway, making it the all-around better vehicle.

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Highlander or 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the gas-only Highlander offer many of the same standard and available features. The Highlander Hybrid comes standard with a V6 engine and three electric motors that produce a robust 280 horsepower and give it strong acceleration. However, like many hybrids, it has touchy regenerative brakes. The great advantage it has over its gas-only counterpart is its fuel economy. The Highlander Hybrid gets 27 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the gas-only Highlander gets 19-20 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway. The hybrid won our 2015 Best Hybrid SUV for the Money and Best Hybrid SUV for Families awards. If superior fuel economy is your thing, go with the Highlander Hybrid.

Which Is Better: 2015 Toyota Highlander or 2015 Nissan Pathfinder?

The seven-seat Nissan Pathfinder has some of the most spacious second-row seats in the class. It also has more cargo space than the Highlander: 16 cubic feet behind the third row, 47.8 behind the second row, and 79.8 behind the first row. However, the Highlander's base trim comes with more features than the base Pathfinder, including a touch screen, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth. The Highlander also has a more powerful V6 and a smoother transmission, making it the SUV to buy.

Compare the Highlander, Pilot, and Pathfinder »

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