2008 toyota Highlander Sport

2008 Toyota Highlander Sport: If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its job suitable it. It needs to deliver and entertain children, ingest freight as well as overcome snow. It has to be safe, comfy and lavish, and also it needs to do all these things without breaking the bank-- in automobile payments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no doubt, but the leading midsize SUV competitors really have obtained that excellent.

The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it doesn't master any one area. Provided it could keep its superior resale worth and integrity, it ought to prove a wise-- otherwise particularly fascinating-- selection for several years to find.

Base, Sporting activity as well as Limited trim degrees come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat five or seven, depending on the configuration. Rates range from approximately $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.

I evaluated all 3 trim levels of the normal Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.


2008 Toyota Highlander Sport


Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state layout workshops formed the outside, which is bigger in all significant dimensions than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just enough curves to offset the angles. With its creased headlights, showy grille as well as amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a bit as well slick-- like a convenience store shopper who will not take off his sunglasses.

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

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

The Within

Toyota has spent years constructing an online reputation for high quality, and missing any kind of major competition, the new Highlander might have preserved that standard. The competitors is absolutely nothing if not major, though, and also SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz boast some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota drops a bit brief.

The Highlander shares foundations with the present Camry, and also the dashboard births a lot of the sedan's taste. The facility controls are the natural prime focus, with large handles for major functions within simple reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited models have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as even more. It likewise reveals settings for the optional automatic environment control system, which could split the cabin into as several as 3 temperature areas-- two front and one rear. The climate controls rest listed below the stereo, and they're extremely chaotic. I counted 13 buttons in between both temperature knobs; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the typical hand-operated a/c is easy.

Cabin top quality is just ordinary. The home window switches, turn signals as well as facility controls can go straight right into a Lexus, and the chrome accents as well as electroluminescent determines appearance great. The majority of areas are trimmed in tough plastics, nonetheless, as well as the structures lack the charm of right stuff in several competitors. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the most inexpensive mouse fur this side of an economic situation vehicle.

Parents will value the storage choices. The facility console in between the front seats has four cupholders as well as a vast storage space container. Neglect laptop computers; the handwear cover box can fit a tiny desktop computer. (Possibly not the display, though-- let's not get carried away.).

3 typical rows of seats suit up to 7, though you could go down the third row in order to save a little cash, lowering sitting capacity to 5. The front seats supply plenty of space, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the cushion under the vehicle driver's thighs. Good touch.

The 2nd row is equally commodious, with reclining backrests and seat pillows that change backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow feature. It's essentially a dive seat, which travelers could exchange for a plastic center console, transforming the 2nd row into 2 captain's chairs. The unused portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a floor compartment between the pole positions. After a couple of practice runs, I was able to make the adjustment in around 25 secs.

The dive seat is light enough for easy setup. Its convenience is trial and error, even for a center seat; the bottom cushion is significant, however I might quickly really feel the hinges underneath the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have tough installment hooks that should survive plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic children.

Relying on where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as discovered clearance a little bit tight, yet with the second row moved on a couple of inches-- maintaining a lot of legroom for the majority of grownups-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I might endure a brief trip.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna as well as a number of other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over last year's V-6, which made 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is basic. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has been gone down.

Acceleration is adequate off the line and also more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists points along, holding equipments and hardly ever shifting too soon. Tough acceleration could prompt some sudden shifts amongst reduced gears-- better for velocity, even worse for comfort-- but the majority of the time the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels best on the highway, where it downshifts with minimal gear hunting. 3rd equipment is especially powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the chauffeur. It incorporates a center differential to divide power 50/50 in between the front and also back wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill aid feature. Press a control panel button, and it will certainly reduce the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The feature appears a little bit disingenuous: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which implies you ought to most likely prevent anywhere treacherous enough to call for the downhill aid.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for as much as 3 secs from a quit to avoid the SUV from rolling in reverse prior to you have time to strike the gas.

Utilizing the EPA's even more sensible 2008 rating system-- which typically brings about reduce numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (adjusted making use of the EPA's new estimation)-- an excellent feat, offered the brand-new Highlander has more power and also considers some 300 pounds more. (Four-cylinder followers won't miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got just 1 mpg greater than the new one makes with the V-6.).

Ride & Handling

The unibody building and construction pays for a comfortable flight, with none of the underbody vibrating that plagued the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) and several body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, but I couldn't discover a distinction in ride firmness among the base, Sport and Limited. All 3 have a bit extra suspension noise over significant bumps than I've come to anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is marginal. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly quiet. The Sport and Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires discharge a slight hum at freeway speeds, which I could not discover with the base model's 17-inchers and thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All models currently feature electrical power guiding. These systems conserve a bit on fuel usage-- a little low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's fuel economic situation criteria, I presume-- but they typically cause lifeless, fabricated guiding feel. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never delivering a lot in the way of responses or turning accuracy. The CX-9 prices better in this regard, yet couple of other rivals stand out. The very same holds true for body roll: Like most SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, reminding drivers it's not to be cornered rapidly.

Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are standard. The pedal provides squishy reaction, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.

Cargo & Towing

With all 3 rows mounted and also elevated, freight room in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up level right into the flooring, and also the 2nd row folds almost level. Highlanders without the third row rather include a fairly huge storage area under the rear floor.

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

When effectively geared up, the Highlander can tow approximately 5,000 extra pounds.
Safety and security.

In Insurance Institute for Freeway Security frontal collision examinations, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest possible rating, Great. IIHS has not checked the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota didn't skimp on safety features. All Highlanders come common with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and also an electronic stability system. The security system currently works with the electric power steering, which improves the power aid when the vehicle driver is guiding to correct a skid. It also assists battle guiding pull under hard stopping to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota claims the system can not guide the SUV by itself, as some sophisticated systems now do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any kind of additional power assist.).

7 air bags are conventional, consisting of the called for twin front air bags, a chauffeur's knee air bag and side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are also roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows, which release throughout a rollover to prevent owner ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, as well as in Sporting activity and Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash protection. Energetic head restrictions are typical 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 supports midway down the seatback.

Features & Prices

Leaving out the location charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bevy of alternatives runs around $42,000. Four-wheel drive on any type of trim adds regarding $1,500. All trim levels feature 3 rows of seats, though a third-row remove option on specific versions could save $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, a/c, cruise control, and power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity includes dark exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power chauffeur's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up camera as well as six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture as well as a power passenger seat. Much of these functions are optional on the Sport. Alternatives on both trim levels consist of a navigating system, JBL costs sound, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and heated pole positions.

Highlander in the marketplace

Rivals from GM, Mazda and Hyundai will give the Highlander a run for its money. Its biggest opponent, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or two, as well as Toyota's trump card-- its reputation for quality and also dependability-- has been sliding lately. The automaker has promised to enhance its efforts, and also its most recent SUV must show that.

The brand-new Highlander has lots of book perceptiveness, like suitable gas mileage and also lots of safety and security features, however there's absolutely nothing remarkable concerning it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its precursor, however, dependability will become its defining attribute, which is a textbook attract a great deal of customers can get behind.