Even as novices like the Ford Traveler as well as Dodge Durango challenge against the Highlander and the Honda Pilot, I still find the Highlander a capable underdog. If you choose the V-6 engine, it carries out as well as the remainder, as well.
I evaluated a new 2011 model with just 65 miles on it, yet the 2012s are currently for sale as well as are furnished and also valued virtually identically.
2012 Toyota Highlander Limited V6
While most households would certainly be well-served by virtually any type of three-row crossover on the marketplace, the Highlander has some significant attributes that set it apart.
The front seats of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul trip from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has lots of assistance, as well, and all seats have adequate upper leg assistance. The 2nd row can slide forward and back, which is most useful for third-row guests.
A 3rd row is typical even on the base Highlander. With the second row moved all the way back, there is little area for third-row passengers. Relocate the second row up even a little, however-- regarding 2 notches-- as well as third-row passengers ought to be as comfy as I went to 5-foot-10. It's the gliding second row that makes this crossover as useful an option for lugging 7 individuals as much larger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and also Ford Explorer. The Honda Pilot is sized likewise to the Highlander and also offers sitting for 3 in the 3rd row. That offers it a maximum seatsing ability of eight, unlike the remainder of the course at 7.
The center section of the Highlander's second row can be removed completely, turning the bench into 2 captain's chairs with a pass-through to the 3rd row. The pass-through is a favored function of minivan proprietors, and while various other crossovers might offer an option in between a bench or two chairs, only the Highlander gives owners both in the same automobile.
Generally, I discovered materials high quality to be good, yet various other editors and also a family associated with a comparison examination assumed the Highlander appeared inexpensive. Nevertheless, as furnished, our tester was priced thousands less than much of the competition. Besides some rough finishes on the plastic around the door pockets, I discovered the inside on par for the cost. My better half likewise liked it, recommending it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Wilderness.
In terms of security functions, a backup camera is conventional on the Highlander SE and greater trim degrees, or it can be had as part of an optional Tech Package, which was included on my base tester. On versions without navigation, there's a small screen at the top of the control panel that shows trip info while driving, then switches over to the rearview display when the transmission is put into Reverse. Navigation-equipped models show the rearward sight on their larger touch-screen.
If there was one point my better half taken pleasure in concerning the Highlander, it was the 4 cupholders in the center console between the passenger and also driver, with one more in each of the four doors as well as four more for second-row guests. Every other crossover included in our recent comparison test showcased just 2 cupholders around.
If you have actually ever taken care of the sippy mugs, water bottles and also soda cans a family members of simply four needs for a Saturday out on the community-- which for us involves hitting an interior play zone with large blow up bounce-houses, lunch as well as either a bookstore or library quit-- you understand drinks collect.
For 2012, the Highlander comes standard with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed transmission, for mileage ranked at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is quite anemic; the version I drove this moment had the V-6, but in past tests I have actually found that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander feels like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder versions come outfitted only with front-wheel drive.
There's a hybrid design with a 3.5-liter V-6 and also an electrical motor that make a mixed 280 hp, great for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The crossbreed comes equipped just with all-wheel drive, that makes those mileage figures fairly remarkable.
My examination car-- as do the mass of sales-- included the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission, helpful for 18/24 mpg with front-wheel drive as well as 17/22 mpg with four-wheel drive.
Gas mileage gets on par with the remainder of the sector, with a lot of gamers rating only 1 mpg over or listed below the Highlander.
Power abounded in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which scooted from a stop with gusto as well as passed strongly at highway rates. Steering was light and also a tad obscure, as it is in the majority of crossovers. The flight was comfortable, the engine silent and also wind sound practically nil, which made for enjoyable driving as well as the capacity to listen to every cry, issue and occasional track from my rear seat guests.
Braking was the real issue I had with the Highlander. After a week and numerous miles of driving, I had a tough time evaluating the brake feedback. I repeatedly jerked my partner ahead in her seat when I had to include more stress compared to expected near a quit. This is a quality of lots of Toyota vehicles, as well as it's one I do not specifically enjoy.
There's just 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space when the third row is up. The Honda Pilot has dramatically much more, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is dramatically larger.
With the 3rd row down, freight space expands to 42.3 cubic feet, and also for my use that was plenty huge enough. I stuffed a 32-gallon wastebasket in the back-- actually 2 piled right into each other-- and also those fit lengthwise with the second-row seats simply slightly ahead. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the distinction in between the two versions there is much less considerable compared to it is behind the third row. I favored the Pilot's under-floor storage space, however.
Functions & Pricing
For 2012, the Highlander begins at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That doesn't obtain you much in regards to functions, but it does include 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted back home windows, remote entry, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping wheel and also two 12-volt power outlets.
My examination car was a base V-6, but I really did not seem like I was missing out on much in terms of features due to the fact that it additionally had the $1,835 Tech Bundle, which includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones and also songs streaming, as well as a great trip computer. While I enjoy expensive enjoyment systems as high as the next guy, this is the kind of attribute established that the majority of households will certainly require, for a reasonable as-tested price of $32,845. All-wheel drive is just $1,450 more. In this sector, it generally costs $2,000 to move up to all- or four-wheel drive.
SE versions start at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive designs, including a power moonroof, a back window that opens up independent of the liftgate, roofing rails, fog lights and a power liftgate. Heated leather front seats, HomeLink, a natural leather guiding wheel with sound as well as Bluetooth controls, and all the functions in the Technology Package are likewise consisted of. For a similar price, I 'd select the V-6 version as opposed to the SE four-cylinder.
The high-grade, all-wheel-drive Limited V-6 Highlander starts at $37,045 and also is packed: 19-inch wheels, three-zone climate control, keyless ignition and entrance, and also higher-grade leather seats.
The Highlander Hybrid is available in 2 trims: a base model for $38,140 as well as a Restricted model for $43,795, with comparable tools offerings as V-6 gas designs.
Prices is similar to the Traverse, Pilot et cetera of the course. Toyota also provides 2 years of complimentary upkeep with new-car purchases, which none of its rivals in the segment deal.
The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Coverage Institute for Freeway Safety And Security Top Security Pick; that's the institution's highest possible award. To earn the score, automobiles must get leading scores of Excellent ahead, side and also back accidents, along with pass roof-strength tests that determine rollover defense.
The Highlander gained a four-star overall score from the National Highway Website Traffic Security Management. 5 star is the highest score, which the Chevy Traverse gained.
Highlander out there
If it just weren't so darn sensible with a wonderful engine, it would be easy to mark down the Highlander in an area which contains some splashier new models. Yet there are just a lot of things in the Highlander's favor to rule it out of your buying plans. Because of their smaller impact in your driveway as well as garage, the Highlander and also Pilot are much more available for more households.