Toyota Highlander 2009

Toyota Highlander 2009 - If the revamped Toyota Highlander is to be successful, it has its work cut out for it. It has to move and amuse youngsters, ingest cargo and conquer snow. It has to be risk-free, comfy as well as lavish, as well as it has to do all these points without breaking the bank-- in auto payments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no doubt, yet the leading midsize SUV rivals really have obtained that excellent.

Toyota Highlander 2009

The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it doesn't master any type of one location. Given it can maintain its impressive resale value and also integrity, it should verify a clever-- otherwise especially exciting-- selection for years to find.

Edgier Styling

Toyota's California layout studios sculpted the outside, which is larger in all significant measurements than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just sufficient contours to counter the angles. With its creased headlights, fancy grille and also amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a bit as well slick-- like a convenience store consumer who will not take off his sunglasses.

The back bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, and many trim levels have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are basic; the Sport and Limited have 19-inchers that complete the wheel wells well. The Sport has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and also chrome outside moldings.

At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches broad, the Highlander casts about the very same darkness 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 invested years constructing an online reputation for top quality, as well as lacking any major competitors, the new Highlander may have kept that requirement. The competition is nothing if not serious, however, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz boast some remarkably upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota falls a bit brief.

The Highlander shares underpinnings with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel births much of the car's flavor. The facility controls are the all-natural prime focus, with extra-large knobs for major functions within very easy reach. Sport as well as Limited designs have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature level and also even more. It also reveals settings for the optional automated environment control system, which could separate the cabin right into as several as 3 temperature level areas-- 2 front and one back. The environment regulates rest listed below the stereo, and also they're very cluttered. I counted 13 buttons in between the two temperature level handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the conventional manual cooling is straightforward.

Cabin high quality is just average. The home window switches, turn signals and also facility controls can go straight right into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and also electroluminescent evaluates look excellent. The majority of areas are cut in hard plastics, nonetheless, and also the appearances lack the appeal of the stuff in a number of rivals. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the least expensive mouse fur this side of an economic situation automobile.

Parents will certainly appreciate the storage alternatives. The facility console between the front seats has 4 cupholders as well as a broad storage bin. Neglect laptops; the handwear cover box could fit a small desktop computer. (Probably not the monitor, however-- allow's not get carried away.).

Three conventional rows of seats suit as much as seven, though you could go down the third row in order to conserve a little cash money, reducing sitting capacity to 5. The pole positions offer lots of area, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the pillow under the vehicle driver's upper legs. Nice touch.

The 2nd row is equally wide, with reclining backrests and seat paddings that readjust backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's brand-new Facility Stow attribute. It's generally a jump seat, which travelers can switch for a plastic facility console, turning the 2nd row into two captain's chairs. The unused part-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring area in between the front seats. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the change in around 25 seconds.

The jump seat is light sufficient for simple setup. Its comfort is trial and error, even for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is substantial, but I could easily really feel the hinges under the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both items have durable setup hooks that ought to make it through plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Depending on where the 2nd row is placed, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high and located clearance a little bit limited, however with the 2nd row moved on a couple of inches-- protecting a lot of legroom for the majority of grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a brief journey.

Bigger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

All Highlanders obtain the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also several other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower as well as 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over in 2014's V-6, makinged 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is conventional. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has been dropped.

Velocity suffices off the line and more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission aids things along, holding gears as well as hardly ever changing prematurely. Hard velocity can prompt some abrupt shifts amongst reduced gears-- better for acceleration, even worse for convenience-- yet the majority of the moment the shifts are smooth sufficient to pass unnoticed. The drivetrain really feels ideal on the highway, where it downshifts with marginal equipment searching. 3rd equipment is particularly powerful for 50-to-70 miles per hour death.

The optional 4x4 is clear to the driver. It includes a facility differential to divide power 50/50 between the front as well as rear wheels all the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill assist feature. Press a control panel switch, and it will slow the SUV to a crawl down steep qualities. The attribute seems a bit insincere: There is no reduced gear for offroad rock crawling, which implies you must most likely avoid anywhere treacherous enough to need the downhill assist.

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

Utilizing the EPA's more practical 2008 score system-- which normally causes reduce numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise defeated the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (changed utilizing the EPA's brand-new estimation)-- an impressive task, provided the brand-new Highlander has even more power as well as evaluates some 300 extra pounds extra. (Four-cylinder fans 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.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody building affords a comfortable ride, with none of the underbody vibrating that plagued 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 Sport, however I couldn't identify a distinction in ride suppleness amongst the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All 3 have a bit a lot more suspension sound over significant bumps than I've involved anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is minimal. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are relatively quiet. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and P245/55R19 tires produce a mild hum at highway speeds, which I couldn't detect with the base version's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs currently include electrical power steering. These systems conserve a bit on gas intake-- a little low-hanging fruit to meet the federal government's gas economic situation requirements, I suspect-- however they usually lead to lifeless, man-made guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never ever providing a lot in the way of feedback or turning accuracy. The CX-9 fares much better in this regard, but few various other competitors stand out. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like the majority of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, reminding vehicle drivers it's not to be cornered quickly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are typical. The pedal provides squishy action, however the brakes clamp down hard when needed.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows installed and also raised, cargo room in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds up flat right into the floor, as well as the second row folds up nearly flat. Highlanders without the third row rather consist of a fairly large storage area under the back flooring.

With all seats folded, optimal freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts extra favorably with the crowd.

When correctly outfitted, the Highlander can tow as much as 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Security frontal collision examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the greatest rating, Good. IIHS has not tested the Highlander for side influences.

Toyota really did not skimp on safety attributes. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control as well as an electronic stability system. The security system currently collaborates with the electrical power guiding, which enhances the power assist when the chauffeur is steering to deal with a skid. It likewise aids fight guiding pull under tough braking in order to help the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota claims the system can not steer the SUV on its own, as some sophisticated systems currently do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, do not anticipate any kind of added power aid.).

Seven airbags are common, including the required twin front air bags, a chauffeur's knee airbag and side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are also roll-sensing side drape air bags for all 3 rows, which deploy throughout a rollover to prevent occupant ejection.

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

Features & Pricing

Leaving out the location cost, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bunch of alternatives runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any kind of trim includes regarding $1,500. All trim degrees include three rows of seats, though a third-row delete option on specific designs could save $740.

For $27,300, the base Highlander has 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, air conditioning, cruise control, as well as power windows, mirrors and also door locks.
For $29,950, the Sporting activity adds darkened exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction wheel, a back-up cam and six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless start-up system, automatic climate control, natural leather furniture and a power traveler seat. Most of these features are optional on the Sport. Alternatives on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL premium sound, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also heated pole positions.

Highlander in the Market

Competitors from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will offer the Highlander a run for its money. Its biggest opponent, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or 2, and also Toyota's key resource-- its track record for top quality as well as reliability-- has actually been slipping lately. The automaker has promised to redouble its initiatives, and also its newest SUV must confirm that.

The brand-new Highlander has lots of textbook sensibilities, like good gas mileage as well as loads of security attributes, but there's absolutely nothing remarkable about it. If it confirms as bulletproof as its precursor, though, reliability will certainly become its specifying feature, which is a book attract a lot of purchasers could support.

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