A Toyota Highlander is always been a. Middle of the pack player for us. But it looks like Toyota wants to change that. By adding a new powertrain changing some of the design styling and also offering more trim levels. It’s take a look under the hood. New styling on the 2017 Toyota Highlander. Instead of the previous kind of angular shape it had before now there’s almost a. Here in middle is that even a word I more of a pyramid here on the front grille but under the hood though this is one thing we wish they would have changed this thing weighs. Hon. But the story here is a brand new DeFore 3.5 liter V6. 295 horsepower 263 foot pounds of torque and it’s made it up to an 8 speed transmission now this is the same engine that’s in the new Tacoma and in the news Sienna minivan but neither of them get the 8 speed transmission that’s going to be exclusive here in the beginning just for the Highlander. But also with this new powertrain comes more fuel efficiency. Now the Highlander has 20 miles to the gallon in the city – 27 miles to the gallon on the highway.
Huge improvement from the engine it’s replacing. The first time we saw this new 2017 Highlander was at the New York Auto Show how was our first opportunity to see what this new vehicle is all about but we have had 1 of our test drivers take this out on the road and from his reactions doesn’t sound like the engine is really providing as much fun and power as some of the numbers might make it sound like. There is a new sport package.
Which has a slightly stiffer suspension but again hard test driver said he didn’t feel that sporty this is still a pretty big and heavy crossover for anybody that wants to try to push it around corner some maybe that’s not the way this thing should be driven. There’s still plenty to like in this new vehicle tons of cargo space you can have 7 or 8 passenger configurations you can even have a pass through in the middle if you want those captain chairs in the second row.
Second row in particular is one of our favorite aspects of this Highlander and the previous Highlander in that the track can move forward and back to accommodate either cargo or passengers depending on how big they are or how long their legs are. One of the things we still don’t like is there’s no android auto or apple CarPlay that’s something that should change fast. We also like the fact that there’s some new trim packages namely the sportier Essie models and also to trim packages with the hybrid the elderly and the XLE. So if you have a growing family I or even a large family this might be the vehicle for you.