The Toyota Highlander is the current generation of the SUV lineups from Toyota. Since 2014, the third generation of Highlander has been growing larger, and the 2016 edition is the largest one yet. The Highlander series debuted back in 2001 that came with a modest 2.4 liter four cylinder or a 3 liter V6 engine that later added a hybrid version too, along with the third row of seats. The second generation had a 3.5 liter V6 engine, and the four cylinders were discontinued. The newest one has the 4-liter engine again, in the base LE cars, and the 3.5 liter V6 for the standard and more expensive editions and also has a hybrid edition. It is gained 2.7 inches in length and half an inch in breadth.
The Toyota Highlander directly competes with medium and large three-row crossovers like the Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot. The third gen has a lot of new features like blind spot warning, pre-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning.
• Vehicle Type: Standard Sports Utility Vehicles 2WD
• Curb Weight: 4143 pounds
• Passenger capacity: 8
• Passenger door: 4
• Wheelbase: 109.8 inches
• Length overall: 191.3 inches
• Width max: 75.8 inches
• Height overall: 68.1 inches
• Ground Clearance:8 inches
• Engine Type: Inline-4
• Engine displacement: 2.7 liters
• Power @ RPM: 185 @ 5800
• Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 4200
• Fuel System: Port Injection
• Transmission: 6 Speed Automatic
• Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gallon
• Fuel Economy: 20 mpg (city) 25 mpg (highway) 22 mpg (combined)
• Drivetrain: Front wheel drive
Pros and Cons
• The Toyota Highlander is a really smooth car to drive. It has well-designed interiors and exteriors and serves pretty well as a family vehicle besides being a rugged SUV. Many of the key interior elements are finished with leather and are padded nicely. The console takes up a lot of space, but also leaves enough for the dash shelf, which will obviously be used more. The steering wheel has been improved over the previous models – now the wheel is more decently balanced. Outward visibility, include the backup camera is good enough – nothing special about that. With all the different driver aids like the blind spot warning, the lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, driving is a pleasure.
• The hybrid version gets around 27 or 28 miles per gallon whereas the AWD V6 gets 18 mpg in cities. Both the hybrid and the non-hybrid versions have the same cargo capacities, something that is not frequently seen.
• Coming to the downsides, the Highlander’s handling is something that you will not find very pleasant when it comes to more rugged terrain. The vehicle obviously is more of a family car and less of an all-terrain SUV, but when it comes to sudden tight turns, the Highlander refuses to comply. The fuel economy different between the hybrid and the gas version is nothing staggering and the braking at times feels non-linear.
• Also, when it comes to the console, even though a touchscreen with physical controls it great, it’s accessibility to the driver is a bit of a pain.
Even though the Highlander borrows some of its specs from the higher end SUVs and the rugged vehicles, it is more of a family vehicle that is only suited for city roads.