view grid view horizontal compact blog view
2020 Toyota Highlander - Driven

2020 Toyota Highlander - Driven

It’s a big upgrade, but does it go far enough?

Last year, the Toyota Highlander was in its final model year of a generation that wasn’t great even when it was new. This three-row crossover lacked the spaciousness, slick driving manners, extra-easy ergonomics, modern infotainment, and upscale interior details of the latest competitors. Yet by a healthy margin, it outsold every other seven-seat vehicle in the country. Buyers were drawn to a trusted name, and even if the competition might have been more impressive, loyal customers didn’t find enough wrong with the Highlander to try their hand with, say, a Mazda CX-9 or Kia Telluride. Now, there’s a new Highlander, and it’s time to see where Toyota has made marked improvements.

Read more
2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

Toyota gives the Highlander a meaner mug and subtle performance gains

Toyota is bringing an armada of trucks and SUVs at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, including the Highlander XSE that’s infused with enough sporty characteristics that make us wonder if Toyota’s deliberately trying to jolt some life into what otherwise is a family-oriented three-row crossover. To be clear, the Highlander XSE is not a special edition Highlander; it’s a new trim level that comes with significant visual and performance upgrades that you normally don’t see in a Highlander. If this is Toyota’s attempt to catch our attention with the 2021 Highlander, consider our attention’s caught. The Toyota Highlander XSE will go on sale in the fall of this year as a 2021 model. No pricing details have been revealed, but Toyota did say that the Highlander XSE will slot between the XLE and Limited trims. With the Highlander XLE starting at around $40,000 and the Highlander Limited starting at $44,000, expect the Highlander XSE to start at $42,000.

Read more
2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander

A fourth generation for Toyota’s three-row mid-sizer

The previous third-generation Toyota Highlander debuted back in 2013, with a facelift performed in 2016 that added an eight-speed automatic transmission, an updated spec for the V-6 engine, and a few aesthetic upgrades as well. Since then, the Highlander has proven to be one of the brand’s most-popular nameplates, selling some 245,000 units in 2018. That means it’s time for Toyota to give the Highlander a full-fledged generation update for 2020. Making its big debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the latest fourth-generation Toyota Highlander brings new styling inside and out, a raft of fresh technology for infotainment and safety, and a number of powertrain updates as well. However, can it still stay at the top of the segment?

Read more
2017 Toyota Highlander

2017 Toyota Highlander

Toyota’s largest crossover gets a mid-cycle refresh

The crossover segment is on fire these days and Toyota is not letting its popular Highlander age out of the fight. Debuting at the 2016 New York Auto Show on March 23, the 2017 Highlander will boast several changes and upgrades for its mid-cycle update. The current, third-generation Highlander debuted for the 2013 model year and has done very well in the segment, posting record-setting sales gains in both 2014 and 2015 with 146,127 and 158,915 examples sold, respectively. Toyota is undoubtedly banking on these updates to further accelerate that trend.

Headlining the changes is a refreshed front grille, a new 3.5-liter V-6, an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, available LE and XLE trims now on the hybrid, the sporty new SE trim level, and a host of safety features now coming standard. The Highlander will continue to offer seating for up to eight, a choice of a four-cylinder, hybrid, or V-6 powertrain, FWD or AWD, and a bevy of optional equipment. For those not smitten with the minivan segment, the Highlander is Toyota’s premiere people-hauler.

Updated 11/03/2016: Toyota announced prices on the 2017 Highlander. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota Highlander.

Read more
2016 Toyota Highlander – Driven

2016 Toyota Highlander – Driven

Toyota’s popular crossover preps for a refresh

The current Highlander has been around since 2014 when it received an extensive, ground-up remake. Now in the 2016 model year, the Highlander soldiers on unchanged. That won’t be the case for 2017, however, as Toyota will give the three-row crossover a mild facelift to match the all-new 3.5-liter V-6 borrowed from the new Tacoma.

Still, the 2016 is a relevant vehicle, offering families a reasonably priced vehicle with plenty of all-round capability, including seating for seven, towing up to 5,000 pounds, and the option of a hybrid drivetrain and AWD. What’s more, the Highlander offers these things at a reasonable fee, with prices starting around $30,000. My tester, fitted with the mid-grade LE Plus package, lists for $34,795.

Since the Highlander is slotted as such a family-friendly vehicle, it worked out perfectly that I had family in town, necessitating the need for a third-row seat. Though there are other crossovers and full-size SUVs with gobs more space, the Highlander seemed up to the task. The third row did prove to be rather limiting in terms of legroom, but four adults and a four-year-old in a car seat fit well enough.

There’s plenty more info below the jump, so keep reading for the full driven review

Continue reading for the full driven review

Read more
2016 Toyota Highlander Review

2016 Toyota Highlander Review

Toyota’s family hauler gains distinction

Since 2000, the Toyota Highlander has enjoyed a comfortable top spot as a nondescript suburban do-all, adept at hauling families, tackling snow days and offering better road manners than the average SUV thanks to its

Camry

based underpinnings. Reliable and useful, but not particularly exciting, was the recipe.

