Toyota Highlander 2009

Toyota Highlander 2009 - If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its work suited it. It has to transport and also captivate youngsters, ingest freight and conquer snow. It has to be risk-free, comfy and extravagant, and also it has to do all these points without breaking the bank-- in automobile payments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no doubt, but the leading midsize SUV competitors really have gotten that excellent.

Toyota Highlander 2009

The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it doesn't excel in any one area. Provided it can maintain its impressive resale value as well as dependability, it should confirm a smart-- otherwise especially fascinating-- choice for several years ahead.

Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state layout workshops sculpted the outside, which is bigger in all significant measurements than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply enough contours to offset the angles. With its creased headlights, fancy grille and characterless bumper, the Highlander seems a bit too glossy-- like a corner store consumer that will not remove his sunglasses.

The rear bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, as well as the majority of trim levels have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are basic; the Sport as well as Limited have 19-inchers that fill in the wheel wells perfectly. The Sport has a dark silver grille and also smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer headlights and chrome outside moldings.

At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches vast, the Highlander casts roughly the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Outlook are both concerning a foot much longer.

The Within

Toyota has actually spent years developing a credibility for top quality, and absent any type of major competitors, the new Highlander may have kept that requirement. The competition is nothing if not significant, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz flaunt some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota falls a little bit brief.

The Highlander shares underpinnings with the current Camry, and the dashboard births a lot of the car's taste. The facility controls are the natural centerpiece, with oversized handles for significant features within easy reach. Sport and Limited designs have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It presents gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as even more. It likewise reveals setups for the optional automatic environment control system, which could split the cabin into as many as three temperature level zones-- two front and also one back. The climate controls sit listed below the stereo, and they're very messy. I counted 13 buttons in between both temperature level knobs; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the common manual cooling is straightforward.

Cabin top quality is simply average. The home window switches, turn signals and facility controls could go straight into a Lexus, and the chrome accents as well as electroluminescent evaluates appearance great. Many areas are trimmed in hard plastics, nonetheless, and also the appearances lack the charm of right stuff in numerous rivals. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is a few of the cheapest mouse fur this side of an economic situation car.

Moms and dads will certainly value the storage space options. The center console in between the pole positions has four cupholders and a wide storage space bin. Forget laptops; the glove box might fit a little desktop. (Possibly not the display, though-- allow's not obtain carried away.).

Three basic rows of seats accommodate as much as seven, though you could go down the third row in order to save a little cash money, minimizing sitting capacity to five. The front seats use a lot of space, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the padding under the motorist's thighs. Nice touch.

The second row is just as commodious, with reclining backrests and also seat pillows that change backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow feature. It's basically a jump seat, which guests can exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the second row into 2 captain's chairs. The extra part-- either the middle seat or console-- stores in a flooring compartment in between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the change in around 25 seconds.

The jump seat is light sufficient for simple setup. Its comfort is hit and miss, also for a center seat; the bottom pillow is significant, but I could easily feel the joints under the back-rest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have tough installation hooks that must make it through lots of knocking from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Relying on where the second row is positioned, the third row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also discovered headroom a bit tight, however with the second row moved on a couple of inches-- maintaining plenty of legroom for the majority of adults-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I can endure a brief trip.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

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

Acceleration suffices off the line and more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission aids things along, holding equipments and also rarely changing prematurely. Hard acceleration could motivate some sudden changes among lower gears-- much better for velocity, even worse for convenience-- but the majority of the time the shifts are smooth adequate to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels best on the freeway, where it downshifts with very little gear searching. 3rd equipment is specifically potent for 50-to-70 mph passing.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the vehicle driver. It incorporates a facility differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and also rear wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill assist function. Press a dashboard switch, and also it will certainly slow the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The feature seems a bit disingenuous: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which means you need to probably stay clear of anywhere treacherous enough to require the downhill help.

All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for approximately three secs from a stop to avoid the SUV from rolling backwards prior to you have time to strike the gas.

Using the EPA's even more practical 2008 score system-- which normally results in decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive models as well as 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These ratings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (changed making use of the EPA's new computation)-- an excellent accomplishment, offered the brand-new Highlander has more power as well as weighs some 300 extra pounds much more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got just 1 mpg more than the brand-new one performs with the V-6.).

Trip & Handling

The unibody building and construction affords a comfy flight, with none of the underbody vibrating that afflicted the previous Highlander (which was likewise unibody) as well as lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, but I couldn't find a distinction in trip suppleness among the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All 3 have a bit extra suspension noise over major bumps than I have actually pertained to expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is minimal. Offered a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably silent. The Sport and Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires send out a small hum at highway rates, which I couldn't discover with the base model's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All models now come with electrical power steering. These systems save a little bit on gas intake-- a little low-hanging fruit to satisfy the government's gas economy standards, I presume-- yet they commonly result in lifeless, man-made guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever providing a lot in the method of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares better hereof, but few various other rivals stand apart. The very same is true for body roll: Like the majority of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising drivers it's not to be caught promptly.

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

Cargo & Towing

With all 3 rows set up and increased, freight space in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds flat right into the floor, as well as the 2nd row folds up nearly flat. Highlanders without the third row instead include a fairly huge storage space location under the back flooring.

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

When correctly equipped, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Highway Safety and security frontal collision tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest rating, Great. IIHS has not examined the Highlander for side impacts.

Toyota really did not stint safety features. All Highlanders come standard with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, grip control and a digital stability system. The security system now collaborates with the electrical power steering, which enhances the power help when the driver is guiding to fix a skid. It likewise helps fight guiding pull under hard stopping in order to help the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota claims the system could not guide the SUV by itself, as some innovative systems now do, so if you steer the wrong way in a skid, do not expect any added power aid.).

7 air bags are basic, consisting of the needed twin front airbags, a motorist's knee air bag and also side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape airbags for all three rows, which deploy throughout a rollover to prevent resident ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and in Sport and also Limited versions, the front ones are forward-adjustable for much better whiplash security. Active head restraints are conventional on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with easily accessible top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Features & Pricing

Omitting the destination fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete collection of alternatives runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim degrees include three rows of seats, though a third-row erase alternative on particular designs can conserve $740.

For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless access, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, a/c, cruise control, and also power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
For $29,950, the Sport includes darkened exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power driver's seat, a multifunction wheel, a backup electronic camera as well as six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Restricted adds a keyless start-up system, automatic climate control, leather upholstery as well as a power passenger seat. Most of these functions are optional on the Sporting activity. Choices on both trim levels include a navigating system, JBL premium sound, a backseat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and warmed front seats.

Highlander on the market

Rivals from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will give the Highlander a run for its loan. Its largest competitor, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or more, and Toyota's ace in the hole-- its reputation for high quality and also dependability-- has been slipping recently. The automaker has pledged to redouble its initiatives, as well as its latest SUV needs to prove that.

The new Highlander has lots of textbook sensibilities, like good gas mileage and also lots of safety attributes, yet there's absolutely nothing phenomenal about it. If it proves as bulletproof as its precursor, though, stability will become its defining feature, which is a textbook draw a lot of purchasers can get behind.