You're drawn to the Toyota Highlander for its functional, family-friendly nature, frugal gas mileage, consistently good reliability, high resale value, and standard advanced safety features. Those buyers looking for snazzy styling, exhilarating performance, or an engaging driving experience should be forewarned -- these aren't the Highlander's strengths.
The Highlander is a practical three-row SUV with a manageable footprint and civilized road manners. It's one of the most popular vehicles among Consumer Reports subscribers and it does well in our owner satisfaction and reliability surveys.
Most versions come with a punchy 295-hp, 3.5-liter V6 that is coupled with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. In our tests this combination returned 22 mpg overall. This powertrain gives the Highlander ample reserve power, but the transmission isn't the smoothest.