2008 toyota Highlander Sport

2008 Toyota Highlander Sport: If the upgraded Toyota Highlander is to do well, it has its job cut out for it. It should transport as well as captivate youngsters, swallow cargo as well as dominate snow. It has to be secure, comfortable and also luxurious, and also it needs to do all these points without breaking the financial institution-- in auto payments or at the pump. An uphill struggle, no question, however the leading midsize SUV rivals actually have actually obtained that excellent.

The Highlander makes the grade on all counts, though it does not excel in any kind of one location. Offered it could keep its outstanding resale worth and also dependability, it needs to confirm a clever-- if not especially exciting-- choice for several years to come.

Base, Sport as well as Limited trim degrees feature front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat five or seven, depending upon the arrangement. Prices range from roughly $27,000 to $40,000 with options.

I tested all 3 trim degrees of the regular Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.

2008 Toyota Highlander Sport

Edgier Styling

Toyota's The golden state layout studios sculpted the exterior, which is bigger in all significant measurements compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just sufficient curves to counter the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille as well as amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a bit also slick-- like a convenience store buyer who won't take off his sunglasses.

The back bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, and also most trim degrees have a glass hatch that opens up independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are common; the Sport and Limited have 19-inchers that fill out the wheel wells nicely. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille and smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and chrome outside moldings.

At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches vast, the Highlander casts about the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Outlook are both concerning a foot much longer.

The In

Toyota has spent years building a credibility for quality, and absent any kind of major competitors, the brand-new Highlander could have kept that standard. The competition is nothing if not serious, though, as well as SUVs like the CX-9 as well as Veracruz boast some remarkably high end insides. In comparison, Toyota falls a bit short.

The Highlander shares foundations with the current Camry, and also the dashboard births much of the sedan's flavor. The center controls are the natural prime focus, with large knobs for major functions within very easy reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited versions have a 3.5-inch display atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature and more. It likewise shows settings for the optional automatic climate control system, which could divide the cabin into as many as three temperature level areas-- two front as well as one back. The environment controls sit listed below the stereo, and also they're very chaotic. I counted 13 buttons in between the two temperature level handles; that's a great deal of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the basic hand-operated cooling is basic.

Cabin top quality is merely typical. The home window changes, turn signals and facility controls might go straight right into a Lexus, and also the chrome accents and also electroluminescent gauges appearance terrific. A lot of locations are trimmed in hard plastics, however, and also the structures lack the allure of the stuff in numerous competitors. Worst of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is several of the most inexpensive mouse fur this side of an economy automobile.

Parents will certainly appreciate the storage space alternatives. The center console between the front seats has four cupholders and a vast storage space container. Forget laptops; the handwear cover box can fit a tiny home computer. (Probably not the display, though-- let's not obtain carried away.).

Three conventional rows of seats fit as much as seven, though you can drop the 3rd row in order to conserve a little cash, lowering seating ability to five. The pole positions supply lots of space, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that extends the pillow under the vehicle driver's upper legs. Wonderful touch.

The second row is equally commodious, with reclining backrests and also seat cushions that change backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's new Center Stow function. It's primarily a dive seat, which travelers could swap for a plastic facility console, turning the second row into two captain's chairs. The unused part-- either the middle seat or console-- stores in a floor area in between the pole positions. After a few practice runs, I was able to make the adjustment in around 25 secs.

The jump seat is light enough for very easy installation. Its comfort is trial and error, also for a center seat; the bottom cushion is considerable, yet I can quickly really feel the hinges below the back-rest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, and both items have durable installment hooks that ought to endure lots of knocking from overenthusiastic kids.

Relying on where the 2nd row is positioned, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall as well as discovered headroom a bit limited, but with the 2nd row moved on a couple of inches-- maintaining a lot of legroom for the majority of adults-- the third row's legroom was such that I might tolerate a short journey.

Bigger Engine, Better Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also a number of various other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over in 2015's V-6, that made 215 hp as well as 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed transmission is conventional. In 2015's base four-cylinder engine has been gone down.

Velocity is adequate off the line as well as more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission aids points along, holding gears as well as hardly ever changing too soon. Difficult velocity could motivate some sudden transitions amongst reduced equipments-- better for velocity, even worse for convenience-- however most of the moment the changes are smooth adequate to pass undetected. The drivetrain really feels finest on the highway, where it downshifts with minimal equipment hunting. Third equipment is especially potent for 50-to-70 mph passing away.

