The 2006 Toyota Highlander is a midsize crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) that first appeared in 2001. It looks a little like a truck and in some ways resembles the Toyota 4Runner. It appeals to people who like or need the versatility of owning an SUV, but who really would prefer the comfort and handling found in a sedan.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander makes a great choice for families who want a vehicle capable of carrying large amounts of cargo but still want an easy-to-drive, comfortable car. The Toyota Highlander handles bad weather during the winter months, but still delivers a decent fuel economy for its size, as it weighs quite a bit less than most crossover SUVs.
Body Styles: Midsize crossover SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Highlander, Highlander Sport, Highlander Limited
In 2006, the Sport trim model makes its debut, but this marks the only significant change for the 2006 Highlander.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander exterior looks somewhat squared off and truck-like, and falls on the bland side. Other than its sheer size, it would be pretty easy to lose in the parking lot. It has four doors and a rear liftgate. It sits on a 106.9-inch wheelbase and measures 184.6 inches in length and 71.9 inches wide. The Base model comes with 16-inch wheels and keyless entry, while the Sport comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, a color-keyed grille, fog lights, and chrome trim. The Limited trim features automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a windshield wiper de-icer, and heated outside mirrors.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander seats five people with two front bucket seats and a folding rear bench. Models fitted with third row seating accommodate seven passengers. The third row seating option includes privacy glass and a rear heating system. Bear in mind that it can be quite difficult to access the third row of seating and really only suits small passengers. In models without the third row of seats, cargo space measures 39.7 cubic feet with the second row seating in place, but folding it flat increases cargo room to 80.6 cubic feet.
The base model comes with cruise control, air-conditioning, and a CD player. The Sport has a power driver’s seat, a CD player, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift. The Limited comes with power-adjustable front seats, a better sound system, and a fold-flat third row seat. Optional extras include an in-dash CD changer and a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system. Extras for the Limited include a navigation system and leather seating.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Toyota Highlander comes in three trims, including the Base, Sport, and Limited. Two different engines power the Toyota Highlander: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that comes standard with the base model and produces 155 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.3-liter V-6 that produces 215 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. This offers an optional choice for the base model, but comes standard on the Sport and Limited.
The four-cylinder engines pair with four-speed automatic transmission, while the V-6 engines use a five-speed transmission. The 2006 Toyota Highlander does not make great choice for anyone who needs to tow heavy loads, as the maximum towing capacity reaches only 3500 pounds on the V-6 model. The 2006 Toyota Highlander offers front drive and all-wheel drive.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander gives a very high ride quality due to the comfortable suspension. However, anyone looking for something a little sportier should definitely choose the Sport version with its firmer suspension. The 2006 Toyota Highlander weighs less than a lot of crossover SUVs, and this makes it feel a little more nimble on the road. The four-cylinder engine seems adequate, but the V-6 makes a much better choice as it provides far better acceleration.
2006 Toyota Highlander’s standard safety features include a tire-pressure warning system, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, and a stability control system. Seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags remain optional for all models. In government tests the Toyota Highlander scores the maximum five stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for site-impact protection for both front and rear passengers. It achieves the highest possible rating for frontal offset crash testing.
EPA Fuel Economy
Highlander: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Highlander Sport: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Highlander Limited: 16/22 mpg city/highway
- Car-like ride
- Fuel efficiency
- Safety features
You Won't Like
- Lack of access to third row seating
- Bland appearance
Perfect for anyone who needs an SUV but prefers a sedan.
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