2018 Toyota Highlander Review, Specs, Price and Release Date – The 2018 Toyota Highlander delivers most of what families want inside of a three-row crossover at a reasonable price; the Highlander Hybrid is icing about the cake.
MSRP: From $TBA
Horsepower: 185 hp to 295 hp
MPG: As much as 30 city / 28 highway
Review continues below
Dimensions: 193” L, 76” W, 70” H
Curb weight: 4,165 to 4,965 lbs.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander is a three-row crossover SUV capable of seating around eight passengers. It’s Toyota’s entry into an extremely competitive and fast-growing segment and it’s our favorites thanks to the versatile interior, impressive safety record, and powerful V-6 engine option.
2018 Toyota Highlander
All told, which means the Highlander scores a good 7.0 outside of 10 on our scale.
Featuring its 2018 Highlander, Toyota makes time stand still—or at least they have carried the crossover over into the latest year without the need of changes from 2017. This popular crossover remains for sale in a dizzying array of trim levels: LE, LE Plus, SE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum, a few of which can be ordered which has a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain.
The Highlander Hybrid is just about the fuel-efficient crossovers, but a majority Highlanders are powered by way of a 3.5-liter V-6 with a rating of 295 horsepower which might be associated with front- or all-wheel drive. A 185-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder is standard on the bottom Highlander LE with front-wheel drive only; it’s cheap, but the truth is get what you make payment for for.
Even though it may look somewhat truckier than shapely rivals such as Mazda CX-9 and Chevrolet Traverse, the Highlander is a car-based crossover created for conquering a snow-covered parking garage in suburbia than plucking its way up an unpaved mountain pass. Leave that duty to Toyota’s 4Runner a high level mud-plugger.
Toyota fits the Highlander with an array of advanced safety technology to use class. All purchases have automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights. That’s enough to earn a Top Safety Pick+ nod from the IIHS and five stars overall from federal testers.
2018 Toyota Highlander Styling
Its exterior won’t win it many fans, even so the Toyota Highlander’s interior is comfortable and calming.
Beauty, thy name is just not 2018 Toyota Highlander. A tremendous update recently gave the Highlander more power including a better interior, however it did no favors to the crossover’s exterior.
We’ve deducted a time for the confused styling outside but added one back to the crossover’s attractive interior look.
Toyota appears to have taken a page looking at the Lexus division according to the Highlander’s razor-sharp front. Looking like a pyramid made from Gillette Mach 3s, the snout protrudes enough to generate us somewhat uncomfortable. That’s a waste since the other Highlander is muscular and shapely in a sort of mini-Land Cruiser way.
The Highlander SE tones along the chrome which has a dark finish to the grille slats, yet its 12-spoke wheels look a tad bit more “1998 tuner” than we’d like. Nonetheless, the normal buyer which has a growing group of children probably dreamed of an Supra on these wheels 20 in years past, so maybe it’s a valid design.
Inside, things are a lot more calming. The Highlander’s wide dash is logically outlined, with secondary controls grouped on the left in the steering wheel. The two-tier look is both clean and functional; there’s enough to store a number of charging smartphones on a shelf about halfway in the dashboard and Toyota has even consideration to include pass-throughs for USB chargers to cut down on clutter. Every trim gets a unique finishes, although even the reasonably convincing faux wood given to higher-spec models won’t fool anyone stepping outside of, say, a Lexus into a 2018 Highlander
2018 Toyota Highlander Performance
All Toyota Highlanders ride well, even so the optional V-6 is probably worthwhile.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander emerged in three basic flavors: mild, medium, and gluten free paleo kale salad. This crossover rides well plus the V-6 found in many Highlanders is strong, but we’ve performed a time to the milquetoast base 4-cylinder, bringing circumstances to a 6 outside of 10 overall.
Fortunately, the Highlander’s 2.7-liter inline-4 is relegated only to the bottom LE trim level with front-wheel drive. Its 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque is tasked with motivating about 4,165 pounds of crossover, meaning even the slick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission can’t elevate it. Which has a full load of humans and cargo aboard, it is a find it hard to pass even tractors plugging along at half the rate limit.
Moreover, the base inline-4 is considerably thirstier than the optional V-6—since it’s constantly struggling. Our advice? Pun intended,the 4-cylinder.
Optional at the LE and standard elsewhere the Highlander’s 3.5-liter V-6 is rated at 295 hp and 263 lb-ft, which is certainly shuttled with the idea to the front- or all-four wheels via a great 8-speed automatic. This smooth and strong V-6 is muscular and refined. It’s one of our favorite engines in any application, even something as big and heavy since the Highlander.
The Highlander Hybrid, available as being a definite LE, XLE, or Limited, or Platinum, works with a version of the same V-6 mated to some 45 kw nickel-metal hydride battery and a couple electric motors. All Highlander Hybrids are all-wheel drive. At 306 hp combined system output, they’re peppy, nevertheless roughly 300 pound curb weight increase over the non-hybrid means they’re slightly slower. The Highlander Hybrid works with a continuously variable transmission that can offer near-instant acceleration, albeit with a bit of engine drone reaching the cabin.
Most Highlanders ride even on a suspension that’s tuned to prioritize ride comfort. LE and XLE trim levels feature 18-inch alloy wheels with a decent amount of sidewall that provides them accompanied by a buttery smooth ride almost worthy on the Lexus badge. Pick a Limited or Limited Platinum and therefore the 19-inch alloy wheels standard on those make things a hair firmer. The Highlander SE—unavailable in the form of hybrid—has a hobby suspension that firms some misconception without actually causeing the crossover much more enjoyable to drive. All models have precise, accurate steering that’s light enough for easy in-town maneuverability albeit with a hint of on-center vagueness at the highway.
