Even as novices like the Ford Traveler and Dodge Durango face off against the Highlander and also the Honda Pilot, I still find the Highlander a capable underdog. If you select the V-6 engine, it does as well as the rest, also.
I tested a brand-new 2011 model with just 65 miles on it, however the 2012s are currently on sale as well as are furnished and also valued almost identically.
Toyota Highlander 2012
While a lot of families would certainly be well-served by nearly any type of three-row crossover on the market, the Highlander has some noteworthy attributes that establish it apart.
The pole positions of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul journey from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has lots of assistance, as well, and all seats have sufficient upper leg assistance. The 2nd row could slide forward and back, which is most helpful for third-row guests.
A 3rd row is standard even on the base Highlander. With the second row moved completely back, there is very little room for third-row travelers. Move the second row up even a little, however-- regarding two notches-- as well as third-row guests must be as comfortable as I went to 5-foot-10. It's the sliding second row that makes this crossover as sensible an option for bring seven individuals as much bigger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and Ford Explorer. The Honda Pilot is sized likewise to the Highlander and supplies seating for three in the third row. That gives it a maximum seatsing capacity of eight, unlike the rest of the course at seven.
The center area of the Highlander's second row can be removed completely, transforming the bench right into two captain's chairs with a pass-through to the third row. The pass-through is a preferred function of minivan owners, as well as while various other crossovers might provide a selection between a bench or two chairs, only the Highlander offers proprietors both in the same car.
Overall, I located products quality to be great, however other editors and a family involved in a contrast examination thought the Highlander seemed affordable. Nevertheless, as equipped, our tester was valued thousands less than much of the competition. Besides some harsh finishes on the plastic around the door pockets, I located the inside on par for the price. My wife also liked it, suggesting it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Outback.
In regards to safety functions, a backup electronic camera is common on the Highlander SE and higher trim levels, or it can be had as part of an optional Technology Plan, which was included on my base tester. On designs without navigating, there's a small screen on top of the control panel that shows journey info while driving, after that switches to the rearview display screen when the transmission is put into Opposite. Navigation-equipped designs show the rearward sight on their bigger touch-screen.
If there was something my spouse delighted in concerning the Highlander, it was the four cupholders in the facility console between the guest and also driver, with one more in each of the 4 doors as well as four more for second-row travelers. Every other crossover consisted of in our current contrast examination included just two cupholders in this field.
If you have actually ever dealt with the sippy cups, canteen and also soft drink containers a household of just four needs for a Saturday out on the community-- which for us involves hitting an indoor play area with huge inflatable bounce-houses, lunch and also either a book shop or library quit-- you recognize drinks collect.
For 2012, the Highlander comes requirement with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed transmission, for gas mileage ranked at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is pretty anemic; the version I drove this moment had the V-6, however in past examinations I have actually found that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander seems like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder models come equipped just with front-wheel drive.
There's a crossbreed version with a 3.5-liter V-6 and also an electrical motor that make a mixed 280 hp, helpful for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The crossbreed comes equipped only with all-wheel drive, which makes those mileage figures rather excellent.
My examination vehicle-- as do the mass of sales-- showcased the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission, good for 18/24 mpg with front-wheel drive and also 17/22 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Mileage gets on the same level with the remainder of the sector, with most gamers rating only 1 mpg over or below the Highlander.
Power was plentiful in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which ran from a stop with gusto and passed strongly at highway speeds. Guiding was light as well as a tad obscure, as it is in a lot of crossovers. The flight fit, the engine quiet and wind noise virtually nil, makinged for pleasant driving and the capability to hear every cry, problem and also periodic song from my backseat passengers.
Braking was the real issue I had with the Highlander. Even after a week as well as numerous miles of driving, I had a tough time judging the brake response. I continuously jerked my better half onward in her seat when I needed to add even more pressure compared to expected near a quit. This is a quality of many Toyota vehicles, as well as it's one I don't particularly appreciate.
There's just 10.3 cubic feet of cargo room when the third row is up. The Honda Pilot has substantially extra, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is significantly larger.
With the third row down, cargo area broadens to 42.3 cubic feet, as well as for my use that was plenty big enough. I stuffed a 32-gallon trash bin in the back-- really two stacked into each other-- and those in shape lengthwise with the second-row seats simply slightly forward. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the difference in between the two versions there is much less significant compared to it is behind the 3rd row. I chose the Pilot's under-floor storage space, though.
Attributes & Rates
For 2012, the Highlander begins at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That does not get you a lot in regards to functions, yet it does include 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted back windows, remote entrance, cruise ship control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and two 12-volt power electrical outlets.
My examination cars and truck was a base V-6, but I didn't feel like I was missing a lot in terms of features due to the fact that it likewise had the $1,835 Tech Plan, that includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones as well as music streaming, as well as a nice trip computer. While I enjoy expensive home entertainment systems as long as the following man, this is the kind of function established that many family members will need, for an affordable as-tested rate of $32,845. Four-wheel drive is just $1,450 more. In this section, it usually costs $2,000 to move up to all- or four-wheel drive.
SE models begin at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive designs, adding a power moonroof, a rear window that opens up independent of the liftgate, roofing system rails, haze lamps and also a power liftgate. Heated leather front seats, HomeLink, a natural leather guiding wheel with audio as well as Bluetooth controls, and all the attributes in the Technology Bundle are likewise consisted of. For a comparable cost, I would certainly select the V-6 version rather than the SE four-cylinder.
The state-of-the-art, all-wheel-drive Limited V-6 Highlander starts at $37,045 as well as is packed: 19-inch wheels, three-zone climate control, keyless ignition and entrance, and also higher-grade natural leather seats.
The Highlander Crossbreed comes in 2 trims: a base design for $38,140 and also a Limited design for $43,795, with similar tools offerings as V-6 gas versions.
Rates is similar to the Traverse, Pilot and the rest of the class. Toyota also uses 2 years of complimentary maintenance with new-car purchases, which none of its competitors in the section deal.
Safety and security
The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Safety Top Security Select; that's the organization's highest honor. To make the ranking, vehicles must obtain leading scores of Excellent ahead, side and also rear accidents, as well as pass roof-strength examinations that gauge rollover defense.
The Highlander made a four-star total score from the National Freeway Website Traffic Safety And Security Administration. Five stars is the highest rating, which the Chevy Traverse gained.
Highlander in the Market
If it just weren't so darn useful with a great engine, it would be easy to discount the Highlander in a field that contains some splashier new versions. However there are simply a lot of things in the Highlander's favor to rule it from your shopping plans. As a result of their smaller impact in your driveway and also garage, the Highlander as well as Pilot are a lot more easily accessible for more families.