The 2nd generation of Toyota's 7-passenger midsize crossover, the Highlander, features fully molded front and rear end treatments that incorporate Halogen headlights and fog lights in the front lower valence. Also included in the design is a one-piece power-closing rear lift gate topped by an integral spoiler. The rounded wheel wells are home to 5-spoke, 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with wide low-profile tires. The side profile presents an upswept beltline running from the front fender-line, rearward.
The base engine for the Highlander is a fuel-efficient 2.7-liter inline-4 that generates 187 horsepower and 186 pound feet of torque sent to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a 3.5-liter V6, sending 270 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque through a 5-speed automatic to the front wheels or available full-time 4-wheel drive with no low range.
Here are the highest and lowest EPA estimates for fuel economy:
The passenger compartment is trimmed in faux wood with leather on the seats and adjustable steering wheel... An important interior feature is the fully adaptable 3-row seating that provides an additional 42.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the third row folded flat for an overall 95.4 cubic feet of cargo carrying capacity.
Our test Highlander was equipped with the up-rated entertainment and information system that includes JBL audio with 6-disc CD changer, voice-activated GPS and back-up camera.
The unibody, four-wheel independent suspension of the Highlander drives and handles much more like a car than a traditional SUV. Braking is provided by four wheel antilock discs, backed up by electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. Occupants also benefit from vehicle stability control and technology designed to help negotiate hilly terrain.
Base MSRP for the 2010 Toyota Highlander at the time of our test is $25,705. A 4-wheel drive V6 Limited model will start at $34,520. The Highlander is backed by 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Now in the third year of its current generation, the 2010 Toyota Highlander delivers fuel efficiency, and off-road capability in a versatile and feature-packed mid-size crossover.