Toyota Highlander Le Plus
Like the 1986 movie Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to inspire eagerness among doubters. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier whole lots in 2014, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV got in 2017 with a host of adjustments focused on pleasing the masses as well as pundits alike.
Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the high-grade $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, now come common with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian discovery and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise ship control, and also automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination auto likewise loaded blind-spot tracking, a function not available on the lower-level Highlander LE as well as LE Plus.
Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's many security systems is the latest variant of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is common on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continues to utilize a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- as well as incorporates a host of modern technologies, consisting of a straight as well as port fuel-injection system and also an updated valvetrain that permits the engine to work on the more reliable Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy and balanced 295 horsepower and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 even more ponies and also an additional 15 lb-ft compared to the previous system. Gas economic climate is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 gaining an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined; all-wheel-drive designs accomplish 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg renovation over last year's Highlander and placed the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy numbers.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS 6 is a treasure of an engine that builds power almost all the way approximately its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second off of its precursor's zero-to-60-mph and also 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 and 3.8 secs, specifically. However, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph death time was both slow for the class and nearly a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Criticize the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the modified Highlander's V-6 uses plenty of grunt in a lot of real-world driving situations. Thanks partly to our test vehicle's automated stop-start system, we managed an affordable 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg better compared to what we obtained from a Mazda CX-9.
The Aspect of Crossover
If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the matching of Highlander's enchanting Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's revamped exterior layout belongs to the film's handsome but forgettable protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front as well as rear fascias, updated headlamps, as well as an eye-catching collection of LED taillights give the Highlander a much more cohesive, SUV-like appearance. However we still would not place it rather on the exact same degree of beauty as the butch Dodge Durango or the shapely CX-9.
Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's inside has actually been left mainly unblemished. Toyota did add 4 more USB ports, bringing the total amount to 5-- three in front and also two in the rear. The cabin features a number of useful storage nooks, including a rack that spans the lower dashboard as well as a massive center-console container that could suit virtually a cubic foot of miscellaneous products. Ergonomic mistakes consist of difficult-to-grip temperature level handles for the climate-control system and a touchscreen that's too away from the vehicle driver.
While base-level LE and LE And also Highlanders feature a standard second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, as well as Minimal Platinum qualities include captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and also Limited Platinum.) Area is plentiful in the second row, but we discovered that our seven-passenger test car's bucket seats were mounted as well reduced for optimal comfort. Still, the Highlander's gliding and also reclining second-row chairs were like a set of La-Z-Boy recliners compared with the slim as well as lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a full six inches fewer compared to what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you on a regular basis haul sufficient travelers to quality constant use the third row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Darkness of an SUV
In spite of the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction as well as reduced step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's managing reminds us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows excessive body coming in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension absorbs road abnormalities with nary a shudder, and the electrically aided steering is relatively quick as well as generally well weighted.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination automobile was no light-weight, and also the excess mass made itself understood when using the brakes, as the Toyota required 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 mph-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.
With an as-tested price of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in choices. Of that tally, all-wheel drive adds $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, as well as a display screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that shows torque distribution amongst the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat home entertainment system was the most pricey choice, while $434 acquired flooring mats as well as body-side moldings. Criterion items included navigating, a closeness secret with push-button begin, as well as a sunroof, as well as aforementioned features such as a blind-spot surveillance system and leather-trimmed very first- and also second-row seats (Toyota cushions the third row in vinyl).
While the Highlander's lifeless handling as well as confined third row continuously curb our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's long list of basic safety and also ease features, extra effective as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also boosted exterior designing will certainly remain to attract hoards of consumers seeking a comfy as well as moderately priced mid-size crossover SUV.