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Overview

For 2018, the Highlander retains the desirable powertrain, safety features, trim levels, and styling that fans have come to love. This year's Highlander offers exactly what families need: lots of space and lots of value. As one of the original crossover SUVs, the Highlander has thrived on that formula for years. For the 2018 model year, the current-generation Highlander maintains the great features that have helped it win over families for years.

The Perfect Ride for...

Drivers looking for an SUV that can tackle any challenges on the outside with room enough for everyone on the inside. The 2018 Toyota Highlander is a five-door mid-size SUV available in six trim levels: LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum. Most Highlander models offer seating for eight with two rear bench seats. For those desiring a somewhat more luxurious setup, the Limited and Limited Platinum models also offer second-row captain’s chairs, which eliminate one seat but make things a lot more comfortable for those second-row passengers.

Drive & Handling

A 3.5-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission powers the 2018 Highlander. The 295-hp V6 features direct injection and a stop-start system on certain trim levels to deliver up to 27 highway mpg (FWD).* The Highlander Hybrid model combines the same V6 with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) and electric motor for an EPA-estimated 30 city mpg.* All Highlander models are available with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. On the hybrid version, all-wheel drive is provided by an additional electric motor that powers the rear wheels.

In addition to the standalone 3.5-liter V6 and hybrid powertrains, the standard powertrain on the Highlander remains a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission rated at the same 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque as the 2017 version.

Key Features

Technology

The LE is well-rounded when it comes to features and technologies to make your drive even easier, including an integrated backup camera with projected path and the Entune™ Multimedia Bundle with 6.1-inch high-resolution touchscreen display and six-speaker sound system.

The LE Plus provides additional comfort through upgraded upholstery and tri-zone automatic climate control, and also adds a height-adjustable power liftgate, eight-way power driver seat, satellite and HD Radio™, and high-res eight-inch touchscreen to the base model’s features.

If you’re in the market for additional safety technologies, you’ll love the driver assistance features on the XLE, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems. Driver Easy Speak (which helps you communicate with rear-seat passengers through the system’s speakers) is also an innovative touch. Other additions on the XLE include keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an updated instrument panel, and embedded navigation. The SE is a sportier variant of the XLE with LED running lights; sport-themed styling, suspension, and interior trim; and 19-inch wheels.

The Limited and Limited Platinum models represent the upper tier of luxury to elevate your daily drive. The Limited adds rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory settings, and a 12-speaker premium JBL® audio system. Opt for the Limited Platinum and you’ll also enjoy a 360-degree parking camera, front parking sensors, heated steering wheel and second-row seats, and Safety Connect emergency communications.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2018 Toyota Highlander includes anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, full airbag protection, and the Toyota Safety Sense bundle of safety features. This includes a Pre Collision System (forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking), lane-departure alert, automatic high beams, pedestrian pre-collision system, and dynamic radar cruise control.

In addition to the standard equipment, the Highlander XLE trim level offers blind spot monitoring, while the Limited Platinum gets a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. This feature employs four cameras to create a 360-degree view, including a rotating view around the vehicle.

Alternative Options

If you want the versatility of an SUV in a more compact and fuel-efficient body, then a crossover may be a better option for you. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is one of the original leaders of the crossover revolution. However, if you want the most fuel-efficient option in the Toyota lineup, you should know that the 2018 Toyota Prius Two Eco can achieve an EPA-estimated 58 mpg city.* So far in its impressive 17-year run, the 1.8 million Prius models sold in the US alone have reduced CO2 emissions by over 11 million tons.

Gallery

      

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*2018 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.

Image: Toyota