2017 Toyota Highlander Review

The 2017 Toyota Highlander is a mid-sized SUV with a regular or hybrid version. It ranks at the top of its class due to the many advanced safety features, excellent fuel economy and comfortable ride.

The Toyota Highlander has seating for 7 to 8 people and comes as either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The hybrid version is only available as all-wheel drive.

The Highlander Hybrid costs about $5,600 more than the regulard Highlander but outperforms the gas version in fuel economy, and towing capacity. The Hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and 3 electric motors that together deliver 306 horsepower. The standard Highlander comes with either a 4-cylinder engine or a more powerful V6 which makes 295 horsepower.

Performance

The 2017 Toyota Highlander comes with a 4-cylinder 2.7-liter engine that makes 185 horsepower. This engine is underpowered for a mid-sized SUV as most competitors have a base engine greater than 200 hp. Luckily, the Highlander has an optional upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 270 horsepower. This is more powerful than many rivals and is quite capable of passing at highway speeds.

As for fuel economy the V6 engine actually does slightly better then the 4-cylinder engine which gets 20/24 mpg for city/hwy driving. The V6 has fuel economy of 20/27 mpg for city/hwy. The base trim Highlander with the 4-cylinder engine can tow up to 1,500 lbs. Upgrading to the V6 with AWD will allow you to tow up to 5,000 lbs.

“Acceleration is robust if not blistering, appropriately quick for an eight-passenger SUV. The cathedral-grade quietness that envelops the cabin when cruising yields to a somewhat coarse, baritone rumble under full acceleration, as with the previous V-6. … The stop/start system that is now standard on all Highlanders is virtually undetectable.” – Car and Driver.

As for the Highlander Hybrid, it comes with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine but also has three electric motors that give it a combined output of 306 horsepower. This gives it good acceleration and makes it one of the best mid-sized SUVs on the market.

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Interior

The 2017 Toyota Highlander has enough space to seat 8 people although the third-row of seating lacks sufficient legroom for taller passengers. This is quite normal in a mid-sized SUV and the other seats are all comfortable.

One of the best features of the Highlander is the luxurious quality of the interior cabin. First-rate materials are used and the top trims are reminiscent of the Lexus. The Highlander comes with the Entune infotainment system and five USB ports. It also includes a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free.

Price

The 2017 Toyota Highlander has a starting price of $30,630 which is average for a mid-sized SUV. The Highlander comes with a smaller engine than many SUVs which often have a V6 as their base engine but you will get more standard safety features in the Highlander. Upgrading to the V6 in the Highlander will bring the price up to around the $33,000 mark. The Highlander Hybrid has a starting price of $36,270

Alternatives

The 2017 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are good options if you’re looking for a mid-sized SUV. They have powerful engines and good fuel economy. Some alternatives are the 2017 Nissan Murano, the 2017 Honda Pilot or the 2017 Ford Edge.