Why don’t we hear more about the Toyota Highlander? It’s a powerful SUV that offers three rows of seats, but for some reason, stays in the background. People talk about the Sequia or Tahoe instead. But why is the Toyota Highlander on the back burner? Let’s see how it compares to other beloved SUVs.
How Does The Toyota Highlander Compare?
To our surprise, the Toyota Highlander is pretty affordable. It starts around $34k. To give these numbers some substance, the Nissan Murano starts around $31k, and the Kia Sorento starts around $26k.
But to our surprise, in a negative way, the Toyota Highlander only has an average fuel efficiency. It only receives up to 21 mpg in the city and up to 29 mpg on the highway.
These numbers are pretty similar to the Highlander’s competitors. But the Hybrid Highlander does improve these numbers with an EPA estimated combined mpg of 35.
Toyota Highlander Power
The Toyota Highlander has a standard 3.5-Liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque.
This amount of power gives the Highlander to the ability to tow up to 5,000 lb. The Sorento can also tow up to 5,000 lb, but the Murano can only tow up to 1,500 lb.
Also, the Highlander’s power only gives it an average acceleration. It takes this SUV 7.6 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph. This is also pretty standard among its competition.
All Highlander models have an 8-speed transmission, but higher trim options are available in all-wheel drive. So, if you spend a little more, you can have more control in snowy conditions and on dirt roads.
Toyota Highlander Features
The Toyota Highlander is marketed as a luxury mid-sized SUV, so it has large, padded leather seats to cradle you during your drive.
It also has a newly redesigned frame and Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform for a smoother ride and enhanced handling. Soundproofing technology also keeps the cabin nice and quiet.
Enjoy the massive 12” touchscreen infotainment center to stay connected during your drive. The system can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to put your favorite apps right at your fingertips.
Make calls, start a podcast, reply to messages, turn on your favorite jams, and more while staying focused on the road. Also, stay connected with the built-in Wi-fi hotspot.
There are five USB ports and two 12V outlets to help you and your passengers keep your favorite devices charged.
The Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD feature also helps you automatically adjust to changing terrains by automatically distributing power to the wheels that need it. This helps increase stability and control in adverse conditions.
There are also drive modes to choose from to help reduce slippage and improve tractions. Select between mud and sand, snow, dirt and rock, and Normal driving modes to automatically adjust to different conditions.
The Highlander also has standard safety features such as pedestrian detection, lane departure assistance, forward collision prevention, and more.
So, the Toyota Highlander may be on the back burner because it’s painfully average. We need to study the hybrid model more, but otherwise, it may be worth seeing if the 2021 or 2022 option has some wow factor or not.