How Safe Is the Toyota Highlander?

Automaker Toyota is known today for designing some of the most dependable and technologically-advanced vehicles on the market. The Highlander is one of Toyota’s flagship SUVs, offering space, economy, and Toyota’s expected menagerie of safety and tech features. But how safe is the Toyota Highlander?

How the Toyota Highlander performs on safety tests

Though it’s too early to get strong safety testing on the latest 2020 Highlander, results for the 2019 model can help gauge where Toyota prioritizes the SUV’s safety. For the 2019 model year, the Toyota Highlander received better-than-average scores in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safety testing.

While it received just an Acceptable score in the small overlap front: passenger side portion of the crashworthiness test, the 2019 Highlander received the best possible score (Good) in all over crashworthiness tests like the small overlap front: driver-side, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints/seats.

According to IIHS, the Toyota Highlander’s Acceptable score in the small overlap front test comes from a lower, Marginal score for its structure and safety cage. IIHS also handed the 2019 Highlander a Superior score for its front crash prevention system, which helped avoid collisions and reduce speeds during testing, but only Acceptable for its Halogen headlights. The 2019 Toyota Highlander’s roof has been tested and found to withstand a maximum force of 23,836 lbs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on the other hand, offers the 2019 Toyota Highlander a top-notch, five-star overall safety rating. It receives a four-star rating in overall frontal crash tests, as well as rollover testing. Side crash testing earns a perfect, five-star rating.

The NHTSA does, however, report one safety recall with the 2019 Highlander. Rather than a problem with mechanics, the 2019 Highlander’s recall states that the text on the Highlander’s load capacity label may not be permanent and therefore, unreadable. This could increase the risk of a crash if the driver cannot read the label and “unknowingly overload the vehicle.”

Where the Highlander stacks up among the competition

2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum
2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum | Toyota

IIHS issues an award every year to new vehicles that earn the best safety ratings. According to IIHS, vehicles must earn Good ratings “in the driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests,” Acceptable or Good ratings in passenger-side small overlap front tests and headlight testing, and an Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention in order to win the award of Top Safety Pick. To win IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must receive the best ratings in all categories.

In the Toyota Highlander’s midsize SUV category, 14 vehicles received one of two IIHS awards for the 2019 model year. While the Toyota Highlander and seven other models receive IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award for 2019, six stood above the rest with a Top Safety Pick+ award. Though the Toyota Highlander proves safe in testing, it may be outperformed by its competition.

Safety features offered by the newest Toyota Highlander

Toyota’s focus on technology and safety indicates that the 2020 Toyota Highlander will offer even more safety than the already-impressive 2019 model. All new models come with Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 system, which offers a slew of standard safety tech like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection that alerts you to possible collisions, as well as employs automatic emergency braking.

According to Toyota, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system also includes dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and road sign assist. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and front/rear parking-assist with automated braking are also available.

(note: Verblio systems do not allow me to submit under the same, exact title- I edited accordingly in order to submit)