The 2012 Toyota Highlander is a popular choice in a crowded segment, and it’s easy to see why. The Highlander offers benefits such as a family-friendly cabin, an in-demand rearview camera and a hybrid powertrain. It also provides three rows of seating and space for seven people.
Three trim levels are available for the 2012 Toyota Highlander: base, SE and SE Limited. It comes with a five- or six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional across the lineup. The 2012 Highlander Hybrid and Hybrid Limited also are available. Both feature a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) and electrically assisted all-wheel drive.
Significantly refreshed last year, the Highlander carries over unchanged for 2012.
Mixing traditional SUV style cues and modern details, the 2012 Highlander has a dynamic, sporty appearance. A slim grille, sculpted hood and deeply carved fog-light pockets accent the look. The Highlander’s body shows off bold sculpting over the wheels, and large wraparound taillights are on display out back.
The base Highlander is well-equipped, with automatic projector-beam headlights, power-adjustable exterior mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Higher-level models offer additional content such as fog lamps, heated mirrors, a power moonroof, a power liftgate and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, a dual-level center stack sets off the Highlander’s molded multi-piece dashboard. Circle-shaped details also bring some flair to the cabin. The climate and audio controls, for example, include large metallic knobs. Separate hoods for the speedometer and tachometer create an athletic touch. The Highlander also has an impressively flexible interior. One highlight is the standard 40/20/40-split folding second row. It features a stowable center section that creates two captain’s chairs. Further, when you fold those seats, and the 50/50-split folding third row, the Highlander’s cargo capacity expands to 95.4 cubic feet. The 2012 Honda Pilot offers a maximum of 87 cubic feet of rear storage despite being three inches longer than the Highlander.
The 2012 Toyota Highlander comes with front and rear air conditioning, manually adjustable cloth seats and a steering wheel with a tilt-and-telescoping column. You can enjoy uplevel touches in the higher trims, such as leather-trimmed seats, a heated front row, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, tri-zone automatic climate control and a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel.
A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is standard for the Highlander and delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. To provide more capability, Toyota supplies a 3.5-liter V6. This engine makes 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The standard engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 is matched with a five-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive optional, for both engines.
The V6 is best for towing, thanks to a 5,000-pound maximum tow rating.
The most fuel-efficient Highlander is the hybrid model. With a 3.5-liter V6 and nickel-metal hydride battery, the Highlander Hybrid offers 280 total horsepower and EPA ratings of 28/28 mpg city/highway. The four-cylinder Highlander compares at 20/25 mpg city/highway.
The 2012 Toyota Highlander has a competitive range of standard and available technology. The starting point is a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary input jack.
A rearview camera is optional. In the SE and Limited trims, the system relies on a 3.5-inch display screen. That’s complemented by infotainment upgrades such as Bluetooth, satellite radio and an iPod-compatible USB port. In Highlander models equipped with navigation, a 7-inch touch screen is standard. A nine-speaker JBL audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system also are available. The latter has a 9-inch drop-down monitor.
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User Reviews for 2012 Toyota Highlander
by Kevin on August 18, 2018
2012 Highlander Wisconsin
"Nice SUV the Limited has all you need for bells and whistles, good leg room for 2nd row bucket seats, but small 3rd seats and they are not comfy- works for young kids- no storage room behind 3rd seats when seats are up- Good car for 4 adults if the 3rd seats are folded down -This is not a 6 or 7 passenger car for adults for a longer trip"
"Needed additional car that would help with my job which is a carrier for USPS. Great for hauling packages, easy maneuverability, quiet and smooth operating car. This model comes in a 6 or 4 cylinder engine. I have the 4 which if you want a lot of power, the 4 cylinder is not the way to go."
I have the base model...interior is very standard. Nice and quiet interior...runs smoothly.
"Have a Limited model. Overall, this is a great vehicle. We had a Toyota 4Runner previously. While the 4 wheel capability in the Highland is not as great as the 4Runner, the ride and comfort our much better. It has been a reliable vehicle. I am planning to buy another one when we eventually trade the 2012 model in. "
Good features, easy to access. My only issue is the GPS system which, in theory, needs to be updated periodically and you have to buy the last CD to do it. However, I rarely use the GPS system since I have another device.
Nice looking vehicle.
It has been very reliable, easy to drive. We have taken second long trips and it is very comfortable.
It is only two of us so there is plenty of room
We have only had to do routine maintenance, e.g. oil changes, tire rotations, etc. I did feel that the standard tire that came with the Highlander did not last as long as a good brand name tire. We got only about 45K on the original tire. The Highlander is rated as 22MPG for highway, but we have been getting between 23 and 24.
"Love the car so far. Good handling (though electric steering took some getting used to) and acceleration. Interior is nicely appointed, good visibility. Wish I had the shelf that shows up in the 2014s and 2015s for my phone. My only complaint is the drivers seat. I preferred the one in my recently traded in Passat. I feel like the bolsters do not hold me in the seat around corners. It's a bit of a flat surface along seat and back. Otherwise very pleased with the driving position. Love the 40/20/40 second seat. My kids think the side table that installs in place of seat is great. Fantastic that the middle seat can be stowed under the center console. Third row seats are great for my kids. Rear space is very limited when this seat is up. Need to get a Yakima or Thule box for road trips. " Read Less
by FLO3060 on June 12, 2015
"Holds 8 people. Use it for personal use.
Has camera, roomy, has many features, new tires, blue tooth connection for phone, automatic garage door opener."
CARFAX Info for 2012 Toyota Highlander
CARFAX offers millions of used cars for sale nationwide. Every listing includes the vehicle history. The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
2012 Toyota Highlander Deals on CARFAX
Percentage of 2012 Toyota Highlander for sale on CARFAX that are Great, Good, and Fair Value deals. Values are determined by whether the selling price is above, below, or the same as the history-based CARFAX Value.
VEHICLE HISTORY SUMMARY
The Vehicle History Summary represents the percentage of cars available for sale on CARFAX that are reported to have no accidents or damage, had 1-owner, been used as a personal or personal lease car, and/or have service history information.
No Accidents or Damage Reports
2012 Toyota Highlander Pricing
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is the "sticker price" for this vehicle, including optional equipment, when it was new.
The price range for the 2012 Toyota Highlander is $12,495 - $18,492.
The average selling price is $15,430.
The data below is updated daily, based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
Price range and average selling price are based on the median selling price while CARFAX Value is a VIN-specific value based on the vehicle's history.
$28,240 - $37,195
This is the price range for the 2012 Toyota Highlander based on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
$12,495 - $18,492
Average Selling Price
This is the range of CARFAX Values for the 2012 Toyota Highlander on used car inventory for sale on CARFAX.
CARFAX Vehicle History products and services are based only on information supplied to CARFAX. CARFAX does not have the complete history of every vehicle. Use the CARFAX search as one important tool, along with a vehicle inspection and test drive, to make a better decision about your next used car.