2018 Toyota Highlander Review

The new 2018 Toyota Highlander will get an update. The model will feature certain upgrades which will give it more refinement and usefulness. We already had a very responsive powertrain, so they will keep the same type of engine here as well. But the main strengths of the Highlander are going to remain the same. We still have a car with great ride quality and fabulous cabin refinement. It also provides enough space to accommodate eight passengers and help them feel great while riding.

The most noticeable changes for the Toyota Highlander will probably be seen for the SE trim level. The look is going to be noticeably aggressive and we also get a little bit of a power boost as well. One of the more interesting parts about this model is that it will add better safety features this time. The previous model did have a good setup to begin with but they have expanded it by addressing some issues from before and now offer an even better safety setup.

Besides the SE trim level, the Highlander will come back in LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum models as well.  What is interesting is that they will also continue making the Hybrid Highlander versions also. These were only available for the Limited and Limited Platinum trims, but now the hybrid powertrains will be transferred to LE and XLE trims, expanding the offer and making more fuel efficient options of the Highlander available.

Exterior Details and Design

The newest design cues for the 2018 Toyota Highlander will update its look and give it a bit more aggressiveness. The nose of the car has changed and we have a different look but not a very handsome one.  The difference for the LE and XLE trims is that the grille is going to adopt a cone shape design while the SE trims will have black colored ones, which is the same kind of a design offered for the Platinum and Limited trims also. Actually, thanks to the grille the car is going to be 1.3 inches longer compared to last time? An interesting addition for the Limited trims are the  puddle lamps which spell out the words “Highlander” on the ground while all models are going to get LED taillights also.

Generally speaking, the Toyota Highlander can be describe like something between an SUV and a bit rakish crossover wagon. But actually, it simply looks mostly like a truck which is generally made visible with the wheel flares and sills. It kind of a reminds us of the off-road ready 4Runner model when viewed from the profile and it adds an SUV-like style which is actually the opposite what other models in the segment are doing.

Inside Additions and Updates

The inside of the 2018 Toyota Highlander skips a lot of its truck like elements. It makes the inside very much car-like and it is mostly seen from the added instrument panel details. If you pick a model which includes navigation, you immediately get a touchscreen added on the panel which also helps with other functions and details in the car. This does not change the interior so much nor does it upset it. The clarity of the cockpit is at an all-time high and lastly all of the controls like virtual on-screen ones and auxiliary functions are still operated using hard buttons, making things a lot easier.

The design of the dash is made to sweep from the driver to the passenger, which would be a bit strange for some, but it is still clear that the focus is still very much on the driver. There you will find the big gauges and also large and easy-to-operate climate-control knobs.

The cabin is very much quiet and peaceful with a lot of insulation made with the mats and also dampening up the possible rattling by tightening up the suspension a bit. The trim level is very attractive as well and we see a lot of new elements in terms of soft-touch materials placed on the dash and the same thing can also be said for the seats and the interior offers a very nice and comfortable environment.

Powertrain Specs

The new 2018 Toyota Highlander will offer a few choices when it comes to the powertrain of the car. It all comes down to a base version which is the 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine making 185 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which also combines with a 6-speed automatic  and come with a front-wheel drive. But one of the more popular options will certainly be the modified 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This one makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, which is an increase from the last year’s version. This powertrain will be combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Interestingly enough, the base engine actually has worse fuel economy ratings compared to the stronger one. The engine is underpowered and somehow it manages to make 20 mpg city, 24 highway, 22 combined, while the secondary modified version pumps out 20/27/23 mpg with RWD and 20/26/23 mpg with AWD. The best one is of course the Highlander hybrid which comes to the top EPA rating of 30/28/29 mpg.

Release Date and Price

The newest price ratings for the 2018 Toyota Highlander will be released shorty, and we will get a better perspective once the release date gets nearer. As far as things go for now, we are not expecting a massive increase in the price so a figure of around 32,000 dollars is expected to be made. The release date is going to be somewhere around the start of 2018 and it will also be determined shorty, but it is more than clear that the car will start selling by then.

 

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