Even as newbies like the Ford Traveler as well as Dodge Durango challenge against the Highlander and the Honda Pilot, I still locate the Highlander a qualified underdog. If you opt for the V-6 engine, it does in addition to the remainder, also.
I tested a brand-new 2011 version with simply 65 miles on it, yet the 2012s are already for sale and also are outfitted and also priced virtually identically.
2012 Toyota Highlander
While a lot of family members would certainly be well-served by virtually any three-row crossover on the market, the Highlander has some significant attributes that set it apart.
The pole positions of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul trip from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has a lot of support, also, and all seats have sufficient thigh assistance. The 2nd row can slide forward and back, which is most useful for third-row passengers.
A 3rd row is standard even on the base Highlander. With the second row relocated right back, there is hardly any room for third-row guests. Relocate the second row up also slightly, however-- regarding two notches-- and also third-row guests need to be as comfy as I was at 5-foot-10. It's the sliding second row that makes this crossover as useful a choice for carrying 7 people as much larger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and Ford Explorer. The Honda Pilot is sized similarly to the Highlander as well as supplies seating for three in the 3rd row. That gives it an optimum sitting capacity of eight, unlike the remainder of the course at seven.
The middle area of the Highlander's second row can be eliminated totally, turning the bench into two captain's chairs with a pass-through to the 3rd row. The pass-through is a preferred function of minivan owners, as well as while various other crossovers may offer a choice between a bench or more chairs, just the Highlander offers proprietors both in the very same vehicle.
In general, I discovered products high quality to be excellent, however various other editors as well as a family involved in a comparison test believed the Highlander seemed low-cost. Nonetheless, as geared up, our tester was priced thousands less than much of the competitors. Besides some harsh finishes on the plastic around the door pockets, I located the inside on the same level for the cost. My spouse likewise liked it, suggesting it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Outback.
In regards to security functions, a backup video camera is conventional on the Highlander SE and higher trim levels, or it can be had as part of an optional Tech Package, which was included on my base tester. On models without navigation, there's a small screen at the top of the control panel that reveals trip details while driving, then switches over to the rearview screen when the transmission is put into Reverse. Navigation-equipped models show the rearward sight on their larger touch-screen.
If there was something my other half taken pleasure in concerning the Highlander, it was the four cupholders in the center console between the passenger and chauffeur, with another in each of the four doors as well as four even more for second-row travelers. Each crossover included in our recent contrast examination featured simply 2 cupholders in this field.
If you've ever before managed the sippy cups, canteen and soft drink cans a household of just 4 requires for a Saturday out on the town-- which for us involves hitting an indoor play zone with huge inflatable bounce-houses, lunch as well as either a bookstore or library quit-- you recognize drinks gather.
For 2012, the Highlander comes criterion with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, for gas mileage ranked at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is pretty anemic; the version I drove this time around had the V-6, but in previous tests I have actually discovered that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander feels like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder versions come outfitted just with front-wheel drive.
There's a crossbreed design with a 3.5-liter V-6 and an electrical motor that make a combined 280 hp, helpful for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The hybrid comes equipped only with all-wheel drive, which makes those mileage figures quite impressive.
My examination lorry-- as do the bulk of sales-- included 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 17/22 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Mileage gets on the same level with the rest of the section, with the majority of gamers score just 1 mpg above or below the Highlander.
Power abounded in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which scooted from a stop with gusto and also passed mightily at highway rates. Guiding was light as well as a little vague, as it is in many crossovers. The trip fit, the engine quiet and also wind sound almost nil, makinged for pleasurable driving and also the ability to hear every cry, grievance as well as occasional 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 difficult time judging the brake response. I repeatedly snagged my better half forward in her seat when I needed to add even more pressure compared to expected near a stop. This is a trait of numerous Toyota vehicles, and also it's one I do not specifically take pleasure in.
There's just 10.3 cubic feet of freight space when the third row is up. The Honda Pilot has substantially much more, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is substantially bigger.
With the third row down, cargo room increases to 42.3 cubic feet, and also for my use that was plenty big sufficient. I stuffed a 32-gallon trash can in the back-- actually two stacked into each other-- and those fit lengthwise with the second-row seats just somewhat forward. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the distinction between both designs there is less substantial than it lags the third row. I liked the Pilot's under-floor storage space, however.
Functions & Rates
For 2012, the Highlander starts at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That doesn't get you much in regards to attributes, but it does consist of 17-inch alloy wheels, colored back home windows, remote entry, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping wheel and two 12-volt power outlets.
My test auto was a base V-6, but I really did not feel like I was missing out on a lot in terms of features because it also had the $1,835 Tech Plan, that includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones and music streaming, and also a wonderful trip computer. While I enjoy expensive entertainment systems as high as the following man, this is the sort of attribute established that most households will certainly require, for a practical as-tested rate of $32,845. Four-wheel drive is just $1,450 more. In this section, it generally sets you back $2,000 to move up to all- or 4x4.
SE models begin at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive designs, adding a power moonroof, a rear home window that opens independent of the liftgate, roof covering rails, fog lamps and a power liftgate. Warmed leather pole position, HomeLink, a leather steering wheel with sound and also Bluetooth controls, and all the attributes in the Technology Plan are additionally included. For a similar price, I would certainly go with the V-6 model instead of the SE four-cylinder.
The top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Limited V-6 Highlander starts at $37,045 and is packed: 19-inch wheels, three-zone climate control, keyless ignition as well as access, and also higher-grade natural leather seats.
The Highlander Crossbreed comes in 2 trims: a base design for $38,140 as well as a Minimal model for $43,795, with comparable equipment offerings as V-6 gas models.
Prices is similar to the Traverse, Pilot et cetera of the class. Toyota additionally supplies two years of cost-free maintenance with new-car purchases, which none of its competitors in the section deal.
Safety and security
The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Security Pick; that's the establishment's greatest honor. To gain the score, automobiles need to get leading ratings of Excellent ahead, side as well as rear crashes, along with pass roof-strength examinations that determine rollover defense.
The Highlander earned a four-star general score from the National Highway Web Traffic Security Management. Five stars is the greatest score, which the Chevy Traverse earned.
Highlander on the market
If it weren't so darn functional with a nice engine, it would be simple to discount the Highlander in a field which contains some splashier brand-new versions. Yet there are just a lot of points in the Highlander's favor to rule it out of your buying strategies. Due to their smaller sized impact in your driveway and also garage, the Highlander and also Pilot are a lot more accessible for more family members.