The Toyota Highlander may be the ideal family car. It’s affordable, comfortable and has good fuel economy. Who could ask for more?
The Toyota Highlander is a midsize seven-passenger crossover offered in base, SE and Limited trim levels. The entry-level Highlander comes equipped with 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, air-conditioning (with rear controls), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack.
The Toyota Highlander is available with a choice of two engines. The Base model can be had with a 2.7-liter inline-4 engine that puts out 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.Optional for the base and SE and standard for the Highlander Limited is a 3.5-liter V6 that's rated at 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is optional.
The Toyota Highlander comes with a long list of standard safety features including antilock disc brakes, stability control and hill-start assist. All-wheel-drive models also come with hill-descent control, which electronically intervenes with the antilock brakes to control speed on steep, slick surfaces like snow-covered driveways.
The Toyota Highlander is a pleasure to drive. The fully independent suspension delivers decent handling and the ride quality is surprisingly smooth. The steering feels light enough for easy parking-lot maneuverability. The 3.5-liter V6 adds to the appeal by providing strong acceleration that makes this 4,000-pound crossover seem smaller than it is. The fact that this powertrain is also among the most fuel-efficient in the category is an added bonus.