2018 Toyota Highlander Review, Specs, Interior and Release Date
2018 Toyota Highlander Review, Specs, Interior and Release Date – The 2018 Toyota Highlander delivers much of what families want inside a three-row crossover for a reasonable price; the Highlander Hybrid is icing on the cake.
MSRP: From $TBA
Horsepower: 185 hp to 295 hp
MPG: Up to 30 city / 28 highway
Review continues below
Dimensions: 193” L, 76” W, 70” H
Curb weight: 4,165 to 4,965 lbs.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander is usually a three-row crossover SUV capable of seating around eight passengers. It’s Toyota’s entry into a highly competitive and fast-growing segment and one of our favorites thanks to its versatile interior, impressive safety record, and robust V-6 engine option.
2018 Toyota Highlander
All told, this means the Highlander scores a compelling 7.0 from 10 on our scale.
Featuring a 2018 Highlander, Toyota has created time stand still—or perhaps it’s carried the crossover over into the new year without changes from 2017. This popular crossover remains obtainable in an amazing selection of trim levels: LE, LE Plus, SE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum, a few of which is often ordered having a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.
The Highlander Hybrid is considered the most fuel-efficient crossovers, but the majority Highlanders are powered by the 3.5-liter V-6 with a rating of 295 horsepower that is combined with front- or all-wheel drive. A 185-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder is standard on the beds base Highlander LE with front-wheel drive only; it’s cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Eventhough it may look somewhat truckier than shapely rivals such as the Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse, the Highlander is usually a car-based crossover created for conquering a snow-covered parking zone in suburbia than plucking its way up an unpaved mountain pass. Leave that duty to Toyota’s 4Runner an advanced mud-plugger.
Toyota fits the Highlander with probably the most advanced safety technology in their class. All models have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights. That’s enough to earn a Top Safety Pick+ nod on the IIHS and five stars overall from federal testers.
2018 Toyota Highlander Styling
Its exterior won’t win it many fans, but the Toyota Highlander’s interior is comfortable and calming.
Beauty, thy name is just not 2018 Toyota Highlander. A large update recently gave the Highlander more power and also a better interior, but it really did no favors for any crossover’s exterior.
We’ve deducted an area due to the confused styling outside but added one back for any crossover’s attractive interior look.
Toyota seems to have taken a webpage by reviewing the Lexus division regarding the Highlander’s razor-sharp front. Looking something similar to a pyramid made from Gillette Mach 3s, the snout protrudes enough to create us somewhat uncomfortable. That’s a shame since the remainder of the Highlander is muscular and shapely in a sort of mini-Land Cruiser way.
The Highlander SE tones across the chrome having a dark finish to its grille slats, yet its 12-spoke wheels look somewhat more “1998 tuner” than we’d like. But, the normal buyer having a growing family of your little ones probably dreamed of an Supra on these wheels 20 yrs ago, so should it be a valid design.
Inside, things are considerably more calming. The Highlander’s wide dash is logically outlined, with secondary controls grouped on the left in the steering wheel. The two-tier look is both neat and functional; there’s more than enough room to keep some charging smartphones over a shelf about halfway inside the dashboard and Toyota has thought to include pass-throughs for USB chargers to minimize on clutter. Every trim gets their own finishes, although perhaps the reasonably convincing faux wood applied to higher-spec models won’t fool anyone stepping from, say, a Lexus in to a 2018 Highlander
2018 Toyota Highlander Performance
All Toyota Highlanders ride well, but the optional V-6 is without a doubt worthwhile.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander is on the market in three basic flavors: mild, medium, and gluten free paleo kale salad. This crossover rides well as well as V-6 found for most Highlanders is strong, but we’ve performed an area for any milquetoast base 4-cylinder, bringing items to a 6 from 10 overall.
Fortunately, the Highlander’s 2.7-liter inline-4 is relegated to the beds base LE trim level with front-wheel drive. Its 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque is tasked with motivating about 4,165 pounds of crossover, meaning perhaps the slick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission can’t elevate it. That has a full load of humans and cargo aboard, it is just a battle to pass even tractors plugging along at half the rate limit.
