The Toyota Highlander both high and Technologies even among base model and impressive cabin materials on higher trim levels.
But space for people or luggage is not a forte that’s a historical weakness for the Highlander and one that’s improved only modestly in the sports generation overhaul without the prior generation Space 4 cylinder engine.
The Highlander gets a standard carryover V6 saddled with a little less her boyfriend before the V6 moves the SUV with sufficient smooth driving power stay hard on the gas and the Highlander Fields legitimately quick at higher revs unfortunately the transmission gets indecisive when you need more power.
While in motion it’s a long-standing problem for Toyotas 8-speed automatic try to pass slower traffic and multi gear downshifts results and some gear hunting as the 8-speed pics one beer then another rather than doing it all at once it’s all still happens quick enough but it could stand to be more seamless we found less bolts.
With the Highlanders impressive EPA fuel economy and that’s for the non hybrid you can read our thoughts on the hybrid which Toyota also redesigned in our overall Highlander review on cars.com ride quality in this test car a non hybrid Highlander Platinum is fine shock absorption is generous even with our test cards big 20 inch wheels wind and road noise at highway speeds are impressively low and there’s very little bounciness or side-to-side movement over uneven pavement film the SUV can write a touch busy at higher speeds overall but the smoothest roads we prefer better isolation something you get from competitors like the Volkswagen Atlas the Highlander steers.
With a light touch and evasive maneuvers and hard Corners reveal a reasonably direct connected steering feel but such Maneuvers also uncover somebody roll and modest free from the skinny Bridgestone Tires higher trim levels have a fancier torque-vectoring system for their all wheel drive system but in our experience that didn’t alter much in terms of reflective the cabin improves on the prior generation Highlander which was already one of the nicer Interiors in its class with Pata touchpoints lots of Stitch surfaces and still plenty of driver accessible storage space are loaded.
Highlander Platinum still isn’t as opulent as top trim levels of the Hyundai Palisade or Mazda CX-9 both of which could masquerade as genuine luxury vehicles certain Toyota controls like the gear selector filled cheaply constructed and some low-budget plastic speak out amid the nice stuff but on the whole this is among the nicer Interiors in a class of SUVs for cost-cutting is often the norm standard equipment includes an 8in touch screen with Apple carplay and Android Auto Trim levels have the 12.3 inch you see here sadly smartphone integration and the navigation maps display only over about two-thirds of the screen while the remainder shows one of several status menus we’d rather have full screen phone integration or navigation and this is a recurring problem we’ve seen.
With supersize displays some cars including one from Toyota’s Lexus division can make it work so it’s confounding the Highlanders is not if only confounding is the SUVs relatively modest space this was a problem with the prior generation the redesign added roughly two and a half inch of length but it remains one of the smaller SUVs in the class and that shows up inside the front seats have limited space between the doors and center console and the passenger seat less any height adjustment second row space is fine thanks to a slightly higher seating position than before but the third row has scant Headroom and a bench that slam to the floor for anyone to really fit back there you’ll have to scoot the second row seats quite a bit forward and the compromise is unlikely to leave either row of passengers all that happy get into a competitor like the Volkswagen Atlas or Chevy Traverse and you’ll see.
It doesn’t have to be this way several competitors offer one-touch buttons for third-row access which is a big help when you have passengers who have to climb back there Toyota sticks with an old school shoulder lever and the resulting pathway when you screw the seat forward is modest but it’s really the only form of access as the aisle between the captains chairs is really too narrow to use doesn’t.
Have to be this way some Rivals have usable Isles between their captains chairs the Highlander not so much now there’s a lot of inconsistent methodology out there between manufacturer stated cargo specs so we measured space up to the tops of the sea facts using the same methodology as we do in cars.com multi-vehicle comparison test as such the Highlander has limited cargo space hampered especially by a high cargo floor leading up to the second row seat back that means you might have to fold those chairs more often to accommodate larger Cargo in Toyota does no favors in this regard the Highlander 2nd row Captain’s chairs require as many as three steps to fold down and the cargo area has no controls to release any row of seats remote license there’s still plenty to like about the redesign Highlander it both high quality and a bevy of new technologies.
With must have driver Assist Technology like adaptive cruise control and Lane centering steering all the way down to a stop both as standard equipment even in base trim levels pricing starts in the mid $30,000 range.
Which is relatively steep for this crowd for the Highlander also has a ton of standard equipment that should get plenty of Shoppers interested but just as many might find the limit of space both for people and their stuff off pudding