Toyota Highlander Limited

Toyota Highlander Limited: Inconspicuous and sensible, the Highlander can haul up to eight in silent convenience. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four teams with a six-speed automatic as well as front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 obtains an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional for V-6 models and requirement for the hybrid, which sets the V-6 with two electrical motors; we saw 24 mpg in our test. The Highlander provides an adequate driving experience, however it's more concentrated on interior details as well as storage.


Toyota Highlander Limited


Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to motivate eagerness amongst doubters. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealer lots last year, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of changes focused on satisfying the masses as well as experts alike.

Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the high-grade $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, currently come basic with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian detection as well as automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping assist, flexible cruise control, as well as automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test auto also loaded blind-spot tracking, a function unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE as well as LE Plus.

Coming with the 2017 Highlander's various safety systems is the current variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is conventional on just about the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to use a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and also incorporates a host of modern innovations, including a direct as well as port fuel-injection system as well as an upgraded valvetrain that enables the engine to run on the more efficient Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy and balanced 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the revised V-6 makes 25 even more horses as well as an extra 15 lb-ft compared with the previous device. Fuel economic climate is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive versions accomplish 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg improvement over last year's Highlander as well as placed 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 constructs power almost all the means approximately its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second 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 secs, respectively. However, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both sluggish for the class as well as virtually a second behind that of its forbear. Condemn the new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the changed Highlander's V-6 offers plenty of grunt in most real-world driving situations. Many thanks in part to our examination vehicle's automated stop-start system, we managed a practical 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to what we received from a Mazda CX-9.

The Element of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's charming Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's revamped exterior style belongs to the film's good-looking but featureless lead character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also back fascias, upgraded headlamps, and also an eye-catching set of LED taillights give the Highlander a more natural, SUV-like appearance. However we still wouldn't place it fairly on the exact same degree of attractiveness as the butch Dodge Durango or the shapely CX-9.

Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's inside has been left greatly unblemished. Toyota did include 4 more USB ports, bringing the total to five-- 3 ahead and also 2 in the rear. The cockpit features a variety of helpful storage space nooks, consisting of a shelf that extends the reduced dashboard and also a huge center-console bin that can suit nearly a cubic foot of miscellaneous products. Ergonomic mistakes consist of difficult-to-grip temperature level knobs for the climate-control system and a touchscreen that's also far away from the vehicle driver.

While base-level LE and LE And also Highlanders have a basic second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, as well as Limited Platinum qualities have captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost option on the XLE, Limited, and Minimal Platinum.) Room is plentiful in the 2nd row, but we discovered that our seven-passenger examination cars and truck's bucket seats were installed as well reduced for ideal comfort. Still, the Highlander's sliding and reclining second-row chairs were like a set of La-Z-Boy recliner chairs compared with the thin as well as lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches fewer compared to what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you routinely haul adequate guests to value regular use the third row, consider the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Darkness of an SUV

In spite of the Highlander's carlike unibody construction and also reduced step-in height, this mid-size crossover's managing advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension permits excessive body roll in turns. On the bonus side, the suspension takes in road irregularities with nary a shudder, and the electrically aided guiding is relatively quick and also typically well heavy.

At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination vehicle was no lightweight, as well as the excess mass made itself known when applying the brakes, as the Toyota required 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 rate of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in choices. Of that tally, all-wheel drive adds $1460 as well as brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and a screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that reveals torque distribution among the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat home entertainment system was the most costly option, while $434 gotten flooring mats as well as body-side moldings. Criterion products consisted of navigating, a distance key with push-button beginning, as well as a sunroof, as well as previously mentioned functions such as a blind-spot surveillance system and leather-trimmed initial- as well as second-row seats (Toyota drapes the third row in vinyl).

While the Highlander's drab handling and also confined 3rd row remain to suppress our enthusiasm for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's long checklist of common safety and security and comfort functions, a lot more effective and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, as well as improved exterior designing will continue to bring in heaps of buyers seeking a comfortable and also moderately valued mid-size crossover SUV.