What originally began as a compact crossover in 2001, the Toyota Highlander has grown to proportions offering 7-passenger seating and a third row when the third generation SUV was introduced in the 2014 model year. For 2017, the Highlander gets a significant mid-cycle update and expands the lineup to ten models. Toyota plans to reveal the refreshed 2017 Highlander at the New York International Auto Show and TFLcar will be there to give you a first look.
Toyota says the 2017 Highlander will have seating for up to 8-passengers, a new 3.5-liter V6 engine, and a new 8-speed automatic transmission. This gives the Highlander buyers three different powertrain choices: the new V6 with direct injection, a hybrid V6, and the older V6 engine that will only be in the LE trim. The 8-speed automatic transmission will be standard on all V6 gas models while hybrid models will use the electronically-controlled CVT.
The refreshed Highlander will be available in six different model grades variants for the gas powered models (LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum), and four in the hybrid models. All gas models are available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive while all the hybrid models continue to be offered with all-wheel drive.
The lineup has been expanded with a new mid-range trim level called SE. SE models receive 19-inch alloy wheels, a sportier suspension, and dark accents on both ends. Inside, the SE trim has black leather upholstery with silver contrast stitching.
Exterior modifications and the use of more aluminum and high-strength steel will help improve fuel efficiency. A new front grille, a redesigned front bumper, and new visual design for the front and rear lights are part of the new look of the 2017 Highlander. New paint colors and fresh alloy wheel designs will also be available.
All 2017 Highlanders will supplement the existing Toyota Star system with a new advanced safety package, Toyota Safety Sense P. Elements in the TSSP bundle include a Pre-Collision System with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake, Lane Departure Alert, Pedestrian Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. The Highlander XLE and above adds a standard Blind Spot Monitor while the Highlander Platinum Limited gets a new 360-degree Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander line will start appearing in showrooms this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
In this TFLcar off-road mashup review, Nathan and Roman take 2016 Toyota Highlander and 2016 Honda Pilot up Gold Mine Hill to see which one is better on a technical ascent.