2009 toyota Highlander

2009 Toyota Highlander - If the upgraded Toyota Highlander is to be successful, it has its work cut out for it. It has to move and amuse children, ingest cargo and also conquer snow. It has to be risk-free, comfy and also extravagant, as well as it should do all these things without breaking the bank-- in automobile payments or at the pump. A tall order, no question, however the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have obtained that good.

2009 Toyota Highlander

The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it doesn't master any type of one area. Given it can keep its impressive resale value and also reliability, it ought to prove a wise-- otherwise particularly fascinating-- choice for many years ahead.

Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state design workshops shaped the exterior, which is larger in all significant dimensions than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just sufficient contours to balance out the angles. With its creased headlights, showy grille and also amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit as well glossy-- like a convenience store customer who won't remove his sunglasses.

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

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

The Within

Toyota has actually spent years constructing a reputation for high quality, as well as absent any severe competitors, the brand-new Highlander might have maintained that standard. The competitors is nothing if not major, however, and SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz flaunt some impressively upscale interiors. In contrast, Toyota falls a bit brief.

The Highlander shares supports with the present Camry, as well as the dashboard bears much of the sedan's taste. The facility controls are the all-natural focal point, with extra-large handles for significant features within simple reach. Sport and also Limited models have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level and even more. It also shows setups for the optional automated environment control system, which can separate the cabin into as numerous as 3 temperature areas-- two front and also one rear. The climate regulates sit below the stereo, and also they're awfully cluttered. 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. On the other hand, the common hand-operated a/c is straightforward.

Cabin quality is merely average. The window changes, turn signals and also center controls might go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents and electroluminescent assesses look fantastic. Most locations are trimmed in tough plastics, however, and the textures lack the appeal of right stuff in numerous rivals. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is a few of the cheapest mouse fur this side of an economic situation automobile.

Moms and dads will certainly value the storage space choices. The center console in between the pole positions has 4 cupholders and a broad storage container. Neglect laptop computers; the glove box could fit a little home computer. (Most likely not the monitor, though-- let's not get carried away.).

Three standard rows of seats suit as much as 7, though you can drop the third row in order to conserve a little cash, lowering seating capability to 5. The front seats provide plenty of space, with a technique extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the padding under the chauffeur's upper legs. Great touch.

The second row is similarly commodious, with reclining back-rests and also seat paddings that readjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow feature. It's primarily a jump seat, which passengers could switch for a plastic center console, turning the 2nd row into two captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring area in between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the modification in around 25 seconds.

The jump seat is light sufficient for very easy installation. Its comfort is hit and miss, also for a center seat; the bottom padding is significant, yet I can conveniently feel the joints underneath the backrest extra padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have strong installation hooks that need to survive lots of thrashing from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Depending upon where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high and also found clearance a bit limited, yet with the second row progressed a few inches-- protecting lots of legroom for many grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I might endure a brief trip.

Larger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over last year's V-6, that made 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is basic. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has actually been dropped.

Velocity is adequate off the line and stronger as the engine revs. The transmission aids points along, holding equipments as well as hardly ever shifting too soon. Tough acceleration can prompt some abrupt shifts among reduced equipments-- much better for velocity, worse for convenience-- but a lot of the time the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels finest on the highway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. 3rd equipment is especially powerful for 50-to-70 mph passing away.

The optional 4x4 is clear to the vehicle driver. It includes 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 feature. Press a dashboard switch, as well as it will certainly slow the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The function seems a bit disingenuous: There is no reduced equipment for offroad rock crawling, which implies you must possibly stay clear of anywhere treacherous adequate to require the downhill aid.

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

Making use of the EPA's more practical 2008 rating system-- which generally leads to reduce numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive designs and 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These ratings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise defeated the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (adjusted making use of the EPA's new calculation)-- an excellent feat, provided the new Highlander has even more power and also weighs some 300 pounds a lot more. (Four-cylinder followers won't miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained simply 1 mpg more than the brand-new one finishes with the V-6.).

Trip & Handling

The unibody building pays for a comfortable trip, with none of the underbody vibrating that plagued the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) and also lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, yet I could not spot a difference in flight firmness amongst the base, Sport and Limited. All 3 have a little bit a lot more suspension sound over major bumps compared to I have actually come to anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is marginal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably silent. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels as well as P245/55R19 tires give off a mild hum at highway speeds, which I couldn't detect with the base model's 17-inchers and also thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All versions now have electric power guiding. These systems conserve a little bit on fuel intake-- a little low-hanging fruit to satisfy the federal government's fuel economic climate requirements, I believe-- however they usually cause lifeless, artificial guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never supplying a lot in the means of feedback or turning precision. The CX-9 prices much better here, yet couple of various other competitors stand out. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, reminding chauffeurs it's not to be cornered swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. The pedal offers spongy action, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Freight & Towing

With all 3 rows installed as well as elevated, cargo room in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds up level into the flooring, as well as the 2nd row folds up almost level. Highlanders without the third row instead consist of a fairly large storage location under the back floor.

With all seats folded up, maximum freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts extra favorably with the crowd.

When effectively equipped, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Security frontal crash tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the greatest score, Good. IIHS has not checked the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota really did not stint security features. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, grip control and an electronic security system. The security system now works with the electrical power steering, which boosts the power assist when the motorist is steering to fix a skid. It additionally aids combat steering pull under tough braking in order to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not guide the SUV on its own, as some advanced systems now do, so if you steer the wrong way in a skid, do not expect any additional power help.).

7 airbags are typical, including the needed dual front air bags, a vehicle driver's knee airbag and side-impact air bags for the front seats. There are also roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all 3 rows, which release throughout a rollover to prevent resident ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and in Sporting activity and also Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for much better whiplash defense. Active head restraints are basic on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with quickly obtainable top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Features & Prices

Leaving out the location fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bunch of alternatives runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any type of trim adds regarding $1,500. All trim levels come with 3 rows of seats, though a third-row erase option on certain models could save $740.

For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless access, a CD stereo with a complementary MP3 jack, a/c, cruise control, as well as power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes darkened exterior components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up video camera and also six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Restricted adds a keyless start-up system, automated climate control, leather upholstery and also a power passenger seat. Many of these attributes are optional on the Sporting activity. Options on both trim levels consist of a navigating system, JBL premium audio, a backseat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and warmed pole positions.

Highlander on the market

Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its cash. Its largest competitor, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the next year or two, and Toyota's ace in the hole-- its track record for quality and dependability-- has been slipping recently. The car manufacturer has actually promised to enhance its initiatives, and also its most recent SUV must confirm that.

The new Highlander has lots of book sensibilities, like good gas mileage and lots of safety and security features, however there's absolutely nothing outstanding regarding it. If it proves as bulletproof as its predecessor, though, dependability will become its specifying quality, which is a book attract a lot of purchasers can get behind.