For the gas-powered versions, the lineup starts with the LE model which has the 2-wheel drive and powered with the 4-cylinder engine. This has been priced at $30,630. The highest trim is the Limited Platinum version with the all-wheel drive and V6 engine with MSRP at $46,260.
Overall, the average price increase for this range is at 3% or $1,165. Under the Hybrid models, base price is at $36,270 for the LE with the all-wheel drive and V6 engine and goes all the way to the Limited Platinum variant with the all-wheel drive V6 engine at $47,880. Compared to the 2016 MSRP, average price was lower by 5.5% or $2,746. It should be noted though that the MSRP excludes the $940 DPH fee (delivery, processing, and handling). The actual fee for models distributed by Gulf States Toyota and Southeast Toyota may vary.
According to Toyota, the price when combined with the improved style and the addition of a wide range of features related to advanced safety, convenience, and performance, resulted in good value.
For the new 2017 Highlander, customer choice is better as there is now space to fit a maximum of eight occupants with the three-row seating. The V6 gas-powered version now has a sporty SE grade with the Hybrid adding the LE and XLE version to offer a total of four models. In addition to the new SE, the gas-powered version has the LE, LE Plus, XLE, Limited, and the Limited Platinum, all offered in AWD or FWD.
In terms of visuals for example, the 2017 Highlander manages to show a more elegant look for all grades. The LE, LE Plus, and XLE grades for example have its front grille finished in silver. Meanwhile the Limited and Platinum editions are finished in chrome. Its taillights now have a sleeker appearance and fitted with LEDs as standard. For the Limited and Platinum versions, the rear bumper had chrome trimming placed.
The feel of luxury emanates from the three new colors offered: Toasted Walnut Pearl, Celestial Silver Metallic, and Salsa Red Pearl (though this is exclusive for the SE trim). On the inside, charging is made simple with the addition of four USB ports to the one already in the previous models. For both the Limited and the Limited Platinum models, there is now a bench-style row seat in the middle to allow for 8 passengers. In previous models, there was a 7-passenger set-up with captain’s chairs in the middle. For the Limited Platinum variant in particular, the interior is wrapped in brown leather.
In terms of performance, the Highlander V6 has already been showing excellent performance since being released. The 2017 model though has its powertrain upgraded to new levels. Thus the D-4S Injection 3.5-liter V6 engine has its output increased by 25 hp to 295 horsepower with peak torque increased as well by 15 lb.-ft. and now at 263 lb.-ft.
This is the same unit that serves as the base engine for the Highlander Hybrid though it features a Dual VVT-i. The engine’s upgraded performance is paired with the 8AT automatic 8-speed transmission and unlike the six ratios fitted under the 2016 V6 model, this transmission improves acceleration ability and passing capacity. Fuel economy was improved as well with the 2016 model had EPA-estimated fuel economy of 18 mpg for city and 24 mpg for highway with the new models shows fuel economy of 20 mpg for city and 27 mpg under highway.
Let’s not forget safety as the 2017 Highlander has a number of technologies serving this purpose. A good example would be the driver-assist technology known as the Toyota Safety Sense. Through a combination of monocular camera sensor and millimetre-wave radar, the system can determine if there is a pedestrian or a vehicle in the front. This system can also detect the visible lane markers.
As a result, the system not only helps the driver determine if any obstacles are in the way but it also applies the brake automatically to minimize, or even hopefully avoid, a collision. Some of the systems under this package include the Automatic High Beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function, and Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function.
These are just a few of the new features inside the 2017 Highlander but it more than proves that this range indeed brings with it new value. The 2017 Highlander is expected to arrive at authorized Toyota dealerships by the middle of November.