This beautiful vehicle is available in five regular models, and the Limited, which will be my focus for this article, is the premier edition. Highlander also comes in three hybrid models: LE, XLE, and Limited.
The start of the adventure is as important as the arrival at the destination, but the main adventure is still the part in between.
Outside, the Highlander has a sleek exterior with the exquisite front-end that integrates the sculpted grille, which is flanked by smart and stylish halogen smoked-chrome headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. All this beauty is wrapped up with LED taillights to complete the outer ensemble.
A feature I enjoyed the most was the puddle lights that detect your approach. These lights make exiting and entering a safer and more comfortable experience, while projecting the beautiful “Highlander” logo onto the ground directly below the side mirrors.
The Highlander’s 19-inch 5-spoke chrome alloy wheels add much style while keeping the unsprung weight down.
Inside the cabin, Highlander is big-bodied and comfortable. An abundance of storage is available in the two-tier storage bin below the armrest between the front seats. There is additional open storage in front of the shift knob that is wide and deep, plus great long storage space in all the doors. You can seat up to eight people.
The high-end leather-trimmed seating and distinct accents add to the sophisticated appeal of the interior. Five USB ports keep everyone’s devices running. Those who long for the outdoors can just push a button, and the panoramic moonroof lets everyone enjoy an outside view.
State-of-the-art technology can add to the enjoyment and safety of your trip. Standard back up camera and Birds Eye View enhance what you see. Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert keeps you aware of what might be just out of sight.
The technology most enjoyed by the grandchildren was the rear seat Blu-ray Disc entertainment system. This system adds a 9-inch screen that comes with RCA composite input and two wireless head phones. Not once did I hear, “Are we there yet?” But upon arrival I did hear, “Are we there already?”
Perforated leather-trimmed front seats are heated and ventilated, and the driver’s side is equipped with memory function. The driver is also treated to a 12-way power-adjustable seat, while the front passenger settles in a 4-way power adjustable one.
The Smart Key System with Push Button Start gets you going quickly. Once on the road, a 4.2-inch color LCD Multi-Information Display shows turn-by-turn navigation directions on top of the usual data, such as odometer and fuel economy. Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and Entune App Suite lives behind an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen, which allows for a whole cadre of entertainment possibilities. A digital clock is colored with easy-to-read digits, and sits at the top of the console.
A great portion of this column was dedicated to presenting and commenting on the Highlander’s technologies. However, there is still a wide range of genuine Toyota additions available. You can add items like roof rail cross bars, running boards, mudguards, and glass breakage sensor, just to name a few.
The 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine with dual VVT-iW/VVT-i is coupled to a Direct-Shift-8AT 8-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain provides 295 horsepower and 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. Stopping power is provided by 4-wheel disc brakes.
Fuel economy for the Limited V6 AWD is rated at 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, for a combined average of 22 mpg.
Highlander is the perfect SUV for a family adventure. It is comfortable and combines a relaxing space and tremendous technology with proven safety features as well as entertainment venues.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starts at $47,360 for the Limited Platinum AWD model.
36-month/36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
60-month/unlimited-mile Corrosion and Perforation Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or email@example.com.