Security, Reliability, Resale Worth Make The Highlander A Clever Selection
Do you have got a big household or maybe your house is the one that every one the youngsters hang around at so you find yourself schlepping everybody to soccer observe or the ski slopes? Regardless of the purpose, you want a automobile that seats seven or eight—and there isn’t gonna be a minivan or an enormous truck-based hulking sport-utility parked within the driveway.
That narrows your alternative all the way down to one among a number of three-row crossover autos. There are plenty of elements that go into the shopping for choice, corresponding to a mix of inside room and family-friendly options, together with security and reliability scores.
After driving a 2018 Toyota Highlander LT Plus, it was apparent to me that it is able to tackle rivals just like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder and Volkswagen Atlas. A strong customary engine and an enviable resale and restore historical past make the 2018 Highlander a powerful alternative. These involved with gasoline financial system can go for the Highlander Hybrid that delivers class-leading city-fuel-economy figures.
Refreshed in 2017 with solely minor exterior adjustments for 2019, the 2018 Highlander is available in six principal trim ranges: LE ($31,330), LE Plus ($36,260), XLE ($39,220), SE ($40,440), Restricted ($42,430) and Restricted Platinum ($45,550). The bottom LE mannequin include a 185-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder powering the entrance wheels by way of a six-speed automated transmission. The steadiness of the lineup is supplied with a regular 295 horsepower V6 with an eight-speed automated that truly will get higher freeway gasoline financial system (27 mpg freeway vs. 24 right here). All-wheel drive provides $1,460.
The largest styling change for the 2017 Highlander was the grill. It’s large, following the big-grill development that’s been trendy for the previous few years. But it emphasizes the already blunt nostril of this midsize SUV, with totally different fashions getting totally different trims. The grill received’t enchantment to all people, however it’s actually distinctive.
Past the grill, I typically just like the 2018 Toyota Highlander’s look. It’s massive, however not imposing; muscular, but good-looking. It has extra a squared-off look vs. the rounded Honda Pilot. On this respect, the Highlander appears to be like the a part of a extra conventional, slabbed-sided SUV.
All issues thought of, the 2018 Highlander’s inside is one among its sturdy factors. Prime quality trying supplies, together with exemplary match and end, elevate this as soon as pedestrian inside to entry-level luxurious standing.
Snug front- and second-row seats are nice for lengthy drives, and small ones within the third row can be happy, though adults will probably skip it. Our LE Plus got here with a second-row bench seat, permitting eight-passenger seating. Different fashions are outfitted with two second-row captain’s seats.
The Highlander’s huge sprint is logically laid out, with secondary controls grouped to the left of the steering wheel. The 2-tier look is each clear and purposeful; there’s loads of room to retailer just a few charging smartphones on a shelf about midway up the dashboard and Toyota has even thought to incorporate pass-troughs for USB chargers to chop down on litter. Each trim will get its personal finishes.
Storage cubbies, cup holders and USB ports abound—all useful for making journeys much less demanding. Of observe is the—choose an adjective: monumental, gargantuan, large—roll-top heart console. Opened, it may swallow a big purse or a pair laptop computer computer systems.
All Highlanders have a central contact display for audio and knowledge performance; 6.1 inches in decrease trims and eight.zero inches in greater ones. Whereas its varied infotainment programs lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they’re up-to-date in each different side.
The 60/40 break up manner again seats fold flat to develop cargo area from 13.eight cubic ft—sufficient for per week’s price of groceries or a stroller—to 42 cubic ft. Stow the second row and area expands to 82.6 cubic ft.
One of many 2018 Toyota Highlander’s largest benefits over rivals is its excessive stage of normal energetic security expertise; some rivals provide these options solely on costlier trim ranges. Known as Toyota Security Sense P (TSS-P), the grouping contains pre-collision warning and braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep help, automated excessive beams and adaptive cruise management. XLE trims and above even have blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
My favourite Highlander function was the helpful flip-up rear hatch window. It was straightforward to load and unload the rear with out opening all the tailgate. All however base fashions embody a power-operated tailgate.
At 16-feet lengthy and greater than six-feet huge, the 2018 Highlander is a pretty big automobile. Despite the dimensions, outward visibility is sort of good, with the usual rear view digital camera and blind spot monitoring system notably serving to.
I discovered the 2018 Toyota Highlander LE Plus to be a soothing respite to the bustle of noisy metropolis visitors—nicely soundproofed, properly appointed and straightforward to drive each day. All V6 Highlanders have an auto start-stop system for improved gasoline financial system. It minimize off the engine at stops and began it up once more as quickly as my foot left the brake pedal. It was largely unobtrusive and is among the many greatest of those programs.
Energy from the V6 didn’t dazzle me, nevertheless it was past ample when merging into visitors and once I wanted some punch to go a slower automobile. The eight-speed transmission acted as if wasn’t there with easy, seamless shifts.
I believed the Highlander cornered fairly nicely for a big automobile, with immediate turn-in response and managed physique lean. Steering was properly weighted with first rate suggestions, however was a bit heavy at sluggish speeds. Bumps and ruts for essentially the most half have been typically shrugged off by the absolutely impartial suspension.
I did discover the brakes a bit sensitive. It took just a few days to develop into acclimated, after which they appeared regular.
Throughout our time with the Highlander we did the same old issues that the majority of us do in per week: quite a lot of errands, a grocery retailer run, visiting family and friends, together with a 300-mile spherical journey to spend a weekend with our oldest son. In whole, we tallied 421 miles and turned the keys again to Toyota averaging just a bit greater than 25 mpg. Managing Editor of Clear Fleet Report and husband Larry handled me to an exquisite dinner out for beating the EPA mixed ranking of 23 mpg.
Ought to You Purchase a 2018 Mannequin As a substitute of a 2019?
Sure, in the event you’re unexcited about element adjustments Toyota made to the 2019. Shopping for a ’18 will show you how to duck the model-year worth escalation. And it’ll get you a crossover that’s the 2019 Highlander’s visible and mechanical duplicate.
High security scores and Toyota reliability are promoting factors for all Highlanders. So is resale worth and the proportion of it you’ll sacrifice by buying a 2018 as an alternative of a 2019 can be negligible inside just some years.
They’re on the market (the 2018s) since in accordance with trade info om Automotive Information, Toyota is providing incentives to sellers to assist transfer them off the tons.
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