The Highlander qualifies on all counts, though it does not excel in any kind of one location. Offered it can maintain its exceptional resale value as well as reliability, it needs to confirm a wise-- otherwise specifically exciting-- choice for many years ahead.
Base, Sporting activity and also Limited trim levels come with front- or 4x4, and all could seat 5 or 7, depending upon the setup. Costs range from approximately $27,000 to $40,000 with options.
I examined all three trim levels of the routine Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.
Toyota Highlander 2008
Toyota's California style workshops sculpted the outside, which is bigger in all significant dimensions compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply enough curves to offset the angles. With its creased headlights, fancy grille as well as characterless bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit as well slick-- like a corner store buyer that will not take off his sunglasses.
The rear bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, and also most trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sport and Limited have 19-inchers that fill in the wheel wells perfectly. The Sport has a dark silver grille and also smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer headlights as well as chrome outside moldings.
At 188.4 inches long and also 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts about the same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Outlook are both regarding a foot longer.
Toyota has spent years developing a track record for quality, as well as absent any type of significant competitors, the new Highlander could have kept that requirement. The competitors is absolutely nothing otherwise major, however, and SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz boast some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota drops a bit short.
The Highlander shares foundations with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel births a lot of the car's flavor. The facility controls are the all-natural prime focus, with oversized knobs for significant functions within easy reach. Sport and Limited designs have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature level and even more. It also shows setups for the optional automatic environment control system, which can split the cabin into as lots of as three temperature areas-- two front and also one rear. The environment manages rest listed below the stereo, and they're very chaotic. I counted 13 buttons between both temperature level handles; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the standard hand-operated air conditioning is simple.
Cabin quality is just ordinary. The home window switches, turn signals and also facility controls could go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents and electroluminescent evaluates look great. A lot of locations are cut in tough plastics, nonetheless, and also the appearances lack the allure of the stuff in numerous competitors. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the most affordable computer mouse fur this side of an economic situation vehicle.
Moms and dads will certainly value the storage choices. The center console between the pole positions has four cupholders and a large storage bin. Forget laptop computers; the handwear cover box might fit a little home computer. (Most likely not the screen, however-- let's not obtain carried away.).
3 common rows of seats suit approximately seven, though you could go down the third row in order to save a little cash, lowering sitting capability to 5. The pole positions supply plenty of room, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the padding under the motorist's upper legs. Wonderful touch.
The 2nd row is similarly commodious, with reclining backrests and also seat pillows that change backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow function. It's basically a dive seat, which guests can exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the 2nd row into 2 captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the middle seat or console-- stores in a flooring area in between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the modification in around 25 secs.
The dive seat is light enough for simple installation. Its comfort is hit and miss, even for a center seat; the bottom cushion is considerable, however I can easily feel the hinges below the backrest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have strong installment hooks that should survive lots of thrashing from overenthusiastic children.
Depending on where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high and found clearance a little bit limited, yet with the second row moved forward a couple of inches-- preserving plenty of legroom for a lot of adults-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I can tolerate a brief trip.
Bigger Engine, Better Gas Mileage
All Highlanders obtain the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna as well as numerous various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower and also 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over in 2015's V-6, makinged 215 hp as well as 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is standard. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has been gone down.
Acceleration suffices off the line and also stronger as the engine revs. The transmission aids things along, holding gears and rarely changing too soon. Tough acceleration could motivate some sudden shifts among lower equipments-- better for acceleration, even worse for convenience-- but the majority of the moment the changes are smooth enough to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain feels finest on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear hunting. Third gear is particularly potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.
The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the vehicle driver. It incorporates a center differential to split power 50/50 in between the front as well as back wheels all of the moment. Four-wheel-drive designs have a downhill help feature. Press a control panel switch, and it will reduce the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The function seems a little bit disingenuous: There is no reduced equipment for offroad rock crawling, which implies you need to most likely avoid anywhere treacherous sufficient to require the downhill help.
All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for up to 3 secs from a stop to prevent the SUV from rolling backward prior to you have time to hit the gas.
Making use of the EPA's more realistic 2008 rating system-- which typically results in decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions as well as 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also defeated the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (readjusted utilizing the EPA's brand-new computation)-- an impressive task, given the brand-new Highlander has even more power as well as evaluates some 300 extra pounds extra. (Four-cylinder followers will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained simply 1 mpg greater than the brand-new one finishes with the V-6.).
Trip & Handling
The unibody construction pays for a comfy ride, with none of the underbody shimmying that pestered the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) and many body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, however I couldn't find a difference in flight suppleness amongst the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All 3 have a bit much more suspension sound over major bumps compared to I have actually concerned anticipate in a midsize SUV.
Wind sound is marginal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly peaceful. The Sport as well as Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires produce a mild hum at highway speeds, which I couldn't find with the base design's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All designs now have electrical power steering. These systems save a bit on fuel intake-- a bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the government's fuel economic situation requirements, I believe-- but they typically lead to drab, artificial guiding feel. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never delivering a lot in the means of feedback or turning precision. The CX-9 fares much better here, yet couple of various other competitors stand out. The same is true for body roll: Like most SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, advising chauffeurs it's not to be cornered rapidly.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are conventional. The pedal uses mushy action, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.
Cargo & Towing
With all three rows mounted as well as elevated, cargo area in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up level into the floor, and the 2nd row folds up virtually level. Highlanders without the third row instead consist of a fairly big storage space location under the back floor.
With all seats folded up, optimal cargo quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares extra favorably with the group.
When effectively furnished, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 pounds.
In Insurance Institute for Freeway Safety frontal collision examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest score, Great. IIHS has actually not evaluated the Highlander for side impacts.
Toyota really did not skimp on safety functions. All Highlanders come common with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and also an electronic security system. The stability system now deals with the electrical power guiding, which improves the power help when the motorist is guiding to fix a skid. It likewise aids fight steering pull under hard stopping to assist the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system could not guide the SUV on its own, as some innovative systems now do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any kind of extra power aid.).
7 air bags are conventional, consisting of the called for dual front air bags, a motorist's knee airbag and side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape air bags for all three rows, which deploy throughout a rollover to avoid occupant ejection.
All seats have head restraints, and also in Sport and also Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash defense. Energetic head restraints are typical on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly accessible top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.
Features & Pricing
Leaving out the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete collection of alternatives playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim adds regarding $1,500. All trim levels have 3 rows of seats, though a third-row delete alternative on certain models can conserve $740.
-For $27,300, the base Highlander has 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, air conditioning, cruise control, as well as power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes darkened exterior aspects, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction wheel, a backup video camera as well as six-CD sound.
-For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture as well as a power passenger seat. A lot of these attributes are optional on the Sport. Options on both trim levels include a navigation system, JBL premium sound, a backseat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and warmed pole positions.
Highlander on the market
Rivals from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will certainly give the Highlander a run for its loan. Its largest competitor, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or 2, and also Toyota's secret weapon-- its credibility for top quality as well as dependability-- has been sliding recently. The automaker has pledged to enhance its efforts, and its most recent SUV needs to show that.
The brand-new Highlander has lots of textbook sensibilities, like decent gas mileage as well as tons of security functions, yet there's absolutely nothing phenomenal about it. If it confirms as bulletproof as its precursor, however, dependability will certainly become its defining feature, which is a textbook draw a lot of customers could get behind.