Why are Toyota Highlanders So Expensive? (3 Reasons Explained)

The Highlander Highlander is a well-rounded family SUV that offers plenty of comfort, practicality, and style

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new or used Highlander, you might have been shocked by how expensive they are.

So, why is the Toyota Highlander so expensive?

Toyota Highlanders are so expensive because they hold their value well well, have legendary reliability, cost little to maintain, and have an excellent safety record. These sought-after features mean the Highlander is incredibly popular. This demand is reflected in the Highlanders price tag.

Read on for a full list of reasons why the Toyota Highlander is so cheap, and if it’s worth the lofty price tag.

Why are Toyota Highlanders So Expensive? (3 Reasons Explained)

3 Reasons Why Land Cruisers Are So Expensive:

Let’s dive a little deeper into the reasons Highlanders are so expensive.

1. They Hold Their Value

Both new and used Toyota Highlanders are expensive because they hold their value so well.

According to CarEdge, the Toyota Highlander will depreciate roughly 35% after 5 years of ownership.

The Highlander ranked 4th (out of 200 cars) for the best resale value after 5 years.

Only the Chevrolet Corvette, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Tacoma have better resale values than the Highlander.

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2. They Are Ultra-Reliable

Toyota Highlanders are extremely reliable SUVs

JD Power regularly ranks the Toyota Highlander in the top 3 most reliable SUVs.

They consistently rate the highlander over 80/100 for reliability, which they class as “great”

RepairPal gives the Highlander 4/5 starts for reliability, which ranks it 7th out of 26 midsize SUVs.

3. They Cost Relatively Little To Maintain

People usually think that the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the cost to maintain it.

However, that’s not the case with the Toyota Highlander.

According to RepairPal, the Highlander costs $489 on average to maintain each year.

That’s below the average of $573 for all midsize SUV’s, and far lower than the average for all vehicles ($652)

It’s well known that potential future repair costs are factored into the sale of a high mileage vehicle (we’re looking at you BMW) so naturally, when a car has low maintenance costs, it retains its value better.

4. They Are Super Safe

The Toyota Highlander gets excellent safety ratings.

It is consistently awarded the top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) who conducts crash tests to determine the safety of a vehicle.

The Highlander consistently ranks among the safest midsize SUVs.

These impressive safety provide yet another reason why Highlanders are in high demand.

Is The Toyota Highlander Overpriced?

It’s fair to say that Toyota knows they have a winner in the Highlander.

It’s in high demand, so they can set the price high and know people will still pay it.

However, if you compare the Highlander to similar SUV’s, it’s definitely a little overpriced.

The base model is a good $3-4k more expensive than its nearest counterpart.

If you’re considering buying a Toyota Highlander and are concerned about it being overpriced, then I would recommend buying a 2-3-year-old Highlander.

You’ll save yourself up to 20-30% on the retail value and still have a reliable vehicle that will last you for many years.

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Are There Better Value SUVs than The Toyota Highlander?

If you are dead set on buying a new SUV, then there are some better value (and better-rated options) out there.

CarNews and Kelly Blue Book ranked the Kia Telluride as their best midsize SUV in 2021.

The base models cost roughly $2k less than the Highlander base model while scoring high marks for performance, tech, and safety.

However, keep in mind that the Telluride will lose slightly more in value than the Highlander.

Is The Toyota Highlander Worth The Money?

Toyota Highlanders are definitely worth the money if you can afford to buy one.

Highlanders are regularly rated as one of the best midsize SUVs you can buy.

They have excellent reliability and safety ratings, as well as low maintenance costs.

So their quality is undeniable.

However, my opinion is that buying a new Highlander is not worth it when you can buy a 2-3 old Highlander and save yourself paying the ‘new SUV premium’.

Why Are Used Toyota Highlanders So Expensive?

Used Toyota Highlanders are so expensive simply because they cost a lot to buy new ($35-45k) and they hold their value exceptionally well.

They are one of the slowest depreciating vehicles on the market.

Highlanders are well known for their reliability and dependability.

The fact that they will last a long time with little maintenance is reflected in the second-hand market.

Add to that the fact that Highlanders are in demand.

According to Kelly Blue Book, the Toyota Highlander was the 4th most popular SUV sold in 2021.

This high demand is only going to drive up the cost of used Highlanders.

Are Toyota Highlanders Expensive To Insure?

According to Insuraviz, the Toyota Highlander costs marginally more to insure than to similar mid-size SUVs

The Highlander will cost an average of $1,514 to insure every year (or $126 per month )

The average midsize SUV costs $1475 to insure per year (or $122 per month )

The increased insurance cost can simply attributed to the fact that Highlander is generally more expensive than other midsize SUVs, so naturally has a higher insurance cost.

Final Thoughts – Why are Highlanders So Expensive?

In Summary, the Toyota Highlander has a high cost because it is a very popular SUV with high-reliability ratings, good safety features, and a high resale value.

Toyota has steadily been increasing its prices over the years as it gains a good reputation for reliable and long last cars.

Buying a new Highlander is a little overpriced, so we recommend opting for a 2-3-year-old model to get the best value for money.