2008 toyota Highlander Limited

2008 Toyota Highlander Limited: If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to be successful, it has its job suitable it. It has to transport and also delight youngsters, ingest freight and overcome snow. It needs to be risk-free, comfortable and glamorous, and it should do all these things without breaking the bank-- in vehicle settlements or at the pump. A tall order, no question, however the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have actually gotten that excellent.

The Highlander qualifies on all counts, though it does not excel in any kind of one location. Supplied it can keep its exceptional resale value and reliability, it ought to verify a wise-- if not specifically exciting-- choice for several years to come.

Base, Sporting activity as well as Limited trim levels come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all could seat five or seven, relying on the setup. Costs range from about $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.

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

2008 Toyota Highlander Limited

Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state layout workshops sculpted the exterior, which is larger in all significant measurements compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply adequate curves to balance out the angles. With its creased headlights, flashy grille and characterless bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit as well glossy-- like a corner store customer that 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 independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sporting activity and also Limited have 19-inchers that fill out the wheel wells well. The Sport has a dark silver grille and smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and also chrome outside moldings.

At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches broad, the Highlander casts roughly the exact same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Outlook are both concerning a foot longer.

The Inside

Toyota has actually invested years developing a reputation for high quality, and also missing any type of serious competitors, the new Highlander could have maintained that criterion. The competition is absolutely nothing if not severe, however, and also SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz flaunt some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota falls a little bit short.

The Highlander shares supports with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel births much of the sedan's taste. The facility controls are the natural centerpiece, with large knobs for major functions within very easy reach. Sporting activity and also Limited models have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It presents gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as even more. It likewise shows settings for the optional automatic climate control system, which can separate the cabin right into as many as 3 temperature level areas-- two front and one rear. The environment regulates sit listed below the stereo, and they're very cluttered. I counted 13 buttons in between the two temperature handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the standard hands-on a/c is straightforward.

Cabin high quality is simply ordinary. The home window changes, turn signals as well as center controls can go straight into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and electroluminescent evaluates appearance excellent. A lot of areas are cut in hard plastics, however, as well as the appearances lack the allure of the stuff in several competitors. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the most inexpensive computer mouse hair this side of an economy cars and truck.

Parents will certainly value the storage options. The facility console in between the front seats has four cupholders as well as a wide storage bin. Neglect laptops; the handwear cover box could fit a tiny desktop. (Most likely not the monitor, though-- let's not obtain carried away.).

Three conventional rows of seats fit up to seven, though you can drop the third row in order to conserve a little cash, lowering sitting capability to five. The front seats use a lot of room, with a technique extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the cushion under the chauffeur's thighs. Wonderful touch.

The 2nd row is similarly wide, with reclining back-rests and seat cushions that adjust backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's brand-new Center Stow function. It's generally a dive seat, which passengers could exchange for a plastic center console, transforming the 2nd row into two captain's chairs. The unused part-- either the middle seat or console-- stores in a floor area in between the pole positions. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the adjustment in around 25 seconds.

The dive seat is light enough for easy setup. Its convenience is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom pillow is considerable, however I can easily really feel the joints underneath the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both pieces have strong installation hooks that must make it through plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Depending upon where the second row is placed, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also located clearance a little bit limited, however with the second row moved forward a few inches-- protecting a lot of legroom for many adults-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a short journey.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

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

Acceleration suffices off the line as well as stronger as the engine revs. The transmission aids things along, holding gears and also seldom moving too soon. Difficult acceleration could motivate some sudden transitions amongst reduced equipments-- much better for acceleration, even worse for convenience-- but a lot of the moment the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass unseen. The drivetrain really feels finest on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. 3rd gear is particularly powerful for 50-to-70 mph death.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the driver. It includes a facility differential to divide power 50/50 between the front as well as rear wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill assist feature. Press a dashboard button, and it will slow the SUV to a crawl down steep qualities. The feature seems a bit disingenuous: There is no reduced gear for offroad rock crawling, which suggests you should possibly prevent anywhere treacherous adequate to need the downhill aid.

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

Utilizing the EPA's even more sensible 2008 rating system-- which usually leads to lower numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and also 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (changed using the EPA's brand-new estimation)-- an outstanding accomplishment, given the new Highlander has even more power and also weighs some 300 extra pounds extra. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got simply 1 mpg more than the new one does with the V-6.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody construction manages a comfy ride, with none of the underbody shimmying that afflicted the previous Highlander (which was likewise unibody) and lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, but I could not identify a distinction in flight suppleness among the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All three have a bit a lot more suspension sound over major bumps compared to I've come to expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is very little. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably peaceful. The Sport as well as Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires discharge a small hum at highway speeds, which I could not spot with the base version's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All models currently include electrical power steering. These systems save a bit on fuel usage-- a little low-hanging fruit to satisfy the federal government's fuel economy criteria, I believe-- yet they usually lead to drab, artificial guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever delivering much in the method of comments or turning accuracy. The CX-9 prices much better here, yet few other competitors stand apart. The same holds true for body roll: Like most SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising chauffeurs it's not to be caught quickly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are common. The pedal uses spongy feedback, but the brakes clamp down hard when needed.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows set up and also increased, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up flat right into the flooring, and the 2nd row folds up nearly flat. Highlanders without the 3rd row instead include a rather large storage location under the back flooring.

With all seats folded up, maximum freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts a lot more positively with the group.

When appropriately outfitted, the Highlander could tow approximately 5,000 pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Highway Safety frontal crash examinations, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest possible score, Good. IIHS has not examined the Highlander for side influences.

Toyota really did not stint safety and security functions. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, grip control and an electronic stability system. The security system now works with the electric power steering, which increases the power assist when the motorist is guiding to remedy a skid. It also helps fight guiding pull under difficult braking to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not steer the SUV by itself, as some sophisticated systems now do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, don't expect any type of extra power aid.).

Seven airbags are standard, including the required double front airbags, a vehicle driver's knee air bag as well as side-impact air bags for the front seats. There are also roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all 3 rows, which release during a rollover to stop passenger ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and also in Sport and Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for much better whiplash defense. Active head restraints are standard on the front seats of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with conveniently available top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Features & Rates

Omitting the location fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bunch of alternatives playings around $42,000. Four-wheel drive on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim levels come with three rows of seats, though a third-row delete choice on particular models can conserve $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, cooling, cruise control, and also power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport includes dark outside components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up video camera as well as six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Limited includes a keyless startup system, automated environment control, leather furniture and a power guest seat. Many of these functions are optional on the Sporting activity. Choices on both trim levels include a navigation system, JBL premium sound, a rear seat DVD player, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also heated pole positions.

Highlander out there

Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will certainly offer the Highlander a run for its loan. Its biggest rival, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or two, as well as Toyota's ace in the hole-- its credibility for quality as well as reliability-- has actually been slipping recently. The automaker has actually pledged to enhance its initiatives, and also its newest SUV needs to show that.

The new Highlander has lots of textbook perceptiveness, like respectable gas mileage as well as tons of security features, but there's nothing remarkable concerning it. If it confirms as bulletproof as its predecessor, however, dependability will certainly become its defining quality, which is a textbook attract a great deal of buyers can support.

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