Though the four-cylinder engine is certainly capable, the V6 can better deal with the added weight and power requirements of an all-wheel-drive system. The Highlander's full-time four-wheel drive is not...
designed for rugged off-road use, but it does work extremely well when encountering deep snow, mud or steep slippery roadscertainly more typical situations than actually pounding through the wilderness.
On the road the Highlander feels solidalmost tank-like. Wind and road noise are practically nonexistent and the engine emits a sweet, smooth melody as if it were almost delighted to be at your service. The only time you may experience a break in the Highlander's interior lull is if you lower only one of the rear windows. This action seems to cause a greater-than-usual amount of wind buffeting, which can be neutralized by either opening another window or venting the sunroof.