Roomy, good ground clearance, stylish and technology-filled interior, sleek exterior styling, available hybrid power and all-wheel drive
The 2016 Highlander is powered by a choice of three different drivetrains. Base models make due with a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine making 180 horsepower. In this guise, the Highlander is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The mid-level V6 displaces 3.5L and makes 270 horsepower, while the top of the line hybrid uses an electric motor in conjunction with a V6 to make 280 horsepower. The hybrid Highlander returns 27 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, extremely impressive numbers for a vehicle equipped with third-row seating. The Highlander comes standard in front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is an option for those who need it.
There are four trim levels offered on the 2016 Toyota Highlander: LE, LE Plus, XLE and Limited, which offers buyers plenty of options.
LE is the most basic trim, and is the only trim to feature the smaller 4-cylinder engine. However, it still comes loaded with 18-inch wheels, an Entune stereo with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a backup camera, Bluetooth streaming, heated mirrors, a couple of USB ports and third-row seating.
Stepping up to LE Plus adds a number of desirable items. Highlights include a height-adjustable power rear liftgate, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, satellite HD radio, 3-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The XLE trim includes a smart key and push-button start, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, roof rails to help secure extra luggage, rear window shades, an 8-inch touch screen, HomeLink, a navigation system and a moonroof.
The top-spec Limited trim offers 19-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, various parking aids and a blind-spot monitor, perforated leather seating, heated and cooled front seats, and a powered passenger seat. The Limited Highlanders are also the only trim that can be equipped with the optional hybrid powertrain.
Options include a Technology package with radar-controlled cruise control, a Lane Departure system and automatically dimming high beams; as well as a Platinum package, which includes everything in the technology package along with a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats and a panoramic moonroof. A Rear Seat Entertainment system is also optional.
Safety is aided by anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control, as well as optional items like a blind-spot monitor. Of course, should an accident occur, the Highlander is equipped with eight airbags in order to minimize any possible damage to its occupants.
The Toyota Highlander remains essentially unchanged for 2016. The tow package is now standard on all V6 Highlander models, while rain-sensing wipers are also new this year as an option. The Highlander is otherwise unaltered.
The Toyota Highlander is a mid-sized near-luxury crossover competing in a crowded segment where just about every major auto manufacturer has a hat in the ring. What makes the Highlander successful is its blend of technology, convenience and Toyota durability at the right price. With plenty of standard features, plus a bevy of options, all wrapped in an attractive package, the Highlander stands out in a crowded field.
Vehicle Price: 48,840.00
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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