Toyota Highlander Review
Like the 1986 movie Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that cannot influence eagerness amongst doubters. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier lots in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV entered 2017 with a host of modifications aimed at satisfying the masses as well as pundits alike.
Especially, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the high-grade $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, now come conventional with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian discovery as well as automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, flexible cruise control, and automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination cars and truck also loaded blind-spot tracking, an attribute not available on the lower-level Highlander LE and LE Plus.
Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's numerous security systems is the most recent variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is basic on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continues to utilize a frail 185-hp inline-four-- and also includes a host of modern innovations, including a direct as well as port fuel-injection system and an updated valvetrain that enables the engine to run on the extra reliable Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the revised V-6 makes 25 more horses and an extra 15 lb-ft compared with the previous unit. Fuel economy is up, as well, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive designs accomplish 22 mpg. Both numbers mark a 2-mpg renovation over in 2015's Highlander as well as put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy numbers.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that builds power nearly all the method as much as its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second off of its predecessor's zero-to-60-mph as well as 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 as well as 3.8 seconds, specifically. However, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both slow for the course and also almost a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Criticize the new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the changed Highlander's V-6 supplies plenty of grunt in a lot of real-world driving circumstances. Many thanks partly to our test auto's automated stop-start system, we managed an affordable 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg better than what we received from a Mazda CX-9.
The Component of Crossover
If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's enchanting Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's overhauled exterior design is akin to the movie's handsome however forgettable protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also rear fascias, upgraded headlamps, as well as an appealing set of LED taillights provide the Highlander a more cohesive, SUV-like appearance. Yet we still wouldn't put it rather on the exact same level of appearance as the butch Dodge Durango or the shapely CX-9.
Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has actually been left mainly untouched. Toyota did add four more USB ports, bringing the total amount to 5-- 3 in front and also two in the rear. The cockpit features a variety of convenient storage nooks, consisting of a rack that extends the lower control panel as well as a huge center-console bin that can accommodate virtually a cubic foot of various products. Ergonomic mistakes include difficult-to-grip temperature level handles for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's also far away from the motorist.
While base-level LE as well as LE Plus Highlanders include a basic second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum qualities include captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and also Minimal Platinum.) Space is plentiful in the second row, but we found that our seven-passenger test auto's pail seats were installed too low for optimum convenience. Still, the Highlander's moving as well as reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy recliner chairs compared with the thin as well as flimsy 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches less than what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you frequently carry enough passengers to value constant use the 3rd row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Darkness of an SUV
Even with the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction as well as reduced step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's dealing with advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension enables extreme body coming in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension soaks up roadway abnormalities with nary a shudder, and the electrically assisted steering is reasonably fast and generally well heavy.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination cars and truck was no lightweight, as well as the excess mass made itself known when using the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to stop from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet greater than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.
With an as-tested cost of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in alternatives. Of that tally, all-wheel drive includes $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and also a screen setup within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that reveals torque circulation among the Highlander's 4 wheels. An $1810 rear-seat enjoyment system was the most pricey alternative, while $434 acquired floor mats and body-side moldings. Standard products consisted of navigation, a distance trick with push-button begin, and also a sunroof, in addition to aforementioned features such as a blind-spot tracking system as well as leather-trimmed first- and second-row seats (Toyota cushions the 3rd row in vinyl).
While the Highlander's drab handling and also confined 3rd row continuously curb our interest for the Indiana-built crossover, the updated 2017 Highlander's lengthy list of typical safety and security as well as convenience features, much more effective and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also improved outside designing will continuously bring in heaps of buyers searching for a comfortable as well as moderately valued mid-size crossover SUV.