2012 toyota Highlander Review

2012 Toyota Highlander Review - If you're looking for a three-row crossover, the 2011 Toyota Highlander is as sound a pick as you could obtain. It's cost effective and it has a silent, comfy trip with a family-friendly interior.

Even as newbies like the Ford Explorer and also Dodge Durango challenge versus the Highlander as well as the Honda Pilot, I still discover the Highlander a qualified underdog. If you opt for the V-6 engine, it carries out in addition to the remainder, also.

I evaluated a brand-new 2011 version with just 65 miles on it, yet the 2012s are already on sale and are equipped and also valued almost identically.

2012 Toyota Highlander Review

Family-Friendly Inside

While the majority of family members would be well-served by almost any kind of three-row crossover on the market, the Highlander has some notable features that establish it apart.

The pole positions of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul trip from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has lots of assistance, too, and all seats have sufficient upper leg support. The 2nd row could slide forward and back, which is most valuable for third-row guests.

A third row is conventional even on the base Highlander. With the second row moved right back, there is little room for third-row travelers. Relocate the 2nd row up even slightly, however-- regarding two notches-- and also third-row passengers must be as comfortable as I went to 5-foot-10. It's the gliding 2nd row that makes this crossover as sensible an option for lugging 7 people as a lot bigger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and Ford Explorer. The Honda Pilot is sized similarly to the Highlander and uses seating for 3 in the 3rd row. That provides it a maximum seatsing ability of eight, unlike the rest of the class at seven.

The center section of the Highlander's 2nd row can be removed entirely, transforming the bench right into two captain's chairs with a pass-through to the 3rd row. The pass-through is a favorite attribute of minivan proprietors, and while various other crossovers might supply an option between a bench or two chairs, only the Highlander gives proprietors both in the same automobile.

On the whole, I discovered materials quality to be excellent, however other editors and also a family members associated with a contrast test believed the Highlander seemed economical. Nonetheless, as geared up, our tester was valued thousands less than much of the competitors. Besides some rough coatings on the plastic around the door pockets, I located the interior on the same level for the cost. My wife likewise liked it, suggesting it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Wilderness.

In regards to safety features, a back-up cam is standard on the Highlander SE and also greater trim levels, or it can be had as part of an optional Technology Bundle, which was consisted of on my base tester. On designs without navigating, there's a tv at the top of the dashboard that reveals journey information while driving, after that switches over to the rearview display screen when the transmission is taken into Opposite. Navigation-equipped models show the rearward sight on their bigger touch-screen.

If there was one point my other half taken pleasure in regarding the Highlander, it was the four cupholders in the center console between the traveler and also vehicle driver, with one more in each of the four doors and also four even more for second-row guests. Every other crossover consisted of in our recent comparison examination included just two cupholders in this area.

If you have actually ever before dealt with the sippy cups, water bottles as well as soda canisters a family of simply 4 requires for a Saturday out on the community-- which for us entails hitting an interior play zone with large inflatable bounce-houses, lunch and also either a bookstore or library quit-- you realize drinks build up.


For 2012, the Highlander comes standard with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, for mileage ranked at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is pretty anemic; the version I drove this moment had the V-6, yet in past tests I've found that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander seems like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder designs come equipped just with front-wheel drive.

There's a crossbreed design with a 3.5-liter V-6 as well as an electrical motor that make a consolidated 280 hp, helpful for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The crossbreed comes equipped only with four-wheel drive, which makes those gas mileage figures fairly excellent.

My test vehicle-- as do the bulk of sales-- included the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teamed with a five-speed transmission, great for 18/24 mpg with front-wheel drive and 17/22 mpg with four-wheel drive.

Mileage is on the same level with the rest of the section, with the majority of gamers ranking just 1 mpg over or below the Highlander.

Power was plentiful in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which ran from a quit with gusto and also passed mightily at freeway rates. Steering was light and also a little bit vague, as it is in most crossovers. The flight fit, the engine silent as well as wind sound practically nil, that made for enjoyable driving and also the capacity to hear every cry, complaint and periodic track from my backseat guests.

Braking was the real issue I had with the Highlander. Even after a week as well as thousands of miles of driving, I had a difficult time judging the brake action. I repeatedly jerked my other half forward in her seat when I had to add more stress compared to anticipated near a stop. This is a characteristic of lots of Toyota automobiles, and also it's one I do not specifically delight in.


There's just 10.3 cubic feet of cargo room when the third row is up. The Honda Pilot has considerably more, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is significantly larger.

With the third row down, freight space increases to 42.3 cubic feet, and for my usage that was plenty big enough. I stuffed a 32-gallon trash bin in the back-- really 2 stacked into each other-- as well as those healthy lengthwise with the second-row seats simply slightly forward. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the distinction in between the two designs there is much less substantial than it is behind the 3rd row. I favored the Pilot's under-floor storage, however.

Functions & Pricing

For 2012, the Highlander starts at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That doesn't get you much in regards to features, yet it does include 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted back home windows, remote entrance, cruise ship control, a tilt/telescoping wheel and 2 12-volt power electrical outlets.

My test automobile was a base V-6, but I really did not feel like I was missing a lot in regards to functions since it additionally had the $1,835 Tech Bundle, that includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones and songs streaming, and a great trip computer. While I appreciate elegant home entertainment systems as high as the following man, this is the type of attribute established that most families will need, for a reasonable as-tested rate of $32,845. All-wheel drive is just $1,450 even more. In this sector, it typically sets you back $2,000 to go up to all- or 4x4.

SE designs begin at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive versions, adding a power moonroof, a back window that opens independent of the liftgate, roof covering rails, haze lamps and a power liftgate. Heated natural leather pole position, HomeLink, a natural leather guiding wheel with sound and Bluetooth controls, and all the functions in the Tech Plan are additionally included. For a comparable cost, I 'd go with the V-6 design instead of the SE four-cylinder.

The top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Minimal V-6 Highlander starts at $37,045 and also is filled: 19-inch wheels, three-zone environment control, keyless ignition and access, and higher-grade natural leather seats.

The Highlander Hybrid is available in 2 trims: a base design for $38,140 and also a Minimal design for $43,795, with comparable tools offerings as V-6 gas designs.

Rates is similar to the Traverse, Pilot and the rest of the course. Toyota additionally offers two years of totally free maintenance with new-car purchases, which none of its rivals in the segment deal.

Safety and security

The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Security Top Safety And Security Pick; that's the institution's highest possible award. To earn the score, autos should get top scores of Good in front, side as well as back collisions, in addition to pass roof-strength examinations that determine rollover security.

The Highlander gained a four-star general rating from the National Freeway Website Traffic Safety Administration. Five stars is the highest possible score, which the Chevy Traverse gained.

Highlander on the market

If it weren't so darn useful with a nice engine, it would be simple to mark down the Highlander in an area which contains some splashier new versions. However there are just too many things in the Highlander's support to rule it from your purchasing plans. Because of their smaller footprint in your driveway and garage, the Highlander and Pilot are extra obtainable for even more households.