2017 Toyota Highlander SUV

2017 Toyota
Highlander SUV

Starting at: $30,630

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Specifications

Trims

  MSRP Engine Transmission City/Hwy mpg
LE I4
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$30,630   185-hp 2.7L 4-cyl  6-spd auto  20 / 24  
LE V6
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$32,680   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 27  
LE V6
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$34,140   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  19 / 26  
LE Plus V6 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV LE Plus V6 Search New $35,060   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  21 / 27  
LE Plus V6
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$36,520   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 27  
XLE V6
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$38,520   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  21 / 27  
SE V6
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$39,690   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  21 / 27  
XLE V6
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$39,980   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 26  
SE V6
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$41,150   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 26  
Limited V6 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV Limited V6 Search New $41,680   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  21 / 27  
Limited V6
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$43,140   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 26  
Limited Platinum V6
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$44,800   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  21 / 27  
Limited Platinum V6
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$46,260   295-hp 3.5L 6-cyl  8-spd auto  20 / 26  

Reviews

Driving Impression

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The base engine is 2.7 liters and 185 horsepower with 184 pound-feet of torque. It’s smooth and meaty for a four-cylinder, but it carries too much weight in the Highlander, and the transmission is only a six-speed. Acceleration is reasonable but stressed if pressed. Forget it for towing, rated at a mere 1500 pounds.

The new V6 has to be the call. Its numbers run with the best V6s in the class, starting with 5000-pound towing. The turbocharged Ford Flex and V8 Dodge Durango are quicker, but that’s not everything.

Shifts with the new eight-speed automatic transmission are so smooth you can hardly feel them, although it can be late to downshift when you get on the has.

The Hybrid powers the front wheels mostly with the V6 engine, and the rear wheels solely with the second electric motor. The engine and front motor use a power-split system like Toyota’s other vehicles with Hybrid Synergy Drive. Because this system weighs 350 pounds, the Hybrid is slower, unlike some cars whose hybrid is the quickest.

The handling is pleasant and predictable, with firm electric power steering, but it’s uninspired and vanilla. It’s controlled, but it leans in turns and can be wobbly.

The ride is smooth, not quite cushy, on the standard wheels. But the 19-inch wheels allow the jolts to be felt.

The soft handling and soft ride might be fixed in the SE. Certainly improved, with the SE’s firmer suspension.

Walk Around

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
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The new nose (grille and headlamps) is more aggressive without being distinctive. The old grille was smoother and subtler, and more traditionally Toyota-SUV-shaped. It’s hard to tell the Highlander from any other SUV on the road now. For sure it looks a lot bigger than what might be considered mid-size. Its size and square lines makes it look more like a truck-based SUV than a smooth crossover.

The grille is angular, silver on lower trim models, black on the new SE, and platinum on the Limiteds. It protrudes, adding 1.3 inches to the Highlander’s already long length. The Limited model has lights that spell the word Highlander on the ground, and looks cooler than it sounds.

Interior Overview

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The instrument panel only has a little bit of truck in it, that goes totally away with the big touchscreen on some models. Although the climate control still uses large easy knobs. The big gauges are a welcome sight.

The cabin is quiet, calm, refined. Luxury inside, with thick acoustic glass and floor insulation. The lines and textures mix well, if sometimes a bit busily; and the flat, rich dashboard features a storage spot that opens things up. Cubbies are not hard to find.

The long wheelbase of 110 inches provides plenty of room inside to work with. But three rows of seats have to be squeezed in, so it’s not a slam-dunk. Most models have a sliding second-row bench that splits 60/40 and seats three, to make eight passengers; but the Limiteds offer captain’s chairs, or seven passengers.

The front seats are good but manual, if you want power adjustment you have to buy a Limited. You can get them cooled, but you’ll feel the hardware through the seat.

The optional sunroof takes up headroom, but you can recline the second row and look up at the sky.

The so-counted three-seat third row is very small, with little headroom or legroom, kids only. However it is possible for two adults to reach the seats and fit into them.

But the third row folds flat, so if you don’t need the space for children, there’s 42.3 cubic feet behind the second row; and with that row folded it’s 83.7 behind the front row, enough room for bunk beds.

Summary

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The Highlander works best with the V6 and eight-speed automatic. It’s a win on powertrain. We’d go for an LE, because it has plenty of equipment without the stacked-on price. Or maybe the SE for the handling.

Sam Moses contributed to this report.

Model Lineup

Editor:
New Car Test Drive
“”

The 2017 Highlander lineup includes the new SE, LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum models. The Hybrid comes as LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum.

Highlander LE includes cloth upholstery, 4.2-inch multi-information display, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and four-way passenger seat, 60/40 split-folding and reclining second-row seat, 60/40 split-folding third-row seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, five USB ports, LED taillamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It also comes with the Toyota’s Entune AM/FM/CD audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, six speakers, an auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth phone connectivity and music streaming, and Siri Eyes Free. Also standard are a rearview camera, hill start assist, and eight airbags, including a driver knee airbag and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.

The sporty SE gets a dark grille, headlamp housings, and roof rails. Inside it gets black leather with silver stitching and patterned inserts.

The fully loaded Limited Platinum gets heated and ventilated front seats, driver’s seat memory, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, a surround-view camera system, heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, panoramic sunroof, and front park assist. It also gets Toyota’s Safety Connect system, which includes emergency assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, roadside assistance, and automatic collision notification.

Toyota’s upgraded Safety Sense P system is standard, with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert, a pedestrian pre-collision system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

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