Toyota Highlander Sport

Toyota Highlander Sport: Inconspicuous as well as sensible, the Highlander could haul up to eight in quiet comfort. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four groups with a six-speed automatic as well as front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 gets an eight-speed automated. Four-wheel drive is optional for V-6 versions as well as criterion for the hybrid, which sets the V-6 with two electrical motors; we saw 24 mpg in our examination. The Highlander offers an appropriate driving experience, but it's more concentrated on interior niceties as well as storage space.


Toyota Highlander Sport


Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that cannot inspire eagerness amongst doubters. After greater than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier lots in 2014, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of adjustments targeted at pleasing the masses and also experts alike.

Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the top-of-the-line $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, currently come common with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian discovery and also automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE examination car also loaded blind-spot surveillance, a function not available on the lower-level Highlander LE as well as LE And also.

Going along with the 2017 Highlander's countless safety systems is the most up to date version of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is basic on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and integrates a host of modern innovations, including a direct and port fuel-injection system as well as an updated valvetrain that permits the engine to operate on the extra effective Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy and balanced 295 horsepower as well as 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 even more ponies and also an additional 15 lb-ft compared with the previous system. Gas economic climate is up, too, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg incorporated; all-wheel-drive models attain 22 mpg. Both figures note a 2-mpg improvement over last year's Highlander and put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's mixed fuel-economy numbers.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS 6 is a gem of an engine that constructs power mostly all the means 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 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 as well as 3.8 seconds, respectively. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph death time was both slow-moving for the course and also virtually a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Blame the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the modified Highlander's V-6 offers lots of grunt in a lot of real-world driving circumstances. Thanks in part to our test car's automated stop-start system, we handled an affordable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg far better compared to exactly what we received from a Mazda CX-9.

The Aspect of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's lovely Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's revamped exterior style is akin to the movie's good-looking however featureless protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also rear fascias, upgraded headlamps, and an attractive collection of LED taillights give the Highlander a much more cohesive, SUV-like look. However we still would not put it quite on the exact same level of attractiveness as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the outside, the Highlander's inside has actually been left greatly unblemished. Toyota did add 4 more USB ports, bringing the total to 5-- 3 in front as well as two in the rear. The cockpit includes a variety of convenient storage nooks, including a rack that extends the lower control panel as well as a massive center-console bin that can fit almost a cubic foot of various products. Ergonomic faults include difficult-to-grip temperature knobs for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's as well away from the motorist.

While base-level LE as well as LE Plus Highlanders feature a standard second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and also Restricted Platinum grades have captain's chairs between. (The bench seat is a no-cost alternative on the XLE, Limited, and Restricted Platinum.) Area abounds in the 2nd row, however we discovered that our seven-passenger test automobile's container seats were installed also reduced for optimum comfort. Still, the Highlander's sliding and also reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy reclining chairs compared with the slim and also lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is simply 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches less than exactly what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you frequently transport adequate passengers to benefit frequent use of the third row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Darkness of an SUV

Despite the Highlander's carlike unibody construction as well as reduced step-in height, this mid-size crossover's handling reminds us of an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows excessive body coming in turns. On the plus side, the suspension takes in road abnormalities with nary a shudder, as well as the electrically helped steering is reasonably quick and normally well weighted.

At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander test vehicle was no light-weight, and also the excess mass made itself known when applying the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet more 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, as well as a display screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster display that reveals torque circulation amongst the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat amusement system was the most pricey choice, while $434 bought flooring mats and body-side moldings. Criterion things consisted of navigation, a proximity secret with push-button beginning, and also a sunroof, in addition to previously mentioned features such as a blind-spot tracking system and also leather-trimmed very first- as well as second-row seats (Toyota upholsters the 3rd row in vinyl).

While the Highlander's drab handling and cramped third row continue to curb our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the updated 2017 Highlander's long list of conventional safety and security and ease functions, much more effective and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also enhanced exterior designing will continuously draw in hoards of customers trying to find a comfortable and also fairly valued mid-size crossover SUV.