2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Highlander qualifies on all counts, though it does not master any one area. Given it can maintain its outstanding resale value as well as dependability, it ought to verify a clever-- otherwise specifically fascinating-- choice for years to come.
Toyota's The golden state layout workshops sculpted the exterior, which is larger in all significant dimensions than 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 headlights, fancy grille and also characterless bumper, the Highlander seems a bit as well slick-- like a corner store customer who will not remove his sunglasses.
The back bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, as well as many trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are conventional; the Sporting activity and also Limited have 19-inchers that fill in the wheel wells well. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights as well as chrome outside moldings.
At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts roughly the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Expectation are both regarding a foot much longer.
Toyota has spent years building a track record for high quality, and also lacking any kind of serious competition, the brand-new Highlander may have preserved that criterion. The competition is absolutely nothing otherwise serious, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz flaunt some impressively upscale insides. In comparison, Toyota falls a little bit brief.
The Highlander shares underpinnings with the existing Camry, and the control panel births much of the car's flavor. The facility controls are the natural focal point, with oversized knobs for major features within very easy reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited versions have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as more. It also reveals setups for the optional automated climate control system, which can divide the cabin right into as many as three temperature level zones-- 2 front and also one back. The climate controls rest below the stereo, as well as they're extremely cluttered. I counted 13 buttons between both temperature handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the typical manual air conditioning is easy.
Cabin quality is simply ordinary. The home window switches, turn signals and center controls could go straight into a Lexus, and the chrome accents and electroluminescent gauges appearance terrific. A lot of areas are cut in tough plastics, however, as well as the appearances do not have the allure of the stuff in a number of competitors. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the most inexpensive mouse hair this side of an economy vehicle.
Moms and dads will certainly appreciate the storage space options. The facility console in between the pole positions has four cupholders and a wide storage space bin. Fail to remember laptop computers; the glove box could fit a tiny home computer. (Possibly not the monitor, though-- let's not get carried away.).
Three basic rows of seats suit approximately 7, though you could drop the 3rd row in order to conserve a little cash, reducing seatsing capability to five. The front seats offer a lot of area, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the cushion under the driver's thighs. Nice touch.
The second row is just as wide, with reclining backrests as well as seat pillows that change backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's new Center Stow function. It's primarily a dive seat, which guests can swap for a plastic center console, turning the second row into two captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring area between the front seats. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the modification in around 25 seconds.
The jump seat is light sufficient for easy setup. Its comfort is trial and error, also for a center seat; the bottom padding is substantial, however I could easily feel the hinges under the backrest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both pieces have strong installment hooks that must make it through plenty of knocking from overenthusiastic youngsters.
Depending upon where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as found clearance a little bit limited, however with the 2nd row moved on a few inches-- protecting a lot of legroom for most adults-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a brief trip.
Bigger Engine, Better 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 substantial gains over in 2015's V-6, that made 215 hp and 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is standard. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been dropped.
Velocity suffices off the line and more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists points along, holding gears and also hardly ever changing too soon. Difficult acceleration can trigger some abrupt transitions among lower equipments-- better for acceleration, worse for convenience-- yet most of the time the changes are smooth sufficient to pass unseen. The drivetrain feels ideal on the freeway, where it downshifts with very little equipment hunting. Third equipment is particularly powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.
The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the motorist. It incorporates a facility differential to split power 50/50 between the front and also rear wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill assist feature. Press a control panel button, and also it will certainly slow the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The function appears a bit insincere: There is no low equipment for offroad rock crawling, which suggests you must most likely stay clear of anywhere treacherous enough to need the downhill aid.
All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for approximately three seconds from a quit to stop the SUV from rolling backward prior to you have time to strike the gas.
Using the EPA's even more practical 2008 rating system-- which normally brings about reduce numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive designs and 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (readjusted making use of the EPA's brand-new calculation)-- an impressive accomplishment, provided the brand-new Highlander has more power and evaluates some 300 pounds more. (Four-cylinder followers will not miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got simply 1 mpg more than the new one finishes with the V-6.).
Ride & Handling
The unibody construction manages a comfortable trip, with none of the underbody shimmying that pestered the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) as well as numerous body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, but I couldn't identify a difference in ride firmness amongst the base, Sport as well as Limited. All 3 have a little bit more suspension sound over significant bumps compared to I have actually concerned anticipate in a midsize SUV.
Wind sound is minimal. Offered a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably peaceful. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires release a mild hum at freeway rates, which I could not find with the base version's 17-inchers and thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All designs currently include electric power guiding. These systems save a bit on fuel usage-- a little low-hanging fruit to fulfill the government's gas economic climate standards, I believe-- yet they usually lead to lifeless, fabricated guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever supplying a lot in the way of feedback or turning accuracy. The CX-9 fares much better here, but few other rivals stand out. The same is true for body roll: Like the majority of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, reminding drivers it's not to be collared quickly.
Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are basic. The pedal provides spongy feedback, however the brakes clamp down hard when required.
Freight & Towing
With all 3 rows installed and increased, cargo area in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up level right into the floor, and the second row folds up nearly flat. Highlanders without the 3rd row rather include a rather huge storage space area under the back flooring.
With all seats folded, maximum freight quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares more favorably with the crowd.
When appropriately furnished, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Safety and security.
In Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Safety frontal collision tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest possible score, Excellent. IIHS has actually not checked the Highlander for side impacts.
Toyota didn't stint safety and security functions. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control as well as an electronic security system. The stability system now deals with the electric power guiding, which increases the power help when the driver is guiding to fix a skid. It likewise helps fight guiding pull under hard stopping to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not steer the SUV by itself, as some innovative systems now do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, do not anticipate any kind of added power help.).
Seven airbags are basic, including the needed twin front airbags, a driver's knee air bag and side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are likewise roll-sensing side drape airbags for all three rows, which deploy during a rollover to stop resident ejection.
All seats have head restraints, and also in Sport and Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash security. Active head restraints are typical on the pole positions of all trims. The second row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly available top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.
Functions & Prices
Leaving out the location cost, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of choices playings around $42,000. Four-wheel drive on any kind of trim includes regarding $1,500. All trim levels feature 3 rows of seats, though a third-row erase option on particular versions can conserve $740.
For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, cooling, cruise ship control, and also power home windows, mirrors and door locks.
For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes darkened exterior aspects, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a backup video camera and six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless startup system, automated climate control, natural leather upholstery and also a power passenger seat. Many of these features are optional on the Sporting activity. Options on both trim degrees include a navigation system, JBL costs audio, a rear seat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate as well as heated pole positions.
Highlander on the market
Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will certainly provide the Highlander a run for its money. Its biggest rival, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or more, as well as Toyota's secret weapon-- its credibility for top quality and dependability-- has actually been sliding recently. The car manufacturer has actually promised to enhance its efforts, and its most current SUV has to show that.
The new Highlander has lots of textbook perceptiveness, like good gas mileage and also loads of safety features, yet there's absolutely nothing phenomenal regarding it. If it shows as bulletproof as its predecessor, though, reliability will certainly become its defining characteristic, which is a textbook draw a lot of customers could support.