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2018 Toyota Highlander KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.9 / 10
This Car - 2018 Toyota Highlander
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Consumer Rating 8.5 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

The 2018 Toyota Highlander continues to be the choice for families seeking a safe, secure and comfortable 8-passenger crossover SUV, but one that isn’t boring or lacking modern amenities. After a complete refresh last year, the 2018 Highlander is again poised to take on rivals like the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse and Nissan Pathfinder. To accomplish this, the Highlander offers a standard suite of driver-safety assists including pre-collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. And, while its various infotainment systems lack Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they are up to date in every other aspect. Those concerned with fuel economy can opt for the Highlander Hybrid that delivers class-leading city-fuel-economy figures.

You'll Like This Car If...

In a segment where family values equal safety, room, comfort and reliability, the 2018 Toyota Highlander SUV is bound to please. A powerful standard engine, an optional hybrid model and an enviable resale and repair history make the 2018 Highlander a very tempting prospect.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the 2018 Highlander can fit up to eight passengers and some gear, it’s not as spacious as a Honda Pilot or Chevy Traverse. Those seeking to tackle modest off-road challenges might be happier in a Chevrolet Tahoe or Dodge Durango, both of which can tow more than the Highlander’s 5,000-pound limit.

What's New for 2018

The Toyota Highlander sails into 2018 with no major changes or upgrades.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Powered by a recently revised 3.5-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 2018 Toyota Highlander is both powerful and fuel-efficient. Although the standard engine is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder, its 185 horses haven’t kept up with the Highlander’s growing dimensions. Trust us, if you carry more than two people, need power for passing and merging or pull a small trailer, the V6 is the engine you’ll want (and need). Still thinking you need 4-cylinder fuel economy? Check out the Highlander Hybrid. It’s combined electric/gasoline motor output reaches 306 horsepower, yet it can travel nearly 30 miles in the city on a single gallon of gas. Regardless of engine choice, the Highlander makes a great family carrier, with good steering feedback, a tight turning radius, comfortable yet controlled ride and excellent crash-test scores. The sporty SE trim delivers the best handling and looks without any noticeable impact on ride comfort.

Favorite Features

With the Highlander’s Driver Easy Speak, cries of “DON’T MAKE ME PULL THIS CAR OVER” are reduced to a mere vocal warning via an intercom system that allows the driver’s intention to be conveyed loud and clear to 3rd-row-seat occupants.

The Highlander’s 2-piece rear hatch offers the convenience of a flip-up glass window. This design makes it easier to load and unload items without valuable cargo rolling out the back, or the family pooch making a break for freedom.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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