What Is It?
Toyota’s venerable family hauler receives a major update, making the 2017 Toyota Highlander an even more attractive prospect. Styling changes to the Highlander’s grille and rear taillights give it a more aggressive look, while interior upgrades include a new brown leather seating option on the Limited Platinum grade and second-row captain’s chair seating for the Limited and Limited Platinum. All models will receive additional USB charging ports (bringing the total to five).
Under the hood, a new 3.5-liter direct injection V6 joins the lineup. It will be optional on the gasoline Highlanders and standard on the hybrid trims. V6 gasoline models also receive a new 8-speed automatic transmission that is smaller and lighter than the current 6-speed, which will remain in use on the 4-cylinder Highlander. The hybrid will continue to use an automatic continuously variable transmission. In a nod to improved fuel economy, Stop/Start technology will be standard on all but the V6 LE trim.
An expanded Highlander lineup includes a sporty new SE trim. The SE adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a firmer sport suspension and dark paint treatment for the grille and headlight bezels. Inside, the SE receives unique black leather seating with silver stitching. The Highlander Hybrid also expands its portfolio by adding a lower priced LE and XLE grade to the existing Limited and Platinum trims.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 8-passenger 2017 Toyota Highlander is the perfect family hauling machine. A wide range of prices and engine choices make it more versatile than its competition, and that legendary Toyota quality and reliability comes standard.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Honda Pilot — The Pilot is every bit as roomy and reliable, but it doesn’t offer as wide a variety and there is no hybrid model.
2016 Chevrolet Traverse — The Traverse offers a larger and more comfortable third-row seat and has a V6 as standard equipment. However, the design is starting to age and there is no hybrid or 4-cylinder engine option.
2016 Ford Explorer — The Explorer offers a more rugged look, more vibrant wheel and color options and more powerful engine choices.
Used Acura MDX — A used Acura MDX offers all the luxury and comfort of a loaded Platinum model for a lot less money.