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Original author here, with a few updates: Toyota Cares service has been unable to help solve the balance problems with the stereo. Sent them an image of how the fader is set, and they agreed that seems out of whack. They suggested I keep checking with the dealer, and perhaps a software update will eventually get pushed out that will fix it. Drove the car on a two-week vacation. The seats, which are quite cushy around town, were not particularly comfortable on a long trip. Volvo seats are wonderful on long hauls, and even my Mustang was pretty darned good on a 750-mile day I drove last year. The Highlander seats aren't terrible, but it's not the lap of luxury. That said, my kid loves the second-row captain's chairs. And the legroom there is awesome. The cheap parts of the interior have started to grate on me. The carpet is quite thin and cheap-seeming, and it was hard to get vacation beach sand vacuumed out. (Though I do think in general it's a good interior for vacuuming under seats and such.) And the material on the footwells behind/beneath the front seats, and on seatbacks elsewhere, is starting to get fuzzy and to pill. As one other reviewer noted, the interior has nicer materials from the waist up, but it gets cheap toward the floor. I can tell the interior is going to look ratty in no time. Deactivating the parking brake leads to an annoyance. My wife and I often forget that you release it with your foot. If you reach down for a hand release (out of habit from other cars), you wind up popping the hood. The hood release should be in a place other than where a parking brake release should be. As others have stated, the fixed roof racks are unimpressive. The car continues to run well, and it got good all-around mileage on the vacation -- 22 mpg, mostly highway with a Yakima pod on the roof. It was not especially pleasant to drive on mountain roads because the steering is sort of numb, without an obvious natural weighted center. That's one more way in which it's never going to be confused with a performance car -- nor even a car that was meant to please a driver. But it completes its primary mission: It hauls a lot of children.Report it
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