Toyota Highlander 2005 (Carton Wagon) review & prices in Nigeria

May 17, 2019

Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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1. Introduction

The 2005 Toyota Highlander was one of the best midsize SUVs of many produced that year. Toyota has become legendary in automotive circles when it comes to making the most durable and cost-effective vehicles. Going by the standard of the 2005 Toyota Highlander model, it is not surprising the Toyota sales team recorded a whopping 137,409 units moved in 2005. This made the 2005 Toyota Highlander’s most successful year since the first generation, and indeed among many midsized SUV in that year.

The Hybrid version of Toyota Highlander, notwithstanding that it was the first introduction of such new technology, was able to score a very impressive 17,989 in sales. 

It must be said straightaway that despite the intervening years, the 2005 model of this car is still a solid contender in the SUV market in Nigeria, and capable of giving customers great performance and satisfaction. If like several thousand Nigerians you are a little soft about the ‘Carton Wagon’ (as the SUV is popularly nicknamed in Nigeria) then here is a great review and prices of Toyota Highlander 2005 on


Toyota Highlander 2005 - The Carton Wagon of Naija drivers

2.  Toyota Highlander 2005 trims

Toyota built the 2005 Highlander in three trims, which all have two options each. There is the Base trim, the V6 (Hybrid) and the Limited V6. Here they are for better understanding:

Base Highlander trim

  • Base Front-wheel Drive
  • Base All-wheel Drive

V6 Highlander

  • V6 Front-wheel Drive
  • V6 All-wheel Drive

Limited V6

  • Limited V6 Front-wheel Drive
  • Limited V6 All-wheel Drive


3 trims for the 2005 Toyota Highlander means greater choice of options for Naija buyers

>>> [Expert comparison review] Toyota Highlander vs Honda Pilot

3.  Toyota Highlander 2005 prices in Nigeria (brand new, tokunbo & Nigerian used prices)

It is still possible to purchase a new 2005 Toyota Highlander in many dealerships. There are also available foreign used and Nigerian used models to buy if you feel the price of the new Toyota Highlander is above your budget. New price varies according to trims.

Prices of new Toyota Highlander 2005 in Nigeria

Prices of new Toyota Highlander 2005 in Nigeria  
Base Highlander
  • Base Front-wheel Drive cost: $24,280
  • Base All-wheel Drive cost :    $25,680 
V6 Highlander
  • V6 Front-wheel Drive: $25,340
  • V6 All-wheel Drive:     $27,590

Limited V6

  •  Limited V6 Front-wheel Drive: $30,180
  • Limited V6 All-wheel Drive:     $31,580

Note: All prices are in Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and they are likely to cost more depending on dealers and cost for shipping and clearing from Nigeria customs.

>>> Toyota Highlander Prices in Nigeria (all model years)

Prices of tokunbo Toyota Highlander 2005 in Nigeria

Tokunbo Toyota Highlander 2005 prices in Nigeria
Model Price in Nigerian naira
Toyota Highlander 2005  3.4 million – 3.8 million

Note: The above prices exclude the clearing cost of 600,000 - 700,000 at Nigerian Customs.

Prices of Nigerian used Toyota Highlander 2005 in Nigeria

Nigerian used Toyota Highlander 2005 prices in Nigeria
Model Price in Nigerian naira
Toyota Highlander 2005  2 million – 2.2 million

>>> Where to buy Toyota Highlander 2005:

4.Toyota Highlander 2005 exterior design: a standard SUV in looks

The exterior of the 2005 Toyota Highlander is not so sleek as newer SUV models, yet its not a dinosaur with a basic SUV look with a boxy style. Its exterior is designed with the simple features of any car. It has a wheelbase that measures 106.9 inches, an overall length of 184.6 inches, while the Hybrid version has a length of 185.6 inches with an overall width of 71.9 inches.

>>> Top 10 best-selling SUVs in Jan-Mar 2019

The vehicle weights 1,716 kg and has different alloy wheels depending on the trims. Based on your choice, you can get a 16 inches steel alloy wheel for the Base and V6 trims, or you can go for the 17 inches aluminium alloy wheel for the Limited V6 trim.

>>> Steel wheel vs. alloy wheel, which one is right for you?


The 2005 Toyota Highlander is a standard SUV in looks

5. Toyota Highlander 2005 engine & fuel economy: go for the V6 Limited for the best specs

Toyota Highlander 2005 engine

The vehicle comes with different engines and transmissions that gives users a smooth ride while maximizing your fuel usage which beats the 2004 model. The base model is restricted to 2.4 liters, four cylinder with 4-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 and the Limited V6 are equipped with a larger 3.3 liters V6 with 5-speed automatic transmission, while still maintaining its all-wheel and front wheel drives.  

>>> Now, 4-cylinder engine vs. 6-cylinder engine - How are they different?

