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The 2021 Toyota Highlander is a Consumer Reports-recommended SUV. The Highlander has an excellent road-test score, as well as an excellent reliability rating and a very good owner satisfaction score. It’s a decent choice if you have kids. In fact, Consumer Reports says “it’s a smart choice for families looking for a do-it-all vehicle—but it is not a standout.” So what’s great about the 2021 Toyota Highlander – and what’s not?

A silver 2021 Toyota Highlander driving down a street surrounded by brick buildings.
2021 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Highlander has a very good road test score

The 2021 Toyota Highlander gets an 86/100 for its road test score. Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Toyota Highlander a 4/5 for its acceleration. It takes 7.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60. Its transmission scores a 4/5. Routine and emergency handling get a 3/5. The Toyota Highlander’s max avoidance speed is 50 mph. Consumer Reports calls its ride “compliant and controlled.”

The Toyota Highlander gets a 4/5 for its braking. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 132 feet and 141 feet on wet pavement. The Highlander’s headlights score an okay 3/5.

As far as comfort, the Toyota Highlander gets a fantastic 4/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is very good, at a 4/5. Consumer Reports says “the seat slides fore and aft, and also reclines in two independent sections, enabling plenty of passenger and cargo flexibility.” Rear seat comfort gets a fantastic 5/5. Third row comfort in the Highlander is only a 1/5.

Interior fit and finish get a very good 4/5. The trunk and cargo space also score a 3/5, with 41 cubic feet of storage space.

The Highlander has most of the important safety features

Consumer Reports recommends a variety of advanced safety features that car shoppers should consider. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking at city and highway speeds, lane-keeping assistance, and lane departure warning. Consumer Reports also says that pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning are important to have. 

Rearview cameras are standard in all new cars. You should also look for anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and daytime running lights.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander comes standard with everything that Consumer Reports recommends – except for blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning, which are optional. 

Both the IIHS and NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 Toyota Highlander. The IIHS gives it all good ratings. The NHTSA gives it five stars for everything except for the overall frontal-crash, overall frontal-crash on the driver side as well as passenger side, and the rollover rating for both 2WD and 4WD. Each of these gets four stars. 

The Highlander’s reliability is very good

Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Toyota Highlander a very good 4/5 for its predicted reliability. Both the 2019 and 2020 have a 4/5 for reliability ratings. The in-car electronics in the 2020 get a 3/5. In the 2019 the fuel system and in-car electronics both get a 2/5.

The Highlander gets an excellent predicted owner satisfaction score, at a 4/5. The driving experience gets an 84, while comfort gets n 85. Styling gets a 79, and value is a 48. 78% of people would buy the 2021 Toyota Highlander again.

Ultimately, the 2021 Toyota Highlander is a solid choice for families, but it isn’t necessarily the highest rated. Still, the Highlander comes with a long reputation for being a solid SUV, and its ratings show that it’s still a good SUV. If you have your heart set on the 2021 Toyota Highlander, it’s still a good choice.