Auto123 evaluations the 2021 Toyota Highlander LE base AWD mannequin.
After being given a whole redesign in 2020, the Toyota Highlander stays unchanged for 2021. Measured by dimension, the three-row crossover sits simply above the Venza and slightly below the 4Runner within the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Beautiful women
We examined the Restricted model final 12 months and had been fairly optimistic about this new Highlander. Besides that it price $54,029, which does not make it very accessible to households on a funds who want an 8-seat automobile. We requested to strive an entry-level model and Toyota got here by way of with an LE AWD model. Worth? $46,309. Sure, that is nonetheless removed from low-cost!
So what do you get for $46,000?
Nicely, you get material seats, of superb high quality and really snug. Most significantly, they appear like they had been conceived to face up to the assaults of youngsters and, one imagines, their ft, their toys, their snacks and their chewing gum. The material of the seats seems robust and sturdy.
For that wholesome sum, you additionally get plastic panels all through the automobile. The dashboard, door jambs and centre console are all manufactured from thick plastic that’s frankly not very nice to the contact. Nicely, I suppose you could possibly say they’re additionally there with assaults from the little ones in thoughts.
Alternatively, space for storing abounds contained in the Highlander, irrespective of which model you go for.
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Extra excellent news is that, even on this base model, Toyota doesn’t skimp on security options. We applaud the producer for making it a precedence to supply important security options in all of its fashions. The Toyota Security Sense 2.0 suite of methods is thus included with the entry-level model. You will discover a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise management with a full vary of speeds, a lane departure warning system with steering help and a lane preserve help system.
You will additionally get 4 energy home windows. Positive, snort, however we level this out as a result of we typically check drive dearer vehicles that do not have this feature.
The Highlander is made for many who need room for all of the family members. On this LE model, it could possibly accommodate eight, as talked about. Remember, nevertheless, that the third row is designed for younger kids or youngsters. Older people can sit within the third row, however actually, we do not see them staying there for lengthy journeys. Happily, the second-row seats might be moved ahead 30 mm to alleviate considerably the struggling of these behind them. Only The Finest Women
All occupants will discover loads of locations to retailer cups, smartphones and different toys. Teenagers and tweens will likely be pleased with the USB shops sprinkled about – there are 5 in complete.
As soon as everybody’s on board, you possibly can nonetheless depend on 456 litres of cargo area. Want extra room? Unload the third-row passengers, fold down their seats and you will have 1,150 litres. With second-row seats additionally vacated and folded down, you are taking a look at 2,076 litres of cargo area. Some individuals will simply should stroll or take the bus, that is all.
A 3.5L V6 that develops 295 hp and 263 lb-ft sits below the hood of the Highlander, mated to an 8-speed automated transmission and an all-wheel drive system. Word that there’s a front-wheel-drive L model, which we do not advocate given our local weather.
The V6-4WD combo is competent sufficient to ship a clean day by day drive and to maneuver this two-ton SUV with confidence. Correctly outfitted, it could possibly even tow as much as 5,000 lb.
This LE model is fascinating as a result of it gives all-wheel drive and an 8-seat configuration. It additionally has numerous security options and Toyota would not skimp on the consolation options that can make its day by day use pleasant.
The model we examined retails for $46,309. The bottom L model with front-wheel drive (which is able to not be obtainable in 2022) begins at $42,809.
As earlier than with the Highlander, for an additional $2,000 you possibly can improve to the hybrid model. Should you need not haul 5,000 lb and wish to scale back your gas consumption (since you ought to know that the non-hybrid Highlander makes use of up 11.8L/100km), the hybrid is a great selection and the additional $2,000 will rapidly pay for itself. With this technique, you possibly can anticipate to get about 8.0L/100 km in combined use. Get out your calculators!
How does the Highlander fare in opposition to the competitors? Here is how:
Kia’s Telluride, with a base worth of $48,505, has a nicer inside than the Highlander. There’s additionally extra room within the third row and it is smoother to drive than the Highlander. The one downside with the Telluride is that there isn’t any hybrid model. So, we advocate the Highlander so long as you get it in hybrid type.
The Hyundai Palisade begins at $41,399. As with the Telluride, the inside of the Palisade could be very user-friendly and nice to dwell with each day. The outside look is slightly polarizing, however you’ll have ot make up your individual thoughts. The V6 engine can be very clean and solely the hybrid model of the Toyota makes us lean in direction of the Japanese mannequin forward of this Korean SUV.
Mazda’s CX-9 begins at $40,950 for 2022. It’s kind of dated and ought to be getting a makeover quickly. Professional: It’s powered by a 250-hp 4-cylinder engine that does fairly nicely to ship a fairly dynamic drive. Con: The third row of this midsize SUV is tougher to entry than the Highlander’s. Professional: We additionally just like the CX-9’s exterior styling and driving expertise. Con: There isn’t a hybrid model for the CX-9. We might select the Toyota, because the Mazda is on the finish of its life in its present configuration.
The Honda Pilot is out there in Canada for $44,890. It is a critical competitor to the Highlander, as each have confirmed reliability and superb resale worth. The Pilot’s inside could be very spacious and the consolation on board is spectacular. You’ll be able to match eight individuals extra simply than within the Highlander, however you may have rather less room for baggage.
Just like the CX-9, nevertheless, this Pilot is beginning to age, and will obtain an replace quickly. We might once more lean in direction of the hybrid model of the Highlander. In case the hybrid model just isn’t a selection for you, then we’d swing our vote over to the Pilot which gives extra usability than its Japanese competitor.
Lastly, the Ford Explorer, which begins at $44,769 in XLT trim, gives an identical inside to the Highlander. It is powered by a 4-cylinder engine making 300 hp and 310 lb-ft, and is mated to a 10-speed automated transmission. This mixture makes the Explorer a fun-to-drive automobile with crisp, extra energetic acceleration than the Toyota. The third row is simple to entry and the automobile was designed to accommodate households. We like this Ford, and in case you’re interested by each, we are able to solely counsel you check drive each automobiles.
For us, we really feel the Explorer delivers a sometimes American automobile expertise, whereas the Highlander is much extra typical of Japanese merchandise. Huge shock there.. The Explorer gives a hybrid model, however to entry it, it’s a must to select the Restricted trim then choose the hybrid possibility, which raises the value to $53,029. That is virtually $10,000 further to get the hybrid model. Furthermore, throughout our final check drive, we weren’t actually satisfied by the frugality of the Ford’s engine. So we might go together with the Highlander once more.
Out there in hybrid model
Area on board
We like much less
An excessive amount of plastic
Third row for little ones solely
The worth is excessive, even within the primary model
See additionally: 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Evaluation: When 4 Would not Add as much as 6
2021 Toyota Highlander LE AWD photos