2017 Toyota Highlander Review

Fuel Type
City MPG
Highway MPG
  • Performance
    4.0 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    4.1 of 5.0
  • Interior
    4.2 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    3.5 of 5.0
09 Sep 2016

The 2017 Toyota Highlander is the company’s largest SUV crossover model. Crossover rolls of the assembly line are the most common these days, and competing in this segment is extremely difficult. Automobile manufacturers are being forced to outdo themselves with each new model release, because an adequate crossover will no longer suffice. At the 2017 New York Auto Show, the Highlander made its debut. The exterior was updated to look sharper, less bulky, and more modern overall. Also, the interior hasn’t lagged behind; it looks fantastic, and the tech features on offer are top-notch. We are confident that this chart-topping crossover will do even better in the coming years.

Exterior design

The front grille is the most noticeable difference between the 2017 Toyota Highlander and the previous model. Although most of the 2016 Highlander’s features have been carried over, this upgraded front grille transforms the car’s entire appearance.

The grille is much larger and sharper, giving the front a more aggressive appearance and making it appear more like an SUV. The grille has been divided into two sections, with a strip of body-colored metal running between them. There is no longer a chrome strip around the logo, only dark material that extends all the way down to the bumper. The grille on the LE, LE Plus, and XLE will be silver painted, while the Limited and Platinum will have a chrome finish.

The headlights will be a little smaller and have a slightly different design. The headlights will use more efficient LED lights, so the lamps will not need to be as large to produce the same amount of lux. The design of the foglights has also changed slightly. Instead of a square cut-out, a high vertical niche now surrounds it.

The front looks much better now that the grille has been changed in a simple but significant way. That is why Toyota most likely decided to keep the side and rear as they were. The car’s high wheel arches give it the appearance of an SUV, despite the fact that it’s still classified as a crossover. The dark material that outlines the lower part of the car and bumpers appears to be a darker gray.

Toasted Walnut Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic, and Salsa Red Pearl are the three new exterior color options (the last only on the SE trim).

Interior design

The interior also doesn’t change much. Some changes are related to current technology features and keeping up with current trends. For example, a new brown leather color is available as an option on the Limited Platinum trim, as brown leather is becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

Additionally, black leather seats with silver accents and stitching are available, particularly in the SE trim. There’s also a black dashboard shelf with matching dashboard and doorpanel inserts.

The 2017 Toyota Highlander now has four additional USB ports throughout the vehicle, bringing the total number of USB ports to five.

Because of the second row bench seat, the Highlander comes standard as an eight-passenger vehicle. However, you can have the bench seat removed and two captain seats installed in the second row. This brings the total number of seats to seven.

Engine specs

The real difference between the 2017 Toyota Highlander and previous models is found under the hood. Toyota’s new 3.5-liter V6 engine with direct injection will power the vehicle. This results in increased engine power as well as improved fuel economy. The engine is also smaller and lighter than the engine in the 2016 Highlander. This engine has a power output of 295 horsepower. When this engine is selected, the six-speed automatic transmission from the 2016 Highlander will be replaced by an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Although Toyota hasn’t released specific statistics yet, we expect to see the engine make 290 horsepower. The six speed automatic transmission from the 2016 Highlander will be replaced by an eight speed automatic transmission when opting for this engine. Aside from that engine, the 2016 Highlander retains its 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. This engine will be available only on the base trim with FWD.

The Stop & Start Engine System is another engine feature that should improve fuel economy. This system automatically shuts off the car when it comes to a stop at a red light or is stuck in traffic and restarts it as soon as the foot is taken off the brake.

The hybrid will also be available. The 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission are now standard. Unfortunately, the eight-speed automatic transmission did not fit in the hybrid. All-wheel drive will be standard on the hybrid.

Tech specs

Unlike the 2016 Highlander, the 2017 Toyota Highlander will include a slew of standard safety features. The Toyota Safety Sense System combines these features. Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, and Automated High Beams are all included. When driving at night, this feature automatically activates the high beams for improved visibility. At the same time, it uses the front camera to detect oncoming vehicle headlights. The high beams are then automatically dimmed so that the oncoming driver is not blinded.

There’s also Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Automatic Emergency Braking and a Pedestrian Pre-Collision System.

Toyota’s Perimeter Scan is standard on the highest trim levels and provides a 360-degree view of the vehicle using the exterior camera system.

Price and sale date

The 2017 Toyota Highlander will be available in dealerships in October. The LE model starts at $30,630, the XLE model starts at $38,690, the SE model starts at $39,690, the Limited model starts at $41,680, and the range top Limited Platinum model starts at $44,800.

The 2017 Highlander will not be available in Europe. Although Americans adore large truck-like SUVs, Europeans are less enamored. As a result, many car manufacturers decide not to release an SUV in Europe, or to limit their offering to just one. The largest Toyota crossover currently available in Europe is the 2017 Toyota C-HR, which has a reasonable price.