The crossover SUV segment is witnessing intense competition and Toyota is in no mood to let the Korean and US rivals walk away with all the accolades, and buyer interest, for that matter! The Toyota Highlander, a midsize crossover SUV based on the Camry platform has been a hot seller from the stable of this Japanese company. In some markets, it is also known as Toyota Kluger. It does have a truck like, rugged yet family-friendly vehicle appearance. The 2017 Highlander has been spruced up by Toyota to take on the growing competition well. The model, shown at the recent New York Auto Show earlier this year drew attention. A new sporty SE trim is the newest addition for 2017.
2017 Toyota Highlander – Stylish Exterior and Interior Design
There is no denying the fact that 2017 Toyota Highlander looks stunning, from any angle. The 2017 Toyota Highlander gets a new grille and there are various finish options across trims. The lower trims get silver paint on grille while higher trims get chrome finish. The backside is also enticing, to say the least. The top end Limited and Platinum trims get a chrome strip on the back bumper. The new hues available across all trims are – Toasted Walnut Pearl and Celestial Silver Metallic. The sporty themed Highlander SE gets 19-inch alloy wheels and dark tinted grille along with roof rails. It also has an exclusive hue- Salsa Red Pearl. The 2017 Toyota Highlander is available in 6 trims – LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, SE and Limited Platinum.
Inside the cabin, 2017 Toyota Highlander looks elegant and sleek. The Highlander SE has black leather upholstery with contrasting silver stitching. The Limited Platinum model is equipped with a brown leather theme. You may opt for 7 and 8 passenger seating setups. Like all category contenders, the third row of seats in Highlanders is quite cramped and adults will jostle for space. Thankfully, there are total 5 UPS ports for charging mobile devices and so you will not fear running out of Smartphone battery.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander is loaded to the brim when it comes to safety and technology. The vehicle is equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which includes features like the pre-collision system, pedestrian pre-collision system, lane departure alert, automatic high beams and dynamic radar cruise control. These advanced safety features are much appreciated in a midsized crossover. The XLE trim gets blind spot monitor and Limited Platinum version gets a Bird’s Eye View Camera. Of course, there are the expected set of airbags and three-point seatbelts.
2017 Toyota Highlander – Modification under the Hood
The 2017 Toyota Highlander gets equipped with a V6 3.5-liter direct-injected engine and it will have an eight-speed automatic continuously variable transmission unit too. The output is not exactly known but Toyota says it will be more powerful than the predecessor. Barring the base trim, all models get engines with the stop-start system to enhance mileage. The Hybrid models remain mechanically unchanged and they get a 231 hp V6 engine and an electric motor so that the net output is 280 hp. You can opt for either AWD or FWD. The engine will be powerful enough for both highway drive and little bit off-roading.
2017 Toyota Highlander – Expected Date of Arrival and Price
It is expected that the price of 2017 Toyota Highlander will go up compared to the predecessor. The base version will get a price tag close to $31000. The hybrid version may cost as much as $50,000. The car will be sold at the end of 2016.
There is no denying the fact that Toyota has done a nice job of revamping the Highlander for 2017. The design is sleek and somewhat aggressive. Based on the trim you buy, customization options are abundant. Toyota says the enhanced drive train will offer excellent fuel economy. The 2017 Highlander also has a nice cabin with a focus more on practicality and comfort than sheer luxury quotient. While the car ticks most of the boxes, it will still face some competition. Its main rival will be the updated Ford Explorer with new EcoBoost engines. It matches the Highlander in almost every department including pricing. The Dodge Durango is another contender worth considering. However, in the final analysis, the Toyota Highlander 2017 scores well owing to its blend of style, performance, features and safety options.