This is the only vehicle I've ever owned that I've enjoyed more than my '69 El Camino. The roominess is perfect to those long drives to Florida from Virginia and the suspension seems incredibly smooth. Also, it has 5 USB chargers which judging by the lack of bickering between my grand kids, is a great thing for keeping them pre occupied on their I-Andriods and bluetooth players. The engine is also smooth as silk and has the peppiness I need when pulling out into Florida traffic (people drive like animals)!
I took delivery of this car just a month ago, so this is a preliminary review. I can't comment on reliability, maintenance cost, etc. I haven't owned the car long enough, but my experience with Toyota has always been outstanding. Currently, we only have 750 miles on the car, so most of the "review categories" with respect to reliability & value that I rated "OK or N/A" could not be rated because I haven't driven the car enough. So, disregard those. This car for me was a downsizing. We traded in a 2011 Sequoia SR 5 4WD with 54,000 miles. It had never been back to the dealership after delivery and was trouble free. We purchased the car in November '11, after the '12s were on sale, and walked out the door with the $40,850 sticker price Sequoia for $35K exactly. Anyone who disputes Toyota's resale value, I received $22K for this trade 61 months later and 54K miles later. So the car cost me $213/month. I couldn't have leased it for that price. Additionally, Earl Stewart Toyota in Palm Beach, FL discounted my new Highlander by $2700 off the sticker. No hassle, no haggle. What a great dealership!!!! Now for the Highlander. The XLE for 2017 now comes with blind spot monitoring, radar cruise control & lane departure warning standard. These were not available on XLE trim in 2016. It also comes with start/stop technology & Toyota's new 8 speed transmission. It cost about the same as the 2016 model that didn't have these features. The Highlander is much smaller than the Sequoia, (193 inches vs. 205, and a little smaller in width) and is much easier to drive. There is plenty of space in the front & middle rows. It is the 3rd row and cargo area where most of the space is lost. Space it tight back there compared to the Sequoia for any adult no matter how much the front two rows are adjusted. The only 3 row, mid-sized SUV with a roomier 3rd row was the Honda Pilot, but it's interior design paled in comparison to the Toyota & the advanced safety features I mentioned required taking a high trim level Pilot costing $1000s more than the Highlander. With the third row folder, cargo capacity is generous, though not as large as that of a Honda Pilot. As far as performance is concerned, even though we keep the Highlander in "economy mode", acceleration is plenty brisk, and there is no trouble merging onto a highway. Those who report this car is underpowered are misguided. It's not!!!! It's not a Mustang GT or Corvette fast, but next to the Pilot, CX-9, Pathfinder & MDX, it is class competitive. The interior is very well put together, somewhat elegant, with lots of storage and the leather seats that are very comfortable. The ride is generally supple, especially on smoother roads, but harsher impacts are a little more noticeable than in the Sequoia. The back up camera & navigation work extremely well. So far mileage appears to be better than expected. We drive conservatively, which helps. Doing mostly stop & start, city driving (75 to 80% of the time), with the air conditioner on, Tank 1 yielded 21.5 mpg and tank # 2 returned 22.5 mpg. EPA is 20/26. The start/stop technology works well, but it can be felt. So far, We are extremely pleased with the Highlander. It's perfect for a family of four or five, provided the 5 aren't all adult size individuals. I'll post an updated review in a few months once we have accumulated a few thousand miles.
Our new Toyota Highlander with the XLE package has been in the shop even before we received our license plates! We did have 5 1/2 weeks of "new car happiness". Then, while out of town, the tailgate would no longer close (automatically or manually). Then the automatic open/close completely ceased working as well. It is designed so you can manually move the tailgate up and down, but with the latch in locked position and refusing to open, we could no longer secure the door closed. I removed the access panel for the latch and tried to open it, unsuccessfully After calling and speaking with service departments at two dealerships and to a Toyota phone rep, we were still unable to resolve closing the tailgate. In fairness, the service departments did several steps of troubleshooting with me over the phone. But to no avail, - during our 140 mile trip back home, I secured the tailgate with a rope connected to the locked latch. I visited the dealership after returning home. They said the latch has malfunctioned. They also could not open it. The electronics for the auto opening & closing tailgate and the struts (lifters) may also need replacing. They ordered a new latch and said they would replace one thing at a time and troubleshoot until resolved. No time estimate was given since they couldn't tell how many components would need replacing. I asked about a loaner vehicle, while the work was to be done. The dealership said that they don't have loaners, but they do have rentals. They said they were unwilling to "loan" me a rental, because they'd have to bill Toyota for the rental fee. How's that for taking care of your customers!!
I can't stop raving about my new Highlander! I saw the Pilot and MDX at the dealers and read a lot about the other competitors, Explorer, Traverse, Acadia, etc. It has more standard features than the base level MDX or even a comparable Pilot - for example, to get the 2nd row Captain's Chairs in the Pilot you have to go to the highest trim level or to get the Honda Sensing safety features you have to pay 1,000, also Navigation is extra (at least on the EX-L). I love all the standard safety features that are included in the Toyota (collision mitigation, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, etc.) and it comes with optional Captain's Chairs (which are very comfortable) on the XLE. Yes, the 3rd row seating is smaller than the Pilot but we don't intend to use it that often and when we do it will be mainly for children so that was not a big issue for us. The rear seat cargo room when the 3rd row is up is smaller than the Pilot but again, we don't anticipate that being a big issue and I believe it is bigger than the other cars in this class. The fuel economy is what you would expect for a car of this size and weight. I did not get the AWD on purpose because we don't need it and it just adds expense, but having said that, finding a FWD was very hard - I call my car the "unicorn" because it was so hard to find. I look forward to driven this car every time I get into it!
Very comfortable crossover with nice interior. I am 6'4" and have plenty of room in the drivers seat. The standard safety features include dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic warning and pedestrian warning all work well and enhance the safety of the vehicle. Start-stop function is smooth and responsive and can be disabled if the driver does not want the added fuel savings. New 6 cylinder engine with 8 speed transmission proved sufficient power and smooth acceleration. The third row seating is limited and can only be used for adults during short trips or kids. Quality interior and exterior fit and finish.