Toyota Highlander Xle

Toyota Highlander Xle: Low-profile and also practical, the Highlander could haul up to eight in peaceful comfort. The base 185-hp 2.7-liter inline-four teams with a six-speed automatic as well as front-wheel drive; the optional 295-hp 3.5-liter V-6 gets an eight-speed automated. All-wheel drive is optional for V-6 versions as well as criterion for the crossbreed, which sets the V-6 with two electrical motors; we saw 24 mpg in our examination. The Highlander supplies an appropriate driving experience, yet it's more focused on indoor niceties and also storage.


Toyota Highlander Xle


Like the 1986 movie Highlander, the Toyota SUV that shares its name is a crowd-pleaser that fails to motivate fervor among doubters. After more than 190,000 Highlanders rolled off dealership great deals in 2014, Toyota's mid-size crossover SUV went into 2017 with a host of changes aimed at pleasing the masses and experts alike.

Notably, all Highlanders, from the base $31,590 LE to the state-of-the-art $48,840 Highlander Crossbreed Limited Platinum, now come typical with a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and also automated emergency braking, plus lane-departure caution, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise ship control, as well as automatic high-beams. Our all-wheel-drive $43,184 Highlander XLE test auto additionally loaded blind-spot surveillance, a feature unavailable on the lower-level Highlander LE as well as LE Plus.

Accompanying the 2017 Highlander's countless safety and security systems is the most up to date version of Toyota's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The six-cylinder is common on almost the base front-wheel-drive Highlander LE-- which continues to make use of a frail 185-hp inline-four-- and incorporates a host of modern technologies, including a straight and port fuel-injection system and also an upgraded valvetrain that allows the engine to work on the extra effective Atkinson cycle. Ranked at a healthy 295 horse power and 263 lb-ft of torque, the changed V-6 makes 25 even more ponies and an additional 15 lb-ft compared with the previous system. Fuel economic climate is up, also, with the front-wheel-drive 2017 Highlander V-6 making an EPA-rated 23 mpg integrated; all-wheel-drive models achieve 22 mpg. Both numbers note a 2-mpg renovation over in 2015's Highlander and also placed the crossover within 1 mpg of the four-cylinder Mazda CX-9's combined fuel-economy figures.

Toyota's 2GR-FKS six is a gem of an engine that builds power mostly all the method approximately its 6800-rpm redline. At the track, this Highlander cut 0.3 second off of its precursor's zero-to-60-mph and also 30-to-50-mph times, hitting the marks in 7.0 as well as 3.8 secs, specifically. Unfortunately, the 2017 Highlander's 5.6-second 50-to-70-mph passing away time was both slow for the course and virtually a second behind that of its forbear. Blame the new eight-speed automatic transmission's hesitancy to downshift. No matter, the changed Highlander's V-6 supplies plenty of grunt in a lot of real-world driving circumstances. Many thanks in part to our test cars and truck's automatic stop-start system, we took care of a practical 21 mpg throughout our time with the crossover, 2 mpg much better compared to just what we received from a Mazda CX-9.

The Aspect of Crossover

If the 2017 Highlander's V-6 powertrain is the matching of Highlander's captivating Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (played by Sean Connery), then the crossover's overhauled outside layout is akin to the movie's handsome however featureless lead character, Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). New front and also rear fascias, updated headlamps, as well as an eye-catching set of LED taillights provide the Highlander a much more natural, SUV-like look. Yet we still would not place it fairly on the very same level of beauty as the butch Dodge Durango or the hot CX-9.

Unlike the exterior, the Highlander's interior has been left mainly unblemished. Toyota did add four more USB ports, bringing the total to 5-- 3 ahead as well as two in the rear. The cockpit showcases a number of useful storage spaces, consisting of a shelf that covers the lower dashboard and a substantial center-console bin that can fit almost a cubic foot of assorted products. Ergonomic faults include difficult-to-grip temperature knobs for the climate-control system and also a touchscreen that's too far from the driver.

While base-level LE and also LE Plus Highlanders come with a standard second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and also Restricted Platinum grades come with captain's chairs in the center. (The bench seat is a no-cost choice on the XLE, Limited, and also Minimal Platinum.) Area abounds in the 2nd row, yet we found that our seven-passenger test automobile's container seats were placed also low for ideal convenience. Still, the Highlander's sliding as well as reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy reclining chairs compared with the thin and lightweight 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a complete six inches fewer than just what the Volkswagen Atlas's rearmost row deals. If you regularly carry adequate guests to advantage constant use of the 3rd row, take into consideration the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.

Shadow of an SUV

Despite the Highlander's carlike unibody building and construction and also reduced step-in elevation, this mid-size crossover's dealing with advises us of an old-fashioned body-on-frame SUV, as its softly sprung suspension allows excessive body roll in turns. On the plus side, the suspension takes in roadway irregularities with nary a shudder, and also the electrically aided guiding is fairly quick and typically well heavy.

At 4560 extra pounds, our all-wheel-drive Highlander examination auto was no lightweight, as well as the excess mass made itself known when using the brakes, as the Toyota required 181 feet of tarmac to quit from 70 mph-- 11 feet more than a 161-pound-lighter all-wheel-drive GMC Acadia Denali.

With an as-tested rate of $43,184, our Toasted Walnut Pearl Highlander XLE showed off $3704 in choices. Of that tally, four-wheel drive includes $1460 and brings vestigial mud flaps, hill-descent control, and a screen setup within the 4.2-inch gauge-cluster screen that reveals torque distribution among the Highlander's 4 wheels. An $1810 rear-seat amusement system was one of the most expensive option, while $434 gotten floor mats and also body-side moldings. Standard things consisted of navigation, a distance trick with push-button start, as well as a sunroof, in addition to previously mentioned functions such as a blind-spot surveillance system and leather-trimmed first- and also second-row seats (Toyota upholsters the 3rd row in plastic).

While the Highlander's drab handling and also confined 3rd row remain to curb our excitement for the Indiana-built crossover, the upgraded 2017 Highlander's long list of typical safety and security as well as ease features, much more effective and also fuel-efficient V-6 engine, and boosted outside designing will remain to bring in stockpiles of shoppers seeking a comfortable and fairly priced mid-size crossover SUV.

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