The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not master any type of one location. Offered it could keep its exceptional resale value as well as reliability, it must show a wise-- otherwise particularly exciting-- selection for many years to find.
Base, Sporting activity and also Limited trim levels feature front- or 4x4, and all could seat five or 7, relying on the setup. Costs range from roughly $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.
I tested all three trim levels of the regular Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.
2008 Toyota Highlander For Sale
Toyota's The golden state design studios sculpted the exterior, which is larger in all significant measurements compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply adequate contours to offset the angles. With its creased fronts lights, flashy grille and also amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a bit also glossy-- like a convenience store shopper that will not take off his sunglasses.
The back bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, and most trim levels have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sporting activity as well as Limited have 19-inchers that complete the wheel wells well. The Sport has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer headlights and also chrome outside moldings.
At 188.4 inches long and also 75.2 inches large, the Highlander casts about the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Overview are both about a foot longer.
Toyota has actually spent years developing a track record for high quality, and absent any kind of significant competition, the brand-new Highlander might have kept that standard. The competition is absolutely nothing if not significant, though, and also SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz boast some impressively upscale insides. In comparison, Toyota drops a little bit brief.
The Highlander shares bases with the present Camry, and also the dashboard bears a lot of the sedan's flavor. The center controls are the all-natural focal point, with large knobs for significant functions within easy reach. Sporting activity and Limited designs have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature and more. It likewise reveals setups for the optional automated environment control system, which can split the cabin right into as several as 3 temperature areas-- 2 front and also one back. The climate controls rest listed below the stereo, as well as they're terribly chaotic. I counted 13 buttons between the two temperature level handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the conventional hands-on air conditioning is simple.
Cabin top quality is simply average. The home window switches over, turn signals as well as center controls can go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents and electroluminescent assesses look great. Many locations are cut in hard plastics, nonetheless, and the appearances lack the charm of the stuff in a number of rivals. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is a few of the least expensive mouse fur this side of an economic situation automobile.
Parents will certainly value the storage space options. The center console between the pole positions has four cupholders as well as a broad storage space container. Neglect laptops; the glove box can fit a tiny desktop. (Most likely not the screen, however-- let's not get carried away.).
3 standard rows of seats accommodate as much as seven, though you could drop the 3rd row in order to save a little cash money, decreasing sitting capability to five. The front seats provide lots of area, with a technique extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the padding under the motorist's thighs. Nice touch.
The second row is just as wide, with reclining back-rests and seat pillows that change backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow function. It's primarily a jump seat, which guests can swap for a plastic center console, turning the second row right into 2 captain's chairs. The extra section-- either the middle seat or console-- stores in a flooring compartment between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the adjustment in around 25 secs.
The dive seat is light sufficient for easy installation. Its comfort is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom pillow is considerable, but I could conveniently really feel the joints below the back-rest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both items have strong installation hooks that need to endure a lot of knocking from overenthusiastic youngsters.
Depending upon where the 2nd row is positioned, the third row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as found headroom a bit tight, however with the 2nd row moved forward a few inches-- preserving a lot of legroom for the majority of grownups-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a brief trip.
Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage
All Highlanders obtain the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and several other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power as well as 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over in 2014's V-6, which made 215 hp as well as 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is basic. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.
Acceleration is adequate off the line and also stronger as the engine revs. The transmission helps points along, holding gears and seldom changing prematurely. Hard velocity can trigger some sudden changes among reduced gears-- much better for velocity, even worse for convenience-- yet most of the moment the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass unseen. The drivetrain feels ideal on the highway, where it downshifts with minimal equipment hunting. Third equipment is particularly potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour death.
The optional 4x4 is clear to the driver. It incorporates a center differential to divide power 50/50 in between the front and also rear wheels all the time. Four-wheel-drive designs have a downhill help function. Press a control panel button, and it will certainly slow down the SUV to a crawl down high qualities. The feature seems a bit insincere: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which suggests you ought to possibly avoid anywhere treacherous enough to call for the downhill help.
All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for up to 3 seconds from a quit to stop the SUV from rolling in reverse prior to you have time to strike the gas.
Utilizing the EPA's more practical 2008 score system-- which normally results in decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions as well as 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (adjusted making use of the EPA's new estimation)-- an impressive task, provided the new Highlander has even more power as well as considers some 300 pounds extra. (Four-cylinder followers will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained just 1 mpg greater than the brand-new one makes with the V-6.).
Ride & Handling
The unibody building manages a comfortable flight, with none of the underbody shimmying that pestered the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) and also lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, but I could not find a distinction in ride firmness amongst the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All three have a bit much more suspension noise over significant bumps compared to I've pertained to expect in a midsize SUV.
Wind sound is minimal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably silent. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires emit a minor hum at highway rates, which I could not identify with the base design's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All designs currently have electric power steering. These systems conserve a little bit on fuel intake-- a little low-hanging fruit to fulfill the government's fuel economy requirements, I presume-- however they usually cause lifeless, synthetic steering feel. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never supplying much in the method of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 prices much better hereof, however couple of various other rivals stick out. The same holds true for body roll: Like many SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, advising motorists it's not to be cornered quickly.
Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are basic. The pedal uses squishy response, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.
Cargo & Towing
With all three rows installed and also elevated, freight space in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds flat right into the flooring, and also the 2nd row folds up virtually level. Highlanders without the third row instead include a relatively big storage space area under the back flooring.
With all seats folded, maximum freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares extra favorably with the group.
When correctly equipped, the Highlander can tow as much as 5,000 pounds.
In Insurance Coverage Institute for Highway Safety and security frontal accident tests, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest possible rating, Good. IIHS has actually not tested the Highlander for side effects.
Toyota really did not skimp on safety and security functions. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and also an electronic stability system. The security system currently collaborates with the electric power steering, which increases the power assist when the driver is guiding to deal with a skid. It additionally helps combat guiding pull under hard braking in order to help the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not steer the SUV on its own, as some innovative systems currently do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any type of additional power aid.).
7 airbags are conventional, including the called for double front air bags, a driver's knee air bag as well as side-impact air bags for the pole positions. There are also roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all three rows, which release during a rollover to avoid resident ejection.
All seats have head restraints, as well as in Sporting activity and also Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash security. Active head restrictions are conventional on the pole positions of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with conveniently accessible top-tether supports midway down the seatback.
Features & Pricing
Leaving out the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of choices playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim levels feature three rows of seats, though a third-row remove alternative on specific versions can save $740.
-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, cooling, cruise ship control, and power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport adds dark outside aspects, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power chauffeur's seat, a multifunction wheel, a backup cam and also six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Restricted includes a keyless start-up system, automated environment control, leather upholstery and a power passenger seat. A number of these features are optional on the Sporting activity. Choices on both trim degrees include a navigation system, JBL premium sound, a backseat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also heated pole positions.
Highlander out there
Rivals from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will give the Highlander a run for its cash. Its largest rival, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the following year or 2, and also Toyota's trump card-- its online reputation for quality and also reliability-- has been sliding recently. The car manufacturer has vowed to enhance its efforts, and its latest SUV must confirm that.
The brand-new Highlander has great deals of textbook perceptiveness, like decent gas mileage and also tons of safety features, however there's absolutely nothing outstanding concerning it. If it shows as bulletproof as its precursor, however, stability will become its defining quality, which is a book attract a great deal of customers can support.