Easy & fun to drive! A solid performer!
The 2011 Toyota Highland V6 AWD drives like a Camry. On our road test, the Highlander rode quite smoothly over Winnipeg’s infamous pothole-laden streets. This mid-size SUV crossover seats up to 7 people with a 3rd row of seats in the back. Having said that, I always question to practicality of those extra seats, even for larger families. It will seat 4 comfortably and lots of interior storage capacity when the 3rd row seating is stored.
The Highland AWD model came with a 250-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine. It was quick off the line and responsive when passing on the highway. Did I mention it drives like the Toyota Camry? It also sounded like a Camry – quiet. A slight purring of the engine when accelerating, and not much else was heard except the tunes coming from the XM Satellite enabled audio system.
Other comfort and convenience features include dual zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power seats, heated mirrors, keyless entry and a rear-view camera. The power lift gate is always an excellent addition for trips to the grocery store. We found it quite convenient when delivering copies of the Filipino Journal around Winnipeg. Missing on the features list is memory seating.
The central console had large knobs and large buttons. Perfect for the winter when you have gloves on and trying to adjust the temperature or changing radio stations!
Fuel consumption on the Highlander AWD V6 model, 12.3 (city), 8.8 (highway) and 10.8 (combined) L/100kms.
The Highlander comes with seven airbags for front passengers, side-mounted airbags, driver knee airbag, roll-sensing curtain airbags for all passengers in the event of a rollover.
Overall, the Highlander is great for families that are looking to get out of the mini-van mould and into the mid-size SUV/crossover models. The Highlander offers great passenger experience, practicality (except for the 3rd row seating) and ample cargo space.
Other vehicles in the same category of mid-size SUV crossovers include the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Mazda CX-9, Ford Flex, Dodge Journey and the Hyundai Santa Fe.