Toyota Highlander Sport
Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to inspire fervor amongst movie critics. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealership lots in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV got in 2017 with a host of changes aimed at pleasing the masses and pundits alike.
Significantly, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the state-of-the-art $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, now come conventional with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian discovery as well as automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping aid, adaptive cruise control, and also automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination vehicle also packed blind-spot surveillance, a function inaccessible on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE And also.
Going along with the 2017 Highlander's countless security systems is the most up to date version of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is conventional on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continuouslies utilize a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and includes a host of modern technologies, including a straight as well as port fuel-injection system and also an upgraded valvetrain that enables the engine to run on the more effective Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy and balanced 295 horse power as well as 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 more ponies as well as an added 15 lb-ft compared to the previous device. Fuel economic situation is up, as well, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined; all-wheel-drive designs accomplish 22 mpg. Both figures mark a 2-mpg improvement over in 2015's Highlander and put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's mixed fuel-economy figures.
Toyota's 2GR-FKS 6 is a gem of an engine that builds power mostly all the way up to its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 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 also 3.8 secs, respectively. Sadly, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both slow for the class and also almost a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Condemn the brand-new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the modified Highlander's V-6 offers a lot of grunt in a lot of real-world driving scenarios. Many thanks in part to our examination automobile's automated stop-start system, we managed a reasonable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to exactly what we received from a Mazda CX-9.
The Element 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 overhauled exterior style is akin to the film's handsome but featureless lead character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and rear fascias, updated headlamps, and an attractive set of LED taillights provide the Highlander a more cohesive, SUV-like appearance. However 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 largely untouched. Toyota did include 4 more USB ports, bringing the total amount to five-- 3 ahead as well as two in the rear. The cockpit includes a variety of convenient storage space spaces, consisting of a rack that extends the lower dashboard and a substantial center-console bin that can fit almost a cubic foot of various products. Ergonomic mistakes include difficult-to-grip temperature level knobs for the climate-control system as well as a touchscreen that's also far away from the chauffeur.
While base-level LE and also LE And also Highlanders include a typical second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Restricted Platinum qualities come with captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum.) Room is plentiful in the second row, but we located that our seven-passenger examination automobile's bucket seats were placed as well low for ideal comfort. Still, the Highlander's sliding and reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy recliner chairs compared with the thin as well as flimsy 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches less than just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you routinely haul sufficient passengers to value constant use the 3rd row, consider the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
Shadow of an SUV
Even with the Highlander's carlike unibody building as well as low step-in height, this mid-size crossover's taking care of advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows extreme body coming in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension soaks up roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and also the electrically helped guiding is fairly fast and normally well heavy.
At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination vehicle was no lightweight, and the excess mass made itself known when using the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to stop from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.
With an as-tested rate of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in alternatives. Of that tally, all-wheel drive includes $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and a screen setup within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that shows torque distribution amongst the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat entertainment system was one of the most pricey choice, while $434 bought flooring mats and body-side moldings. Criterion things consisted of navigating, a closeness secret with push-button beginning, and also a sunroof, along with aforementioned attributes such as a blind-spot monitoring system and also leather-trimmed very first- as well as second-row seats (Toyota cushions the 3rd row in vinyl).
While the Highlander's lifeless handling and confined third row continuously suppress our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's lengthy list of basic security as well as comfort attributes, much more powerful as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and enhanced outside designing will certainly continue to bring in stockpiles of buyers seeking a comfortable as well as fairly priced mid-size crossover SUV.