The base model LE trim comes with a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower. In this guise, the Highlander is rated at 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. An optional 3.5L 295-horse V6 upgrade is available but standard on all other trims. An available hybrid powertrain uses an electric motor in conjunction with the V6 to make 231 horsepower. The hybrid Highlander returns 30 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, extremely impressive numbers for a vehicle equipped with third-row seating. The Highlander comes standard in front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is an option for those who need it.
There are six trim levels offered on the 2018 Toyota Highlander: LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels
LE is the most basic trim, and is the only trim to feature the smaller 4-cylinder engine. However, it still comes loaded with 18-inch wheels, an Entune stereo with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a backup camera, Bluetooth streaming, heated mirrors, 5 USB ports and third-row seating.
Stepping up to LE Plus adds several desirable items. Highlights include a height-adjustable power rear liftgate, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, satellite HD radio, 3-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The XLE trim includes a smart key and push-button start, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, roof rails to help secure extra luggage, rear window shades, an 8-inch touch screen, HomeLink, a navigation system and a moonroof.
The top-spec Limited trim offers 19-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, various parking aids and a blind-spot monitor, perforated leather seating, heated and cooled front seats, and a powered passenger seat. The Limited Highlanders are also the only trim that can be equipped with the optional hybrid powertrain.
Options include an LE Plus, a Technology package that includes radar-controlled cruise control, a Lane Departure system and automatically dimming high beams; as well as a Limited Platinum package, which includes everything in the technology package along with a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, rain sensing windshield wipers and a panoramic moonroof. A Rear Seat Entertainment system is also optional.
Safety is aided by anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control, as well as optional items like a blind-spot monitor. Of course, should an accident occur, the Highlander is equipped with eight airbags to help minimize any possible damage to its occupants.
Roomy, Good Ground Clearance, Stylish And Technology-filled Interior, Sleek Exterior Styling, Available Hybrid Power And All-wheel Drive
The Highlander enters into 2019 mostly unchanged aside from aesthetic updates to the body-side rocker panels in black, chrome accents and darkened updates to the headlights, taillights and fog light housings.
The Toyota Highlander is a mid-sized near-luxury crossover competing in a crowded segment where just about every major auto manufacturer has a hat in the ring. What makes the Highlander successful is its blend of technology, convenience and Toyota durability at the right price. With plenty of standard features, plus a bevy of options, all wrapped in an attractive package, the Highlander stands out in a crowded field.