Toyota Highlander Colors
Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to inspire eagerness amongst doubters. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealership lots in 2014, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV entered 2017 with a host of modifications aimed at satisfying the masses and pundits alike.
Significantly, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the top-of-the-line $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, now come typical with a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian discovery as well as automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, flexible cruise ship control, and automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination automobile likewise loaded blind-spot surveillance, a function unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE Plus.
Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's numerous security systems is the latest version of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is typical on all but the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and incorporates a host of modern-day technologies, consisting of a direct and also port fuel-injection system as well as an upgraded valvetrain that permits the engine to run on the extra efficient Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy and balanced 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the revised V-6 makes 25 more horses and also an added 15 lb-ft compared with the previous unit. Gas economy is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 gaining an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive versions attain 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg improvement over in 2014's Highlander as well as placed the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's mixed fuel-economy figures.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a gem of an engine that builds power mostly all the means up to its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 2nd off of its predecessor's zero-to-60-mph and also 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 and 3.8 secs, specifically. Sadly, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph death time was both sluggish for the class and also virtually a second behind that of its forbear. Criticize the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the revised Highlander's V-6 supplies plenty of grunt in the majority of real-world driving situations. Thanks partially to our examination auto's automatic stop-start system, we took care of an affordable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg far better compared to what we obtained from a Mazda CX-9.
The Component of Crossover
If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's lovely Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), then the crossover's spruced up outside layout is akin to the movie's handsome however forgettable lead character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front as well as back fascias, updated headlamps, and also an attractive set of LED taillights offer the Highlander an extra cohesive, SUV-like appearance. However we still would not put it quite on the exact same level of attractiveness as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.
Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's inside has been left greatly untouched. Toyota did include 4 more USB ports, bringing the overall to 5-- three ahead and 2 in the rear. The cockpit showcases a variety of useful storage space nooks, including a rack that covers the reduced control panel as well as a substantial center-console container that could accommodate nearly a cubic foot of assorted products. Ergonomic faults include difficult-to-grip temperature knobs for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's as well far from the chauffeur.
While base-level LE as well as LE And also Highlanders have a conventional second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and also Minimal Platinum grades feature captain's chairs in the middle. (The bench seat is a no-cost option on the XLE, Limited, and Restricted Platinum.) Space is plentiful in the second row, but we discovered that our seven-passenger examination car's container seats were placed also low for optimal comfort. Still, the Highlander's gliding as well as reclining second-row chairs resembled a set of La-Z-Boy recliners compared to the slim and flimsy 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a complete six inches fewer compared to exactly what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you on a regular basis transport adequate travelers to benefit regular use the third row, consider the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Shadow of an SUV
Even with the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction and low step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's handling advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension enables too much body roll in turns. On the plus side, the suspension takes in roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and the electrically helped steering is relatively fast and also generally well weighted.
At 4560 extra pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander test automobile was no light-weight, and the excess mass made itself understood when applying the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to stop from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.
With an as-tested rate of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE showed off $3704 in alternatives. Of that tally, all-wheel drive includes $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, as well as a display setup within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster display that reveals torque circulation among the Highlander's 4 wheels. An $1810 rear-seat home entertainment system was one of the most costly alternative, while $434 bought floor mats and also body-side moldings. Standard items consisted of navigating, a proximity secret with push-button begin, and a sunroof, as well as aforementioned functions such as a blind-spot monitoring system and leather-trimmed first- and also second-row seats (Toyota cushions the third row in plastic).
While the Highlander's drab handling as well as cramped 3rd row continuously suppress our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's long list of standard security as well as convenience attributes, a lot more effective and also fuel-efficient V-6 engine, as well as improved exterior designing will certainly continuously draw in stockpiles of consumers trying to find a comfortable and also fairly valued mid-size crossover SUV.