2012 toyota Highlander Review

2012 toyota Highlander Review - If you're searching for a three-row crossover, the 2011 Toyota Highlander is as sound a choice as you can obtain. It's budget-friendly as well as it has a peaceful, comfy flight with a family-friendly inside.

Also as novices like the Ford Explorer and also Dodge Durango take on versus the Highlander and the Honda Pilot, I still discover the Highlander a qualified underdog. If you go with the V-6 engine, it executes along with the remainder, as well.

I tested a new 2011 version with just 65 miles on it, however the 2012s are already on sale and are furnished as well as priced virtually identically.

2012 toyota Highlander Review

Family-Friendly Inside

While a lot of families would be well-served by almost any type of three-row crossover on the market, the Highlander has some remarkable features that set it apart.

The front seats of my tester were comfortable on a long-haul trip from Chicago to Wisconsin. The second-row seat has a lot of assistance, also, and all seats have ample thigh assistance. The 2nd row can move forward and back, which is most advantageous for third-row passengers.

A third row is conventional also on the base Highlander. With the second row moved completely back, there is very little room for third-row guests. Relocate the second row up even somewhat, however-- about two notches-- and third-row travelers need to be as comfortable as I was at 5-foot-10. It's the sliding 2nd row that makes this crossover as functional a selection for lugging 7 individuals as much larger crossovers, like the Chevy Traverse and also Ford Traveler. The Honda Pilot is sized likewise to the Highlander as well as uses seatsing for 3 in the 3rd row. That offers it a maximum seating capacity of 8, unlike the remainder of the class at seven.

The middle area of the Highlander's second row can be eliminated totally, transforming the bench right into two captain's chairs with a pass-through to the 3rd row. The pass-through is a favorite feature of minivan proprietors, as well as while various other crossovers might supply a choice between a bench or more chairs, just the Highlander offers owners both in the same car.

On the whole, I discovered materials quality to be excellent, however various other editors and also a family involved in a contrast examination thought the Highlander seemed economical. Nonetheless, as equipped, our tester was valued thousands less than much of the competition. Besides some harsh surfaces on the plastic around the door pockets, I discovered the interior on the same level for the price. My spouse additionally liked it, recommending it's a step up from her 2010 Subaru Wilderness.

In terms of safety and security attributes, a backup video camera is typical on the Highlander SE and greater trim degrees, or it can be had as part of an optional Tech Package, which was consisted of on my base tester. On versions without navigation, there's a small screen at the top of the control panel that shows trip details while driving, then switches to the rearview screen when the transmission is taken into Reverse. Navigation-equipped designs reveal the rearward view on their larger touch-screen.

If there was something my better half delighted in concerning the Highlander, it was the four cupholders in the facility console in between the traveler and motorist, with one more in each of the 4 doors and four more for second-row guests. Each crossover consisted of in our current comparison examination showcased simply two cupholders in this field.

If you've ever before taken care of the sippy mugs, canteen and soda canisters a family members of simply four requires for a Saturday out on the community-- which for us includes hitting an indoor play zone with gigantic blow up bounce-houses, lunch and also either a book shop or library quit-- you understand drinks accumulate.


For 2012, the Highlander comes standard with a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, for mileage rated at 20/25 mpg city/highway. The engine is rather anemic; the version I drove this time had the V-6, yet in previous tests I've found that the four-cylinder-powered Highlander feels like an underpowered lummox. Four-cylinder models come furnished only with front-wheel drive.

There's a hybrid design with a 3.5-liter V-6 and also an electric motor that make a combined 280 hp, good for 28/28 mpg city/highway. The crossbreed comes equipped only with all-wheel drive, makings those gas mileage figures fairly impressive.

My examination car-- as do the bulk of sales-- featured the 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teamed with a five-speed automatic transmission, helpful for 18/24 mpg with front-wheel drive as well as 17/22 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Gas mileage is on par with the rest of the section, with the majority of gamers rating just 1 mpg above or listed below the Highlander.

Power abounded in my front-wheel-drive Highlander, which scooted from a quit with gusto as well as passed mightily at freeway rates. Guiding was light and a little unclear, as it remains in the majority of crossovers. The flight was comfortable, the engine peaceful as well as wind sound practically nil, that made for pleasant driving and the ability to listen to every cry, issue as well as occasional tune from my rear seat guests.

Braking was the real issue I had with the Highlander. After a week as well as thousands of miles of driving, I had a tough time judging the brake response. I continuously snagged my other half forward in her seat when I needed to add even more stress compared to anticipated near a quit. This is a quality of several Toyota lorries, as well as it's one I don't particularly take pleasure in.


There's just 10.3 cubic feet of freight space when the 3rd row is up. The Honda Pilot has substantially extra, at 18.0 cubic feet. The Traverse, with 24.4 cubic feet, is substantially bigger.

With the 3rd row down, freight space broadens to 42.3 cubic feet, and also for my usage that was plenty large enough. I packed a 32-gallon trash bin in the back-- actually two stacked into each other-- as well as those fit lengthwise with the second-row seats just somewhat forward. The Pilot is ranked at 47.7 cubic feet, so the difference between the two versions there is much less considerable compared to it lags the 3rd row. I chose the Pilot's under-floor storage, though.

Attributes & Rates

For 2012, the Highlander begins at $28,090 for the base four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. That does not get you a lot in terms of attributes, but it does consist of 17-inch alloy wheels, colored rear windows, remote entry, cruise ship control, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and also two 12-volt power electrical outlets.

My test vehicle was a base V-6, however I really did not seem like I was missing out on much in terms of functions because it also had the $1,835 Technology Bundle, that includes a USB port, Bluetooth for phones and also music streaming, and also a great journey computer system. While I delight in elegant entertainment systems as much as the following guy, this is the kind of feature set that many households will certainly need, for a reasonable as-tested price of $32,845. All-wheel drive is just $1,450 even more. In this section, it usually sets you back $2,000 to move up to all- or 4x4.

SE models start at $32,695 for four-cylinder, front-drive designs, adding a power moonroof, a rear home window that opens up independent of the liftgate, roofing system rails, haze lights and also a power liftgate. Heated leather pole position, HomeLink, a natural leather steering wheel with sound and also Bluetooth controls, and all the attributes in the Technology Plan are additionally consisted of. For a similar cost, I 'd opt for the V-6 design instead of the SE four-cylinder.

The high-grade, all-wheel-drive Limited V-6 Highlander starts at $37,045 as well as is packed: 19-inch wheels, three-zone environment control, keyless ignition and also access, and higher-grade natural leather seats.

The Highlander Hybrid can be found in 2 trims: a base version for $38,140 and a Limited design for $43,795, with similar equipment offerings as V-6 gas models.

Pricing is similar to the Traverse, Pilot et cetera of the class. Toyota also supplies two years of complimentary upkeep with new-car acquisitions, which none of its competitors in the section offer.

Safety and security

The Toyota Highlander is an Insurance Policy Institute for Highway Safety Top Security Pick; that's the establishment's greatest award. To earn the score, autos need to receive leading ratings of Excellent ahead, side as well as rear accidents, in addition to pass roof-strength examinations that gauge rollover defense.

The Highlander earned a four-star general score from the National Freeway Web Traffic Safety And Security Administration. Five stars is the greatest score, which the Chevy Traverse gained.

Highlander on the market

If it just weren't so darn functional with a nice engine, it would certainly be simple to mark down the Highlander in a field that contains some splashier brand-new versions. But there are just too many points in the Highlander's favor to rule it out of your purchasing plans. As a result of their smaller footprint in your driveway and also garage, the Highlander and Pilot are more easily accessible for more households.

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