2008 toyota Highlander Sport

2008 toyota Highlander Sport: If the upgraded Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its job suited it. It has to carry and delight youngsters, ingest freight and conquer snow. It should be safe, comfy and luxurious, and it should do all these points without breaking the bank-- in car payments or at the pump. A tall order, no doubt, however the leading midsize SUV competitors truly have gotten that great.

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not excel in any one location. Given it could preserve its impressive resale worth as well as reliability, it needs to verify a smart-- otherwise particularly captivating-- choice for years ahead.

Base, Sport and also Limited trim levels include front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat 5 or 7, relying on the configuration. Prices range from about $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.

I examined all three trim levels of the normal Highlander at a Toyota occasion in Michigan.


2008 toyota Highlander Sport


Edgier Designing

Toyota's California design workshops formed the exterior, which is bigger in all significant measurements than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just adequate curves to counter the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille and characterless bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit as well glossy-- like a convenience store buyer who will not remove his sunglasses.

The back bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, as well as many trim degrees have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are conventional; the Sporting activity and also Limited have 19-inchers that submit the wheel wells nicely. The Sport has a dark silver grille and smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights as well as chrome exterior moldings.

At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches vast, the Highlander casts about the same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Overview are both regarding a foot longer.

The In

Toyota has spent years constructing a credibility for quality, as well as absent any severe competition, the brand-new Highlander could have maintained that requirement. The competition is absolutely nothing otherwise major, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz boast some impressively upscale insides. In comparison, Toyota falls a bit brief.

The Highlander shares bases with the existing Camry, and also the dashboard births much of the sedan's flavor. The facility controls are the natural prime focus, with oversized handles for significant functions within easy reach. Sport and Limited designs have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as even more. It likewise shows setups for the optional automated environment control system, which could separate the cabin right into as numerous as 3 temperature areas-- two front and also one rear. The environment controls sit listed below the stereo, and they're terribly chaotic. I counted 13 switches in between both temperature knobs; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the common hand-operated a/c is simple.

Cabin high quality is just ordinary. The window switches, turn signals and facility controls can go straight into a Lexus, and the chrome accents as well as electroluminescent evaluates appearance excellent. Most areas are trimmed in hard plastics, nevertheless, and the structures do not have the appeal of right stuff in several rivals. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the cheapest computer mouse hair this side of an economy car.

Moms and dads will certainly appreciate the storage space choices. The center console in between the pole positions has four cupholders and a broad storage container. Neglect laptop computers; the glove box might fit a tiny home computer. (Probably not the display, however-- allow's not get carried away.).

3 basic rows of seats suit approximately seven, though you could go down the 3rd row in order to conserve a little cash, decreasing seatsing capability to five. The pole positions supply lots of space, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that extends the padding under the vehicle driver's upper legs. Nice touch.

The 2nd row is just as commodious, with reclining backrests as well as seat cushions that adjust backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's brand-new Center Stow function. It's primarily a jump seat, which guests can switch for a plastic center console, transforming the second row right into two captain's chairs. The unused section-- either the center seat or console-- stores in a flooring area between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the adjustment in around 25 secs.

The jump seat is light enough for very easy installment. Its convenience is hit and miss, even for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is significant, but I might quickly feel the hinges beneath the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both items have sturdy installment hooks that need to make it through lots of knocking from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Depending on where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as located headroom a bit limited, however with the 2nd row moved forward a few inches-- preserving a lot of legroom for most adults-- the third row's legroom was such that I could endure a brief trip.

Larger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and several various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower as well as 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over last year's V-6, that made 215 hp and 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is basic. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has been dropped.

Acceleration is adequate off the line as well as more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission helps points along, holding gears and rarely moving too soon. Tough velocity could prompt some abrupt changes among reduced equipments-- better for velocity, even worse for comfort-- however most of the time the changes are smooth enough to pass unseen. The drivetrain feels finest on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. 3rd equipment is specifically potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing away.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the vehicle driver. It incorporates a facility differential to split power 50/50 in between the front as well as back wheels all of the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill assist function. Press a dashboard switch, and it will reduce the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The feature seems a little bit insincere: There is no reduced gear for offroad rock crawling, which means you need to probably stay clear of anywhere treacherous adequate to call for the downhill assist.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for as much as three seconds from a stop to stop the SUV from rolling backward before you have time to strike the gas.

Making use of the EPA's even more practical 2008 score system-- which normally causes decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive designs as well as 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (changed making use of the EPA's brand-new computation)-- an impressive accomplishment, provided the brand-new Highlander has more power and evaluates some 300 pounds extra. (Four-cylinder followers won't miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got simply 1 mpg more than the new one performs with the V-6.).

Trip & Handling

The unibody building pays for a comfy trip, with none of the underbody vibrating that afflicted the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) and lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, however I couldn't find a difference in trip firmness amongst the base, Sport and also Limited. All three have a bit extra suspension sound over major bumps compared to I've pertained to anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is marginal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are relatively peaceful. The Sport and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and P245/55R19 tires discharge a minor hum at freeway speeds, which I could not spot with the base design's 17-inchers and also thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs currently include electrical power guiding. These systems conserve a bit on fuel consumption-- a little bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's gas economic situation standards, I believe-- however they often lead to lifeless, synthetic steering feel. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever delivering much in the method of feedback or transforming precision. The CX-9 fares much better in this regard, but few various other rivals stand out. The exact same is true for body roll: Like many SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising drivers it's not to be cornered swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are basic. The pedal provides mushy reaction, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Freight & Towing

With all three rows set up as well as elevated, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up flat into the floor, and the 2nd row folds nearly flat. Highlanders without the third row instead consist of a rather big storage location under the back floor.

With all seats folded, maximum freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts much more favorably with the group.

When correctly equipped, the Highlander could tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Safety and security.

In Insurance Institute for Freeway Security frontal crash tests, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest rating, Good. IIHS has not examined the Highlander for side influences.

Toyota really did not stint safety and security features. All Highlanders come conventional with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and a digital stability system. The security system currently deals with the electrical power guiding, which enhances the power aid when the driver is steering to fix a skid. It additionally assists fight guiding pull under tough braking to assist the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system can not steer the SUV by itself, as some sophisticated systems now do, so if you steer the wrong way in a skid, don't expect any type of added power assist.).

Seven air bags are basic, consisting of the required double front air bags, a motorist's knee air bag and side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are also roll-sensing side drape air bags for all three rows, which release during a rollover to prevent owner ejection.

All seats have head restraints, and in Sport and Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash defense. Energetic head restraints are conventional on the front seats of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with conveniently obtainable top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Functions & Rates

Omitting the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete collection of alternatives playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim adds regarding $1,500. All trim degrees include three rows of seats, though a third-row delete option on specific models could conserve $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander features 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a complementary MP3 jack, air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity adds darkened exterior components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up cam and six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Limited includes a keyless startup system, automated climate control, leather upholstery and also a power passenger seat. Many of these attributes are optional on the Sporting activity. Alternatives on both trim levels consist of a navigation system, JBL costs sound, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also warmed pole positions.

Highlander in the marketplace

Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its cash. Its largest rival, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the next year or more, and Toyota's trump card-- its credibility for quality and integrity-- has actually been slipping recently. The automaker has promised to redouble its initiatives, as well as its newest SUV needs to prove that.

The new Highlander has great deals of textbook sensibilities, like suitable gas mileage as well as tons of security attributes, yet there's nothing remarkable concerning it. If it shows as bulletproof as its precursor, though, stability will certainly become its defining characteristic, which is a book attract a great deal of buyers could support.

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