Note: This review also applies to the 2013 Toyota Highlander as no major changes were made since the 2012 Toyota Highlander.
This 2012 Toyota Highlander video review goes over safety, fuel economy, price and interior space, along with features like navigation and a back-up camera. We also compare it to other large family crossover SUVs.
Whether you're running errands or taking a summer road trip, a successful family car has to make everyday life with kids easier. And the Toyota Highlander does just that in most ways. It's a well-rounded three-row crossover that's comfy, handles like a car, and has some great family-friendly features. But is it right for you?
The Toyota Highlander starts at about $29,000 for a base model but can run higher than $45,000 for a top-of-the-line Limited with lots of options. This Limited with navigation, rear-seat DVD system and towing package costs about $42,000.
Performancewise, the V6 engine feels peppy and brisk, with fuel economy that's right in line with the competition: 19 mpg combined. A four-cylinder Highlander is rated at 22 mpg combined.
The optional voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, rear DVD entertainment system and a back-up camera boost the Toyota's family car status and are easy to use.
A favorite feature inside the quiet, attractive cabin is the second row's removable seat. It turns the bench into two captain's chairs, allowing easy access to the third row. And while we're back there, be warned: it's a kids-only zone. If you need to seat six or seven adults, you're better off with almost any of its competitors. Along those lines, one of the Highlander's few faults is that it has less overall passenger and cargo space than you get in other large crossovers.
Safety is a top priority for a family car, and the Toyota Highlander doesn't disappoint. The government gave it a crash test rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick.
Though the Toyota Highlander is a strong contender, this is a competitive segment and you'd be smart to test drive the Highlander's many competitors.