The Toyota Highlander has kept competing manufacturers on their toes since the year 2000 by offering the most reliable in ground-breaking performance. Its design is simple, its engineering is durable and its all-wheel drive system is impeccable, allowing for a spacious interior for the family and an SUV that can go anywhere. For a week we had the chance to take the new Highlander around Tampa Bay, and while we couldn’t find the chance to take it off-road, we enjoyed every second on the road.
The exterior boasts some new architecture without losing the Highlander profile we’ve come to know over the years. We were provided a Blizzard Pearl Highlander with 18” alloy wheels, fully loaded with nearly every option. Chromtec roof rails and on/off fog lights decorated the exterior while a power tailgate with the Highlander’s classic flip-open rear window made it as functional as possible.
Inside of the luxury SUV were comforting leather seats and conveniently placed controls. The GPS was functional and easy to use, while the Entune Premium sound system allowed us to choose how we listened, whether we were looking for HD, FM or XM radio, or our own MP3 players. While considered smaller for its class of vehicle, the Highlander still seats up to eight people, making it more versatile than almost any other SUV with a dynamic range of luxury and convenience.
The 3.5-Liter V6 created a fantastic mix of power and comfort. Acceleration on the highways came with ease, and shifts between the six-speed automatic transmission were almost seamless for the best riding experience possible. Front Independent McPherson Strut and Double Wishbone rear suspension with stability control kept us level around turns and on bumpy surfaces, while hill-start assist gave peace of mind and control on uneven terrain.
Such performance from a vehicle of this class is more than impressive, and even more impressive is that the Highlander is well known for holding value for years. With only a $36,040 price tag, it’s well worth the buy for those with a large family or who just enjoy the extra seats. We recommend this vehicle to anyone in need of a daily driving SUV or to those who like to take their friends or family off-road, whether it be at the beach or through the forests. Get to your local Toyota dealer and see one for yourself.