Home Automobiles Steve Test Drives The Significantly Updated 2017 Highlander

Steve Test Drives The Significantly Updated 2017 Highlander

Now entering its 4th year, this 3rd generation 3-row Highlander receives significant updates for 2017.

Highlights include a more powerful engine, extra gears for the automatic transmission, a new Stop/Start system, expanded safety tech, refreshed styling and a sporty new SE grade.  Using a 3.5-liter V6 with direct fuel-injection takes output to 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque.

Combined with a new 8-speed automatic, the V6 Highlander demonstrates greater acceleration and passing abilities while also delivering better fuel economy.  Aided by a start/stop engine system, the Highlander V6 AWD gains 2mpgs in combined driving, now rated at 22.  Of course, 4-cylinder and front drive models continue to be offered but it’s the V6 powertrain which returns the best mileage of the non-hybrid Highlanders.

All Highlander V6 models come standard with a towing package that allows for a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.   Using camera and radar technology, the Highlander comes standard with a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. New grille finishes, redesigned LED taillights, and 3 new exterior colors update the look while this SE Grade gets its own unique sporty stance atop 19” wheels controlled by a specially tuned suspension designed to tighten handling agility.

With seating for up to 8, even on the top-of-the-line Limited and Limited Platinum grades, Toyota has added 4 USB ports bringing the total to 5.

Highlander shoppers can choose from 8 models including 3 hybrids with a starting MSRP of $31,570.  A range-topping Hybrid Limited Platinum nears $50,000.

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