Moreover, the bottom inline-4 is considerably thirstier than the not compulsory V-6—mainly because it’s constantly struggling. Our advice? Cut 4-cylinder.
Optional relating to the LE and standard elsewhere the Highlander’s 3.5-liter V-6 is with a rating of 295 hp and 263 lb-ft, which can be shuttled to either the front- or all-four wheels via a very good 8-speed automatic. This smooth and strong V-6 is muscular and refined. It’s our favorite engines in different application, even something as big and heavy given that the Highlander.
The Highlander Hybrid, available for an LE, XLE, or Limited, or Platinum, works on a version of the V-6 mated to a 45 kw nickel-metal hydride battery as well as electric motors. All Highlander Hybrids are all-wheel drive. At 306 hp combined system output, they’re peppy, although the roughly 300 pound curb weight increase with a non-hybrid means they’re slightly slower. The Highlander Hybrid works on a continuously variable transmission that offers near-instant acceleration, albeit with some engine drone reaching the cabin.
Most Highlanders ride about the suspension that’s tuned to prioritize ride comfort. LE and XLE trim levels feature 18-inch alloy wheels with a respectable amount of sidewall that provides them which includes a buttery smooth ride almost worthy from a Lexus badge. Opt for a Limited or Limited Platinum together with the 19-inch alloy wheels standard on those make things a hair firmer. The Highlander SE—out of stock as a general hybrid—has a sport suspension that firms some misconception without actually making this crossover much more pleasurable to drive. All models have precise, accurate steering that’s light enough for in-town maneuverability albeit with a suggestion of on-center vagueness relating to the highway.
Despite their vaguely mini-Land Cruiser looks and 8.0 inches of ground clearance, Highlanders are not meant for serious off-road use. Instead, their optional all-wheel-drive system endows these for confidence-inspiring traction on slippery, snow-covered roads. In case you are a sun-belter, the front-wheel drive Highlander may very well suffice.
2018 Toyota Highlander Comfort & Quality
The Toyota Highlander’s interior is well thought out with good storage for both humans and cargo, although it is far from particularly upscale.
All versions belonging to the 2018 Toyota Highlander are comfy and solid inside, with terrific space for eight passengers.
We’ve given the Highlander points above average for the terrific front and 2nd row seats, and also another point for the roomy cargo deck when basically the driver and passenger seats are stowed away. It becomes an 8 using 10 on our scale.
Front seat passengers are treated to supportive seats. The driver’s seat is power-adjusted on all purchases, while XLE and above grades have a power passenger’s seat. Oddly, no model has a height-adjustable passenger’s seat, an omission that feels borderline glaring on a totally equipped Highlander.
Cost-free row moves fore and aft around the tug from a lever and folds flat in the 60/40 configuration for larger objects. Some versions are provided with individual captain’s chairs in the second row. Evidently this drops the Highlander’s seating capacity from eight to seven, it allows a great easy pass-through to the regular third row plus there is a good small table that appears to have small items during the go. Right back, there does exist room for kids, however it is tight for adults. The middle row isn’t power-folding, nonetheless it flops flat along with the tug from a lever and, when upright, the backrest is adjustable for rake.
Behind your third row, the Highlander has just shy of 14 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold your third row and this grows to well over 42 cubes. With all the second and third rows stowed away, the cargo floor is flat and offers more than 83 cubic feet of space. Both Highlander together with the Highlander Hybrid enjoy the same amount of space inside. There’s numerous small item storage devices scattered during the cabin. We’re particularly enamored with a shelf built-into the dashboard that’s perfectly sized for smartphones, pens, and sunglasses.
The Highlander’s cabin is fitted with fairly nice materials given its price. Soft-touch plastics and rubbers dominate the dashboard and front door panels. Work your way back and the content quality drops off a bit. LE models have copious painted silver trim that appears downmarket, but Limited and Limited Platinum variants swap in reasonably convincing fake wood. The SE has its own interior trim and black leather seats, but no model feels especially luxurious inside.
2018 Toyota Highlander Safety
Kudos to Toyota making some important safety tech standard relating to the 2018 Highlander.
The Toyota Highlander boasts among the highest variety of standard collision-avoiding tech for the three-row crossover possesses performed well in crash tests.
