2017 Toyota Highlander

Starting MSRP: $30,630 - $46,260

Estimated MPG: 20 city / 24 hwy

2017 Toyota Highlander Review

The 2017 Toyota Highlander is a family-friendly midsize SUV with a versatile three-row cabin and impressive levels of standard safety technology.

By Charles Krome
Last Updated 07/05/2017

A four-cylinder engine is standard for the Highlander, which also offers a V6 and all-wheel drive for all six models: LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE (new for 2017), Limited and Limited Platinum. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is available as well and reviewed separately.

Toyota has introduced an extensive range of updates for the 2017 Highlander, including restyled grilles and newly standard LED taillights. All Highlander grades also now have the Toyota Safety Sense P system as standard equipment. The optional V6 is revised for 2017, as is that engine’s eight-speed automatic transmission. In Highlander trims above the LE level, the V6 powertrain further welcomes a new stop/start system. A 360-degree camera system and second-row bench seating are new features for the Highlander Limited, although captain’s chairs remain available.

Exterior

Exterior

The front of the Highlander takes on a more imposing look for 2017, thanks to a redesigned grille with bold lower bars that extend its size both vertically and horizontally. Resculpted fog light pockets accent the face of the Highlander and are set off at the back by restyled LED taillights. Large wheel arches also stand out from the SUV’s drawn-in flanks, and they’re filled with standard 18-inch alloy wheels. Heated outside mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators are standard on all Highlander trims.

Higher Highlander grades have mirror-mounted puddle lights, LED daytime running lights and up to 19-inch wheels, with the SE trim getting sporty cues like dark-painted accents and model-specific 19-inch wheels. Other available premium content for the Highlander includes a power moonroof, a panoramic moonroof and a power-operated rear liftgate.

Interior

Interior

The standard Highlander cabin offers fabric-trimmed seating with second- and third-row bench seats, while Toyota’s SofTex (leatherette) and leather appointments are provided on higher grades. For additional comfort, the standard front and rear climate system can be enhanced with tri-zone automatic climate control. The front seats can be heated and ventilated, and Toyota offers heating for the outboard second-row positions with bench seating, as well as for the optional captain’s chairs. A heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel also is available.

A small ledge built into the dashboard is a distinctive and helpful storage resource. Then, more extensive cargo capacity can be found at the back, where the Highlander has 13.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row. That row folds flat to open up 42.3 cubic feet of space behind the second row, and both rows can be folded for a total of 83.7 cubic feet of storage.

Performance

Performance

The 2017 Highlander comes with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. An optional 3.5-liter V6, which features Toyota’s new D-4S fuel-injection system and an eight-speed automatic transmission, provides more capability and higher fuel economy ratings. The bigger engine makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, enabling the Highlander to tow up to 5,000 pounds and achieve EPA ratings of 20/27 mpg city/highway. The four-cylinder engine has a tow rating of 1,500 pounds and fuel-efficiency grades of 20/24 mpg city/highway.

Toyota’s Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel-drive system also is offered for all V6 Highlander models, and the Highlander SE has a standard sport-tuned suspension.

Technology

Technology

The Highlander’s newly standard Safety Sense P bundle relies on radar and camera assistance for automatic braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. A rearview camera also is standard for all Highlanders.

On the XLE and higher grades, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is standard, while the top Highlander trim has a 360-degree vision system with Perimeter Scan, for a live video stream of the vehicle’s immediate surroundings.

Entune audio leads off the Highlander standard infotainment offerings, complete with a 6.1-inch touch screen and Bluetooth connectivity. An 8-inch screen is standard for LE Plus and higher trims, which also offer navigation, premium audio, an app interface, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-Ray compatibility.