Has that changed, though? The latest Highlander, redesigned in 2013 and tweaked again for 2016, is larger, bolder and more luxurious than its predecessors. The new Highlander has curb presence, and the eye-catching design is just the beginning. The spacious interior would look equally at home in a Lexus product, and Toyota’s added items like an available panoramic glass roof for additional "wow" factor. A longer wheelbase provides additional room for third-row passengers, and the Highlander has grown into a viable minivan alternative.

Though rarely the darlings of enthusiasts, family-sized crossovers like the Highlander are important volume vehicles for manufacturers like Toyota. Not only does the Highlander fill an important midsize niche for the marque, but it also serves as a representative of the brand (and, by extension, Lexus) through which buyers my graduate to other Toyota products in the future. That’s why the Highlander’s upgraded style is significant: it’s not enough to just be a competent vehicle these days. The key to success is to bring ’em back for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Highlander.

Read more
2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Driven

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Driven

The Highlander might have started life back in 2001 as a midsize crossover, but over time it has transformed into a larger, three-row people mover that offers an alternative to the minivan segment. Sure Toyota offers the Sienna, but those who won’t rock the Swagger Wagon can take refuge in the Highlander.

What’s more, this crossover offers a hybrid powertrain and an AWD system that’s available together – giving this seven-passenger vehicle the ability to traverse slippery terrain while getting an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined. That’s impressive.

I recently spent a week with a 2015 example of Toyota’s third-generation Highlander. My tester came loaded to the gills in its Limited trim with the hybrid powertrain and yes, AWD. A healthy list of options pushed the price toward the $54,000 mark, making it competitive with several luxury-brand crossovers, though it doesn’t carry the ostentatious luxury vibe.

So how well does the Highlander carry out its duties? Continue reading to find out.

Read more
2014 Toyota Highlander - Driven

2014 Toyota Highlander - Driven

The venerable Highlander has been a strong seller for Toyota since its debut back in 2001, when it helped usher in the era of uni-body crossovers. Back then, the Highlander represented a solid alternative to the mundane four-door sedan with its higher ground clearance, upright view of the road and tidy dimensions. Five passengers and a decent amount of cargo could trudge though snow or down wooded paths with more confidence than in a Camry, thanks to the available all-wheel drive. The little CUV That Could embodied the premise of the whole crossover craze; combining the on-road manners of a car with SUV-like capabilities in a smart package.

The Highlander moved into its second generation in 2008, and received a mid-life refresh in 2010. Those changes helped it stay competitive, but the time has come for the next generation. Enter: the all-new 2014 Highlander.

Everything inside and out has a new look. Sharper, crisper lines make the CUV more manly and rugged, while its overall look still labels it as civilized. It rides on the same wheelbase but has grown some three inches, giving more rear passenger legroom.

An eight-passenger configuration is available on mid-level trims, and a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 can send power to all four wheels when the right option boxes are checked. Both the four-cylinder and hybrid models return for 2014, but with improved fuel economy.

I had the chance to drive the Highlander through the “snowpocalypse of 2014” along the icy streets of Charleston, South Carolina, as the town suffered its first snowfall in years.

Click past the jump for our 2014 Toyota Highlander review

Read more
2014 Toyota Highlander

2014 Toyota Highlander

The world first laid eyes on the Toyota Highlander back in 2000 at the New York Auto Show and, being built on the Toyota Camry platform, it was one of the first car-based crossover/SUVs. The first generation model ran until 2007, and the second generation ran until 2013 when Toyota finally ushered in the third-generation model that was longer, wider, and more crossoverish than ever before. Highlights included a larger grille, and lower-mounted fog lights, and much more rounded body. Inside, it offered three rows of seating for up to eight passengers, a host of safety equipment, and Toyota’s Entune multimedia system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display. Under the hood, one could find a 2.7-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic and front wheel drive, or a 3.5-liter with a six-speed automatic and the option for all-wheel drive.

With a more upscale interior, decent power delivery, and a refined exterior, the third-generation Highlander was able to increase sales for 2014 and 2015, with more than 300,000 examples sold over the two-year span. Of course, all of the changes to the Highlander did look pretty familiar as a similar redesign of the Toyota Rav4 had already received similar design cues. Either way, the new Highlander can be chalked off as a success as of the time of this writing, so take a look at our full review below to see all of the fine details.

Hit the jump to read more on the 2014 Toyota Highlander.

Read more
2007 - 2012 Toyota Highlander

2007 - 2012 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander entered production in 2000 and, in 2007, Toyota was already offering the second generation of the SUV. Being the first car-based midsize SUV or midsize crossover offered in North America, the Highlander soon became one of the most successful models on the market, setting the industry standard for car-based SUVs in innovation, comfort, and sales.

The second generation revealed in 2007 was significantly larger, roomier, and more powerful than the previous Toyota Highlander. It is noticeably quieter, smarter, and more spacious with improved unprecedented versatility and ride comfort. It is powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 with dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that delivers a total of 270 HP - a 55 HP increase over the previous generation. This engine delivers an impressive fuel economy of 31 city and 27 highway, making the Highlander the most-fuel efficient mid-size SUV.

