Toyota Highlander Limited
Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to inspire eagerness among movie critics. After greater than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealership lots in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of adjustments aimed at satisfying the masses as well as experts alike.
Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the top-of-the-line $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, currently come typical with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian discovery and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid, flexible cruise control, as well as automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination automobile additionally loaded blind-spot monitoring, a feature unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE and LE And also.
Going along with the 2017 Highlander's many safety systems is the most recent variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is basic on just about the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continues to make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and incorporates a host of modern technologies, including a direct as well as port fuel-injection system and also an updated valvetrain that allows the engine to operate on the extra reliable Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy and balanced 295 horsepower and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 more ponies and an extra 15 lb-ft compared with the previous system. Fuel economic situation is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined; all-wheel-drive models attain 22 mpg. Both figures note a 2-mpg enhancement over in 2014's Highlander as well as put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's consolidated fuel-economy numbers.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that develops power mostly all the method up to its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander cut 0.3 second off of its predecessor'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 passing away time was both sluggish for the class and also virtually a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Criticize the brand-new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the revised Highlander's V-6 provides plenty of grunt in the majority of real-world driving situations. Thanks in part to our test automobile's automated stop-start system, we handled a sensible 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg better than exactly 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 captivating Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), then the crossover's spruced up outside layout belongs to the film's handsome however featureless protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also back fascias, updated headlamps, and also an eye-catching set of LED taillights offer the Highlander a more cohesive, SUV-like look. But we still would not place it rather on the very same degree of appearance as the butch Dodge Durango or the shapely CX-9.
Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has actually been left mainly untouched. Toyota did include four even more USB ports, bringing the overall to 5-- 3 ahead and 2 in the rear. The cabin showcases a number of helpful storage space nooks, including a shelf that spans the reduced dashboard and also a massive center-console bin that could suit virtually a cubic foot of assorted items. Ergonomic mistakes include difficult-to-grip temperature knobs for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's too far away from the motorist.
While base-level LE as well as LE And also Highlanders include a common second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and also Restricted Platinum qualities feature captain's chairs between. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and also Minimal Platinum.) Room is plentiful in the 2nd row, yet we located that our seven-passenger test car's pail seats were installed also low for optimal convenience. Still, the Highlander's moving and also reclining second-row chairs were like a pair 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 simply 27.7 inches, a complete six inches fewer compared to exactly what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you routinely transport sufficient travelers to benefit regular use the third row, think about the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Shadow of an SUV
Despite the Highlander's carlike unibody construction and low step-in height, this mid-size crossover's taking care of reminds us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension permits excessive body roll in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension soaks up roadway abnormalities with nary a shudder, and the electrically assisted guiding is reasonably fast and usually well weighted.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination car was no lightweight, and also the excess mass made itself understood when applying the brakes, as the Toyota required 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 cost of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE showed off $3704 in options. Of that tally, all-wheel drive adds $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and also a screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster display that shows torque circulation amongst the Highlander's 4 wheels. An $1810 rear-seat entertainment system was one of the most expensive option, while $434 bought flooring mats as well as body-side moldings. Requirement items included navigating, a proximity key with push-button start, as well as a sunroof, as well as abovementioned functions such as a blind-spot monitoring system and also leather-trimmed initial- and second-row seats (Toyota drapes the third row in plastic).
While the Highlander's lifeless handling and cramped 3rd row continuously curb our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's lengthy checklist of standard safety and security and also convenience functions, a lot more powerful as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, as well as enhanced outside styling will certainly remain to bring in heaps of shoppers looking for a comfortable as well as reasonably priced mid-size crossover SUV.