• New Standard Three-Row Seating with Rear Climate Control
• Four-Cylinder Engine Availability Expanded
• More Powerful and Advanced V6 for Highlander Hybrid
• New User Technology
The Highlander remains a popular family vehicle and caters to that market more effectively for 2011 with more standard amenities and user technologies. In particular, Base and SE grades feature more comfort and convenience features than previously offered. A standard 50/50 split third-row seat and manual rear climate control have been made standard for all 2011 models.
The Toyota Highlander offers three distinct types of performance: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine joined the lineup in 2009, offering an EPA-estimated 25 MPG rating in highway driving. The 2.7-liter engine produces 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of peak torque.
The Highlander continues to build on its strength of delivering one of the most capable, smooth and quiet rides in the segment. Four-wheel independent suspension is via MacPherson struts in front and a dual-link strut rear suspension system. Base and SE Highlander models are equipped with standard 17-inch alloy wheels with 245/65 R17 tires; the Limited features standard 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/55 R19 tires. A direct tire pressure monitoring system is designed to alert the driver if pressure in a tire drops to critical levels. All Highlander models are equipped with four-wheel disc brakes. On conventional Highlander 4WD models, full-time four-wheel drive is available on all V6 grades.
Highlander comes standard with Toyota’s Star Safety System™. This system integrates operation of enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electric Power Steering (EPS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA).
Highlander comes standard with seven airbags. These include advanced driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Roll-sensing side curtain airbags help to protect the occupants of all three rows in the event of certain side collisions or vehicle rollovers. Additionally, all Highlander models are standard equipped with front active headrests.
Standard features on all Highlander models include front and rear air conditioning; eight-way adjustable driver’s seat (10-way on Limited); power door locks and windows with driver’s window jam protection and auto-up/down feature; manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel; cruise control; multi-function keyless entry system; UV-reduction windshield and rear privacy glass; digital clock; dual sun visors with vanity mirrors and sliding extensions; conversation mirror; illuminated entry system; scheduled maintenance indicator light; full-size spare tire and more.
A variety of available options and accessories include a voice-activated touch screen navigation system with an eight-inch screen; JBL premium audio; leather seat trim with heated front seats, and a power tilt/slide moonroof. The optional tow package for V6 models enables up to 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity. The four-cylinder tow package enables up to 3,500 pounds of maximum towing capacity. A power liftgate that can be opened and closed with a key fob is an available option on the Base grade and standard on SE and Limited.
Designed at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., the second-generation Highlander moves away from traditional SUV styling cues. Clean, sculpted lines, a wide, stable stance and muscular contours give Highlander a contemporary, dynamic presence. The Base grade Highlander could be mistaken for an upgrade model with its six-spoke 17-inch machined alloy wheels, color-keyed power remote outside mirrors, and silver-painted front grille. The Limited looks the luxury part with chrome door handles and roof rails, puddle lamps and rear spoiler.
The Highlander provides an open, airy and versatile interior with seating for seven or up to 95.4 cubic feet of total cargo capacity (94.1 for Highlander Hybrid). There are numerous storage compartments throughout the cabin, along with 10 cup holders, four bottle holders, two front and one cargo-area 12-volt auxiliary power outlets and cargo area tie down hooks.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty.