Toyota Highlander 2009

Toyota Highlander 2009 - If the upgraded Toyota Highlander is to be successful, it has its job suitable it. It has to deliver and captivate youngsters, ingest cargo and dominate snow. It has to be secure, comfortable and luxurious, and also it needs to do all these things without breaking the bank-- in vehicle repayments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no doubt, but the leading midsize SUV rivals really have gotten that good.

Toyota Highlander 2009

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it doesn't excel in any kind of one location. Given it can preserve its superior resale worth as well as integrity, it should prove a wise-- otherwise specifically captivating-- choice for many years ahead.

Edgier Designing

Toyota's The golden state design studios formed the exterior, which is bigger in all major measurements than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply adequate contours to offset the angles. With its creased fronts lights, flashy grille and also characterless bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit also slick-- like a corner store buyer who will not remove his sunglasses.

The rear bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, as well as a lot of trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sport and also Limited have 19-inchers that submit the wheel wells nicely. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and chrome exterior moldings.

At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts about the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Overview are both regarding a foot much longer.

The In

Toyota has actually spent years constructing a reputation for top quality, as well as absent any kind of significant competitors, the brand-new Highlander might have maintained that requirement. The competition is absolutely nothing otherwise major, however, and SUVs like the CX-9 and also Veracruz flaunt some impressively high end insides. In comparison, Toyota drops a little bit brief.

The Highlander shares bases with the existing Camry, as well as the control panel births a lot of the sedan's taste. The center controls are the natural prime focus, with large handles for significant functions within very easy reach. Sport and also Limited designs have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature as well as more. It also reveals settings for the optional automatic environment control system, which could divide the cabin into as numerous as 3 temperature level zones-- two front and one back. The climate regulates sit listed below the stereo, and also they're terribly messy. I counted 13 buttons in between both 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 typical manual cooling is simple.

Cabin high quality is just typical. The home window switches over, turn signals and facility controls might go straight right into a Lexus, and the chrome accents and electroluminescent evaluates appearance great. Most locations are trimmed in tough plastics, nevertheless, as well as the structures do not have the appeal of right stuff in a number of competitors. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the least expensive mouse hair this side of an economy auto.

Parents will appreciate the storage space alternatives. The facility console between the front seats has 4 cupholders as well as a wide storage space container. Neglect laptop computers; the handwear cover box can fit a small desktop. (Most likely not the monitor, though-- let's not obtain carried away.).

Three common rows of seats accommodate approximately seven, though you could drop the 3rd row in order to save a little cash money, reducing seatsing ability to 5. The pole positions offer a lot of space, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the cushion under the motorist's thighs. Good touch.

The second row is similarly commodious, with reclining back-rests and seat pillows that change backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's brand-new Center Stow attribute. It's generally a dive seat, which travelers can exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the second row right into two captain's chairs. The unused portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a floor area between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the change in around 25 secs.

The dive seat is light enough for easy installation. Its comfort is hit and miss, also for a middle seat; the bottom pillow is substantial, however I could easily feel the hinges underneath the back-rest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both items have durable installment hooks that ought to endure lots of thrashing from overenthusiastic kids.

Depending on where the 2nd row is positioned, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also discovered clearance a bit limited, yet with the second row moved on a few inches-- protecting lots of legroom for a lot of grownups-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I could endure a brief journey.

Larger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and also 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are substantial gains over in 2015's V-6, that made 215 hp as well as 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is standard. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.

Velocity suffices off the line and more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists points along, holding equipments as well as seldom changing prematurely. Difficult acceleration can prompt some abrupt shifts amongst lower equipments-- much better for velocity, even worse for comfort-- yet a lot of the time the changes are smooth enough to pass unnoticed. The drivetrain feels finest on the highway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. 3rd equipment is especially potent for 50-to-70 mph death.

The optional four-wheel drive is clear to the driver. It integrates a facility differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and also back wheels every one of the moment. Four-wheel-drive designs have a downhill assist function. Press a control panel switch, and it will certainly slow down the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The feature appears a bit disingenuous: There is no reduced gear for offroad rock crawling, which indicates you need to probably prevent anywhere treacherous adequate to require the downhill aid.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for approximately three secs from a stop to prevent the SUV from rolling backwards prior to you have time to hit the gas.

Making use of the EPA's more sensible 2008 rating system-- which normally brings about lower numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive designs and 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (changed utilizing the EPA's brand-new computation)-- a remarkable task, provided the brand-new Highlander has more power and weighs some 300 extra pounds more. (Four-cylinder fans won't miss much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got just 1 mpg greater than the new one performs with the V-6.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody construction pays for a comfy ride, with none of the underbody shimmying that plagued the previous Highlander (which was likewise unibody) and several body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, yet I could not spot a difference in ride suppleness amongst the base, Sporting activity and also Limited. All three have a little bit extra suspension sound over major bumps compared to 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 Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires emit a mild hum at freeway rates, which I couldn't find with the base version's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All models now include electrical power steering. These systems save a little bit on gas usage-- a little bit of low-hanging fruit to satisfy the federal government's gas economic climate criteria, I presume-- yet they often cause lifeless, fabricated guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever providing much in the method of comments or turning accuracy. The CX-9 prices much better in this regard, however couple of other competitors stand apart. The very same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in curves, advising chauffeurs it's not to be cornered rapidly.

Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are standard. The pedal supplies squishy response, but the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all 3 rows installed as well as increased, freight space in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds flat into the flooring, and also the 2nd row folds up nearly level. Highlanders without the 3rd row rather include a rather big storage area under the back floor.

With all seats folded up, maximum cargo quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts a lot more favorably with the crowd.

When appropriately outfitted, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Freeway Safety frontal collision examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest possible rating, Excellent. IIHS has not examined the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota really did not skimp on security functions. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system. The stability system now deals with the electrical power guiding, which boosts the power aid when the motorist is guiding to remedy a skid. It additionally helps fight guiding pull under tough braking in order to help the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system can not guide the SUV by itself, as some advanced systems now do, so if you guide the wrong way in a skid, don't expect any type of added power help.).

Seven air bags are standard, consisting of the needed double front airbags, a driver's knee air bag and side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are likewise roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all 3 rows, which release during 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 far better whiplash defense. Active head restraints are conventional on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly obtainable top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Features & Prices

Leaving out the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full bevy of choices runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim degrees feature 3 rows of seats, though a third-row erase alternative on specific designs can save $740.

For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with a complementary MP3 jack, air conditioning, cruise ship control, as well as power home windows, mirrors and door locks.
For $29,950, the Sport includes darkened exterior aspects, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power vehicle driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up cam and six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Minimal adds a keyless start-up system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture and a power traveler seat. Much of these functions are optional on the Sport. Choices on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL premium sound, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and heated pole positions.

Highlander on the market

Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will certainly give the Highlander a run for its loan. Its largest rival, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or two, as well as Toyota's ace in the hole-- its online reputation for top quality and dependability-- has been sliding recently. The automaker has promised to enhance its efforts, and its newest SUV has to prove that.

The brand-new Highlander has great deals of textbook sensibilities, like good gas mileage as well as lots of security attributes, but there's absolutely nothing remarkable about it. If it proves as bulletproof as its predecessor, however, stability will certainly become its specifying characteristic, which is a textbook attract a great deal of buyers can support.

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