2017 Toyota Highlander: Start-Stop For (Almost) All

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

Toyota unveiled a refreshed 2017 Highlander in advance of next week’s New York International Auto Show. The only external clues appear to be a wider, deeper grille, hiding a host of mechanical and interior upgrades. A new, direct-injected 3.5 liter V6 is paired to an equally-new eight-speed automatic.

The new V6 also features a fuel-saving start-stop system on all but the “only on the lot to advertise a low lease payment” LE model.

The Highlander will also be offered in a sporty SE model, with dark trim replacing much of the brightwork, black leather seating, a tuned suspension, and 19-inch wheels to differentiate the sport model from the Highlanders that spend the weekends at the off-road park.

Connected passengers will be thrilled that four more USB charging ports have been added to the luxurious interior, for a total of five.

[Image: Toyota]

Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.

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  • VW4motion VW4motion on Mar 16, 2016

    This new Highlander will break its sales record. Not to many vehicles beat its reliability ratings and resale value. Compare this to a Nissan Pathfinder which somehow is a competitor. You lose about $10k driving off the lot in a Pathfinder and the Highlander has one of the highest resale values out of any vehicle.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Mar 16, 2016

    Ugly? Yes. Maybe a different color? But I'll probably buy an SE if it can get around a corner without flopping over on its side like a fish out of water. I need a CUV, and live in the sticks. I can buy a more interesting one in Portland, but have really tired of driving into/through Gotham for service. I can buy a Highlander 15 miles away from home. Getting old and boring, I guess.

  • ToolGuy Friendly reminder of two indisputable facts: A) Winners buy new vehicles (only losers buy used), and B) New vehicle buyers are geniuses (their vehicle choices prove it):
  • Groza George Stellantis live off the back of cheap V8 cars with old technology and suffers from lack of new product development. Now that regulations killed this market, they have to ditch the outdated overhead.They are not ready to face the tsunami of cheap Chinese EVs or ready to even go hybrid and will be left in the dust. I expect most of their US offerings to be made in Mexico in the future for good tariff protection and lower costs of labor instead of overpriced and inflexible union labor.
  • MaintenanceCosts This is delaying an oil change for my Highlander by a couple of weeks, as it prevented me from getting an appointment before a business trip out of town. Oh well, much worse things have happened.I also just got a dealership oil change for my BMW (thanks, loss-leader prepaid plans!) and this didn't seem to affect them at all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Gonna need more EV fuel.
  • Lou_BC There's a company in BC that has kits for logging trucks and pickups. They have "turn key" logging trucks too. What they market is similar to what Ram wants to sell. The rig runs on batteries and a generator kicks in when depleted. On the West Coast logging in the mountains they found that the trucks run mostly on regen braking. The generator doesn't kick in much. Going up mountain, the truck is empty.