Toyota Highlander 2005 fuel economy

The base grade engine can go 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for its front wheel drive and can also run 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on highways for its all-wheel drive variant while maintaining 160 horsepower at 5700 rpm.

The V6 and the Limited V6 both power out 230 hp at 5800 rpm but have a different MPG. While V6 can go 19 mpg and 18 mpg on streets for its  front/all wheel and 25 mpg on highways, Limited V6 can go 19 City/ 25 Highway and 18 City/ 24 Highway on front and all wheel respectively.

>>> Car mileage or Gas mileage? Differences & top fuel economy cars

  Toyota Highlander 2005 specs
Trim Specs
 Base Highlander  Base Front-wheel Drive
  • Engine: 2.4-liter I-4
  • MPG:   22 City/ 27 Highway
  • Transmission : 4 speed automatic
  • Power:  160@5700 rpm

Base All-wheel Drive

  • Engine: 2.4-liter 1-4
  • MPG : 21 City/ 25 Highway
  • Transmission : 4 speed automatic
  • Power : 160 hp@5700 rpm
 V6 Highlander  V6 Front-wheel Drive
  • Engine: 3.3-liter V6
  • MPG : 19 City/ 25 Highway
  • Transmission : 5 speed automatic
  • Power : 230hp@5800 rpm

V6 All-wheel Drive

  • Engine: 3.3-liter V6
  • MPG : 18 City/ 25 Highway
  • Transmission : 5 speed automatic
  • Power : 230hp@5800 rpm
 Limited V6 Highlander  Limited V6 Front-wheel Drive
  • Engine: 3.3-liter V6
  • MPG : 19 City/ 25 Highway
  • Transmission : 5 speed automatic
  • Power : 230@5800 rpm

Limited V6 All-wheel Drive                                

  • Engine: 3.3-liter V6
  • MPG : 18 City/ 24 Highway
  • Transmission : 5 speed automatic
  • Power : 230hp@5800 rpm

 2005 Toyota Highlander 4WD | POV Test Drive & Review (Mountain Road)

6.  Toyota Highlander 2005 interior

6.1  Features and convenience

The exterior may interest you but curious about the interior? Well, the 2005 Highlander has a modest interior for all its grades. But there seems to be a different option for its different packages.

Base trim features

If you opt for the Base trim you can get basic features such as:

  • power windows and door lock,
  • tandard anti-lock brakes,
  • electronic stability control, cruise control,
  • well-trimmed leather seats,
  • driveline traction control,
  • front air conditioning,
  • AM/FM stereo,
  • seek-scan Radio and
  • remote keyless entry

V6 trim features

The Highlander Limited V6 trim has all the basic features of the Base grade with additional features like:

  • the rear seat DVD system,
  • RCA input jacks for video,
  • two wireless headphones,
  • a 151-voltage AC power outlet,
  • GPS navigation,
  • heated mirrors, and
  • front fog driving light

>>>10 simple tips to maintain your used Toyota Highlander


Cockpit of the 2005 Toyota Highlander, the electronics are not so modern by current standards, but still okay 

6.2 Seating

The seating of the car has slight differences according to trim. While Toyota supplied the Base and V6 grade with an option to choose from either 5-7 seats according to the wheel drive, the Limited V6 trims was supplied with a fixed 7 seating and also has a full bench third row seat. The adjustable third row seat is comfortable for kids and adults of average height but can be quite uncomfortable for adults that are taller.


3 rows, foldable seats, comfortable room define the seating arrangements

7. Reliability and safety of Toyota Highlander 2005

In addition to the great engines that Toyota equipped the 2005 Highlander with, the SUV also has great safety features for drivers’ and passenger safety, which makes the car more reliable. Some of this includes a panic alarm, four wheel ABS brakes, 2-way head restraints, a tail and a rear door that includes a power door lock. The car also comes with (for all grades) available seat belts that are adjustable depending on passengers. This seat belt has a 3 points rear center seat belt for the second and third rows.

Toyota Highlander 2005 was rated good by In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, and had one of the lowest driver fatality rates.


Not exactly the latest, but cool safety features all the same

8. Pros and Cons of 2005 Toyota Highlander


  • Has good fuel economy.
  • Available Hybrid version.
  • Good for modern not so large family.
  • Quality interior
  • Has good mileage


  • Most of the best features are only available for the premium trims.
  • Third row seat does not have much space.

>>> See other options for family cars:


The 2005 Toyota Highlander is the real deal 

10. Should I buy this car now?

The 2005 Toyota Highlander was one of the best cars during its production year, and is still serving many users in Nigeria. One of the many reasons many people continue to buy this vehicle is because of its great fuel economy and mileage. The key is, if you really want to enjoy the full benefits if this car you should go for the Limited V6.

>>> See other options for Toyota Highlander 2005

Toyota Highlander 2005 review and prices - brought to you by Naijauto car review team.

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Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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