This year marks the Toyota Highlander’s first complete redesign since its launch in 2001. Riding on a new platform shared with the Toyota Camry and Avalon, the second-generation Highlander boasts a restyled exterior and larger dimensions than its predecessor. Automobile Magazine predicts that this new Highlander “should be brilliant doing the things it was designed to do: hum along the expressway on family vacations, and zip to and fro around town every day of the week.” The Highlander is a “Recommended” pick and “Best Family Vehicle” for 2008. Though many reviewers have good things to say, the changes aren’t all for the better. The Highlander may be larger, but many still complain about the lack of interior and cargo room. And despite the previous two engines being dropped in favor of a standard V6, it continues to be outclassed by competitors that offer sportier driving.
The Highlander comes in three trims — base, Sport and Limited — in either front- or all-wheel drive. This review focuses on the gasoline-powered Highlander, but a hybrid version is also available.