The 2018 Toyota Highlander delivers much of what families want in a three-row crossover at a reasonable price; the Highlander Hybrid is icing on the cake.
MSRP: From $32,025
Horsepower: 185 hp to 295 hp
MPG: Up to 30 city / 28 highway
Dimensions: 193” L, 76” W, 70” H
Curb weight: 4,165 to 4,965 lbs.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander is a three-row crossover SUV for up to eight passengers. Shoppers may consider the Highlander based on its badge on its nose, but its versatile interior, impressive safety record, and strong V-6 engine option are reasons enough to stick around.
All told, that means the Highlander scores a solid 6.8 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
With its 2018 Highlander, Toyota has made time stand still—or at least it has carried the crossover over into the new year with no changes from 2017. This popular crossover remains available in a dizzying array of trim levels: LE, LE Plus, SE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum, most of which can be ordered with a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.
The Highlander Hybrid is among the most fuel-efficient crossovers, but most Highlanders are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 295 horsepower that can be paired with front- or all-wheel drive. A 185-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder is standard on the base Highlander LE with front-wheel drive only; it’s cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Though it may look a little truckier than shapely rivals such as the Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse, the Highlander is a car-based crossover aimed at conquering a snow-covered parking lot in suburbia than plucking its way up an unpaved mountain pass. Leave that duty to Toyota’s 4Runner if you’re a mud-plugger.
Toyota fits the Highlander with some of the most advanced safety technology in its class. All models have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights. That’s enough to earn a Top Safety Pick+ nod from the IIHS and five stars overall from federal testers.