That literally brings it to a 9 using 10 in this particular eyes, with only a little room for improvement.
All Highlanders come standard with what Toyota brands its Toyota Safety Sense-P package: adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with full-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, active lane control, and automatic high beams. Here, those features are included; on rivals, we suggest paying extra for them.
Combined those includes full complement of airbags and also a solid crash structure, and it is a recipe for success. The IIHS rates the Highlander a Top Safety Pick+, its highest score. Only its “Acceptable” headlights maintain it from earning perfect scores all around.
The federal government awards the Highlander with five stars overall, albeit with four stars around the frontal crash test and four stars for rollover.
2018 Toyota Highlander Features
Toyota offers quite a few Highlander models suitable for nearly every budget.
That you should invest some time working on your path within the 2018 Toyota Highlander lineup. Because of its massive amount models, good infotainment system, and that it’s well-equipped even within the base level, the Highlander rates an 8 beyond 10 here.
The lineup commences with the Highlander LE, available with either 4- or 6-cylinder power (all other models are V-6-only). It could be the base Highlander, though the LE looks the do without its 18-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, and turn signal mirrors. Inside, it’s fitted that has a 4.2-inch LCD screen from the instrument cluster, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery that has a power driver’s seat, including a 6.1-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity.
The Highlander LE Plus runs about $2,400 greater than an LE with the optional V-6. For that money, you’re treated for an 8.0-inch infotainment system that has a navigation app that utilizes a connected smartphone’s data plan, three-zone automatic climate control, an electrical passenger’s seat, leatherette and cloth upholstery, a flip-up rear window for small item access, and some styling bits.
Next up may be the Highlander XLE that has a moonroof, full navigation it does not require a smartphone, leather upholstery, heated seats at the start, including a microphone incorporated into the overhead console that amplifies the driver’s voice making sure that passengers in all three rows can hear the reply to “are we there yet?” crystal clear.
The Highlander SE builds within the XLE that has a sports suspension plus some special styling elements, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Next up, the Highlander Limited features perforated leather with air-conditioned seats at the start and heated seats in row two, memory for any driver’s seat, including a JBL audio system. The Limited Platinum bridges the gap between Toyota and Lexus that has a surround view camera system, a heated wheel, including a panoramic moonroof.
The Highlander Hybrid model range mostly mirrors the gas-only model, albeit devoid of the LE Plus and SE trim levels. Additionally, all Highlander Hybrids are all-wheel drive.
Toyota doesn’t offer a great number of choices on the Highlander lineup. XLE and Limited models offer traditional between a second row bench and captain’s chairs and they could be especially well suited for a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system.
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system successful and possible integrated navigation system is to use. We doing this Toyota offers an app-based navigation on LE Plus models, a move which allows owners permission to access a huge navigation screen during a reasonable price point. But no model offers Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a glaring omission in 2018.
2018 Toyota Highlander Fuel Economy
The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid delivers excellent fuel efficiency. Other models? Less much.
Featuring strong V-6, the 2018 Toyota Highlander is fairly fuel-efficient given its size and girth. Nevertheless the real standout extremely effective Highlander Hybrid, one among few truly thrifty vehicles able to seating as long as 8.
Our 6 beyond 10 score is using the best-selling version: an all-wheel drive Highlander together with the V-6 gas engine.
That model is rated making use of EPA test at 20 mpg city, 26 highway, 22 combined. Not great, however it is not terrible either. Skip the all-wheel drive and others figures rise to 21/27/23 mpg.
Think you will use less gas by sticking with the Highlander 4-cylinder only available with front-wheel drive within the entry-level LE? Think one more time: its 20/24/22 mpg actually helps it be the thirstiest Highlander since real estate 4-cylinder is required to work so tough motivate this bulky crossover.
All V-6 Highlanders receive an auto start/stop system that cuts the engine at traffic lights and starts it down again once the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. It’s mostly unobtrusive and is one of the best these systems.
It’s a prettier picture in terms of the Highlander Hybrid: 30/28/29 mpg for any LE featuring 18-inch wheels and 29/27/28 mpg for other models as a result of slightly larger wheels including a roof rack that increases drag.