2009 Toyota Highlander SUV Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Pros: Very sharp looking SUV. Nice lines. Paint and trim seem to be above par. Quiet when driving and it has a great sound system with the JBL 6 Disc. Very smooth shifting vehicle with plenty of power from the V6. Cons: Front seats are not designed for men. I'm 6'1" tall and find it hard to get into a comfortable driving position. Seats are also way too hard and do not offer enough leg support. The Sport model rides rough on uneven surfaces. However, it is very smooth on even highway roads. Currently experiencing an odd shutter at light throttle use. This is a random event and may go away with time once the computer learns our driving habits. Overall: Nice vehicle for my wife.
More then one MP3 port. Bad location of MP3 port. Door side moldings to protect the doors. Mud flaps standard. Power passenger seat on the Sport model. Seat memory. Bigger front seats for men. Dual exhaust with chrome tips. Split third row seat. Second row needs a real seat in the middle.
2009 Toyota Highlander SUV Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Bought for more than 7 months and like it more every day. Blind spots was a concern at first but big rear mirrors ease the worry. A great highway cruiser as my main purpose to buy. Drive is smooth but not sporty even good power V6. Leans quite a bit in sharp turn but secure with light steering, low road feel and average steering response. The keyless start and power hatch are great plus for every day use. Most materials used are good quality except some textured hard plastic. Better than FORD and GM comparable models. Truck space is tight when 3rd row seat is up, which is not split and has tight leg room. Center on the 2nd row is too small but outside seats are comfy.
Backup camera in navi screen. Large rotary knobs for temp control and stereo. Keyless start, power hatch door. Clear instrument dials and no reflection under the sun. Foldable 2nd row center seat and hide away for 3rd row entry. Puddle lamps to enter and exit the car.
NAVI lacks speak of street name which my <$200 portable unit can. Narrow and short 2nd row center seat for long trip. No split 3 row for carrying long item with 2-3 passengers. Quicker and heavier steering; 6-sp Tranny for V-6; more space behind the 3rd row.
2009 Toyota Highlander SUV 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
It's an amazing upgrade from my 98 Madza MPV all-sport. Drives like a sedan. Sometimes I felt it's even quieter than my wife's 04 Camry. The engine is powerful and quiet even when driving up the Cottonwood canyon mountain resorts. Well designed interior controls, which are large and easy to reach. Storage is plenty with many cup-holders. I consistently get 21 mpg (city/highway combined) for my commute to work. Trip to California in July on highway and gets consistent 24 mpg. View isn't as good as my MPV (maybe I'm still trying to get used to it).
Interior controls, storage, leg room on all rows, powerful engine and quiet ride.
I'm very happy about my decision. I was looking for a SUV to replace my VW Passat which is economical and could satisfy my SUV Dreams. I'm happy that I purchased this base model highlander. For my regular commute it give 24 in average and for longer trips it give 26.5mpg. Handling is very good and very very comfortable. Dealer converted the seats to leather for $1099 with heated seats (front and second row). I will recommend this car to anyone without any regret.
Safety and fuel efficient 4 cylinder. Second Row air conditioner vents.
Trunk door should be powered by default. It is a little bit heavy to close. Antenna should be internal. The second row center seat should be wider in case of two row models. Exterior looks could be improved little bit.
I purchased the car this weekend. Hard to find a 4cyl with the third seat. Drove ~300 miles to pick it up, so I got a little highway time and have driven it around town some. I drove both the 6cyl and 4cyl models and really like the balance of the 4 with the 6 speed transmission. Sure, it won't win any drag races, but the performance is very good. If you want a sports car, buy one. I got ~26mpg on a brand new motor driving 75 mph. Mileage will only improve once it's broken in. So far - love the Highlander. Rated reliability high from my experience with my other Toyota products.
Interior, exterior, gas mileage. Love the little LED that just barely illuminates the console area. Second row seats are fantastic.
Would like a trip computer and outside temperature on the base model - even my $16K Scion has that...