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Overview, Specs, Driving Impression and Impressive Engine Line-up of Toyota’s 2016 Highlander SUV

By John Zayan , Jun 11, 2016 08:33 AM EDT
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Still providing the best in comfort among crossover SUVs for the family is Toyota's 2016 Highlander model, is a more civilized, calm and responsive midsize ride. It is known for its versatility, practicality and excellent resale value.

For its driving impression, Autoblog says that the new 2016 Toyota Highlander's quietness is made possible by the thick acoustic glass that subdues the engine sounds. Minimizing the noise brought by the suspension is handled by floor insulation.

Autoblog added that the 2016 Highlander rides firmly, appropriate and responsive with excellent drive handling. The Highlander's electric power steering is liked for its firm road feel, while the 18-inch wheels provides smoother ride than the available 19-inch wheels.

Most Toyota Highlanders powered by a relatively strong 3.5L V6 has impressive performance and commendable acceleration. The 2.7L 4-cylinder engine though underpowered by the V6 runs smoothly and also accelerates impressively.

The 2016 Toyota Highlander offered with your choice of AWD or FWD is a favorite for its quiet operation, good safety ratings and family-oriented features.

Powertrain Line-up

Most 2016 Highlander acquires the V6 engine in 3.5L displacement which develops 270 horsepower. Standard in 6-speed automatic, the V6 Highlander produce 248 lb.-ft. torque. Liked for its quick responses and smooth drives, the V6 engine is also adored for its efficiency rating and 5,000-pound of towing power.

The Highlander with the 2.7L inline-four equipped in the Highlander LE trim makes 185 horsepower. Test drivers say this engine performs adequately unlike the V6-powered ride which provides lots of power.

A more efficient Highlander Hybrid is also available which teams the V6 with an electric motor drive, AWD and electric CVT for 280hp net system output. Though relatively slower because of the 350 pounds additional weight, the Highlander Hybrid makes 27 city/28 highway MPG.

Cabin Features

Offered as the LE/LE Plus/XLE/Limited/Limited Platinum, the 2016 Highlander trim levels and standard amenities are discussed by Edmunds.

More family-friendly than ever, the new 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE boast with its premium cloth interior, air conditioning, Entune smartphone connectivity, split-fold 2nd- and 3rd-row seats, Bluetooth wireless interface, USB port and 18-inch wheels.

The Highlander LE Plus model upgrades with fabric/SofTex trimmed seats, power driver's seat, power tailgate and 3-zone climate control. The V6 engine is made available for the LE as an option.

Featured as standard for the Highlander XLE are 8-inch touch-screen integrated with navigation system, heated front seats, sunroof, heated front seats, leather upholstery and pushbutton start.

The Limited version gets standard 19-inch wheels, heated/ventilated front seats, rear parking sensors, 2nd-row captain's seat, power passenger front seat and blind-spot monitoring.

Highlander Limited Platinum acquires standard heated steering column, Driver Technology Package, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, lane-departure alert, pre-collision warning, adaptive cruise control and heated captain's chair. Standard on all trims are rearview camera and 8 notable airbags.

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