2009 Toyota Highlander
The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it doesn't excel in any kind of one area. Provided it could maintain its outstanding resale worth and also dependability, it must confirm a wise-- otherwise particularly exciting-- selection for several years to come.
Toyota's California style workshops shaped the outside, which is larger in all major dimensions compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just sufficient curves to offset the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille and amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a little bit as well slick-- like a convenience store consumer who won't remove his sunglasses.
The back bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, and most trim degrees have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sport and also Limited have 19-inchers that complete the wheel wells nicely. The Sport has a dark silver grille and smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer headlights and chrome exterior moldings.
At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts approximately the very same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and Saturn Overview are both about a foot longer.
Toyota has spent years building a track record for high quality, as well as lacking any kind of significant competition, the brand-new Highlander might have preserved that criterion. The competitors is nothing if not severe, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz flaunt some remarkably high end insides. In comparison, Toyota drops a little bit short.
The Highlander shares underpinnings with the present Camry, and the control panel bears much of the sedan's flavor. The center controls are the all-natural centerpiece, with extra-large knobs for significant features within very easy reach. Sporting activity and Limited models have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature and even more. It likewise reveals setups for the optional automatic climate control system, which can divide the cabin into as several as 3 temperature zones-- two front and also one rear. The climate manages rest below the stereo, and they're extremely cluttered. I counted 13 buttons in between both temperature handles; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the standard hand-operated air conditioning is straightforward.
Cabin top quality is merely typical. The window switches over, turn signals as well as center controls might go straight into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and also electroluminescent determines appearance great. The majority of locations are trimmed in difficult plastics, however, and also the appearances do not have the appeal of right stuff in a number of competitors. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the most affordable computer mouse hair this side of an economic climate car.
Parents will certainly value the storage space alternatives. The center console between the pole positions has 4 cupholders and also a vast storage space container. Neglect laptop computers; the handwear cover box might fit a small desktop computer. (Probably not the monitor, though-- let's not obtain carried away.).
Three typical rows of seats accommodate up to 7, though you could drop the third row in order to conserve a little cash, lowering seating capacity to 5. The front seats supply lots of room, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the pillow under the motorist's upper legs. Nice touch.
The 2nd row is just as commodious, with reclining back-rests and seat cushions that adjust backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's brand-new Center Stow function. It's primarily a dive seat, which travelers can exchange for a plastic facility console, turning the 2nd row right into two captain's chairs. The unused part-- either the middle seat or console-- shops in a flooring area in between the front seats. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the change in around 25 secs.
The jump seat is light enough for simple setup. Its convenience is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is substantial, however I might quickly really feel the joints below the backrest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both pieces have tough setup hooks that need to make it through lots of thrashing from overenthusiastic kids.
Depending upon where the 2nd row is positioned, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall as well as found headroom a little bit tight, however with the 2nd row moved on a few inches-- preserving a lot of legroom for a lot of adults-- the third row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a brief journey.
Bigger Engine, Better Mileage
All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over in 2014's V-6, makinged 215 hp and 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is common. In 2015's base four-cylinder engine has actually been dropped.
Acceleration is adequate off the line as well as more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission helps points along, holding equipments and hardly ever shifting prematurely. Tough acceleration can prompt some abrupt shifts amongst lower equipments-- better for velocity, worse for convenience-- however the majority of the time the changes are smooth enough to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain feels ideal on the freeway, where it downshifts with minimal equipment hunting. 3rd equipment is specifically powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour death.
The optional 4x4 is transparent to the vehicle driver. It includes a center differential to split power 50/50 between the front as well as rear wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill aid feature. Press a control panel switch, and it will slow the SUV to a crawl down high qualities. The attribute seems a little bit insincere: There is no low equipment for offroad rock crawling, which suggests you need to probably prevent anywhere treacherous adequate to require the downhill assist.
All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for up to 3 secs from a quit to stop the SUV from rolling backwards prior to you have time to strike the gas.
Utilizing the EPA's even more realistic 2008 rating system-- which normally leads to decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive designs as well as 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (adjusted utilizing the EPA's brand-new estimation)-- an excellent accomplishment, provided the new Highlander has even more power and evaluates some 300 pounds a lot more. (Four-cylinder followers will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got simply 1 mpg greater than the new one performs with the V-6.).
Ride & Handling
The unibody building manages a comfortable ride, with none of the underbody vibrating that pestered the previous Highlander (which was likewise unibody) and many body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, yet I could not discover a distinction in ride suppleness amongst the base, Sport and Limited. All three have a little bit much more suspension noise over significant bumps than I've concerned expect in a midsize SUV.
Wind sound is marginal. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably peaceful. The Sporting activity as well as Limited's 19-inch wheels as well as P245/55R19 tires produce a small hum at highway rates, which I could not spot with the base model's 17-inchers and also thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All models currently have electric power steering. These systems conserve a bit on gas intake-- a little bit of low-hanging fruit to meet the government's fuel economy criteria, I suspect-- yet they often result in lifeless, artificial steering feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never providing much in the way of responses or transforming precision. The CX-9 prices better hereof, however few various other competitors stick out. The very same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising drivers it's not to be collared quickly.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are basic. The pedal supplies mushy action, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.
Freight & Towing
With all three rows mounted and elevated, freight room in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up level into the flooring, as well as the 2nd row folds up nearly level. Highlanders without the third row rather include a rather huge storage location under the rear flooring.
With all seats folded up, optimal cargo volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares much more favorably with the crowd.
When properly geared up, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.
Safety and security.
In Insurance Institute for Freeway Safety frontal accident examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest rating, Great. IIHS has not evaluated the Highlander for side impacts.
Toyota really did not skimp on safety and security attributes. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and an electronic security system. The stability system currently works with the electrical power steering, which boosts the power aid when the chauffeur is steering to correct a skid. It also assists fight steering pull under tough stopping to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system could not guide the SUV on its own, as some sophisticated systems now do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any extra power help.).
7 air bags are common, including the called for dual front airbags, a vehicle driver's knee airbag as well as side-impact air bags for the front seats. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape airbags for all 3 rows, which deploy throughout a rollover to avoid resident ejection.
All seats have head restrictions, and also in Sporting activity and also Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for much better whiplash security. Energetic head restraints are basic on the front seats of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with easily available top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.
Attributes & Rates
Excluding the location fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bunch of choices runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim degrees have three rows of seats, though a third-row remove option on particular models could conserve $740.
For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, a/c, cruise ship control, and also power windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes dark exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction wheel, a backup camera and six-CD audio.
For $32,700, the Restricted includes a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture and a power traveler seat. Most of these features are optional on the Sporting activity. Alternatives on both trim levels include a navigation system, JBL premium sound, a backseat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and warmed front seats.
Highlander out there
Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will provide the Highlander a run for its loan. Its largest competitor, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or 2, as well as Toyota's key resource-- its reputation for top quality and integrity-- has been sliding lately. The car manufacturer has actually vowed to redouble its efforts, as well as its latest SUV should verify that.
The new Highlander has great deals of book perceptiveness, like decent gas mileage and tons of security attributes, however there's absolutely nothing remarkable concerning it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its precursor, though, dependability will become its specifying characteristic, which is a textbook draw a lot of purchasers can get behind.