2013 Toyota Highlander Limited
If it looks and drives like a minivan, it must be a crossover.No Comments
Driving the Highlander, you really can't help feeling like a bus driver, even though it's obviously a much more luxurious experience than driving a bus.
We Americans are a fickle bunch. First we all want minivans, then we all want SUVs, then we all want crossovers. Of course what we really want are station wagons, we just can't bring ourselves to admit that, because for some reason America has deemed wagons to be terminally unhip, despite their superiority to SUVs and crossovers in terms of gas mileage, cargo space, and handling.
The Highlander is considered a 'small SUV,' although it still seems ridiculous to call anything with a third-row seat small. This is a family-vacation-mobile, complete with a rear-seat DVD system to keep the horsing around to a minimum.
But the Highlander is, as we've said, a family road-tripper, and as far as those are concerned, there's little to complain about. It's sufficiently powered, the brakes do their thing, and it has every interventionist safety feature under the sun.
The Limited trim features the V6, which gives it sufficient power that other trims might lack, but of course, you pay for that extra bit of not-going-as-slow-as-a-car-this-big-should at the gas pump.
But despite its roided-out bulk, the Highlander is fine looking. This isn't a car anyone buys to impress the neighbors, but it won't send you speeding into the garage in shame either.
The rear seat is roomy (with a car this size, it damn sure better be), and the third row seat will do for the very little ones, but isn't fit for an adult of normal stature.
The wood trim adds a slight touch of upscale charm to the Limited's interior, but elsewhere it's all cheap molded plastic and beige for days. That's little matter, though. You'll be keeping your eyes on the road and the family will be watching DVDs.
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Power Output: 270 horsepower / 248 lb.-ft. of torque
Fuel Economy: 17 mpg (city) / 22 mpg (hyw)
Price: $43,045 (as tested)
Features: Windshield wiper de-icer; Etune; backup camera; audio jack; Bluetooth; wood-grain-style trim; rear-seat DVD system