The phrase worth will get bandied round loads in automobile evaluations. However what does it actually imply?
Normally, it refers back to the variety of high-end options you get in your greenback. Within the three-row SUV phase, there are a number of newcomers that excel at this, significantly the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride.
For the Toyota Highlander, which begins its fourth technology with the 2020 mannequin yr, higher-end characteristic content material niceties should not its standout. There are not any ventilated second-row seats or third-row USB ports right here. To get a seven-seat configuration with second-row captain’s chairs, you’ll should go all the best way to the top-of-the-line Platinum package deal now we have right here, which rings up at $56,215 as-tested.
However when you have a tendency to look at practicalities — and when you are inclined to hold your autos for a very long time — then there are components at play right here that may’t be discovered on a spec sheet. Toyota’s repute for reliability is a giant one; so is the model’s tendency to carry its worth effectively. That’s to not say that different manufacturers don’t construct dependable automobiles that maintain worth, simply that with Toyota, it’s extra of a given. And relying on how you employ your three-row SUVs, which may be the issue that ideas the scales within the Highlander’s favour.
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Those that already personal a Highlander and are contemplating changing it with a brand new one will discover the 2020 mannequin drives a lot in the identical method they’re used to. The naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. It doesn’t have that satisfying low-end punch that some turbocharged opponents have, however it delivers a strong quantity of energy by means of a pleasantly responsive throttle.
And it does this with excellent gasoline effectivity figures for its dimension: Pure Sources Canada charges this configuration at 11.7 L/100 kilometres in metropolis driving, 8.6 on the freeway, and 10.Three mixed. My real-world determine over every week was greater at 12.7, however that was with lots of suburban short-run errands. I’m assured it could carry out higher in additional well-rounded use.
However, for individuals who take into account responsiveness and gasoline effectivity to be necessary components, with out having but pushed the Highlander Hybrid myself I’d anticipate that it’ll carry out significantly better on each counts. Plus, the warranties Toyota places down on its 2020 hybrids are stellar: eight years or 160,000 kilometres for hybrid elements, and 10 years/240,000 kilometres for the battery is nothing to sneeze at.
The Highlander’s dealing with is relaxed with some motion to it. There may be vertical switch into the cabin over rougher roads that comes throughout as considerably bouncy, although it’s very clean in doing so. The trade-off is that it permits some physique roll by means of lengthy curves like freeway on-ramps, however to not a level that may be troublesome to reside with. And the inside is total a nice place to be: it’s quiet, and the rear seats are comfy with plenty of headroom, though the seat cushions are low to the ground within the third row. The 454 litres and 1,150 litres of cargo house behind the third and second rows aren’t the best figures within the class, however that house is made usable by the truth that all the seat backs fold all the way down to create a properly flat load flooring.
Credit score is due the place the Highlander’s design is worried: Toyota was clearly prepared to strive just a few issues right here. Magnificence is all the time within the eye of the beholder, after all, however I discover myself working cold and warm on among the modifications. I really like the up to date entrance finish, for instance, they usually completely nailed the window remedy with the floating look supported by the blacked-out A-pillar. However, I deeply dislike that huge stamping within the doorways.
That story continues into the inside. There’s some new use of layering and color that provides this replace extra visible attraction, together with enticing polished wooden inserts within the Platinum package deal. However wow, is that 12.3-inch touchscreen ever imposing, particularly set on the identical panel because the HVAC controls. Some potential house owners would possibly subsequently be happy to listen to that that is one other characteristic that’s solely obtainable with the Platinum package deal; the usual show is an eight-inch display that’s nearer to the one discovered within the outgoing Highlander, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each included both means. However the bigger model does have its upsides, together with a really massive and clear back-up digital camera with a panoramic view — which, once more, is just obtainable in Platinum fashions.
Whereas we’re on the topic, listed below are just a few extra of the Platinum-only options: a head-up show, rain-sensing wipers, a digital rear-view mirror (the type that reveals a projection from a rear-facing digital camera in case your sightlines are blocked by cargo), reverse auto-tilting exterior mirrors (a characteristic I can’t stand and all the time flip off), and the true shocker — heated second-row seats. Heated entrance seats are normal and air flow is available in on the Restricted grade, however warmth for the second row is out there at a lot cheaper price factors in so many opponents that having to pony up this a lot for them right here feels onerous to take. You’ll have to pay for Restricted to get a heated steering wheel, too.
Not having power-folding third-row seats for this value additionally stings just a little. There’s a wi-fi telephone charger, although, which is properly tucked away within the centre console the place the telephone can’t be a distraction to the driving force. In contrast to a number of opponents at this worth level, the gauge cluster isn’t absolutely digital right here, although that’s a characteristic that falls solidly within the nice-to-have class.
That stated, Toyota was one of many first manufacturers to make a collection of security applied sciences normal gear, which it additionally does right here: lane hold and lane departure help with highway edge detection and steering help, collision mitigation with pedestrian and bicycle detection, dynamic radar cruise management, and automated excessive beams are all included from the bottom mannequin.
So, sure, the brand new Toyota Highlander has opponents which are executing sure issues higher. For those who’re a type of individuals who’s all the time able to drop your cash to have the most recent gadget, that is in all probability not the automobile for you. However when you care extra a few repute for reliability and longevity than bells and whistles, these attributes make the Highlander as worthy of consideration because it ever was.
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