IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Highlander provides excellent passenger and cargo room, fine road manners, a quiet cabin, and a good selection of family-friendly features.
Acceleration is sluggish with the base 4-cylinder engine.
The Highlander is the only mainstream-brand midsize SUV to offer a hybrid powertrain.
WHAT IS IT?
The Highlander is Toyota’s 3-row midsize crossover SUV. It can seat eight passengers when equipped with the available second-row bench seat. It is available with 4-cylinder (base model only), V6, or gas/electric hybrid V6 powertrains, and offers trim levels ascending through LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum models. A sporty SE model with a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, and a dark-finished grille is also available. The Highlander’s standard Toyota Safety Sense P suite of features includes Pre-Collision System (with forward collision warning and mitigation), lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, pedestrian pre-collision system, and adaptive cruise control. The XLE adds standard blind-spot alert, and the Limited gets a standard 360-degree surround-view camera. Other available features include a Blu-ray entertainment system and Toyota’s “Driver Easy Speak” feature, which amplifies the driver’s voice through the rear-seat speakers for easy communication with passengers in the 3rd row.
After undergoing a substantial refresh for 2017, the Highlander carries over unchanged for 2018.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/24 mpg highway with the 4-cylinder (which comes only with front-wheel drive), 20/27 with the front-drive V6 in LE trim, and 19/26 with all-wheel drive V6 in LE trim. The Highlander Hybrid (which comes standard with all-wheel drive) is rated at 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway in LE trim. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive Limited averaged 22.8 mpg in 65-percent highway driving, and a Hybrid Limited Platinum averaged 28.1 mpg in 80-percent highway driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Toyota Highlander excels at delivering the traits that SUV-
buying families want most. It offers excellent passenger/cargo room and versatility, and the cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat is among the best in the class. Add in Highlander’s decent maneuverability for the size, comfortable ride, and nicely finished interior, and you have a standout midsize SUV.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$31,030 – $48,280|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||185-HP, 2.7-Liter 4-Cyl.; 295-HP, 3.5-Liter V6; 306-HP, 3.5-Liter V6/Electric|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Front or All-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||19-30 MPG|