2008 toyota Highlander Limited

2008 Toyota Highlander Limited: If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its job suitable it. It has to move and captivate children, swallow cargo as well as conquer snow. It needs to be safe, comfy as well as extravagant, and it needs to do all these points without breaking the financial institution-- in car settlements or at the pump. A tall order, no question, yet the leading midsize SUV rivals really have actually gotten that excellent.

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it doesn't excel in any one area. Provided it could maintain its superior resale worth as well as dependability, it ought to show a clever-- if not especially exciting-- option for many years to come.

Base, Sport and Limited trim levels feature front- or 4x4, and all could seat 5 or seven, depending upon the arrangement. Rates range from roughly $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.

I checked all three trim degrees of the regular Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.

2008 Toyota Highlander Limited

Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state style studios formed the exterior, which is bigger in all significant dimensions than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just adequate curves to counter the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille and amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit also slick-- like a convenience store buyer who won't remove his sunglasses.

The rear bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, and many trim degrees have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are common; the Sporting activity and Limited have 19-inchers that complete the wheel wells well. The Sport has a dark silver grille and also smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights as well as chrome outside moldings.

At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts about the very same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and Saturn Overview are both about a foot longer.

The In

Toyota has actually spent years building a track record for high quality, and also absent any type of significant competitors, the brand-new Highlander may have kept that criterion. The competitors is absolutely nothing otherwise significant, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz flaunt some impressively high end insides. In comparison, Toyota falls a little bit brief.

The Highlander shares foundations with the present Camry, and also the dashboard births much of the sedan's flavor. The facility controls are the all-natural focal point, with extra-large knobs for significant features within simple reach. Sport and Limited designs have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level and more. It additionally reveals settings for the optional automated climate control system, which can divide the cabin right into as several as 3 temperature level zones-- 2 front as well as one rear. The climate regulates sit below the stereo, and they're awfully cluttered. I counted 13 switches in between the two temperature handles; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the standard manual air conditioning is straightforward.

Cabin high quality is merely average. The window switches over, turn signals as well as facility controls can go straight right into a Lexus, and the chrome accents and also electroluminescent gauges look fantastic. A lot of locations are cut in tough plastics, nonetheless, and the appearances do not have the appeal of the stuff in a number of competitors. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the cheapest mouse hair this side of an economic climate auto.

Parents will certainly appreciate the storage alternatives. The center console between the front seats has 4 cupholders as well as a broad storage bin. Forget laptops; the handwear cover box might fit a little desktop. (Probably not the monitor, however-- allow's not obtain carried away.).

3 common rows of seats accommodate approximately 7, though you can go down the 3rd row in order to save a little cash, lowering sitting ability to 5. The pole positions offer lots of area, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that extends the cushion under the driver's upper legs. Good touch.

The second row is similarly commodious, with reclining back-rests and seat pillows that readjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow function. It's generally a dive seat, which guests could exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the 2nd row right into two captain's chairs. The unused portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring area in between the front seats. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the modification in around 25 seconds.

The dive seat is light sufficient for easy setup. Its convenience is hit and miss, even for a center seat; the bottom padding is substantial, yet I could quickly really feel the hinges beneath the back-rest extra padding. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both items have strong installment hooks that ought to make it through plenty of knocking from overenthusiastic kids.

Depending on where the 2nd row is placed, the third row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and located headroom a bit tight, but with the 2nd row moved on a few inches-- maintaining lots of legroom for most grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a short journey.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna as well as a number of other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power as well as 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over in 2014's V-6, makinged 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is basic. In 2015's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.

Acceleration is adequate off the line and also stronger as the engine revs. The transmission aids points along, holding equipments and hardly ever shifting prematurely. Tough acceleration can prompt some sudden transitions amongst lower equipments-- better for acceleration, even worse for convenience-- but the majority of the moment the shifts are smooth adequate to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels best on the highway, where it downshifts with marginal equipment hunting. 3rd gear is particularly potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing away.

The optional four-wheel drive is clear to the driver. It incorporates a facility differential to divide power 50/50 between the front as well as rear wheels all the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill aid feature. Press a dashboard button, and it will slow the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The function appears a little bit disingenuous: There is no reduced equipment for offroad rock crawling, which implies you should most likely stay clear of anywhere treacherous adequate to require the downhill help.

All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for up to three secs from a quit to avoid the SUV from rolling in reverse before you have time to strike the gas.

Utilizing the EPA's more sensible 2008 score system-- which generally brings about decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and also 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise defeated the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (adjusted using the EPA's new computation)-- an outstanding feat, provided the brand-new Highlander has more power and also evaluates some 300 extra pounds a lot more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained just 1 mpg greater than the new one makes with the V-6.).

Trip & Handling

The unibody building and construction manages a comfortable trip, with none of the underbody vibrating that pestered the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) as well as lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, but I could not identify a difference in flight firmness among the base, Sport and Limited. All three have a bit more suspension noise over major bumps compared to I've pertained to anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is minimal. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are relatively quiet. The Sporting activity and Limited's 19-inch wheels and P245/55R19 tires discharge a minor hum at freeway rates, which I could not discover with the base design's 17-inchers and thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs now come with electrical power steering. These systems save a bit on fuel intake-- a little low-hanging fruit to meet the federal government's fuel economic climate requirements, I think-- yet they frequently result in drab, synthetic steering feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never delivering much in the means of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 prices much better here, however few various other rivals stand out. The very same is true for body roll: Like many SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising vehicle drivers it's not to be collared swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are typical. The pedal uses squishy response, yet the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows mounted and also increased, cargo area in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds level into the floor, and also the second row folds nearly flat. Highlanders without the 3rd row instead include a rather large storage space location under the back flooring.

With all seats folded up, optimal cargo volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which compares much more favorably with the group.

When correctly geared up, the Highlander could tow as much as 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Institute for Freeway Safety frontal collision tests, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest rating, Great. IIHS has not checked the Highlander for side influences.

Toyota really did not stint safety and security features. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, grip control and a digital stability system. The security system currently collaborates with the electrical power steering, which increases the power assist when the vehicle driver is steering to deal with a skid. It likewise assists battle steering pull under hard stopping to assist the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system can not guide the SUV by itself, as some innovative systems currently do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any kind of extra power assist.).

Seven airbags are typical, including the needed double front airbags, a driver's knee airbag as well as side-impact air bags for the pole positions. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape airbags for all three rows, which release during a rollover to prevent owner ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, as well as in Sporting activity and also Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash security. Active head restraints are standard on the front seats of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly obtainable top-tether supports midway down the seatback.

Functions & Prices

Leaving out the destination fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bevy of choices playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim includes concerning $1,500. All trim levels come with three rows of seats, though a third-row delete option on particular designs could conserve $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, a/c, cruise ship control, and also power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport includes darkened outside elements, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up electronic camera as well as six-CD sound.
-For $32,700, the Limited adds a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture and a power traveler seat. Most of these functions are optional on the Sport. Options on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL costs sound, a rear seat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate as well as warmed front seats.

Highlander in the marketplace

Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its loan. Its biggest opponent, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or 2, and Toyota's ace in the hole-- its online reputation for high quality and dependability-- has actually been sliding recently. The car manufacturer has pledged to enhance its efforts, and its newest SUV must prove that.

The new Highlander has lots of book perceptiveness, like respectable gas mileage and lots of security features, but there's nothing remarkable concerning it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its precursor, though, stability will become its defining characteristic, which is a textbook draw a lot of customers can get behind.