Toyota Highlander Xle

Toyota Highlander Xle: Inconspicuous and reasonable, the Highlander can haul up to 8 in silent comfort. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four teams with a six-speed automatic and also front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 obtains an eight-speed automated. Four-wheel drive is optional for V-6 models as well as criterion for the crossbreed, which sets the V-6 with 2 electric motors; we saw 24 mpg in our test. The Highlander gives a sufficient driving experience, but it's more concentrated on indoor details as well as storage.


Toyota Highlander Xle


Like the 1986 movie Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that cannot influence fervor among critics. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier lots last year, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV entered 2017 with a host of modifications aimed at pleasing the masses as well as experts alike.

Significantly, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the top-of-the-line $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, currently come standard with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian detection and also automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping assist, flexible cruise ship control, as well as automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test vehicle additionally packed blind-spot tracking, a feature unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE And also.

Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's numerous safety and security systems is the current variant of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is basic on just about the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and also integrates a host of modern innovations, consisting of a direct as well as port fuel-injection system as well as an upgraded valvetrain that permits the engine to operate on the a lot more effective Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy 295 horsepower as well as 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 more horses as well as an additional 15 lb-ft compared with the previous device. Fuel economy is up, too, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 earning an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive versions achieve 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg enhancement over in 2015's Highlander and put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's consolidated fuel-economy figures.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that develops power nearly all the way as much as its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 2nd off of its precursor's zero-to-60-mph and also 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 and 3.8 seconds, specifically. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both slow for the class and also virtually a second behind that of its forbear. Condemn the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the changed Highlander's V-6 offers plenty of grunt in most real-world driving situations. Thanks in part to our test auto's automatic stop-start system, we took care of a sensible 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to what we got from a Mazda CX-9.

The Element of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's captivating Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's revamped outside design belongs to the film's handsome yet featureless protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and back fascias, updated headlamps, and also an appealing set of LED taillights provide the Highlander a much more cohesive, SUV-like appearance. But we still would not put it rather on the very same level of good looks as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has actually been left largely unblemished. Toyota did add 4 even more USB ports, bringing the total amount to five-- three ahead and two in the rear. The cockpit features a number of convenient storage spaces, including a rack that covers the lower dashboard and a massive center-console container that can suit almost a cubic foot of assorted items. Ergonomic faults consist of difficult-to-grip temperature level knobs for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's too away from the vehicle driver.

While base-level LE and LE And also Highlanders include a conventional second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Minimal Platinum grades include captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and Minimal Platinum.) Space is plentiful in the 2nd row, yet we located that our seven-passenger examination car's pail seats were mounted as well low for ideal convenience. Still, the Highlander's sliding and also reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy reclining chairs compared to the thin and also lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a full six inches less compared to just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you consistently carry enough guests to benefit frequent use of 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 as well as low step-in height, this mid-size crossover's dealing with reminds us of an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension permits extreme body roll in turns. On the plus side, the suspension absorbs road abnormalities with nary a shudder, and also the electrically assisted guiding is relatively fast and also generally well weighted.

At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination automobile was no light-weight, as well as the excess mass made itself recognized when using the brakes, as the Toyota required 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 miles per hour-- 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 showed off $3704 in choices. Of that tally, four-wheel drive includes $1460 and brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and a screen setup within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster display that shows torque distribution among the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat enjoyment system was the most costly alternative, while $434 acquired floor mats and also body-side moldings. Standard products included navigation, a proximity trick with push-button start, and a sunroof, as well as previously mentioned features such as a blind-spot surveillance system and also leather-trimmed initial- and second-row seats (Toyota drapes the third row in plastic).

While the Highlander's drab handling and confined 3rd row continue to curb our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the updated 2017 Highlander's lengthy checklist of typical security and also benefit features, more powerful as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also improved exterior designing will certainly continue to attract stockpiles of consumers seeking a comfortable as well as fairly valued mid-size crossover SUV.