The much-improved 2017 Toyota Highlander mid-size SUV will have its mask taken off on March 23 at the 2016 New York Auto Show. It now features a newly developed direct shift 8-speed automatic transmission; a new 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 engine that helps boost its power output while improving mileage ratings; a new available Stop and Start (S&S) Engine system; Toyota Safety Sense as standard; and refreshed exterior styling.
Conventionally powered Highlanders will be available in LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited or Limited Platinum and in both front-wheel and AWD. The Highlander Hybrid, meanwhile, now has four models, after adding two new grades -- LE and XLE – to its Limited and Platinum. All Highlander Hybrid models will still be AWD.
To be featured as standard on the new 2017 Highlander is Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS), which is a new multi-feature advanced safety package that includes automated pre-collision braking. This package includes a number of state-of-the-art safety systems like Automatic High Beams, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Pedestrian Pre-Collision System and Pre-Collision System (with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake).
Automatic High Beam (AHB) employs a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles as well as tail lights of vehicles ahead. When other vehicles are detected, AHB would automatically switch between high beams and low beams to avoid blinding other drivers.
Lane Departure Alert (LDA), meanwhile, employs a camera to detect visible lane markings on the road. If LDA determines that the Highlander is veering off the lane, it would provide alerts to the driver and then offer steering assist to help redirect vehicle back onto its lane.
Meanwhile, the Pedestrian Pre-collision System (PCS) employs a camera and radar in order to sense objects ahead. In the event that a collision might occur, the system would warn the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert.
If the driver responds and initiates the brakes, PCS would provide extra braking force. But if the driver fails to brake accordingly, PCS automatically applies the brakes, thereby reducing vehicle speed to prevent or mitigate the collision. Blind spot monitor comes as standard on the Highlander XLE grade.