Reviews

2018 Toyota Highlander Walk Around


The grille and headlamps are aggressive although not distinctive. The Highlander looks like other SUVs, bigger than midsize. Its big square lines make it look more like a truck-based SUV than a smooth crossover.

The grille is angular and protruding; it adds 1.3 inches to the Highlander’s already-long length. It’s silver on lower trim models, black on the SE, and platinum on the Limited, with lights that spell Highlander on the ground. Sounds goofy but it’s cool.

Interior

The instrument panel has a light touch of truck in it, in the SE model, which goes away as soon as the premium touchscreen comes. Bless those big knobs on the climate control. And big gauges. And no less than five USB ports, and many cubbies, plus an opening storage box on the dash.

The cabin is refined and quiet, with acoustic glass and floor insulation. Almost luxurious. The dashboard is flat and rich. The lines and textures mostly mix well, although they can get busy, which makes the cabin feel less calm than it might.

The long wheelbase of 110 inches allows good room inside, but that’s not quite long enough for an adult-sized third row. Most models have a sliding second-row bench that splits 60/40 and seats three, to make eight passengers; but the Limiteds offer captain’s chairs, or seven passengers.

The so-counted three-seat third row is very small, with little headroom or legroom, kids only. However it is possible for two adults to reach the seats and fit into them. But the third row folds flat, so if you don’t need the space for children, there’s 42.3 cubic feet behind the second row; and with that row folded it’s 83.7 behind the front row, enough room for bunk beds.

The front seats are good, but only the Limited model gets power adjustment; it’s an option with the others. Another option is cooled seats, if you don’t mind feeling hardware through the seat.

The optional sunroof takes up headroom, but you can recline the second row and look up at the sky.

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