• Lots of powertrain options
  • Hybrid fuel economy
  • Versatile, user-friendly interior
  • Bland exterior
  • Numb driving experience
SUM UP The twenty-first-century minivan.

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Highlander in 2013

The four-cylinder is now available only in the base model. A touch-screen stereo display is now standard, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system is optional on the SE...more

Overview

If you’re considering a crossover on practical grounds, it’s hard to do better than the Toyota Highlander. It squeezes three rows of seats into a manageable mid-size package. It outflanks competitors with three powertrain offerings—an in-line four-cylinder, a V-6, and a V-6 hybrid that achieves 28 mpg combined. The conventional six-cylinder likely would get better fuel economy if it, like the 2.7-liter four-cylinder, came with a six-speed automatic transmission rather than a five-speed. The interior, although lacking the pizazz of some newer offerings, remains a strong point, featuring large controls and all the technology buyers in this segment expect. The Highlander’s styling borrows from Toyota’s larger, tougher trucks, but the Highlander isn’t fooling anyone: it’s a minivan for those who don’t want to be seen driving a minivan. There are some features that will please former minivan owners, such as second-row captain’s chairs that can slide together to become a bench seat. A power liftgate is standard on all but base models. Driving dynamics aren’t usually a top consideration in this segment, but we still think Toyota engineers could do better than the Highlander’s limp, numb steering and “safe” handling. In fact, Toyota’s own minivan, the Sienna, is more engaging to drive.

Safety

Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; a backup camera; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Toyota Highlander

  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Kia Sorento
  • Mazda CX-9

Read less

2013 Highlander Standard Equipment

Braking and Handling

  • Four Wheel ABS

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Auto On Headlights
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Vehicle Information Center

Exterior

  • Privacy Glass
  • Rear Spoiler

Safety

  • Brake Assist
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • Hill Decent Control
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear View Camera
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Third row seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • iPod Connector

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels
  • Full Spare Tire
What are the factory warranties? See Warranties
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