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2010 Toyota Highlander

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2010 Toyota Highlander Review

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The first Highlander arrived in 2001 as Toyota's third car-based crossover SUV, following the compact RAV4 and the mid-size luxury Lexus RX 300. As the Toyota brand's more affordable version of the RX, it, like the RX, was built on the Camry sedan platform. And like its Lexus cousin, the Highlander has been very successful. Although its styling is far from distinctive, the Highlander offers its owners multiple benefits that include excellent ratings in the areas of safety, service and reliability, not to mention resale.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a well-regarded mid-size crossover with an optional third row tops your wish list, you should take a good look at this one. It's feature-laden, neither too big nor too small and should prove reliable for many years.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For buyers with more specialized needs or wants, the Highlander's well-rounded personality might not be as appealing as the sporty character of the Mazda CX-9 or Ford Flex. Similarly, the Highlander can't match the higher towing capacity of the Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder.

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Toyota adds more options to the base Highlander models. The base four-cylinder Highlander can now be equipped with a power sunroof, while the base V6 offers a rear backup camera.

Driving the Highlander

Driving Impressions We drove one of our test Highlander Limited 4x4s in intermittent rain on alternating wet and dry asphalt and found it confidence-inspiring all the while. Even if it isn't as...

fast as the V6 version of the RAV4, its little brother, the Highlander's 270-horsepower V6 is about as silky and powerful as you'll find in the category. Informal zero-to-60 miles-per-hour acceleration tests showed the Highlander to accelerate with sport sedan alacrity, while we noted fuel economy ranging between 16 and 20 miles per gallon. Except for its still difficult-to-access third row, the Highlander's seating was roomy and comfortable, and its ride, handling and braking excellent.

Center Stow Seat
This clever feature allows the second row of seats to be converted from three-across to two-across seating, opening a convenient pass-through area to access the third-row seats. The seat stows easily out of sight in the center console.

Hill-Start and Downhill Assist Control
If you live in rolling terrain, you'll appreciate these features that prevent the Highlander from rolling backward at a stop on steep up-grades and controls downhill speed (on non-hybrid four-wheel drive models) during slippery descents.

2010 Toyota Highlander Details
Interior

The new Highlander's spacious interior is at once conservative, functional and attractive. Nice touches include huge round knobs for the primary radio and climate controls – easy to find and operate even while wearing gloves – and plenty of convenient spots for things like drinks and cell phones. The steering wheel offers manual tilt and telescope adjustment and, on Limited models, easy-to-access audio and climate control buttons. The reclining second-row seats also slide 4.7 inches fore-aft and offer a lift-out middle seat cushion for pass-through into the rear row, while the bigger new third row can comfortably accommodate not only children but even limber adults, at least on shorter trips.

Exterior

Styled in California, the 2010 Highlander design intentionally moves away from traditional SUV styling. Toyota says it makes a statement of strength instead of ruggedness, intelligence over toughness. We can tell you that it is an attractive vehicle that is designed more to blend into the automotive landscape than stand out from it. While it's definitely more curvaceous than the original Highlander, it offers a traditional SUV profile but is lower and more car-like, which makes sense based on its Camry roots. It is not as distinctive as the Hyundai Veracruz or the Buick Enclave crossovers, for instance, but it is handsome. Available 19-inch wheels help balance the more substantial look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base front-wheel-drive Highlander rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels and comes with halogen headlamps, AM/FM/CD MP3/WMA-capable six-speaker stereo, tilt/telescope steering wheel, interchangeable Center Stow seat and center console and an aerodynamic rear spoiler. The V6 trim adds a hideaway third-row seat. Standard safety features include seven airbags, stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. The Sport trim adds 19-inch wheels/tires, a back-up camera, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-CD changer and a 3.5-inch multifunction display. The top-of-the line Limited coddles its owners with full leather and woodgrain trim, power front seats, dual-zone climate control and a "smart" keyless entry and ignition system.

Optional Equipment

Options available on the base V6 Highlander include a two-row seating package that eliminates the standard third-row seat, rear backup camera, manual rear heating/air conditioning for the second and third rows, a cargo-area tonneau cover and a tow-prep package. Stepping up to a Sport or Limited brings a much broader spectrum of add-ons, most notably front dual-zone automatic climate control (standard on Limited), automatic rear air conditioning, multi-stage heated leather front seats, power moonroof, rear-seat entertainment system, power liftgate and a navigation system with premium audio, voice activation and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Four-wheel drive models are available in all V6 grades.

Under the Hood

The 2010 Highlander base model is powered by a 2.7-liter four cylinder engine, while a larger V6 is optional on the base and standard on the Sport and Limited trims. The 2.7-liter is near the top of its class in the areas of fuel efficiency and power, with 187 horsepower on tap and upwards of 27 miles per gallon in highway driving. The Highlander V6 model packs a 270 horsepower 3.5-liter dual-variable-valve-timing V6 under its sculpted hood. The four-cylinder engine is mated to an all-new six-speed gearbox, while the V6 model makes due with an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission with selectable manual shift control.

2.7-liter in-line 4
187 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
186 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 (FWD); 17/23 (4WD)

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2010 Toyota Highlander Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 379 Ratings for the 2008 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Reliable, Comfortable, Great SUV

By on Thursday, December 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Very reliable. Replaced the battery, and brakes for the first time this year, my vehicle is 5 years old with 73K miles. The leather on the drivers seat is starting to show wear, I work in an office and don't abuse the interior, so I would have expected it last a little longer. The ride is nice, it has get up and go, it is quiet inside, love my Highlander"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle!

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car for 7 years and I can only recall one mayor repair other than than very reliable vehicle,I accelerates fast for an SUV and very comfortable for long trips we've done over this years...highly recommended!"

Good vehicle, meets expectations

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Reliability, seating flexibility"

Cons: "Too softly sprung, feels ponderous in turns."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We trade every 5 years and I will say other than replacing a sun visor under warranty, there have been no issues, which is above average reliability in our experience. No squeaks or rattles. A little ponderous to drive but my wife doesn't think so. Stereo doesn't show channels while on and the middle seats don't fold flat are my only issue with the design. Clever three across seating design in the second row. I would recommend one to a friend."

A wonderful, reliable vehicle.

By on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Utterly reliable. Comfortable. Powerful. Versatile"

Cons: "18 MPG; no third seat legroom"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this vehicle new and have owned it for 7 years. I can recall only one major repair. The original equipment battery just gave out a couple of weeks ago. It is utterly reliable. It is comfortable and incredibly versatile. The vehicle has a few minor (for me) issues. The third row seat provides almost no legroom. The standard radio is primitive; it does not show anything but the numerical designation of the station. My previous car, a 2000 American car, had a much more high tech standard radio that showed the sub-broadcast of the song titles and band names."

15 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Great value and performance never a break down

By on Thursday, November 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great car owned a lot of Yukon and suburbans a step down on ride more of a sport ride with better gas mileage less room for storage but overall package and resale value better . Never a mechanical problem on Toyota . Trans problem and window switch problem on Yukon but overall good ."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Legendary Quality & Reliability continues

By on Thursday, November 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Ride quality,comfort, versatility, powerful engine"

Cons: "No memory seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new and have had no mechanical or quality issues. Vehicle delivers good fuel mileage as well (20-22). Engine is very responsive and powerful. Replaced battery and tires after 5 years. Thats it. Very comfortable on the road. Also tows adequately (rated to tow up to 5000 lbs). Only dislike was no memory seating switch."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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