Above average mechanical performance with excellent fit and finish inside and out. One of the best AWD vehicles I have driven in rain or snow and it tows my light kayak trailer (less than 750 lbs.) extremely well. Toyota finally got it right on the steering wheel feel. You now have decent feedback versus the numb, vague or non-existent feel of the past. However, the seats are uncomfortable for front and rear passengers as they are somewhat narrow and short. The driver's seat has a lot of adjustment options where the bottom can be extended and the seatback has an excellent lumbar adjustment which makes it a decent seat. If the same adjustments were available on the front passenger seat, there would be less complaints from my fellow passengers. The third row seat is only useful for very small children. The Limited should only offer second row captain's seats as an option as is the case for lower trims. Likewise, the 19 inch wheels that come standard on this trim should be an option as they do not contribute to ride quality. In case you did not know, Chrome-tech means plastic. So those upgraded 19 inch wheels have plastic hub caps bonded to them and are not true alloy wheels. The same material is used on the roof rails. This was a quite disappointing discovery to be made on a vehicle that lists for almost $45K even if there may be some advantages to using this material. However, the bottom line is that this vehicle offers very good value at its price point and is a viable option compared to an Acura MDX AWD Tech as the interior dimensions are quiet similar.
I was driving a Toyota Sienna so I was used to more cargo space and a different console setup between the front seats. The console in this car is so big and tall that you could put a baby in it. It is hard to get to the seat belt latches next to it, which means wide people should not buy this car because you will find using the seat belt difficult. I am an average size person and I have to get my hand squeezed down beside the console to unlatch the seat belt.
My audio system LCD also seems to have a bug in it when it is cold. It is non-responsive for up to 15 minutes of driving. You can only change the volume until it warms up--nothing else, no radio station changes etc. None of the buttons beside the panel work either. When it does wake it, sometimes it doesn't beep, but most of the time it beeps and often changes the station to the one at the bottom of the list. Then it might decide to go into Search Station mode. It may beep a number of times and you have to try to stop the Search so it won't replace all of your stations. Of course, it wasn't cold when I took it to the dealer and they couldn't help me. Every morning and evening is different in how it acts when it "wakes up".
It drives beautifully and handles well on snow and ice here in Michigan for the month I have owned it. The third seat will do for kids or small people for a short ride. It is a big step up to get back there.
This is my second Highlander. The first was an 2003 LE. I recently gave it to my daughter with 139000 miles on it. Because I loved my 03 so much, we decided the new car would also be a Highlander. This time we went all out and purchased the Limited Platinum. This car has 4 owners manuals! I've made it through them all. This car has all the bells and whistles! I particularly am enjoying the blind spot warning, lane departure and the cruise control feature that keeps you a safe distance from the car in front of you. I must admit this took a little getting used to, but now I truly appreciate the way the car speeds up or slows down on its own while using the cruise feature. The lift gate is also easy to operate. You must use the operating handle, but you don't need to manually unlock the door first if you are keeping the key in your purse. I do like the easy lock/unlock features on the doors as well. The interior is very attractive, spacious and comfortable. I love that I can fit my tote style handbag safely away in the deep storage unit between the front seat! It's also wide enough for me to fish around for anything I need in my bag, and there is also roo, for me to store all my favorite CDs in there as well. The back seat captains chairs are very comfortable and ride very well. There are retractable window shades for added comfort. This is great for traveling with babies! We haven't even used the third row seats, but they are ready when needed. The cargo area without the third row is very spacious! Four adults could easily travel with all their luggage for at least a week or more including beach chairs and coolers! The entune system is great! It has local weather, traffic,Bluetooth pairing for listening to your favorite music on your phone, or on the apps you can install such as i??radio, Pandora, and others. You get a three month subscription to Sirius. The navigation system will not allow you to get lost! It reconfigures if you miss a turn without making you feel bad, it simply and redirects you without that annoying "recalculating" you get with other system. I love the sunny interior when you unshaded the cabin with the panoramic moon roof. I just love my new car, and am looking forward to many years of pleasurable driving!
Overall, the highlander is a good car. Soft ride with good acceleration...but you have very little feel of the road. Everything seems very well put together and of high quality. Basically, this seems like your typical Toyota vehicle. However, the instrument panel seems to have been designed by someone new to the technology. Most of the options won't save as default, the GPS is horrible, and trying to use the touch screen while driving is too distracting. The menus aren't intuitive, and thingshe that should be prominent one click buttons require use of sub menus. These are things that you don't notice on a test drive, but really get on your nerves after having the car for a month.
Now I know why Toyota is the worlds best selling !
written on 06-08-2016
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
My Highlander is the top of the line with every option. It is very lux and actually an easy replacement for my previous SUV a BMW X5. It is lighter by 1000 lbs and has 45 fewer bhp. The performance is comparable and the quality is superior! I'm looking forward to not having $3000 repair bills to replace an alternator and then an air conditioning compressor.