Toyota's mid-size SUV has undergone a complete reworking for 2008 that has resulted in a clean, contemporary style that might well be described as "subtly aggressive", and this sense carries across the three models available: the base Highlander, the Sport like we drove and the up scale Limited.
The front end features a large molded bumper with multi-reflector halogen headlamps and fog lights in the lower valence. Most notable from the side perspective are the bulging fenders, high beltline and sculpted body panels.
The Sport trim level we drove came with 19-inch 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels shod with wide, all-season tires. The rear lift gate includes a separately opening glass section as well as a roof spoiler.
There is one engine and one transmission choice for all gasoline powered Highlanders, a 270 horse power 3.5 Liter V6 mated to a 5-speed sequential automatic that routes power to the front or full-time all wheel drive system.
Brakes are ABS, ventilated front/solid rear discs with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist.
EPA estimates for the Highlander are 18 City/24 Highway for the FWD version with just 1 MPG less in each category for the AWD equipped version.
Our test Highlander came with the optional third row seating that allows for up to 7 occupants and with its folding split rear seats up to 95.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
Fabric trimmed seats are standard on the Base and Sport models with leather optional and standard on some Limited models depending on trim packages selected.
Our test Highlander came equipped with the optional JBL audio system that included multi-disc in-dash CD changer and full up-rated features including hands-free communication capability and DVD-based navigation system.
MSRP for the base Highlander is $27,300 while our Sport edition carried a sticker-before options-of $29,950. The top of the line Limited lists at $32,700 and all are covered by Toyota's 36 Month/ 36,000 Mile warranty.
The newly redesigned Toyota Highlander...a new look in the ever popular SUV marketplace.