2009 toyota Highlander Hybrid

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to succeed, it has its work cut out for it. It needs to transfer and also captivate young people, ingest freight and also conquer snow. It needs to be safe, comfortable and extravagant, and also it needs to do all these things without breaking the bank-- in car settlements or at the pump. A tall order, no doubt, yet the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have actually obtained that great.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander makes the grade on all matters, though it does not master any kind of one area. Provided it could preserve its exceptional resale value and also dependability, it should confirm a clever-- if not especially fascinating-- option for years ahead.

Edgier Styling

Toyota's California design workshops 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 simply sufficient contours to counter the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille and also amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a little bit as well glossy-- like a corner store buyer who will not remove his sunglasses.

The rear bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, and the majority of trim degrees have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard; the Sporting activity as well as Limited have 19-inchers that submit 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 exterior moldings.

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

The In

Toyota has spent years constructing a track record for top quality, as well as absent any serious competition, the brand-new Highlander may have maintained that criterion. The competitors is nothing if not major, though, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz flaunt some remarkably upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota drops a bit brief.

The Highlander shares bases with the present Camry, and also the dashboard births a lot of the car's taste. The facility controls are the all-natural focal point, with extra-large knobs for major functions within easy reach. Sport and Limited versions have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It displays gas mileage, outside temperature level as well as more. It additionally shows settings for the optional automatic climate control system, which could split the cabin right into as many as 3 temperature zones-- 2 front and also one back. The environment regulates sit listed below the stereo, and they're very chaotic. I counted 13 switches in between both temperature level handles; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the typical hands-on cooling is easy.

Cabin top quality is simply ordinary. The home window changes, turn signals and also center controls could go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents and electroluminescent evaluates look great. Many locations are trimmed in difficult plastics, nonetheless, and the textures lack the charm of right stuff in numerous competitors. Most severe of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the least expensive mouse fur this side of an economic climate cars and truck.

Parents will value the storage space options. The facility console in between the pole positions has four cupholders and a large storage space container. Neglect laptop computers; the handwear cover box might fit a little desktop. (Probably not the screen, however-- allow's not obtain carried away.).

Three standard rows of seats suit as much as seven, though you could drop the 3rd row in order to save a little cash money, minimizing seatsing capacity to 5. The front seats use a lot of space, with a technique extender in the Highlander Limited that extends the padding under the motorist's thighs. Good touch.

The second row is just as wide, with reclining backrests as well as seat pillows that change backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Facility Stow attribute. It's essentially a dive seat, which travelers could exchange for a plastic facility console, transforming the 2nd row right into two captain's chairs. The unused section-- either the middle seat or console-- shops in a floor compartment in between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I had the ability to make the modification in around 25 secs.

The jump seat is light sufficient for very easy installation. Its convenience is trial and error, also for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is significant, but I could easily feel the hinges beneath the backrest extra padding. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both items have sturdy setup hooks that must endure plenty of thrashing from overenthusiastic youngsters.

Depending on where the 2nd row is positioned, the 3rd row can be surprisingly adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet high as well as discovered clearance a little bit limited, yet with the 2nd row moved on a couple of inches-- preserving lots of legroom for many adults-- the 3rd row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a short journey.

Larger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and several other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horsepower and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over last year's V-6, which made 215 hp and 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is typical. Last year's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.

Acceleration is adequate off the line and more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission helps points along, holding equipments and also rarely changing prematurely. Tough velocity could motivate some sudden transitions among reduced gears-- much better for velocity, worse for convenience-- but the majority of the time the changes are smooth enough to pass undiscovered. The drivetrain really feels ideal on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal equipment searching. 3rd equipment is specifically powerful for 50-to-70 mph death.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the chauffeur. It incorporates a center differential to divide power 50/50 in between the front as well as rear wheels all of the time. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill aid feature. Press a control panel button, as well as it will certainly reduce the SUV to a crawl down high grades. The function seems a bit insincere: There is no reduced equipment for offroad rock crawling, which indicates you need to probably stay clear of anywhere treacherous enough to need the downhill help.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for as much as three secs from a stop to prevent the SUV from rolling backward before you have time to hit the gas.

Utilizing the EPA's more reasonable 2008 ranking system-- which generally leads to lower numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and also 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These rankings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise defeated the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (changed utilizing the EPA's brand-new estimation)-- a remarkable accomplishment, given the new Highlander has more power and also weighs some 300 extra pounds much more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained just 1 mpg greater than the new one performs with the V-6.).

Ride & Handling

The unibody building and construction affords a comfy ride, with none of the underbody vibrating that plagued the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) and lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, yet I could not spot a difference in ride firmness among the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All 3 have a little bit more suspension sound over significant bumps than I've involved expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is minimal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are relatively quiet. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and P245/55R19 tires release a small hum at freeway speeds, which I could not find with the base version's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All versions now come with electric power steering. These systems conserve a bit on gas consumption-- a bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's gas economic climate requirements, I think-- however they typically lead to lifeless, man-made steering feel. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never ever supplying a lot in the means of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares much better in this regard, but couple of various other rivals stand out. The exact same is true for body roll: Like the majority of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, reminding drivers it's not to be caught rapidly.

Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are common. The pedal provides mushy action, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.

Freight & Towing

With all three rows set up as well as elevated, cargo room in back is a meager 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds level right into the floor, and the second row folds up almost flat. Highlanders without the third row rather include a relatively big storage space area under the back flooring.

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

When properly outfitted, the Highlander could tow as much as 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Highway Safety frontal accident examinations, the 2008 Highlander racked up the highest possible score, Excellent. IIHS has actually not checked the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota didn't skimp on safety and security functions. All Highlanders come basic with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and a digital security system. The stability system now works with the electrical power guiding, which enhances the power assist when the driver is steering to deal with a skid. It also aids battle guiding pull under hard stopping to assist the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota says the system could not guide the SUV by itself, as some sophisticated systems currently do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, do not expect any kind of added power help.).

7 airbags are common, consisting of the called for twin front airbags, a chauffeur's knee airbag and side-impact airbags for the front seats. There are likewise roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all 3 rows, which deploy throughout a rollover to stop occupant ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and in Sporting activity as well as Limited versions, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash security. Energetic head restrictions are typical on the pole positions of all trims. The second row includes Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with conveniently obtainable top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Functions & Prices

Excluding the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a full collection of alternatives runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any type of trim includes concerning $1,500. All trim levels have three rows of seats, though a third-row delete choice on certain designs can conserve $740.

For $27,300, the base Highlander has 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with a complementary MP3 jack, cooling, cruise control, as well as power windows, mirrors and door locks.
For $29,950, the Sport adds darkened exterior elements, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power chauffeur's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up camera and six-CD sound.
For $32,700, the Restricted adds a keyless start-up system, automatic climate control, natural leather furniture as well as a power passenger seat. Much of these functions are optional on the Sport. Options on both trim degrees consist of a navigation system, JBL costs sound, a backseat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate as well as warmed pole positions.

Highlander out there

Competitors from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will certainly give the Highlander a run for its cash. Its largest competitor, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the next year or more, and also Toyota's trump card-- its online reputation for quality and also dependability-- has been sliding lately. The car manufacturer has actually pledged to enhance its efforts, as well as its most current SUV has to show that.

The brand-new Highlander has lots of book sensibilities, like good gas mileage as well as tons of safety and security features, yet there's nothing outstanding regarding it. If it shows as bulletproof as its predecessor, though, dependability will become its specifying feature, which is a book attract a lot of purchasers can support.

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