2008 toyota Highlander

2008 Toyota Highlander: If the revamped Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its job suitable it. It has to carry as well as captivate children, ingest cargo and dominate snow. It should be safe, comfortable as well as luxurious, and also it needs to do all these points without breaking the financial institution-- in automobile payments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no doubt, but the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have gotten that excellent.

The Highlander qualifies on all counts, though it does not excel in any one location. Supplied it can keep its exceptional resale value and dependability, it must prove a wise-- otherwise specifically fascinating-- choice for years to find.

Base, Sport and Limited trim levels come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all could seat 5 or seven, relying on the configuration. Rates vary from approximately $27,000 to $40,000 with options.

I tested all 3 trim degrees of the normal Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.


2008 Toyota Highlander


Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state design workshops shaped the exterior, which is larger in all significant dimensions compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just sufficient contours to balance out the angles. With its creased fronts lights, showy grille and amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a little bit too slick-- like a convenience store customer that will not remove his sunglasses.

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

At 188.4 inches long and also 75.2 inches broad, the Highlander casts approximately the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Overview are both about a foot longer.

The Inside

Toyota has actually spent years developing an online reputation for top quality, as well as absent any serious competition, the brand-new Highlander might have preserved that requirement. The competition is nothing otherwise major, though, and SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz boast some impressively upscale insides. In contrast, Toyota drops a bit brief.

The Highlander shares supports with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel births a lot of the car's taste. The center controls are the natural focal point, with extra-large handles for major functions within very easy reach. Sport and also Limited versions have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It presents gas mileage, outside temperature and also more. It additionally shows setups for the optional automated environment control system, which could separate the cabin into as many as 3 temperature zones-- 2 front as well as one rear. The environment controls sit below the stereo, and also they're extremely chaotic. I counted 13 switches between the two temperature level handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the standard manual cooling is basic.

Cabin quality is simply average. The home window switches over, turn signals and center controls could go straight right into a Lexus, and the chrome accents and also electroluminescent assesses appearance fantastic. Many areas are cut in difficult plastics, nonetheless, as well as the structures lack the charm of right stuff in several rivals. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the most inexpensive computer mouse fur this side of an economic climate auto.

Moms and dads will certainly appreciate the storage space alternatives. The center console between the pole positions has 4 cupholders and a wide storage container. Neglect laptop computers; the handwear cover box can fit a small desktop. (Possibly not the screen, though-- let's not get carried away.).

3 conventional rows of seats accommodate up to 7, though you can drop the 3rd row in order to save a little cash money, reducing seatsing capacity to 5. The pole positions use lots of space, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the padding under the chauffeur's upper legs. Good touch.

The 2nd row is just as wide, with reclining backrests and also seat cushions that adjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow feature. It's primarily a dive seat, which travelers could exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the 2nd row right into 2 captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a floor area between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the change in around 25 secs.

The dive seat is light enough for simple setup. Its comfort is hit and miss, even for a center seat; the bottom pillow is significant, yet I might conveniently feel the joints under the backrest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both pieces have sturdy installment hooks that must make it through lots of knocking from overenthusiastic kids.

Depending on where the second row is placed, the third row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also found clearance a bit limited, but with the 2nd row progressed a couple of inches-- protecting plenty of legroom for most adults-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a short journey.

Larger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and a number of various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and also 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are significant gains over last year's V-6, makinged 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is typical. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.

Acceleration is adequate off the line and also more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists things along, holding equipments as well as hardly ever moving prematurely. Difficult acceleration can motivate some sudden transitions amongst lower equipments-- better for acceleration, worse for comfort-- however most of the moment the shifts are smooth enough to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels finest on the highway, where it downshifts with marginal equipment searching. Third gear is specifically potent for 50-to-70 mph passing away.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the motorist. It integrates a center differential to divide power 50/50 between the front and rear wheels all of the moment. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill assist function. Press a control panel switch, and it will slow the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The attribute seems a little bit disingenuous: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which implies you must possibly stay clear of anywhere treacherous sufficient to call for the downhill aid.

All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for approximately 3 seconds from a quit to prevent the SUV from rolling backwards before you have time to hit the gas.

Using the EPA's even more sensible 2008 ranking system-- which typically causes decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and also 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These ratings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (readjusted using the EPA's new calculation)-- an impressive accomplishment, offered the new Highlander has more power as well as evaluates some 300 extra pounds much more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained simply 1 mpg greater than the new one performs with the V-6.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody building affords a comfy ride, with none of the underbody shimmying that tormented the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) as well as lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, but I could not discover a difference in flight suppleness among the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All 3 have a little bit a lot more suspension sound over major bumps compared to I have actually involved expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is minimal. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly peaceful. The Sporting activity and Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires produce a small hum at highway speeds, which I couldn't identify with the base version's 17-inchers and thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs now have electric power guiding. These systems save a bit on fuel intake-- a little bit of low-hanging fruit to meet the federal government's fuel economic climate requirements, I presume-- but they frequently lead to drab, man-made guiding feel. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never providing much in the way of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares better hereof, yet few other competitors attract attention. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising drivers it's not to be collared swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are conventional. The pedal supplies squishy reaction, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows set up and also elevated, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds flat into the flooring, and also the second row folds almost flat. Highlanders without the 3rd row instead include a fairly huge storage area under the rear flooring.

With all seats folded, optimal freight quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts extra positively with the crowd.

When properly equipped, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.
Safety and security.

In Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Safety frontal accident tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest rating, Great. IIHS has not evaluated the Highlander for side impacts.

Toyota really did not skimp on safety features. All Highlanders come basic with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, grip control and also an electronic stability system. The stability system now collaborates with the electrical power steering, which improves the power aid when the chauffeur is steering to correct a skid. It also assists fight steering pull under hard stopping in order to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system can not guide the SUV on its own, as some innovative systems currently do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, do not anticipate any extra power aid.).

Seven air bags are conventional, consisting of the needed twin front air bags, a driver's knee air bag and also side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape airbags for all 3 rows, which deploy during a rollover to prevent passenger ejection.

All seats have head restraints, and in Sporting activity and Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash defense. Active head restraints are basic on the pole positions of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly accessible top-tether supports midway down the seatback.

Functions & Prices

Excluding the destination cost, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of choices playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim includes about $1,500. All trim degrees include three rows of seats, though a third-row erase choice on particular versions could save $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, cooling, cruise control, and also power home windows, mirrors and door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes darkened exterior components, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction wheel, a back-up electronic camera and also six-CD sound.
-For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless start-up system, automatic environment control, leather upholstery as well as a power guest seat. Many of these functions are optional on the Sporting activity. Options on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL costs audio, a rear seat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also heated front seats.

Highlander on the market

Rivals from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its cash. Its biggest rival, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or two, as well as Toyota's secret weapon-- its online reputation for high quality and dependability-- has been slipping lately. The automaker has actually pledged to redouble its initiatives, and its most recent SUV should confirm that.

The new Highlander has lots of book sensibilities, like good gas mileage as well as lots of security features, however there's nothing exceptional regarding it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its precursor, though, reliability will certainly become its defining quality, which is a textbook draw a lot of purchasers could support.