New Toyota Highlander
Like the 1986 movie 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 supplier great deals in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV got in 2017 with a host of modifications focused on pleasing the masses and experts alike.
Especially, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the state-of-the-art $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, now come common with a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping aid, adaptive cruise control, and automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination auto also packed blind-spot monitoring, an attribute unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE and LE Plus.
Going along with the 2017 Highlander's many safety and security systems is the current variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is conventional on just about the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to make use of a frail 185-hp inline-four-- and also includes a host of modern technologies, including a direct and also port fuel-injection system and also an updated valvetrain that permits the engine to run on the a lot more efficient Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy and balanced 295 horse power as well as 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 even more ponies and an additional 15 lb-ft compared to the previous unit. Fuel economic situation is up, too, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 earning an EPA-rated 23 mpg incorporated; all-wheel-drive versions attain 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg renovation over in 2014's Highlander and also put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's mixed fuel-economy numbers.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that builds power mostly all the method as much as its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second off of its predecessor's zero-to-60-mph and 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 and 3.8 seconds, specifically. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing time was both slow-moving for the course and also virtually a second behind that of its forbear. Blame the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the revised Highlander's V-6 supplies a lot of grunt in a lot of real-world driving circumstances. Thanks partly to our examination automobile's automated stop-start system, we took care of a reasonable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better than what we received from a Mazda CX-9.
The Aspect of Crossover
If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the matching of Highlander's charming Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's overhauled outside layout is akin to the movie's handsome but forgettable protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and rear fascias, upgraded headlamps, and also an eye-catching collection of LED taillights provide the Highlander a more natural, SUV-like appearance. However we still would not put it fairly 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 been left greatly untouched. Toyota did include four more USB ports, bringing the overall to five-- 3 ahead and also 2 in the rear. The cabin features a number of convenient storage spaces, including a rack that extends the lower dashboard and also a huge center-console bin that could accommodate nearly a cubic foot of assorted things. Ergonomic mistakes consist of difficult-to-grip temperature level knobs for the climate-control system and a touchscreen that's as well far away from the vehicle driver.
While base-level LE as well as LE Plus Highlanders include a conventional second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and also Minimal Platinum grades include captain's chairs between. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and also Restricted Platinum.) Area abounds in the 2nd row, yet we located that our seven-passenger examination auto's container seats were mounted also low for optimum comfort. Still, the Highlander's moving and also reclining second-row chairs were like a set of La-Z-Boy recliners compared to the thin as well as lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a full six inches less compared to what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you routinely haul adequate travelers to value regular use of the third row, think about the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Shadow of an SUV
In spite of the Highlander's carlike unibody construction and also low step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's dealing with advises us of an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows too much body coming in turns. On the plus side, the suspension absorbs roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and also the electrically helped steering is relatively quick and usually well heavy.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination vehicle was no light-weight, as well as the excess mass made itself known when using the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to stop from 70 mph-- 11 feet greater 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 includes $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 reveals torque circulation amongst the Highlander's 4 wheels. An $1810 rear-seat amusement system was one of the most costly option, while $434 acquired flooring mats and body-side moldings. Standard things consisted of navigation, a closeness key with push-button begin, and also a sunroof, as well as abovementioned attributes such as a blind-spot surveillance system and leather-trimmed initial- and also second-row seats (Toyota drapes the third row in vinyl).
While the Highlander's lifeless handling as well as cramped third row continuously suppress our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's lengthy checklist of standard security and benefit functions, much more powerful and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and enhanced exterior designing will remain to bring in stockpiles of consumers seeking a comfortable as well as moderately valued mid-size crossover SUV.