SUV segment is expanding fast since there is more and more demand for a three-row seat vehicles. The thing is they could be a little pricey, but for those who doesn’t want to spend a small fortune on a transportation vehicle there are much cheaper options. One of those is definitely Toyota Highlander. Its sales are steady growing from year to year to reach a record of 158.915 Highlanders sold in 2015 in the US alone. To further establish itself in mid-size crossover segment carmaker has updated and brought some changes to 2017 Toyota Highlander. It was officially unveiled at 2016 New York International Auto Show and some of the updates are revised styling, updated V6, new transmission, and new trim. Also, Hybrid options will cost less.
Note: Image of Toyota Highlander SE
2017 Toyota Highlander – Design And Tech
So when it comes to design, carmaker revised front grille with different finishes depending on chosen trim level. Also, designers revised headlights and rear lights. That’s not all, to further attract potential customers manufacturer added new exterior and interior colors. If you had problems before with connecting more devices at the same time, that will no longer be the case since Toyota added four more USB ports, totaling in five. Let’s just say for now that many safety features come as standard. Those are a forward-collision warning (with pedestrian detection), automatic pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams. In XLE trim you’ll get the blind-spot warning system, while in Limited Platinum there is a 360° view monitor.
Note: Image of Toyota Highlander SE interior
2017 Toyota Highlander – Safety
And now it’s a good time to mention that Highlander is one of the safest cars. Why do we say that? Well, if you have in mind that crash test are more demanding from year to year, just take a look at next sentence. IIHS rewarded Highlander with Top Safety Pick in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (that’s six years in a row). While in 2014, 2015, and 2016 it received more prestigious Top Safety Pick+. This carmaker managed to improve grade for 2016 model year on small overlap test from “A” (Acceptable) to “G” (Good). So we expect nothing less when it comes to safety from 2017 Toyota Highlander. But enough of that, let’s get to the engine options.
2017 Toyota Highlander – Drivetrains
The Japanese carmaker will continue to use 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic transmission and probably the same output of 185 horsepower. But engineers have revised the 3.5-liter V6 unit for 2017 Toyota Highlander and added Toyota’s D4-S direct injection fuel system. That’s not all. The Carmaker also ditched the six-speed automatic gearbox for the V6 range. The new eight-speed automatic transmission will take its place. For the V6 hybrid, it comes with electronically-controlled CVT. You could choose a hybrid version before, but it was only available in more priced trim version Limited ($48.770). So Toyota will put hybrid option in less pricey base LE and XLE trims. To further save fuel engineers added one more thing to 2017 Toyota Highlander and that is Stop-Start system which comes as standard (on all trims except base LE).
Note: Image of Toyota Highlander SE
2017 Toyota Highlander – SE Trim
But hybrid will not be available in a new trim we mentioned, and that’s SE and the reason for that is that carmaker designed SE trim to be more sporty. To achieve that Toyota put 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and the stiffened suspension. Designers also put dark-silver lower grille and roof rails of the same color. We already said that there are new colors but for this trim exterior comes only in Salsa Red Pearl. On the inside, you’ll find black leather seats with additional black accents. To contrast them seats have silver stitching. Of course, AWD is standard on this trim.
2017 Toyota Highlander – Price
Although 2017 Toyota Highlander was officially unveiled, pricing isn’t available. But since the sales will start this Fall, we will soon have that information too. But for now, we can say that even with all updates correction in price will be minimal. Toyota really wants to stay competitive in term of affordability. Speaking of competition, there are Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Santa Fe and many more.