Hit the jump to read more about the second generation Toyota Highlander.

Read more
2011 Toyota Highlander

2011 Toyota Highlander

The 2011 Toyota Highlander is here and the Japanese company has upgraded this year’s model with new exterior styling, new technologies, an improved interior, and updated engines. The 2011 Highlander will be offered in Base, SE, and Limited grades in both two-wheel (2WD) and full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD). Prices for Highlander will begin at $27,390 for the base four-cylinder two-wheel drive model; $33,150 for the SE V6 two-wheel drive, and $36,345 for the Limited V6 four wheel-drive model.

The 2011 Highlander looks like much better than the old model. This year, the Highlander will get a new front fascia, hood and fenders, redesigned headlights and tail lamps, and newly designed wheels to bump up the benefits in the look s department. New technologies will include a backup monitor with 3.5-inch multi-information display, an eight-way power drivers seat, tonneau cover, engine immobilizer, easy-clean fabric interior, flip-up liftgate window, fog lamps, and black roof rails.

Under the hood there will be a choice of a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 HP or a 3.5-liter V6 with 270 HP.

Press release after the jump.

Read more
2010 Toyota Highlander

2010 Toyota Highlander

When we first received the Toyota Highlander into the Top Speed test fleet we immediately noticed just how big the Salsa Red Pearl crossover from Japan really is. Even our base model Highlander came rather well equipped, and is the perfect new car for a growing family on a budget. The Highlander that Toyota chose for us to drive is representative of the automaker’s high quality economical transportation options.

The CUV came with everything you need to get the job done, like third row seating and plenty of interior space to go along with the comfortable ride, minus a few of the pricey creature comforts that the segment has become synonymous with; keeping the new car’s price well in the affordable range. On the outside, everything about the Highlander is big, like the oversized grill and machined six spoke alloys measuring 17 inches in diameter, giving the crossover a more powerful presence rather than a playful persona, unlike the majority of the CUV field. Meanwhile the interior is spacious and wrapped in cloth continuing the cost effective crossover theme.

Although Toyota offers both V6 and Hybrid equipped Highlanders, under the hood our car came equipped with a rather large 2.7 Liter VVT-i four cylinder engine cranking out 187 HP and a gas sipping six speed automatic transmission that is good for 20 MPG in the city and as much as 27 MPG at highway speeds. The package is more than enough to scoot the nearly two ton crossover around town comfortably, all for under $26,000.

Read more
2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

If you have been following our video reviews, you know we have already featured the Toyota Highlander. But this is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and it’s full of enough technology to make it worth its own review. This is Toyota’s second generation of both the Highlander model and the available hybrid engine. Along with the Prius and the Camry Hybrid, this makes up Toyota’s gas-electric group. The new Highlander Hybrid is powered by a 3.3-liter double overhead hybrid engine, which produces 209 horsepower. This advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive System has the fuel economy of up to 27 MPG city, and 25 MPG highway. It comes standard with four-wheel drive, equipped with intelligence drive. Just like the gasoline powered Highlander, the hybrid is available with the choice of a Base or Limited trim. The price for the 2008 Highlander Hybrid starts at $33,700.

Read more
2008 Toyota Highlander

2008 Toyota Highlander

The 2008 Toyota Highlander is a seven passenger "affordable" midsized SUV. It was first introduced in 2002, and quickly became Toyota’s best selling SUV, until the Rav4 outsold it in 2006. After seven years, the highlander was in need of makeover. The highlander just looks dated, particularly in the cabin, which was smaller than most current SUV models. In 2008, Toyota decided it was time for a change and introduced a completely redesigned Highlander. The new highlander is built on the same platform as the current Toyota Camry, and is now longer, wider and taller than its previous generation.

This new SUV is offered in several trim levels: base, Sport and Limited, each with front or all-wheel drive. The Hybrid models are base and limited, and both are offered only with all-wheel drive. So, you have plenty of trim options to choose from.

Read more
2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid

2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid

Toyota unveiled the all-new next-generation Highlander and Highlander Hybrid mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUV) at a press conference today at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show.

Read more
2006 Toyota Highlander

2006 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander continues to be the best-selling car-based midsize SUV since its launch in large part because it provides such a high degree of safety and ride comfort. Highlander is one of six sport-utility vehicles offered by Toyota (including the new Highlander Hybrid), and all are equipped with the STAR SAFETY SYSTEMâ„¢ that helps provide vehicle control from an array of advanced dynamic handling technology.

Read more
2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the first gas/electric mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) to offer seating for seven passengers. Launched in June 2005 it shares the same “Hybrid Synergy Drive” as the Lexus RX 400h. The Toyota has to offer in a addition to the Lexus two extra seats, and a 20% lower price tag. By joining the popular Prius sedan, the Highlander Hybrid made Toyota the first brand to offer both a passenger car and an SUV with hybrid power-trains.

Read more
2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Highlander is the best-selling vehicle of its type, a midsize sport-utility based on a car. Highlander’s popularity is partly because it’s a Toyota, which promises top-notch quality, durability and reliability. But it’s also a result of its practicality and easy manner.

Read more