Her + His Car Reviews

2019 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$45,019 $45,019
This updated 3-row mid-sized SUV is one of the best performers in its class. Handling, capability, and responsiveness make this ride most attractive for driver and passengers alike. What a voluminous interior for this spacious hauler - over a 5,000-tow capacity.

Supported by 19" black alloy tires, this 8-speed automatic can go through all kinds of inclement weather as well as fly on the free roads. Dynamic torque control AWD with Stop and Start Engage System for an always-reliable beginning. The V6 engine in our tester with 295 horses makes vehicle go and is the way to go; the 4-cylinder engine gets average reviews for its sluggish performance.
Solid. Capable. Steady. Secure. The Highlander comes in front wheel and all wheel drives, and there are three powerplant offerings: a 2.7-liter 185 horsepower four, a 3.5-liter 295 horsepower V-6, a 3.5-liter, 306 horsepower V-6 as part of a powerplant system for the hybrid. Transmissions available include a six-speed automatic and an eight-speed automatic CVT.
Fuel Economy
20 city miles, 26 highway miles averaging out at 22 combines miles for improved fuel efficiency. Fuel economy ranges from 20 mpg city to as much as 27 mpg on the non-hybrid versions.
The Vehicle
The 2019 Toyota Highlander gets looks and kudos for its upgrades, fuel efficiency compared to its competitors, and the powerful brand of hauling capacity that it affords. It's been lauded for a tasty interior and modified the heavily squared off, more truck-looking design of earlier years. With Entune and other added technology features, Toyota is making the Highlander a real SUV pacesetter.

Now, like many 3-row SUVs, that last row of seating is very condensed. Having said that, it does recline. In fact, its outright stingy in size for average-built adults, so we advise put the younger and smaller 'uns in the third row - there will be less complaining making a more enjoyable drive. The Highlander has 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. Getting to that third row is enhanced with the ease of the 60/40 split second-row seat.

For an easier loading and unloading process, they've added a two-piece rear hatch with a flip-up glass window.
First, the 2019 Highlander looks vastly different and feels larger than the generation model I tested. And I couldn't help but notice that it had a real luxury ambiance that made one eel well taken care of while driving.

I really liked not only how the Highlander performed, but also how it felt. You feel utterly in control - and its road feel, handling and steering are all top drawer. Braking is confident and sure without feeling as though you are about to be tossed through the windshield--and yes there are some SUVs out on the road now that do make you feel that way.
Top safety features are found in the 2019 and let's get started with the list: Safety Sense that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and 8 Airbags!

Star Safety System, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Alert, Smart Key, Alarm and Engine Mobilizer, LATCH-Lower Anchor, Hill Start and Downhill Assist Control.
Highlander gets the full complement of safety features from Toyota as standard equipment, including automatic emergency braking, and other features include forward collision warning/automatic braking, lane departure alert, steering assist alerts and other items. Highlander enjoys a five-star safety rating from NHTSA.
5 USB ports, Bluetooth, Rearview camera, Surround-view camera, Satellite radio, HD Radio, AM/FM, DVD. JBL 12 speaker audio system, Proximity key entry, Push-button Start, Tri-zone automatic climate control for maximum comfort.

Rear-seat entertainment system with 9" Screens for kids or comfort, LED Lights, Moonroof, Front & Rear Parking Sensors. Power liftgate.

Of course, there is a 12-way Power driver seat, that is heated and cooled. Power adjustable passenger seats that are heated and cooled. Heated second row seats also. Leather steering wheel, premium leather seats on this SUV for super comfortable trips.
Standard LE features include 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-ice, rear privacy glass, a rearview camera, rear air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver's seat, a sliding and reclining 60/40-split second-row seat, and a reclining 60/40-split third-row seat. You also get a 6.1-inch touchscreen, five USB ports (three in the front and two in the rear), Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player.

A big bonus in our view is that every Highlander also comes with the Toyota Safety Sense bundle that includes automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

If you want to step up a bit, consider the LE Plus, with its standard V6 engine, a height-adjustable power liftgate, a flip-up rear window, fog lights, tri-zone automatic climate control, upgraded upholstery and trim, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, a high-resolution 8-inch touchscreen, satellite and HD radio, and a variety of smartphone-connection apps.

Next up is the XLE, which has a standard equipment list that includes sunroof, roof rails, keyless entry and ignition, an upgraded instrument panel, leather upholstery (simulated leather for the third row), heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, second-row window sunshades, a 110-volt power outlet, a navigation system, and Driver Easy Speak, which carries the driver's voice through the rear speakers to distant passengers.
Aesthetics & Styling
The New Toyota Highlander has been lauded for a tasty interior and modified the heavily squared off, more truck-looking design of earlier years. Now, with a more attractive and universally accepted contoured SUV-appearance, the Highlander is a true competitor.

The interior is stylish with the luxurious touch, easy to use features. It is a comfort creature SUV and roomy all the way from front to back. Backed by Toyota and an increase in technology gadgets, it's hard to beat. Prices add up quickly, however, as new packages and models are introduced, having this version square off against several Lexus models.
Well...it's pretty, but it's a squarish design that blends-in rather than stands out. If you want a more exciting, or dramatic or stylish SUV, you will have to put out the serious money and that means Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, Audi or somebody else at the top of the pecking order. To get styling these days, well...you got to pay for it! But there's good news inside: It's so roomy!

My sometimes-battling teenagers each claimed a row of seats to occupy, and they each felt like they were kings, ensconced in their own separate kingdom with enough isolation so they didn't get on each other's nerves. Some reviewers have complained that the third-row seat is cramped, but my kids, even my lanky 14-year-old did not have any issues.

The dashboard felt large and sweeping, but not so much so that I felt overwhelmed. All the controls were where they should be and there were no nasty surprises as I managed the whole instrument panel. And everything was absolutely intuitive. This is one of the few products in which you could jump right in and not have to bother with the owner's manual to find out how everything worked.
3 Year/36,000 mile Basic Warranty, 5 Year/60,000 mile Powertrain Warranty. The usual three-year, 36,000-mile bumper to bumper package is provided for the Highlander.