More power and fuel economy? That’s the name of the game for the 2017 Highlander thanks to its new 3.5-liter V6 D-4S Injection engine and Direct Shift – 8AT 8-speed automatic transmission. Taking full advantage of this revised powertrain is a new-for-2017 SE grade that brings a premium, sporty personality to the lineup. Not to be out shined by its gas-sipping siblings, the Highlander Hybrid adds two additional entry-level grades – LE and XLE – to its popular range. All Highlander models receive revised front and rear styling and enhanced interior convenience and comfort. Long story short, it’s great to be a Highlander buyer for 2017.
The Highlander is among numerous Toyotas having the innovative and highly advanced Toyota Safety Sense™ P driver-assist technology as standard. Using millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera sensor to detect a preceding pedestrian, a preceding vehicle, and visible lane markers in the surrounding area, TSS-P can help the driver identify obstacles and automatically apply braking if necessary to help mitigate or avoid collisions in certain conditions. TSS-P includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function; Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams.
In the spring of 2016, Toyota committed to making automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all models by the end of 2017 (2018 Model Year). This decision will place Toyota four years ahead of the model-year 2022 industry target announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – before any other full-line automaker.
A Bigger Touch of Luxury
The 2017 Highlander conveys a more elegant presence in all grades for 2017.
The front grille on LE, LE Plus and XLE grades features a silver-painted finish, while Limited and Platinum grades have a painted chrome finish. The taillights are redesigned for a sleeker look and now feature standard LEDs, and the Limited and Platinum models receive tasteful rear bumper chrome garnishes.
Three new exterior colors look as luxurious as they sound: Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl.
Inside, all Highlander add four USB ports for a total of five, making charging personal devices easier (and possibly helping to keep the peace on long family trips).
Limited and Limited Platinum grades, previously offered only in seven-passenger configurations with middle-row captain’s chairs, now offer a bench-style middle row seat from other grades for eight-passenger seating. The Limited Platinum also offers a lavish new brown leather interior.
Highlander Hybrid: Higher Power, Higher Fuel Efficiency
The 2017 Highlander Hybrid is one of eight hybrid models offered by Toyota. Available for 2017 in LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum grades, the Highlander Hybrid impresses with its outstanding power and efficiency.
The Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the new Direct-Injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator produces 306 total system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance. The Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient Highlander too, with an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway/29 mpg combined fuel economy rating.
All Highlander Hybrid models come equipped with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD-i system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when neede d to help maintain optimal traction. (Toyota USA)
Photo Credits: Toyota USA