Crossover & Midsize

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Offers Tons Of Active Safety Features

It’s hard to go wrong with a used Toyota Highlander. As you’re shopping for the right used Highlander for you and your family, the 2018 model year is among those that stands out. The 2018 Highlander is accommodating and offers lots of standard features. 

What’s it like to drive the 2018 Toyota Highlander 

The Highlander has many strengths, including its performance. While it’s not the sportiest option in its class, the Highlander impresses with its stabling and responsive handling. You have two engine choices for this Toyota. The Highlander’s base engine is a 185-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder, and it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. 

Although, critics aren’t particularly fans of the base engine, as U.S. News notes. That said, the Highlander’s available 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 earns far more praise. Plus, the V6 is available with an eight-speed automatic. But no matter which engine you choose, you’ll find that the Highlander is a comfortable ride and a confident ride. 

Regarding fuel economy, the Highlander is decent. It gets a combined 23 mpg. If fuel economy is among your top priorities, you might also want to consider the Highlander Hybrid.

The 2018 Highlander offers many available features 

A new Toyota Highlander on display at an auto show
A Toyota Highlander on display | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Over the years, Toyota has made a point to make the Highlander feel more luxurious inside. The Highlander has an upscale and welcoming cabin filled with soft-touch materials. In its standard configuration, the Highlander can seat eight people; models with captain’s seats seat seven.

Also standard on the Highlander is cloth upholstery , but some Highlanders will have synthetic leather or genuine leather upholstery. Other available amenities include ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats. Because of its focus on comfort and value, U.S. News named the 2018 Highlander one of the best three-row SUVs between $25K to $30K.

What makes the 2018 Highlander a standout is its long list of standard active safety features. These include forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control. The Highlander’s infotainment features aren’t as impressive, though. It comes with a few gadgets, such as a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available on the 2018 Highlander. 

Safety and reliability ratings

Red Toyota Highlander in the sand by the shore
Toyota Highlander | Toyota

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Highlander a five-star crash -test safety rating. Furthermore, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named this model as a Top Safety Pick. The Highlander’s excellent safety ratings and well-rounded performance also contributed to its high-reliability scores.

Based on J.D. Power’s evaluations, U.S. News gave the Highlander a solid rating while Consumer Reports gave this SUV a perfect predicted reliability rating. And while the Highlander is an overall dependable vehicle, there are four recall actions on this model. The first two recalls related to potential issues with the Highlander’s equipment labels and service brakes. The others concerned its windshield and fuel system. If you decide the 2018 Highlander is for you, make sure your auto dealer properly addressed them.