Toyota Highlander Limited

Toyota Highlander Limited: Inconspicuous as well as reasonable, the Highlander could haul up to 8 in silent convenience. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four teams with a six-speed automatic and also front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 gets an eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional for V-6 versions as well as requirement for the crossbreed, which sets the V-6 with 2 electric motors; we saw 24 mpg in our test. The Highlander gives an appropriate driving experience, yet it's even more focused on indoor details as well as storage.

Toyota Highlander Limited

Like the 1986 movie Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to inspire fervor among critics. After greater than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off supplier lots in 2015, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of adjustments aimed at satisfying the masses and also pundits alike.

Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the high-grade $48,840 Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, currently come standard with a pre-collision caution system with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, flexible cruise control, as well as automated high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test auto likewise loaded blind-spot monitoring, a function not available on the lower-level Highlander LE and LE And also.

Coming with the 2017 Highlander's many safety and security systems is the most up to date variation of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is common on just about the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continues to utilize a wimpy 185-hp inline-four-- and includes a host of modern-day technologies, including a straight as well as port fuel-injection system and an upgraded valvetrain that permits the engine to run on the extra effective Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy 295 horse power and also 263 lb-ft of torque, the revised V-6 makes 25 even more ponies as well as an additional 15 lb-ft compared to the previous device. Gas economic situation is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg combined; all-wheel-drive designs achieve 22 mpg. Both figures mark a 2-mpg renovation over last year's Highlander as well as put the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's consolidated fuel-economy figures.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a treasure of an engine that builds power almost all the means up to its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander cut 0.3 2nd off of its precursor's zero-to-60-mph as well as 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 slow-moving for the class and almost a 2nd behind that of its forbear. Blame the brand-new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. Regardless, the changed Highlander's V-6 supplies lots of grunt in most real-world driving scenarios. Thanks partly to our examination cars and truck's automatic stop-start system, we managed a sensible 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to what we got from a Mazda CX-9.

The Element of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the equivalent of Highlander's enchanting Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), after that the crossover's revamped outside design belongs to the movie's good-looking but featureless protagonist, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front as well as rear fascias, updated headlamps, and an attractive collection of LED taillights give the Highlander an extra natural, SUV-like look. However we still wouldn't place it quite on the very same degree of attractiveness as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has been left greatly untouched. Toyota did add 4 even more USB ports, bringing the overall to five-- 3 ahead and 2 in the rear. The cabin features a variety of useful storage space spaces, consisting of a rack that spans the reduced dashboard as well as a substantial center-console bin that can fit almost a cubic foot of assorted things. Ergonomic mistakes consist of difficult-to-grip temperature handles for the climate-control system as well as a touchscreen that's as well far away from the driver.

While base-level LE and also LE Plus Highlanders have a conventional second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, as well as Restricted Platinum grades have captain's chairs in the middle. (The bench seat is a no-cost choice on the XLE, Limited, as well as Restricted Platinum.) Space is plentiful in the second row, but we found that our seven-passenger test auto's container seats were mounted as well low for optimum comfort. Still, the Highlander's sliding as well as reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy recliner chairs compared to the thin as well as lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a complete 6 inches less than just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row offers. If you on a regular basis transport enough guests to advantage frequent use of the 3rd row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Darkness of an SUV

In spite of the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction and also reduced step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's managing advises us of an antique body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension enables excessive body coming in turns. On the plus side, the suspension absorbs roadway abnormalities with nary a shudder, and also the electrically aided steering is fairly quick and usually well weighted.

At 4560 pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination auto was no light-weight, and the excess mass made itself understood when using the brakes, as the Toyota required 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 miles per hour-- 11 feet greater 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 showed off $3704 in alternatives. Of that tally, all-wheel drive adds $1460 and also brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and also a display screen setting within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster display that reveals torque distribution amongst the Highlander's four wheels. An $1810 rear-seat amusement system was one of the most pricey option, while $434 gotten flooring mats and also body-side moldings. Requirement things included navigating, a distance secret with push-button begin, as well as a sunroof, along with abovementioned functions such as a blind-spot tracking system as well as leather-trimmed very first- and second-row seats (Toyota upholsters the third row in plastic).

While the Highlander's drab handling and also cramped third row continuously suppress our interest for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's long checklist of typical safety and convenience features, much more effective and fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and also boosted exterior designing will certainly continuously attract heaps of buyers trying to find a comfy and moderately priced mid-size crossover SUV.