Toyota Highlander Le Plus

Toyota Highlander Le Plus: Unnoticeable and also practical, the Highlander can haul up to 8 in silent convenience. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four groups with a six-speed automatic and also front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 obtains an eight-speed automated. All-wheel drive is optional for V-6 designs and standard for the hybrid, which sets the V-6 with 2 electric motors; we saw 24 mpg in our examination. The Highlander gives an appropriate driving experience, however it's even more focused on interior niceties and also storage.

Toyota Highlander Le Plus

Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to influence fervor among critics. After greater than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealership lots in 2014, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV entered 2017 with a host of modifications targeted at pleasing the masses as well as experts alike.

Especially, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the top-of-the-line $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, now come typical with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping aid, adaptive cruise control, and also automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test car additionally packed blind-spot monitoring, a function inaccessible on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE And also.

Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's many safety systems is the latest variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is common on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to use a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- as well as integrates a host of modern-day technologies, consisting of a direct and port fuel-injection system and also an upgraded valvetrain that enables the engine to run on the a lot more reliable Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the changed V-6 makes 25 more horses 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 earning an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive models attain 22 mpg. Both figures note a 2-mpg improvement over last year's Highlander as well as put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy figures.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS 6 is a gem of an engine that constructs power almost all the method 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 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 and 3.8 seconds, respectively. However, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both slow for the course and virtually a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Criticize the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the revised Highlander's V-6 uses a lot of grunt in the majority of real-world driving scenarios. Thanks in part to our examination car's automatic stop-start system, we handled a reasonable 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to exactly what we got from a Mazda CX-9.

The Component of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the matching of Highlander's enchanting Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), then the crossover's revamped outside style belongs to the film's handsome however forgettable protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also back fascias, upgraded headlamps, and also an eye-catching collection of LED taillights offer the Highlander an extra cohesive, SUV-like appearance. But we still wouldn't put it quite on the very same level of beauty as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's inside has actually been left greatly unblemished. Toyota did include 4 even more USB ports, bringing the overall to 5-- three ahead as well as 2 in the rear. The cockpit showcases a number of useful storage space spaces, consisting of a rack that covers the lower control panel and also an enormous center-console bin that could accommodate almost a cubic foot of various items. Ergonomic faults consist of difficult-to-grip temperature handles for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's as well away from the chauffeur.

While base-level LE and LE Plus Highlanders feature a basic 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, as well as Restricted Platinum.) Area is plentiful in the second row, however we discovered that our seven-passenger test auto's pail seats were mounted too reduced for optimal convenience. Still, the Highlander's moving as well as reclining second-row chairs resembled a set of La-Z-Boy recliners compared to the slim as well as lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a full 6 inches fewer than just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you consistently haul sufficient guests to merit constant use the third row, consider the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Shadow of an SUV

In spite of the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction and also low step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's dealing with reminds us of an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows excessive body coming in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension takes in roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, as well as the electrically assisted guiding is fairly fast as well as usually well heavy.

At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination automobile was no lightweight, and also the excess mass made itself recognized when using the brakes, as the Toyota needed 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 price of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in options. Of that tally, four-wheel drive adds $1460 as well as brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and a display setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that reveals torque circulation amongst the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat enjoyment system was one of the most pricey option, while $434 acquired floor mats and body-side moldings. Criterion items included navigating, a proximity key with push-button beginning, and a sunroof, in addition to abovementioned functions such as a blind-spot monitoring system as well as leather-trimmed initial- and also second-row seats (Toyota drapes the 3rd row in plastic).

While the Highlander's lifeless handling and cramped 3rd row continue to suppress our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the updated 2017 Highlander's long listing of basic security and convenience functions, extra powerful as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, as well as improved exterior styling will continuously attract hoards of buyers looking for a comfy and reasonably valued mid-size crossover SUV.