2018 Toyota Highlander SE

Pros: Generously sized interior provides 8-passenger capacity and good cargo room behind the 3rd-row seats; quiet cabin; choice of smooth, economical hybrid powertrain; separate-opening liftgate glass is handy

Cons: Mediocre passing power with 4-cylinder engine; 3rd–row seating is tight for some adults; some audio controls are placed out of easy reach

CG Says: Toyota Highlander is unchanged for 2018. This midsize-SUV Best Buy boasts a long list of strong points, including excellent passenger room in the first and second rows, flexible cargo space, thoughtful small-items storage spaces, and high-quality interior materials. The available Entune infotainment system offers a broad array of up-to-the-minute connectivity features, and the optional Driver Easy Speak feature, which utilizes the vehicle’s speaker system so front-seat occupants can easily converse with occupants in the 3rd row, is a unique convenience. Available safety features include autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. Three powertrains are offered: a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder with 185 horsepower that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission; a 295-hp 3.5-liter V6 mated to a 8-speed automatic; and a hybrid that combines a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor for a total 306 hp paired with a CVT automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder engine is not available with all-wheel drive. All other non-hybrid models off a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Hybrids are only available with all-wheel drive. Highlander is competitive from a dynamic standpoint as well, offering a comfortable ride and decent maneuverability for its size and heft. As it has been for several years, the Highlander is a must-see vehicle in the midsize-SUV class.

The Facts
Class MIdsize SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 7 or 8
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Toyota
Nation of Manufacture USA, Japan
Base Prices LE: $32,025
LE V6: $34,075
AWD LE V6: $35,535
LE Plus V6: $36,455
AWD LE Plus V6: $37,915
SE: $41,085
AWD SE: $42,545
XLE: $39,915
AWD XLE: $41,375
Limited: $43,075
AWD Limited: $44,535
Limited Platinum: $46,195
AWD Limited Platinum: $47,655
AWD Hybrid LE: $37,665
AWD Hybrid XLE: $42,725
AWD Hybrid Limited: $46,155
AWD Hybrid Limited Platinum: $49,275

Base Engine
2.7-liter 4-cylinder (LE)
Horsepower
185
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
20
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24

Optional Engine
3.5-liter V6 (LE V6, LE Plus, SE, XLE, Limited, Limited Platinum)
Horsepower
295
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
19-21
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
26-27

Optional Engine
3.5-liter V6/electric (Hybrid)
Horsepower
306
Std. Transmission
CVT
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
29-30
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
27-28