The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it doesn't excel in any kind of one location. Given it can maintain its exceptional resale value and also dependability, it ought to verify a smart-- otherwise specifically fascinating-- option for years ahead.
Base, Sporting activity and Limited trim degrees come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all could seat five or 7, depending on the arrangement. Rates range from about $27,000 to $40,000 with alternatives.
I evaluated all 3 trim levels of the regular Highlander at a Toyota occasion in Michigan.
Toyota Highlander 2008 For Sale
Toyota's The golden state style studios shaped the exterior, which is larger in all significant measurements compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply sufficient curves to balance out the angles. With its creased fronts lights, showy grille as well as characterless bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit too glossy-- like a convenience store consumer who will not remove his sunglasses.
The back bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, and also most trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are conventional; the Sport and Limited have 19-inchers that complete the wheel wells nicely. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and also chrome exterior moldings.
At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts about the exact same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and Saturn Outlook are both about a foot much longer.
Toyota has spent years building a credibility for quality, as well as absent any type of major competition, the new Highlander might have kept that criterion. The competitors is nothing if not significant, though, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz flaunt some impressively high end interiors. In contrast, Toyota drops a bit brief.
The Highlander shares bases with the existing Camry, and the control panel births a lot of the car's flavor. The facility controls are the all-natural focal point, with large handles for significant functions within simple reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited models have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature as well as more. It likewise reveals settings for the optional automatic climate control system, which could separate the cabin right into as several as three temperature level zones-- 2 front as well as one back. The climate controls rest listed below the stereo, and also they're very cluttered. I counted 13 buttons between both temperature knobs; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the typical manual air conditioning is easy.
Cabin quality is simply average. The home window switches over, turn signals and center controls could go straight right into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and electroluminescent determines appearance excellent. Most locations are trimmed in tough plastics, however, and also the appearances do not have the charm of the stuff in numerous rivals. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the least expensive mouse hair this side of an economy vehicle.
Moms and dads will appreciate the storage space alternatives. The center console between the front seats has 4 cupholders and also a large storage space bin. Fail to remember laptop computers; the handwear cover box could fit a little desktop. (Most likely not the screen, though-- let's not get carried away.).
Three basic rows of seats fit as much as 7, though you could go down the third row in order to save a little money, reducing seatsing capability to five. The front seats supply lots of room, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that extends the cushion under the chauffeur's upper legs. Good touch.
The second row is similarly commodious, with reclining backrests and also seat pillows that adjust backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow feature. It's primarily a dive seat, which travelers could switch for a plastic facility console, transforming the 2nd row right into 2 captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the center seat or console-- stores in a flooring compartment between the front seats. After a few practice runs, I had the ability to make the adjustment in around 25 seconds.
The jump seat is light sufficient for easy setup. Its convenience is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom padding is significant, however I can quickly really feel the joints below the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have durable installation hooks that must make it through plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic children.
Depending on where the second row is positioned, the third row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as found headroom a little bit tight, however with the second row moved forward a couple of inches-- protecting a lot of legroom for most grownups-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a brief trip.
Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage
All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower and also 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over last year's V-6, makinged 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is basic. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has been dropped.
Acceleration is adequate off the line as well as more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists things along, holding equipments and also rarely shifting prematurely. Hard velocity could motivate some sudden changes among lower equipments-- much better for velocity, even worse for comfort-- however most of the time the changes are smooth adequate to pass undetected. The drivetrain feels best on the freeway, where it downshifts with minimal gear hunting. Third gear is especially powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.
The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the chauffeur. It integrates a facility differential to split power 50/50 between the front and also rear wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive designs have a downhill help function. Press a dashboard button, and also it will slow the SUV to a crawl down high qualities. The feature appears a bit disingenuous: There is no reduced equipment for offroad rock crawling, which means you need to probably stay clear of anywhere treacherous sufficient to require the downhill assist.
All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for up to three seconds from a stop to stop the SUV from rolling backwards prior to you have time to hit the gas.
Using the EPA's even more realistic 2008 rating system-- which usually results in reduce numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive models and also 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They additionally beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (changed utilizing the EPA's new estimation)-- a remarkable accomplishment, offered the brand-new Highlander has more power and also considers some 300 pounds extra. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got simply 1 mpg greater than the brand-new one makes with the V-6.).
Ride & Handling
The unibody construction affords a comfy trip, with none of the underbody shimmying that plagued the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) as well as several body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, yet I couldn't detect a distinction in trip firmness among the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All 3 have a little bit much more suspension sound over major bumps than I have actually come to anticipate in a midsize SUV.
Wind noise is very little. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly peaceful. The Sport and Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires emit a mild hum at highway rates, which I couldn't spot with the base version's 17-inchers and also thicker P245/65R19 rubber.
All models now feature electric power steering. These systems conserve a bit on fuel intake-- a little bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's gas economic climate standards, I presume-- yet they frequently result in drab, artificial guiding feel. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never delivering much in the means of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 prices much better here, however few other rivals stick out. The same is true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, advising motorists it's not to be caught promptly.
Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are standard. The pedal supplies spongy response, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.
Cargo & Towing
With all 3 rows installed and increased, cargo area in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up level into the flooring, as well as the second row folds up virtually level. Highlanders without the 3rd row instead include a fairly huge storage location under the rear flooring.
With all seats folded, optimal cargo quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares extra positively with the crowd.
When correctly geared up, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Safety and security.
In Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Security frontal crash tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest rating, Great. IIHS has actually not evaluated the Highlander for side effects.
Toyota didn't skimp on safety features. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, grip control and a digital security system. The stability system currently works with the electric power guiding, which enhances the power aid when the motorist is guiding to fix a skid. It likewise aids battle guiding pull under hard stopping in order to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota claims the system could not guide the SUV on its own, as some sophisticated systems currently do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any kind of additional power assist.).
7 airbags are common, including the needed dual front air bags, a chauffeur's knee air bag as well as side-impact air bags for the pole positions. There are likewise roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows, which release throughout a rollover to stop occupant ejection.
All seats have head restraints, and in Sporting activity and also Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash defense. Active head restraints are typical on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly obtainable top-tether supports midway down the seatback.
Functions & Pricing
Leaving out the destination fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bevy of options runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim includes about $1,500. All trim degrees include three rows of seats, though a third-row remove choice on specific versions could save $740.
-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, cooling, cruise control, as well as power windows, mirrors and door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport adds darkened exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a backup video camera and six-CD sound.
-For $32,700, the Limited includes a keyless start-up system, automated environment control, natural leather furniture and also a power traveler seat. A number of these features are optional on the Sport. Choices on both trim levels include a navigation system, JBL premium sound, a rear seat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and warmed pole positions.
Highlander on the market
Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will provide the Highlander a run for its cash. Its biggest competitor, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or more, as well as Toyota's key resource-- its track record for high quality and also reliability-- has actually been sliding lately. The automaker has actually promised to redouble its initiatives, as well as its most recent SUV needs to show that.
The new Highlander has great deals of book perceptiveness, like suitable gas mileage and also tons of security features, but there's absolutely nothing extraordinary concerning it. If it shows as bulletproof as its precursor, though, reliability will become its specifying feature, which is a textbook draw a great deal of purchasers can support.