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2011 Toyota Highlander

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2011 Toyota Highlander Review

Family-friendly, space configurable SUV seating five to seven passengers

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2011 Toyota Highlander is a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) that accommodates either five to seven passengers, with a second row of removable seats. The Highlander offers three engines. One is an all-wheel drive vehicle, with a 2.7-liter four cylinder engine with 187 horsepower joined to a six-speed automatic transmission. In addition, there is an AWD or front drive vehicle with a 3.5 liter V-6 engine streaming 270 horsepower joined to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Finally a hybrid with the Hybrid Synergy System is available that sports a 3.5 liter V-6 engine with 209 horsepower coupled to a dual electric motor, which together output a total 270 horsepower, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Traditionally plentiful Toyota standard safety features abound in the Highlander, whose fuel economy has improved over the years but is not yet an industry example.

New for 2011

For 2011, changes for the Toyota Highlander included a slight redesign of the front end, updates to the interior, and improved fuel economy.

Essentials

Engines: 2.7L I-4, 3.3L V-6, 3.5L V-6
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission
Body Style: SUV
Trims: Base Sport Utility, Limited Sport Utility, Hybrid

On the Outside

More rounded than the last generation, the Highlander looks more like a crossover than a traditional SUV. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard. Optional features include19-inch alloys, retractable power heated side-view mirrors, and chrome accents.

From the Inside

While the Toyota Highlander can come configured to accommodate as many as seven passengers, the SUV's standard configuration seats five and the second row is removable. Among the options are leather seats, 10-way power driver seat, and six-speaker audio.

Driving Performance

Equipped with a3.5-liter V-6 engine in a seven-seat all-wheel drive sport configuration, the Highlander accelerates rapidly, reaching 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and running the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds at 87.7 mph. The Highlander came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet. Handling on the Highlander is adequate, but the tires are noisy during hard cornering.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety features on the Toyota Highlander are driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, three-row side curtain airbags, and a driver knee airbag. Also standard are anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, stability control, and traction control.

Gas Mileage

Base: 17-20 mpg city/23-27 mpg highway
Sport, Limited: 17-18 mpg city/23-24 mpg highway
Hybrid: 27 mpg city/25 mpg highway

Plusses

  • Versatile space saver
  • Excellent engine power
  • Family friendly

Minuses

  • Engine noise at high speeds
  • Pricey options
  • Third row not stowable

Rating

Family-friendly, space configurable SUV seating five to seven passengers

People Who Like the 2011 Toyota Highlander Also Like

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Honda Pilot
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Hyundai Veracruz

See the New 2014 Highlander.

Front & Driver Side View

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