For 2007, front seat-mounted side air bags and two-row side curtain air bags, previously optional on all Highlanders except the Hybrid, are now standard on all models. Also, the headlights have been restyled, and the Highlander Hybrid is now available in a 5-passenger version.
The Highlander, Toyota's first entry into the car-based midsize crossover market, is now in its seventh year of production. The Highlander fits into Toyota's sport utility vehicle (SUV) lineup between the entry-level RAV4 and the slightly larger 4Runner, and is available in Base, Sport, Limited, Hybrid, and Hybrid Limited trim levels. All are available in both two-row/5-passenger and 3-row/7-passenger configurations. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, a CD player, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, and cruise control. Sport models add alloy wheels, unique trim, a power driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, while the Limited gets an upgraded stereo, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, and other enhancements. Comfort features such as leather seats and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are optional on all models, but GPS-linked navigation is only available on top-of-the-line Limited models.
The Highlander offers a choice of three powertrains. A 155-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 4-speed automatic transmission is standard. Optional in the base model and standard in the Sport and Limited is a 215-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with a 5-speed automatic. The Highlander Hybrid gets a 3.3-liter V-6 with Hybrid Synergy Drive, which produces a combined output of 268 hp. All powertrains are available with front- or four-wheel drive (4WD); the 4WD hybrid version using an electric motor to drive the rear wheels. Highlanders equipped with 4WD do not have a low range and are intended for all-weather traction rather than off-road performance. Sport models with 4WD also get a sport-tuned suspension.
Along with the new side and side curtain air bags, all Highlanders feature Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes anti-lock brakes with emergency braking assist, traction control, and electronic stability control. The Highlander is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty with 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.
The Toyota Highlander competes in the Midsize Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of 13 models. Buyers in this segment look for comfort, reliability, and quality, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Highlander (129,794 units sold), Nissan Murano (81,362), and Chrysler Pacifica (78,243). The Toyota Highlander's 129,794 sales in 2006 represent a decrease of 5.5 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize CUV segment include the Ford Freestyle, Buick Rendezvous, Subaru B9 Tribeca, and Hyundai Santa Fe. Joining the segment in 2007 are the Ford Edge, GMC Acadia, Mazda CX-9, and Saturn Outlook.
|V6 (2 Rows) (CVT-E)||continuously variable automatic||$32,490||208-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||32/27|
|Limited V6 (2 Rows) (CVT-E)||continuously variable automatic||$34,610||208-hp / 3.3L 6-cyl||32/27|