Toyota Highlander 2009
The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not master any type of one area. Given it can preserve its impressive resale value as well as dependability, it ought to verify a wise-- if not specifically captivating-- choice for years to find.
Toyota's California layout studios sculpted the exterior, which is bigger in all major dimensions compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply enough curves to balance out the angles. With its creased headlights, flashy grille and also characterless bumper, the Highlander seems a bit too glossy-- like a corner store buyer that won't remove his sunglasses.
The back bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, and most trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sporting activity and Limited have 19-inchers that fill out the wheel wells perfectly. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer headlights and chrome exterior moldings.
At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches vast, the Highlander casts approximately the exact same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Expectation are both concerning a foot much longer.
Toyota has spent years constructing a credibility for high quality, and absent any type of major competition, the new Highlander may have preserved that criterion. The competitors is nothing if not serious, however, and SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz flaunt some remarkably high end insides. In comparison, Toyota falls a little bit short.
The Highlander shares underpinnings with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel bears much of the sedan's flavor. The center controls are the natural centerpiece, with extra-large handles for significant functions within very easy reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited versions have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature as well as even more. It additionally shows settings for the optional automatic environment control system, which could divide the cabin right into as many as three temperature level areas-- two front as well as one rear. The climate manages rest below the stereo, and they're awfully cluttered. I counted 13 switches between both temperature level handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the standard manual cooling is easy.
Cabin quality is merely typical. The window switches, turn signals and also facility controls could go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents as well as electroluminescent determines look terrific. The majority of locations are cut in difficult plastics, however, and the appearances lack the allure of right stuff in numerous competitors. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the cheapest mouse hair this side of an economic situation automobile.
Parents will certainly appreciate the storage options. The center console in between the front seats has four cupholders as well as a wide storage container. Fail to remember laptops; the glove box might fit a small desktop computer. (Probably not the screen, however-- let's not obtain carried away.).
3 typical rows of seats suit as much as seven, though you can drop the third row in order to conserve a little cash, minimizing sitting capacity to 5. The front seats offer a lot of space, with a technique extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the padding under the vehicle driver's thighs. Nice touch.
The second row is equally commodious, with reclining back-rests as well as seat cushions that readjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Center Stow attribute. It's primarily a jump seat, which travelers could swap for a plastic center console, turning the 2nd row right into two captain's chairs. The unused section-- either the center seat or console-- stores in a flooring compartment between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the adjustment in around 25 secs.
The jump seat is light sufficient for simple setup. Its convenience is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom pillow is substantial, but I might conveniently really feel the hinges below the backrest extra padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have sturdy installation hooks that must survive plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic children.
Relying on where the 2nd row is positioned, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as discovered headroom a little bit tight, however with the 2nd row progressed a couple of inches-- maintaining lots of legroom for many adults-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a short trip.
Bigger Engine, Better Gas Mileage
All Highlanders obtain the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower as well as 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are significant gains over in 2014's V-6, that made 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been dropped.
Acceleration suffices off the line as well as more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission helps things along, holding equipments and seldom shifting too soon. Difficult velocity can motivate some sudden shifts amongst lower gears-- better for acceleration, even worse for convenience-- however most of the moment the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass undetected. The drivetrain feels finest on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. 3rd equipment is particularly potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.
The optional 4x4 is transparent to the motorist. It includes a facility differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and rear wheels all of the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill help function. Press a control panel button, and it will certainly slow the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The function seems a little bit insincere: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which implies you ought to most likely prevent anywhere treacherous enough to call for the downhill assist.
All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for approximately 3 seconds from a stop to avoid the SUV from rolling backward prior to you have time to hit the gas.
Making use of the EPA's even more reasonable 2008 ranking system-- which generally leads to reduce numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also defeated the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (adjusted using the EPA's new calculation)-- a remarkable feat, offered the brand-new Highlander has more power and also evaluates some 300 extra pounds more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained just 1 mpg greater than the new one finishes with the V-6.).
Ride & Handling
The unibody building affords a comfortable trip, with none of the underbody vibrating that plagued the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) as well as numerous body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, yet I couldn't discover a difference in trip suppleness among the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All three have a bit much more suspension noise over major bumps than I have actually involved expect in a midsize SUV.
Wind sound is minimal. Offered a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are relatively silent. The Sport as well as Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires discharge a slight hum at freeway speeds, which I could not discover with the base design's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All versions currently have electrical power guiding. These systems conserve a bit on fuel intake-- a bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's gas economy criteria, I believe-- however they commonly cause drab, artificial steering feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never ever delivering a lot in the means of responses or turning precision. The CX-9 prices much better hereof, however couple of other rivals stick out. The very same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, reminding drivers it's not to be caught rapidly.
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. The pedal supplies squishy reaction, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.
Cargo & Towing
With all three rows set up and raised, cargo area in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds up flat right into the flooring, and also the second row folds up virtually flat. Highlanders without the third row instead consist of a rather huge storage location under the rear floor.
With all seats folded, optimal freight quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares extra positively with the group.
When effectively equipped, the Highlander could tow as much as 5,000 extra pounds.
In Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Safety and security frontal collision tests, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest possible score, Great. IIHS has actually not checked the Highlander for side effects.
Toyota didn't stint security functions. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, grip control and a digital stability system. The security system currently works with the electric power steering, which boosts the power aid when the motorist is steering to fix a skid. It likewise aids fight steering pull under difficult braking to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not guide the SUV by itself, as some sophisticated systems currently do, so if you steer the wrong way in a skid, do not anticipate any type of additional power assist.).
Seven air bags are common, consisting of the required double front airbags, a chauffeur's knee airbag and side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are likewise roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all 3 rows, which deploy during a rollover to prevent resident ejection.
All seats have head restraints, and in Sport as well as Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for much better whiplash protection. Active head restraints are typical on the front seats of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with quickly available top-tether supports midway down the seatback.
Functions & Rates
Omitting the location charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bunch of options runs around $42,000. Four-wheel drive on any type of trim includes about $1,500. All trim levels come with three rows of seats, though a third-row erase choice on specific designs could save $740.
For $27,300, the base Highlander has 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a complementary MP3 jack, cooling, cruise ship control, as well as power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
For $29,950, the Sport adds dark outside components, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power driver's seat, a multifunction wheel, a back-up electronic camera and six-CD audio.
For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless start-up system, automated environment control, natural leather furniture and a power traveler seat. Much of these attributes are optional on the Sport. Alternatives on both trim degrees consist of a navigation system, JBL costs audio, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also warmed pole positions.
Highlander in the marketplace
Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its cash. Its largest opponent, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the next year or more, and Toyota's ace in the hole-- its online reputation for top quality as well as dependability-- has been slipping recently. The car manufacturer has vowed to redouble its efforts, and its latest SUV needs to verify that.
The brand-new Highlander has lots of book perceptiveness, like good gas mileage as well as lots of safety functions, but there's nothing extraordinary about it. If it shows as bulletproof as its precursor, however, dependability will certainly become its defining characteristic, which is a textbook attract a great deal of purchasers could support.