Even as novices like the Ford Traveler as well as Dodge Durango face off against the Highlander and the Honda Pilot, I still find the Highlander a capable underdog. If you go with the V-6 engine, it performs in addition to the rest, as well.
I checked a new 2011 version with just 65 miles on it, but the 2012s are currently on sale and are geared up and also valued almost identically.
2012 Toyota Highlander Review
While a lot of families would be well-served by almost any type of three-row crossover on the marketplace, the Highlander has some noteworthy features that set it apart.
The front seats of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul road trip from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has a lot of assistance, as well, and all seats have ample upper leg support. The second row can slide forward and back, which is most beneficial for third-row guests.
A 3rd row is basic also on the base Highlander. With the second row relocated all the way back, there is very little area for third-row guests. Relocate the second row up even a little, however-- concerning 2 notches-- as well as third-row travelers should be as comfortable as I went to 5-foot-10. It's the moving second row that makes this crossover as sensible a selection for bring seven people as much bigger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and Ford Traveler. The Honda Pilot is sized likewise to the Highlander as well as supplies sitting for 3 in the third row. That gives it a maximum seating ability of 8, unlike the rest of the class at 7.
The middle area of the Highlander's second row can be removed totally, transforming the bench into two captain's chairs with a pass-through to the third row. The pass-through is a favored attribute of minivan proprietors, and also while various other crossovers may use a selection between a bench or 2 chairs, only the Highlander provides proprietors both in the same vehicle.
Overall, I found materials top quality to be good, however other editors and also a family associated with a comparison test believed the Highlander appeared inexpensive. Nonetheless, as equipped, our tester was priced thousands less than much of the competition. Besides some rough surfaces on the plastic around the door pockets, I located the inside on the same level for the rate. My partner likewise liked it, suggesting it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Wilderness.
In terms of security features, a backup cam is standard on the Highlander SE as well as greater trim degrees, or it can be had as part of an optional Tech Package, which was consisted of on my base tester. On designs without navigating, there's a tv on top of the dashboard that shows trip information while driving, then switches to the rearview screen when the transmission is put into Reverse. Navigation-equipped designs reveal the rearward sight on their bigger touch-screen.
If there was something my partner appreciated concerning the Highlander, it was the 4 cupholders in the facility console between the guest and chauffeur, with another in each of the 4 doors and also four more for second-row passengers. Each crossover included in our recent contrast test included simply two cupholders in this field.
If you have actually ever taken care of the sippy mugs, water bottles as well as soda cans a family of just 4 needs for a Saturday out on the community-- which for us entails hitting an indoor play zone with huge blow up bounce-houses, lunch and either a book shop or collection stop-- you understand beverages collect.
For 2012, the Highlander comes criterion with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, for gas mileage rated at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is pretty anemic; the variation I drove this time had the V-6, but in previous examinations I have actually discovered that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander seems like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder designs come furnished only with front-wheel drive.
There's a hybrid model with a 3.5-liter V-6 and also an electrical motor that make a consolidated 280 hp, helpful for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The crossbreed comes equipped only with all-wheel drive, makings those gas mileage figures quite outstanding.
My test lorry-- as do the bulk 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 and also 17/22 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Gas mileage gets on par with the rest of the segment, with most players rating just 1 mpg above or below the Highlander.
Power abounded in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which ran from a stop with gusto and also passed strongly at freeway rates. Guiding was light as well as a little bit vague, as it remains in a lot of crossovers. The ride fit, the engine quiet and wind noise almost nil, makinged for positive driving and also the ability to hear every cry, issue and also occasional tune from my backseat travelers.
Braking was the real issue I had with the Highlander. After a week as well as thousands of miles of driving, I had a hard time evaluating the brake response. I repetitively jerked my better half forward in her seat when I had to add even more pressure compared to expected near a stop. This is an attribute of lots of Toyota cars, and also it's one I do not specifically enjoy.
There's simply 10.3 cubic feet of freight space when the third row is up. The Honda Pilot has considerably much more, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is significantly larger.
With the third row down, freight space expands to 42.3 cubic feet, and for my usage that was plenty big sufficient. I packed a 32-gallon trash bin in the back-- really 2 stacked into each other-- as well as those fit lengthwise with the second-row seats simply a little onward. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the distinction in between both designs there is less substantial than it lags the 3rd row. I liked the Pilot's under-floor storage space, though.
Features & Pricing
For 2012, the Highlander begins at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That does not obtain you a lot in regards to functions, yet it does consist of 17-inch alloy wheels, colored rear windows, remote entrance, cruise ship control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and also 2 12-volt power outlets.
My test auto was a base V-6, yet I didn't seem like I was missing much in regards to functions since it also had the $1,835 Technology Bundle, which includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones and songs streaming, and also a good trip computer. While I appreciate fancy enjoyment systems as high as the next person, this is the type of feature set that the majority of families will certainly need, for a reasonable as-tested cost of $32,845. All-wheel drive is just $1,450 more. In this section, it typically costs $2,000 to go up to all- or four-wheel drive.
SE versions begin at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive models, adding a power moonroof, a rear home window that opens up independent of the liftgate, roofing system rails, haze lamps and also a power liftgate. Warmed natural leather pole position, HomeLink, a natural leather steering wheel with audio as well as Bluetooth controls, and all the attributes in the Tech Bundle are likewise consisted of. For a comparable cost, I 'd select the V-6 model as opposed to the SE four-cylinder.
The state-of-the-art, all-wheel-drive Minimal V-6 Highlander begins at $37,045 and is loaded: 19-inch wheels, three-zone environment control, keyless ignition and also entry, as well as 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 devices offerings as V-6 gas versions.
Pricing is similar to the Traverse, Pilot and the rest of the class. Toyota also supplies 2 years of totally free maintenance with new-car purchases, which none of its rivals in the sector offer.
The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Coverage Institute for Freeway Safety Top Safety Pick; that's the institution's highest award. To make the ranking, autos must obtain top ratings of Great in front, side and rear collisions, in addition to pass roof-strength tests that measure rollover protection.
The Highlander gained a four-star overall score from the National Freeway Traffic Safety And Security Administration. 5 star is the highest score, which the Chevy Traverse earned.
Highlander out there
If it weren't so darn useful with a nice engine, it would be easy to discount the Highlander in an area which contains some splashier brand-new designs. Yet there are just way too many things in the Highlander's favor to rule it from your purchasing plans. Due to their smaller sized footprint in your driveway and garage, the Highlander and Pilot are a lot more available for more families.