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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I test drove a Toyota Highlander today (I forget what trim, but it had leather and a sunroof, and an MSRP of about $41k).

Good:
I prefer the look of the interior on the Highlander.
The giant dash shelf seems great. It's deeper than the ascent and is also more recessed into the dash (doesn't protrude into the cabin). (also it looks better)
I think the exterior looks are good. Nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either.
It drove pretty well (powerful enough, fairly quiet, comfortable etc)

Bad:
  • Even though I like the look of the interior better, I think the material quality was probably a notch below Subaru (hard to compare exactly, because I was in a higher trim level Highlander)
  • Not as powerful in the low end compared to the Ascent.
  • Back seat. I'm not sure how much smaller it is than Ascent, but I think the seat cushion to floor distance is shorter, so it's harder to sit in. May not be a big deal for kids, though.
  • Instrumentation / LCD screen wasn't good (or wasn't intuitive to use). I find the one in our Outback to be WAY better, but that may be partly because I'm not used to the Toyota...but first impression wasn't good.
  • Lane keeping assist didn't seem to work very well. To be fair the Subaru system has a hard time locking on to lane lines at times, but it's clearly displayed in front of you...with the Highlander I couldn't find a screen to show the status of the lane keeping assist...Fairly nit-picky...but it bugged me.

Overall I liked it fairly well and it is on the list (along with Ascent and Sienna), but it didn't blow me away. I would say it seems fairly equal with the Ascent, but just with a different set of compromises.
 

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My brother has a Highlander yr old. I have ridden in the 3rd row along with our mom 75yrs old. Its only a 2 seater 3rd row its hip space is for sure narrower. I have a Sequoia and a Subaru Outback. The Highlander or Ascent would ultimately replace both my Outback and Sequoia.

My negatives for the Highlander

#1!!! Our Toyota dealers within 130 miles are all huge Auto Group owned monopoly creators. Several neighbors have bought Highlanders all of them were told MSRP or walk away!! So I have never paid more than invoice for a car ever. So right there is a huge negative.

The Highlander ride and driving quality is kinda stiff, boring and not great but not overly bad.

Interior quality and design is exceptionally boring, basic, the tech feels a decade behind.

Interior space isn’t exactly roomy.
The roof rack functionally speaking is lame.

Tow ratings is low. I do tow with my Subarus.


The major plus mechanically its a boring basic 300,000 mile Toyota. Which is why I buy used Toyotas lol.
 

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If reliability is a concern, then yes Toyota is the champ. The Highlander is a great vehicle, but it is showing its age a bit. The redesign will most likely be for 2020 or 2021
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The roof rack functionally speaking is lame.

Tow ratings is low. I do tow with my Subarus.
Would you expand on the "roof rack" comment. The cross bars looked a little weird (sat high?) to me, but I didn't consider that there might be a functional issue.

Tow ratings:
A quick google search says "1500 to 5,000 lbs" for the tow rating for Highlanders - am I missing something here?

Thanks
 

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Would you expand on the "roof rack" comment. The cross bars looked a little weird (sat high?) to me, but I didn't consider that there might be a functional issue.

Tow ratings:
A quick google search says "1500 to 5,000 lbs" for the tow rating for Highlanders - am I missing something here?

Thanks
The roof rail only has pre set mounting locations for the stock cross rails.
Aftermarket longer rail options are not good. Plus you cant adjust the distance between the rails. I use our roof rack gear lots for many different needs and the rack setup on the Highlander is nearly useless to me. I would need to remove the whole thing and install aftermarket flat track. Even my 2010 OB with the swing away cross bars allows me to use aftermarket railgrabs and various length cross bars.
 

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If reliability is a concern, then yes Toyota is the champ. The Highlander is a great vehicle, but it is showing its age a bit. The redesign will most likely be for 2020 or 2021
If the Highlander is showing it’s age, then Subaru better get on a redesign for the Ascent soon. I don’t see a vehicle on the road that looks more similar to the Ascent than the Highlander. :smile: Interiors are different, but yet similar.

There seems to be some similar DNA between these 2 vehicles. The rear seats in the Highlander have the typical flat Toyota seating look. To me, GM and Subaru seats fit my back and butt well.
 

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If the Highlander is showing it’s age, then Subaru better get on a redesign for the Ascent soon. I don’t see a vehicle on the road that looks more similar to the Ascent than the Highlander. :smile: Interiors are different, but yet similar.

There seems to be some similar DNA between these 2 vehicles. The rear seats in the Highlander have the typical flat Toyota seating look. To me, GM and Subaru seats fit my back and butt well.
Refresh is more about tech, interior style and handling when it comes to large wagons. Body shape can only be tweaked so much within workable aerodynamics and cooling efficiency needs.
 

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My brother has a Highlander yr old. I have ridden in the 3rd row along with our mom 75yrs old. Its only a 2 seater 3rd row its hip space is for sure narrower. I have a Sequoia and a Subaru Outback. The Highlander or Ascent would ultimately replace both my Outback and Sequoia.

My negatives for the Highlander

#1!!! Our Toyota dealers within 130 miles are all huge Auto Group owned monopoly creators. Several neighbors have bought Highlanders all of them were told MSRP or walk away!! So I have never paid more than invoice for a car ever. So right there is a huge negative.

The Highlander ride and driving quality is kinda stiff, boring and not great but not overly bad.

Interior quality and design is exceptionally boring, basic, the tech feels a decade behind.

Interior space isn’t exactly roomy.
The roof rack functionally speaking is lame.

Tow ratings is low. I do tow with my Subarus.


The major plus mechanically its a boring basic 300,000 mile Toyota. Which is why I buy used Toyotas lol.
I can't believe you put your 75 year old mom in that 3rd row! :tango_face_surprise

Rode and driven in both. Ascent, hands down in my (first impressions, and now Ascent owner) opinion.
 

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I can't believe you put your 75 year old mom in that 3rd row! :tango_face_surprise

Rode and driven in both. Ascent, hands down in my (first impressions, and now Ascent owner) opinion.
Wasn’t me. My brother made that call I wasn’t there.
Oh and shes ripped. Plays 4.0 league tennis nearly every day, cycles and is on a lady’s golf team. She might be 75 but she whipps 40yr olds on the court all week.
 
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