– Cleveland, Ohio
The Toyota Highlander has been refined over time like a smooth stone on a sandy shoreline. Any glare errors during its 16 years on sale in the United States were erased by evolution, leaving a fairly polished product behind. For 2017, Toyota has continued to optimize the Highlander with changes that only make this three-row crossover better, including its safety-sense suite of advanced safety equipment standard on every equipment level. For families who place safety at the top of their list of priorities, this alone left them to the Highlander. It still has some rough edges.
Comfortable and compound ride I was impressed with the pleasant ride of the highlander. The suspension is insulated on the softer side, the occupants of sloops and railroad rails, but it does not feel full in the corners. There is a good balance here that is perfect for suburban parents who grind their children.
Clever Tray in Hyphen The Highlander has a tray in the dashboard that runs from below the climate controls to the passenger door. This space is ideal for storing cell phones, papers, keys and all other detritus of everyday family life. It is my favorite family friendly property in the vehicle.
Security comes standard. All Highlanders come standard with Toyota’s Safety Sense package, which includes pre-collision automatic braking with pedestrian detection, trail departure alarm with steering assistance, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam. This is huge for families, for whom safety is so important. And since it is common in the least expensive highlanders, it can also be comparable to most other car makers that limit this safety equipment to higher equipment levels or expensive option packages.
Third row Blues The seats of the third row in the Highlander are small, more than most Fullsize crossover. They are hard to get and get out of, have little legroom and feel claustrophobic, and there are no USB ports back (the highlander has five total, but they are all in the first and second row). If you intend to hire the people there, even children, you know they would make themselves more comfortable in the rear seats of something larger than the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder. The Highlander resembles the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, which are slightly smaller than your typical Fullsize Crossover with three seat rows.
Shaving sharp design The Highlander is not the worst Toyota, but the front end reminds me of a chic razor with five blades. Aft of the A-pillar, the body is your typical crossover shape without offensive lines, but what’s going on ahead is just not pretty.
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Photos: John Neff / Motor1.com, Read: Review Toyota 2017
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