CNHI News Service

Features

December 31, 2012

CARS: Highlander makes a 270 horsepower statement

I usually don't pay much attention to the engine in Toyota products.

If I'm driving a sports car, I might get all nerdy about the lightweight construction and drool over the high-tech, electronic variable-vale whatchamacallit. But Toyotas are merely Toyotas — practical, comfortable and reliable.

Weirdly, though, I was smitten by the 3.5-liter V6 engine in Toyota's Highlander crossover I drove this week. It's powerful, producing a muscle-car-like 270 horsepower, and sounds inspiring with a throaty exhaust note.

The V6 is the bigger of two engines Toyota offers in the Highlander — the other being a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 187 horses — but the fuel economy figures make the bigger engine a no-brainer if you can afford it.

It makes 44 percent more power but is rated for just 1 mpg worse on the highway.

According to the EPA's figures for a two-wheel-drive Highlander, you'll get 25 mpg on the highway with four cylinders and 24 mpg if you opt for the V6. That's amazing.

Aside from the surprisingly good V6, the Highlander simply lives up to expectations as a Toyota crossover.

It's quiet, smooth riding and car-like in demeanor, despite having a high ride height and boxy body that make it look like an SUV. It has three rows of seats, although cargo space is pretty limited when you have people sitting in the third row.

Carrying three rows of passengers and their bulky luggage for a road trip would be tough. With the third row folded down, though, it's got plenty of cargo room to offer SUV-like versatility. If you need to haul a big dresser home from the furniture store, you can fold the seats flat and treat the Highlander like a plush moving van.

Toyota has rearranged the Highlander's standard equipment and option packages for 2013. In addition to the base model, it's available in the new Highlander Plus trim that replaces the old Tech Package and adds several popular features, including a back-up camera. It's also available in SE and Limited grades that come standard with the V6 engine.

Text Only
Features
  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 4.02.29 PM.png VIDEO: Nebraska prom mishap goes viral

    A group of 22 high school students from Pierce, Neb., all decked out in prom finery, took an unplanned dip in a four-foot-deep pond when the bridge they were posing on for pictures gave way. Photos from the incident have gone viral on social media.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.43.57 AM.png VIDEO: Amazing dance moves at NCAA title game

    Eye-catching action wasn't confined to the court at AT&T Stadium Monday night during the NCAA Championship game between UConn and Kentucky. This pair -- apparently a father and son -- delighted the crowd during a timeout with some synchronized dance moves.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 3.36.06 PM.png 3 apps to make your flight easier

    Whether you fly once a week for work or once a year for a vacation, you can bet that all areas of your trip are being monitored by smart phones. While it isn't hard to find an app with your flight info, some apps make the process of flying a lot simpler.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • watching-tv.jpg Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

    Three years ago, Royse City Herald Banner reporter Chris McGathey and his family decided to ditch pay TV in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper web-based services. It's a decision they haven't regretted.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_amazonfiretv.jpg Amazon introduces Fire TV to challenge Apple in living rooms

    Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is stepping up efforts to win over customers in their living rooms with a $99 TV box for watching digitally delivered shows and movies, challenging Apple's TV device.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • how-i-met-your-mother.jpg Legendary? Breaking down the HIMYM finale on social media

    After nine years and more than 200 episodes, the landmark CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" wrapped up Monday night with several twists in the story that left its fans sharply divided. Here is a sampling of viewer reaction.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

News
Sports

Opinion