The optional 4x4 is transparent to the motorist. It includes a center differential to split power 50/50 in between the front as well as rear wheels all of the time. Four-wheel-drive versions have a downhill assist function. Press a control panel button, as well as it will reduce the SUV to a crawl down steep grades. The attribute appears a little bit insincere: There is no low gear for offroad rock crawling, which means you must possibly stay clear of anywhere treacherous enough to call for the downhill assist.

All Highlanders have a hill-start aid that holds the brakes for approximately 3 seconds from a stop to prevent the SUV from rolling in reverse before you have time to strike the gas.

Making use of the EPA's even more reasonable 2008 ranking system-- which usually leads to decrease numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions as well as 17/23 mpg for those with 4x4. These ratings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They also beat the old V-6 Highlander by around 1 mpg (readjusted using the EPA's brand-new computation)-- an excellent task, given the brand-new Highlander has even more power and evaluates some 300 extra pounds extra. (Four-cylinder followers won't miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got just 1 mpg more than the new one performs with the V-6.).

Trip & Handling

The unibody construction affords a comfy flight, with none of the underbody vibrating that pestered the previous Highlander (which was likewise unibody) and also numerous body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sport, however I couldn't identify a distinction in trip suppleness among the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All 3 have a bit extra suspension sound over significant bumps than I've come to anticipate in a midsize SUV.

Wind noise is marginal. Offered a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are fairly quiet. The Sport and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and P245/55R19 tires send out a mild hum at highway rates, which I couldn't spot with the base design's 17-inchers and thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs currently feature electric power guiding. These systems conserve a little bit on fuel usage-- a bit of low-hanging fruit to fulfill the federal government's gas economic climate standards, I presume-- yet they commonly cause drab, fabricated guiding feel. Expectedly, the Highlander steers with a light touch, never ever delivering a lot in the way of responses or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares much better here, yet few other rivals stick out. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like many SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, reminding chauffeurs it's not to be cornered rapidly.

Four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes are standard. The pedal uses mushy action, yet the brakes clamp down hard when needed.

Freight & Towing

With all 3 rows set up and elevated, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up flat into the floor, as well as the 2nd row folds nearly flat. Highlanders without the third row rather include a rather big storage area under the back flooring.

With all seats folded, optimal freight quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts a lot more favorably with the crowd.

When appropriately outfitted, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 extra pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Highway Safety frontal collision tests, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest score, Excellent. IIHS has not evaluated the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota really did not skimp on safety attributes. All Highlanders come standard with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and also an electronic security system. The security system currently collaborates with the electrical power guiding, which enhances the power help when the driver is guiding to remedy a skid. It also aids combat steering pull under difficult stopping to assist the Highlander drop in a straight line. (Toyota claims the system can not guide the SUV by itself, as some innovative systems currently do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, do not anticipate any kind of added power aid.).

Seven air bags are standard, consisting of the needed double front airbags, a driver's knee airbag and also side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are additionally roll-sensing side drape air bags for all three rows, which release during a rollover to prevent owner ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and in Sport and Limited models, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash security. Active head restraints are standard on the pole positions of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with quickly obtainable top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Attributes & Pricing

Leaving out the destination cost, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of options runs around $42,000. 4x4 on any trim adds about $1,500. All trim degrees feature 3 rows of seats, though a third-row delete alternative on certain designs can conserve $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander includes 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless access, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, a/c, cruise ship control, and also power home windows, mirrors as well as door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity adds darkened exterior components, 19-inch wheels, fog lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a backup video camera and six-CD sound.
-For $32,700, the Minimal includes a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather upholstery as well as a power guest seat. Much of these functions are optional on the Sporting activity. Alternatives on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL costs audio, a backseat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and heated pole positions.

Highlander out there

Rivals from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will certainly give the Highlander a run for its cash. Its biggest rival, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the following year or 2, and Toyota's trump card-- its credibility for quality as well as integrity-- has actually been sliding recently. The car manufacturer has promised to enhance its efforts, and also its latest SUV should prove that.

The brand-new Highlander has great deals of textbook perceptiveness, like decent gas mileage and also loads of safety and security functions, yet there's absolutely nothing phenomenal regarding it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its precursor, though, reliability will certainly become its specifying characteristic, which is a book draw a great deal of purchasers can get behind.