Toyota Highlander 2008

Toyota Highlander 2008: If the upgraded Toyota Highlander is to succeed, it has its job suited it. It needs to transfer as well as delight youngsters, swallow cargo and also overcome snow. It should be risk-free, comfortable as well as glamorous, as well as it should do all these points without breaking the bank-- in automobile settlements or at the pump. A tall order, no question, however the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have gotten that excellent.

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not master any one location. Offered it could maintain its outstanding resale worth and also dependability, it should verify a wise-- otherwise specifically exciting-- selection for many years to find.

Base, Sporting activity and Limited trim degrees come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat 5 or seven, depending upon the setup. Prices vary from approximately $27,000 to $40,000 with options.

I evaluated all three trim levels of the normal Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.

Toyota Highlander 2008

Edgier Styling

Toyota's The golden state layout workshops sculpted the outside, which is larger in all major measurements compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply adequate contours to balance out the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille as well as amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a bit too slick-- like a corner store buyer who will not take off his sunglasses.

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

At 188.4 inches long and also 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts about the very same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Outlook are both regarding a foot much longer.

The Inside

Toyota has spent years building a track record for high quality, and missing any severe competition, the brand-new Highlander may have preserved that criterion. The competitors is absolutely nothing otherwise major, though, and SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz boast some remarkably high end interiors. In comparison, Toyota drops a bit short.

The Highlander shares supports with the current Camry, and the control panel bears much of the car's taste. The facility controls are the all-natural prime focus, with oversized knobs for significant features within simple reach. Sport as well as Limited models have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level and also even more. It also reveals setups for the optional automated environment control system, which can split the cabin right into as many as three temperature areas-- two front and also one back. The environment regulates sit below the stereo, as well as they're very cluttered. I counted 13 buttons between both temperature level knobs; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the typical manual cooling is easy.

Cabin quality is simply average. The home window switches, turn signals and facility controls might go straight into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and electroluminescent assesses look terrific. Many areas are trimmed in tough plastics, nonetheless, as well as the structures do not have the appeal of right stuff in numerous rivals. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the least expensive mouse hair this side of an economy car.

Parents will appreciate the storage space alternatives. The center console between the front seats has four cupholders as well as a large storage space container. Neglect laptop computers; the glove box might fit a tiny desktop. (Probably not the display, though-- let's not get carried away.).

3 standard rows of seats accommodate up to seven, though you can go down the third row in order to save a little money, decreasing seating ability to five. The pole positions supply a lot of area, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the pillow under the motorist's upper legs. Good touch.

The 2nd row is similarly commodious, with reclining backrests and seat paddings that adjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's brand-new Center Stow attribute. It's primarily a dive seat, which guests can switch for a plastic center console, transforming the 2nd row into 2 captain's chairs. The extra portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring area between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I had the ability to make the modification in around 25 seconds.

The dive seat is light sufficient for very easy installation. Its convenience is trial and error, even for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is significant, however I might quickly feel the joints beneath the backrest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, and both items have tough installation hooks that should endure lots of knocking from overenthusiastic children.

Depending upon where the second row is placed, the third row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high and found headroom a bit tight, but with the 2nd row progressed a couple of inches-- protecting lots of legroom for a lot of grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a short journey.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also several various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are significant gains over in 2015's V-6, that made 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been dropped.

Velocity suffices off the line and also more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission helps points along, holding gears and hardly ever shifting prematurely. Hard acceleration could prompt some sudden changes among reduced gears-- much better for acceleration, worse for convenience-- however a lot of the moment the shifts are smooth adequate to pass unnoticed. The drivetrain really feels best on the highway, where it downshifts with minimal equipment hunting. Third equipment is especially powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour death.

The optional 4x4 is transparent to the chauffeur. It includes a facility differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and also rear wheels every one of the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill help feature. Press a control panel button, and also it will certainly reduce the SUV to a crawl down steep qualities. The feature appears a bit disingenuous: There is no low equipment for offroad rock crawling, which means you should possibly avoid anywhere treacherous sufficient to require the downhill aid.

All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for as much as 3 secs from a stop to avoid the SUV from rolling backward prior to you have time to strike the gas.

Using the EPA's more reasonable 2008 rating system-- which normally leads to reduce numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions 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 defeated the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (changed using the EPA's new computation)-- a remarkable feat, offered the brand-new Highlander has even more power as well as evaluates some 300 extra pounds a lot more. (Four-cylinder followers will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained just 1 mpg more than the brand-new one performs with the V-6.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody building manages a comfortable ride, with none of the underbody vibrating that afflicted the previous Highlander (which was additionally unibody) as well as several body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, but I couldn't spot a distinction in trip suppleness amongst the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All three have a bit extra suspension sound over major bumps than I've involved expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is minimal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly peaceful. The Sport as well as Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires send out a minor hum at freeway rates, which I could not identify with the base model's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs now include electrical power steering. These systems save a bit on gas consumption-- a little low-hanging fruit to meet the federal government's fuel economic climate criteria, I presume-- but they typically cause drab, artificial steering feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never ever providing a lot in the means of feedback or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares better hereof, however few various other rivals stand out. The very same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, advising chauffeurs it's not to be caught rapidly.

Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are common. The pedal provides squishy action, however the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows mounted and also increased, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds up level right into the floor, and the 2nd row folds nearly level. Highlanders without the third row rather consist of a fairly huge storage location under the rear floor.

With all seats folded up, maximum cargo quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts more favorably with the group.

When properly equipped, the Highlander could tow as much as 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Institute for Freeway Safety frontal crash tests, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest score, Good. IIHS has not tested the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota didn't skimp on security attributes. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and a digital stability system. The security system now deals with the electrical power steering, which boosts the power aid when the motorist is guiding to correct a skid. It likewise helps fight steering pull under tough stopping to assist the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system could not guide the SUV by itself, as some advanced systems now do, so if you guide the wrong way in a skid, don't anticipate any added power aid.).

Seven airbags are common, including the called for twin front air bags, a chauffeur's knee air bag and side-impact air bags for the pole positions. There are likewise roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all three rows, which release throughout a rollover to prevent resident ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and also in Sporting activity and also Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash protection. Active head restrictions are common on the pole positions of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with conveniently obtainable top-tether supports midway down the seatback.

Features & Pricing

Leaving out the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of alternatives playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim includes regarding $1,500. All trim levels feature three rows of seats, though a third-row erase alternative on certain designs can save $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, a/c, cruise ship control, and power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport adds dark exterior components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a backup video camera as well as six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Minimal adds a keyless startup system, automatic climate control, leather upholstery as well as a power passenger seat. Most of these attributes are optional on the Sport. Choices on both trim degrees include a navigation system, JBL costs sound, a backseat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate as well as warmed front seats.

Highlander in the marketplace

Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will provide the Highlander a run for its loan. Its biggest opponent, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or more, and Toyota's secret weapon-- its track record for top quality and also integrity-- has been slipping recently. The automaker has pledged to enhance its efforts, as well as its most current SUV has to confirm that.

The new Highlander has great deals of textbook perceptiveness, like suitable gas mileage and lots of security attributes, however there's absolutely nothing outstanding concerning it. If it shows as bulletproof as its predecessor, however, reliability will certainly become its defining characteristic, which is a textbook draw a great deal of customers could get behind.

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