Toyota Highlander Sport

Toyota Highlander Sport: Unnoticeable as well as practical, the Highlander can haul up to 8 in silent comfort. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four teams with a six-speed automated and also front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 gets an eight-speed automated. All-wheel drive is optional for V-6 designs as well as criterion for the crossbreed, which sets the V-6 with two electrical motors; we saw 24 mpg in our test. The Highlander gives an adequate driving experience, yet it's more focused on indoor precisions as well as storage.


Toyota Highlander Sport


Like the 1986 film Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that cannot inspire fervor amongst critics. After greater than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier great deals in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of modifications targeted at pleasing the masses as well as pundits alike.

Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the state-of-the-art $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, now come typical with a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian discovery and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, as well as automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test cars and truck likewise loaded blind-spot surveillance, a feature not available on the lower-level Highlander LE and also LE Plus.

Going along with the 2017 Highlander's various safety systems is the most recent variant of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is common on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which remains to make use of a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- as well as includes a host of modern technologies, including a straight and also port fuel-injection system and an upgraded valvetrain that allows the engine to run on the extra effective Atkinson cycle. Rated at a healthy 295 horse power and 263 lb-ft of torque, the modified V-6 makes 25 more horses and an additional 15 lb-ft compared with the previous unit. Gas economy is up, as well, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 earning an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive models achieve 22 mpg. Both figures mark a 2-mpg enhancement over in 2015's Highlander and also put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy numbers.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a gem of an engine that builds power nearly all the means as much as its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander shaved 0.3 second off of its predecessor's zero-to-60-mph and also 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 as well as 3.8 seconds, specifically. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph death time was both sluggish for the class as well as nearly a second behind that of its forbear. Blame the new eight-speed transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the revised Highlander's V-6 uses lots of grunt in a lot of real-world driving scenarios. Many thanks partially to our examination vehicle's automated stop-start system, we took care of a reasonable 21 mpg during our time with the crossover, 2 mpg far better than just what we got from a Mazda CX-9.

The Component 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 overhauled exterior design is akin to the film's good-looking yet featureless protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front as well as back fascias, upgraded headlamps, as well as an appealing set of LED taillights provide the Highlander an extra natural, SUV-like look. But we still would not place it fairly on the same level of appearance as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the outside, the Highlander's inside has actually been left mostly untouched. Toyota did add four more USB ports, bringing the total to 5-- three ahead and also 2 in the rear. The cockpit showcases a variety of handy storage space spaces, including a shelf that extends the lower control panel and also a large center-console bin that could accommodate nearly a cubic foot of various products. Ergonomic faults consist of difficult-to-grip temperature level knobs for the climate-control system and a touchscreen that's also far from the motorist.

While base-level LE as well as LE And also Highlanders feature a basic second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Restricted Platinum grades come with captain's chairs in the middle. (The bench seat is a no-cost choice on the XLE, Limited, and Minimal Platinum.) Room abounds in the 2nd row, however we discovered that our seven-passenger test auto's bucket seats were mounted too low for ideal comfort. Still, the Highlander's gliding as well as reclining second-row chairs resembled a pair of La-Z-Boy recliner chairs compared to the slim and lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a full six inches less than exactly what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you on a regular basis transport adequate passengers to benefit constant use of the third row, think about the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Shadow of an SUV

Even with the Highlander's carlike unibody construction and also reduced step-in height, this mid-size crossover's handling reminds us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension enables extreme body coming in turns. On the plus side, the suspension takes in roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and the electrically helped steering is fairly fast and typically well weighted.

At 4560 extra pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander test vehicle was no light-weight, as well as the excess mass made itself known when applying the brakes, as the Toyota needed 181 feet of tarmac to stop from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.

With an as-tested cost of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE sported $3704 in alternatives. Of that tally, four-wheel drive includes $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and also a display setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that shows torque distribution among the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat enjoyment system was the most expensive choice, while $434 purchased floor mats and body-side moldings. Criterion items included navigating, a proximity trick with push-button start, and a sunroof, as well as abovementioned features such as a blind-spot surveillance system as well as leather-trimmed first- and also second-row seats (Toyota upholsters the 3rd row in vinyl).

While the Highlander's lifeless handling and cramped 3rd row continue to curb our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's lengthy listing of standard safety and security as well as ease attributes, more powerful as well as fuel-efficient V-6 engine, as well as boosted exterior styling will certainly continue to bring in heaps of buyers seeking a comfy as well as fairly priced mid-size crossover SUV.