With its fuel-efficient engine lineup, full complement of safety features and easygoing demeanor, the 2006 Toyota Highlander is one of our top recommendations to those who need SUV utility but don't want any unnecessary bulk or fuel bills.
by toyotalover on Jan 6, 2010 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Always wanted a Toyota and I love driving it now as much as I did at first. Always dependable, no problems whatsoever. I like the tight steering, low turning radius... drives like a car. Easy to handle, even when loaded with weight. 4 cyl. is plenty of power for me. Big enough for my 6'2 stocky husband. I get about 20-22 MPG mixed city/hwy driving... wish it was more, but hey, I can't complain. I love this vehicle.
by powerpark on Jun 6, 2009 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
We bought the 4 instead of the six. Good Gas mileage , the ride is great and does not lean in the turns. It handles a lot like a car. I have the 2 wheel drive. I think without the extra drag on the drive train we are getting better mpg. As far as snow. The highlander has good ground clearance. And with the good tires and front wheel drive it should be ok. The sunroof is great. But needs a wind deflector. Very nice car. Thanks Toyota!
by Pedro on Oct 21, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I bought a 2006 Toyota Highlander in July. It was a good purchase but a little more than I could afford - dealers have a way of making you spend more than you should. I love the color and the smell of the car although I bought it used with only 8700 miles. The ride is good but a little noisy - it may be wind noise when the windows are down. Gas mileage seems pretty good but not as good as I was promised. I drive mostly in the city and get about 19 to 20 miles to the gallon. I have a large family and needed the extra seating. The rear seat is a little cramped for my older ones but it is OK for my younger kids. I hope this is a reliable car.
by Barbara F on Aug 1, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I bought this SUV late June after considering multiple sedans and other model SUVs. I test drove the Highlander and instantly fell in love with the drive and comfort. So far, gas mileage is OK (haven't really officially clocked city and highway) and the air conditioning system is great! (Cools the car within seconds.) Overall, this car is a great value for the money. The 4 cylinder engine has enough pep for both highway and city driving so I didn't see a need to purchase the V6 model.
by Tom P on Jul 15, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Not many 4 cyl SUVs drive and have the ride this one does. I get great gas mileage (25+) I also liked the feature that this suv is rated to tow a 3,000 lb trailer. I was impressed by that because most of the crossover suvs can only tow 1,000 lbs. The brakes could stop on a dime.
by Mark on Jul 12, 2006 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Very good vehicle for the money. Ride is very comfortable. Fun to drive. 4 cyl. is not lacking in power. I'm sure 6 cyl. is more powerful, but I chose better gas mileage. So far getting 25.3 MPG highway using air conditioning. Two things could be better. Front seats are too short. Doesn't support my legs as well as my old Explorer. Otherwise, seats are very comfortable. Steering wheel only tilts a little. Explorer steering wheel tilt had greater range of movement and I liked the lower position. Highlander steering wheel doesn't go low enough for me.
A Sport trim level debuts and revised SAE testing procedures have resulted in reductions in the stated horsepower and torque ratings, though actual output is unchanged.
The Toyota Highlander SUV debuted in 2001. It was one of the first midsize "crossover" SUVs to appear, and Toyota designed it to complement the more rugged and trucklike 4Runner. The Highlander has a carlike unibody design which leads to better handling, less cabin noise, improved crashworthiness and easier entry and exit for passengers.
The Toyota Highlander is meant for people who like the image and versatility of an SUV but prioritize the ride, handling and comfort of a sedan. Think of the Highlander as an oversize Camry wagon that went clothes shopping at REI, and you've got the general idea. Even in its sixth year on the market, the Highlander remains one of the better values for families who need a comfortable, easy-to-drive vehicle that can carry a fair amount of cargo, handle occasional snow and ice during the winter months and still turn in respectable fuel economy. Although you should definitely explore all your options in this segment, the 2006 Toyota Highlander offers a well-rounded package for the average crossover SUV buyer.
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Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The four-door Toyota Highlander SUV comes in three trims: base, Sport and Limited. The base models are decently equipped with items like 16-inch wheels; power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; air conditioning; keyless entry; and a CD player. The Sport spices things up with 17-inch polished alloys, sport suspension, foglights, color-keyed grille, chrome exterior trim, power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift and a CD player. The Limited features automatic headlights, 17-inch non-polished alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, power-adjustable front seats, a fold-flat third-row seat, an upgraded JBL sound system and HomeLink. Popular options for the Highlander include a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system, an in-dash CD changer, a tow package and, on the Limited trim, leather seating and a navigation system.
Powertrains and Performance
There are two engine choices for this Toyota SUV: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (that comes with the base Highlander) or a 3.3-liter V6 (optional on the base model and standard on the Sport and Limited trims). The four-cylinder makes 155 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, while the smooth V6 puts out 215 ponies and 222 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on four-cylinder models, while V6 Highlanders upgrade to a five-speed unit. Tow ratings are on the light side, the maximum being 3,500 pounds on a properly equipped V6 model. The Highlander comes in both front-wheel-drive (2WD) and all-wheel-drive configurations.
All Highlanders come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes equipped with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and BrakeAssist, a stability control system, a tire-pressure warning system and whiplash-reducing front seats. Optional on all models are seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and side curtain airbags for the first and second rows. In government crash testing, the 2006 Toyota Highlander scored five stars (out of a possible five) for frontal-impact protection. In side-impact tests, it again received five stars for both front and rear passengers. In frontal offset crash testing administered by the IIHS, the Toyota earned a "Good" rating (the best possible).
Interior Design and Special Features
The Highlander's passenger accommodations are reasonably spacious, but newer competitors offer more room in the second row. Ordering the third-row bench allows the Toyota SUV to seat two additional passengers, preferably small ones, for a total capacity of seven. Unfortunately, the second-row seat's lack of a flip-and-fold mechanism makes the third row tougher to access than most. When it's time to haul groceries, the third-row seat folds flat into the floor (without requiring removal of the headrests), opening up 38.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Drop the 60/40-split second-row seats and there are 81.4 cubes to go around.
A fully independent suspension delivers an excellent combination of comfort and control, although, like the Camry, most Highlanders favor ride quality over handling. Drivers looking for a flatter cornering attitude will want to consider the Sport version with its firmer suspension tuning. Regardless of trim level, the Highlander weighs less than many other crossover SUVs, giving a more nimble feel. The base four-cylinder engine provides adequate power for those who travel light, but most buyers will prefer the V6, which provides smooth, strong acceleration in all situations.
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