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Energized by a more powerful V6, an available third-row seat and new safety features, the Highlander is again one of our top recommendations for those who need SUV utility but don't want any unnecessary bulk or fuel bills.
Seats up to seven, carlike ride and handling, smooth and powerful V6 engine, fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, lots of safety features.
Gets expensive quickly, limited towing and off-road ability, bland personality.
Available Highlander SUV Models
Use the Edmunds Pricing System to help you get the best deal:
For 2004, a larger 3.3-liter V6 replaces the 3.0-liter engine, resulting in 10 extra horsepower for a total of 230. Additionally, a fold-flat third-row seat (for two passengers) is now optional on base models and standard on the Limited. To keep the extra passengers content in back, a rear DVD entertainment system is available on Limited models. On the safety front, all Highlanders now come with an electronic stability control system and a tire-pressure warning system, while side curtain airbags for the first and second rows are optional across the board. Rounding out the changes are freshened exterior styling, new seat fabric, new instrument and door panel trim and a 5-hp boost for the base four-cylinder engine (now rated at 160).
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.