Toyota Highlander Xle
Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that cannot influence fervor amongst critics. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealer whole lots in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV entered 2017 with a host of modifications aimed at satisfying the masses and also experts alike.
Significantly, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the state-of-the-art $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, currently come conventional with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian detection and also automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping aid, flexible cruise control, and automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination automobile additionally loaded blind-spot surveillance, a function not available on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE Plus.
Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's numerous safety systems is the latest variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is conventional on all but the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continuouslies make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- as well as integrates a host of contemporary technologies, including a direct and also port fuel-injection system and an upgraded valvetrain that enables the engine to work on the much more reliable Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy and balanced 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the changed V-6 makes 25 even more horses as well as an extra 15 lb-ft compared with the previous device. Fuel economic climate is up, too, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making 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 also put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy numbers.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that builds power nearly all the means approximately its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second off of its predecessor's zero-to-60-mph as well as 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 as well as 3.8 secs, respectively. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing time was both sluggish for the course and nearly a second behind that of its forbear. Condemn the brand-new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the revised Highlander's V-6 provides lots of grunt in many real-world driving scenarios. Thanks in part to our examination cars and truck's automatic stop-start system, we took care of a reasonable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to what we received from a Mazda CX-9.
The Component of Crossover
If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's enchanting Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), then the crossover's revamped outside layout belongs to the film's handsome but forgettable lead character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and rear fascias, updated headlamps, as well as an eye-catching collection of LED taillights give the Highlander a more cohesive, SUV-like look. Yet we still wouldn't put it quite on the exact same level of appearance as the butch Dodge Durango or the shapely CX-9.
Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has been left mostly unblemished. Toyota did add four more USB ports, bringing the overall to 5-- 3 ahead as well as 2 in the rear. The cabin features a variety of useful storage spaces, including a shelf that extends the reduced dashboard and a large center-console bin that could fit virtually a cubic foot of miscellaneous things. Ergonomic mistakes include difficult-to-grip temperature knobs for the climate-control system and a touchscreen that's as well far from the vehicle driver.
While base-level LE as well as LE And also Highlanders include a conventional second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum qualities have captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost option on the XLE, Limited, as well as Restricted Platinum.) Room is plentiful in the second row, however we located that our seven-passenger examination automobile's bucket seats were installed also reduced for ideal comfort. Still, the Highlander's gliding and reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy recliners compared to the thin and lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches fewer compared to just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you regularly haul sufficient travelers to benefit constant use of the third row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Darkness of an SUV
Even with the Highlander's carlike unibody building and low step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's taking care of advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension enables too much body roll in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension takes in roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and the electrically assisted guiding is reasonably fast and also usually well heavy.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination car was no lightweight, as well as the excess mass made itself understood when applying the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.
With an as-tested cost of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE showed off $3704 in choices. Of that tally, all-wheel drive includes $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, as well as a screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that shows torque circulation among the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat amusement system was the most expensive alternative, while $434 purchased floor mats as well as body-side moldings. Criterion products included navigating, a proximity key with push-button begin, and a sunroof, as well as abovementioned features such as a blind-spot tracking system and leather-trimmed initial- and second-row seats (Toyota cushions the third row in vinyl).
While the Highlander's lifeless handling as well as cramped third row remain to suppress our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the updated 2017 Highlander's long list of common safety and benefit functions, extra powerful and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also enhanced exterior designing will continuously bring in stockpiles of shoppers looking for a comfy and also moderately valued mid-size crossover SUV.