2017 Toyota Highlander Review
Pros & Cons
- Just-right exterior and interior size for many families
- Standard high-tech safety features
- Strong V6 engine with improved fuel economy
- Quiet and compliant ride
- Third-row seat isn't as roomy as those of many competitors
- Touchscreen and other controls may require an extra-long reach
- Undesirable base four-cylinder engine
List Price Range
$24,395 - $40,900
Used Highlander for SaleSee all for sale
Which Highlander does Edmunds recommend?
For starters, we do not recommend the base LE with its standard four-cylinder engine, which is much slower than the V6 and less efficient, too. Although you can specify the V6 on the LE, our favorite model is the one-step-up LE Plus. It includes the V6 and all the necessities, as well as niceties such as a flip-up rear window, tri-zone climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen and a power liftgate. Fancier models provide garnishes such as leather upholstery and heated front seats, but we'd only wish for keyless entry and ignition (XLE and up).
Edmunds' Expert Review
An appealing combination of a powerful V6, proficient brakes and intuitive, precise steering, plus good handling and decent towing and off-road credentials place the Highlander among the class best.
Lexus-lite. The Highlander's seats, ride comfort and utterly silent atmosphere are nearly as good as you'll find in SUVs from corporate cousin Lexus.
With only a couple of exceptions (e.g., some long reaches for controls), the Highlander's interior is highly competitive in terms of access, space and ergonomics.
Overall cargo capacity is average for this segment, which means that there should be abundant room for most families. Small item storage is very good.
The 2017 Highlander's standard suite of safety technology is a nice plus, especially if you don't have the money for a range-topping model. The infotainment interface is is pleasantly easy to use.
|Overall||4.0 / 5|
Most helpful consumer reviews
LE 4dr SUV (2.7L 4cyl 6A)
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)!
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
We traded in our beloved 2007 Highlander for the 2017 because we needed the higher tow capacity. Wow, wow, wow! We feel enveloped in luxury and comfort. The 2017 has a much steadier ride, top quality materials and is more comfortable and roomy. We owned the Sport version previously because I hated the sloppy body roll on the regular 2007 Highlander. The XLE 2017 has a more responsive ride and corners better, it is much smoother and steadier overall and all of the seats are roomier and very comfortable. Love the telescoping steering wheel, front shelf and pop-up hatch window, too. I am struggling with the new technology, but learning to love and appreciate it fast. The Stop Start system works really well once you get the hang of how and when to use it and is almost undetectable in use. Some of the climate controls are not intuitive (update-after owning this vehicle for one month...I am STILL struggling with the climate controls...only thing I can complain about really) and wondering why MPH not digitally displayed. Hoping this new Highlander is as reliable as our 2007! I am 5'6" husband is 6'5" and we both find it very comfortable, my husband can't stop raving about this vehicle either. Wow! Look forward to every drive now! Update: No issues after a summer of driving and towing. Towing is strong and steady. 1 year update - Vehicle is great, no problems about 10,000 miles. Handles snow and ice superb, my old Highlander did not. Also the 4wd button option has been used numerous times and worked perfectly for the situation for us. EnTune is the only consistent headache for me. It doesn't always work well with my phone/Pandora accounts and I have to reconnect constantly (no Pandora music if I don't). Small issue with rear bumper 'melting' in a small spot near exhaust - Toyota is replacing at no charge. We love the vehicle, it is perfect for our lifestyle of mountain biking, camping, hauling dogs around for hikes and bikes.....2 year update-vehicle running great. No issues.
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Bought this car as a downsize. Traded in my 17 mpg Sequioia. This car is MUCH smaller, much easier to drive, and much more "car like". This is my second review. The car is roughly 5 months old & has 3600 miles. No mechanical problems thus far. The ride is comfortable. The front & middle seats are very spacious and comfortable. The dashboard display is clear & intuitive. Ride comfort is very good, but to be fair, roads where I live are very smooth. Those who have criticized this car's acceleration are misguided. We drive with the car in "eco" mode. Acceleration is MORE THAN ADEQUATE!!!! Step on the gas, and the car moves. Overall mileage has been spot on EPA estimates: roughly 22 mpg, with a bias of 65% to 75% city driving. As for highway mileage, we took our first "semi-long" highway drive the other day, 300 miles round trip, 95% highway driving, set the cruise control at 68 mpg, and realized 28.4 mph upon fill up. So, a 290 hp 3 row SUV, with full time all wheel drive, with air conditioning running the whole time, returned 28.4 mpg over a 300 mile trip. Need I say anymore about fuel efficiency? Pretty impressive, in my opinion. If this car holds up like previous Toyotas, it's a no brainer, and should be on anyone's short list of 3 row. mid-sized SUVs. 11 months and 9,000 into ownership, we have only grown to appreciate this car more.
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
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!!
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Highlander models:
- Forward Collision Warning/Auto-Brake
- Can detect and automatically brake for other cars and pedestrians.This standard feature is optional on its competitors.
- Lane Departure Alert and Steering Assist
- Helps keep you in your lane. Another typically optional feature that is standard.
- Driver Knee & Passenger Cushion Airbags
- Not every competitor has these extra airbags for front occupants. They are standard.