The Toyota Highlander surprised me. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, and the interior was hands-down my favourite this year.
This was also my first experience driving a Hybrid vehicle of any kind. When you start it, it’s so quiet and the motor doesn’t kick in for a couple of seconds so that takes a bit of getting used to. When you’re coasting slowly it’s so very very quiet as well, because the gas-powered part of the motor doesn’t have to be running.
Due to the hybrid I also noticed less fuel use than we usually consume, which was nice.
The console was especially useful with the USB port and phone storage all perfectly convenient and within reach.
I loved the colour and feel of the interior leather. The seat’s leather was somewhat perforated and made a very light whirring sound in the front when you had the seat cooling turned on though.
The stereo sound by JBL was excellent, the very best sounding car stereo I’ve heard.
It seat seven comfortably and was very functional in it’s layout. I definitely prefer the second row two bucket seats and third row bench seat configuration over a second-row bench.
The back windows were also much wider than a standard second row, which made shoulder checks easy. Along with the double moon roof, the back of the vehicle is very light and roomy feeling.
Toyota offers keyless entry on a whole other level – if you’re holding the keys you just have to touch the front door and it locks/unlocks the vehicle. I loved this feature!
Overall, the Toyota Highlander met all of my must-haves:
- leather upholstery
- back-up camera
- push-button lift-gate
- USB connection
- heated seats
- power sun roof
- Fits in my garage
- 7 passenger seating
And also offered a lot of ‘nice to haves’:
- Heated steering wheel
- Cooled seats
- 2nd row heated seats
- second row bucket seats
The price as driven was $55,700 which works out to about $826 per month over 7 years according to the Cars.com Auto Loan Calculator.