2017 Toyota Highlander: Drives With Excellent Road Manners And Perfect For Big Families

Apr 27, 2017 11:50 PM EDT | Anthony Hunter

The 2017 Toyota Highlander breezed onto this year's list of Best Family Cars by its alluring combination of contemporary charm and everyday usability. Through the years the vehicle has ranked among the best midsized, three-row SUVs and one of the ten most popular vehicles among Consumer Reports readers.

The revitalized vehicle has a new powertrain that includes a direct injection 3.5-liter V-6 engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which offers 306 of horsepower and 263 of torque. For a greener option, a six-cylinder hybrid engine powered model is also given.

This new Highlander is equipped with Safety Sense P, which includes pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. The vehicle is also equipped with a pedestrian pre-collision system that uses a camera and radar to detect objects in the road and precipitate the driver to brake with audio and visual alerts.

The sporty-themed Highlander gets a special dark-painted treatment for the grille, headlamp housing, and roof rails. On the inside, the vehicle has a black leather upholstery with silver stitching and patterned inserts matching the dash and door inserts, and a black front tray. 

The base trim level for the 2017 Toyota Highlander offers bench seats in the second and third row that can accommodate eight passengers. Both have a 60/40 split and can be folded to flat where passengers can recline for an improved comfort. Though the vehicle seats provide a good amount of room and comfort, the third-row seats are smaller with a little legroom and no USB ports in the back.

The Highlander grade cars come with blind-spot monitoring as standard, while the Limited Platinum will have 360-degree bird's eye cameras. The well-rounded 2017 Toyota Highlander does just about everything that everyone would probably look for in a three-row family SUV that comes with practicality and versatility.

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