Despite their vaguely mini-Land Cruiser looks and 8.0 inches of ground clearance, Highlanders are not meant for serious off-road use. Instead, their optional all-wheel-drive system endows these with confidence-inspiring traction on slippery, snow-covered roads. If you are a sun-belter, the front-wheel drive Highlander will likely suffice.
2018 Toyota Highlander Comfort & Quality
The Toyota Highlander’s interior is well considered with good storage for both humans and cargo, although it’s not actually particularly upscale.
All versions in the 2018 Toyota Highlander are happy and solid inside, with terrific space for approximately one eight passengers.
We’ve given the Highlander points above average because terrific front and 2nd row seats, combined with another point because roomy cargo deck when almost the motive force and passenger seats are stowed away. Now you have an 8 outside 10 on our scale.
Front seat passengers are treated to supportive seats. The driver’s seat is power-adjusted on all models, while XLE and above grades include a power passenger’s seat. Oddly, no model has a height-adjustable passenger’s seat, an omission that feels borderline glaring on a completely equipped Highlander.
Another row moves fore and aft from the tug on the lever and folds flat in a 60/40 configuration for larger objects. Some versions are available with individual captain’s chairs in the second row. Even if this drops the Highlander’s seating capacity from eight to seven, it allows on an easy pass-through to the average third row plus there is a good small table that appears to hang small items throughout the go. Up back, there is certainly room for kids, but it’s tight for adults. The next row isn’t power-folding, but it flops flat with the tug on the lever and, when upright, the backrest is adjustable for rake.
Behind the last row, the Highlander just shy of 14 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the last row and grows to even more than 42 cubes. Using the second and third rows stowed away, the cargo floor is flat and offers more than 83 cubic feet of space. The Highlander and therefore the Highlander Hybrid have same amount of space inside. There’s quite a lot of small item space scattered all through the cabin. We’re particularly enamored with a shelf incorporated into the dashboard that’s perfectly sized for smartphones, pens, and sunglasses.
The Highlander’s cabin is fitted with fairly nice materials given its price. Soft-touch plastics and rubbers dominate the dashboard and doorway panels. Work your way back and the information quality drops off a bit. LE designs include copious painted silver trim that appears downmarket, but Limited and Limited Platinum variants swap in reasonably convincing fake wood. The SE has its own own interior trim and black leather seats, but no model feels especially luxurious inside.
2018 Toyota Highlander Safety
Kudos to Toyota for producing some important safety tech standard at the 2018 Highlander.
The Toyota Highlander boasts among the highest degrees of standard collision-avoiding tech for just a three-row crossover and contains performed well in crash tests.
That literally brings it to some 9 outside 10 in our eyes, with only just a little room for improvement.
All Highlanders come standard in doing what Toyota brands its Toyota Safety Sense-P package: adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with full-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, active lane control, and automatic high beams. Here, those features are included; on rivals, we suggest paying extra for them.
Combined those consists of full complement of airbags plus a solid crash structure, and a recipe for success. The IIHS rates the Highlander a Top Safety Pick+, its highest score. Only its “Acceptable” headlights store it from earning perfect scores all around.
The government government awards the Highlander with five stars overall, albeit with four stars within the frontal crash test and four stars for rollover.
2018 Toyota Highlander Features
Toyota offers a wide range of Highlander models ideal for almost every budget.
You need to invest some time working to your website with the 2018 Toyota Highlander lineup. For its massive amount models, good infotainment system, has it’s well-equipped even at the bottom level, the Highlander rates an 8 out of 10 here.
The lineup starts using the Highlander LE, provided by either 4- or 6-cylinder power (all other models are V-6-only). It may be the base Highlander, nevertheless the LE looks the do without its 18-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, and turn signal mirrors. Inside, it’s fitted with a 4.2-inch LCD screen while in the instrument cluster, a rearview camera, cloth upholstery with an electricity driver’s seat, and a 6.1-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity.
The Highlander LE Plus runs about $2,400 more than an LE using the optional V-6. For the money, you’re treated for an 8.0-inch infotainment system with a navigation app that runs on the connected smartphone’s data plan, three-zone automatic climate control, an electricity passenger’s seat, leatherette and cloth upholstery, a flip-up rear window for small item access, and a few styling bits.
Next up could be the Highlander XLE with a moonroof, full navigation that does not degree of smartphone, leather upholstery, heated seats beforehand, and a microphone integrated in to the overhead console that amplifies the driver’s voice in order that passengers in the 3 injuries rows can hear the solution to “are we there yet?” crystal clear.
The Highlander SE builds for the XLE with a sports suspension and some special styling elements, and 19-inch alloy wheels.
Next up, the Highlander Limited features perforated leather with air-con seats beforehand and heated seats in row two, memory for that driver’s seat, and a JBL audio system. The Limited Platinum bridges the space between Toyota and Lexus with a surround view camera system, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic moonroof.
The Highlander Hybrid model range mostly mirrors the gas-only model, albeit with no LE Plus and SE trim levels. Additionally, all Highlander Hybrids are all-wheel drive.
Toyota doesn’t offer too many options for the Highlander lineup. XLE and Limited models offer the choice from the second row bench and captain’s chairs and they could be built with a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system.
Toyota’s Entune infotainment system works well and the free integrated navigation system is simple to use. We love that Toyota gives an app-based navigation on LE Plus models, a move allowing owners use of a large navigation screen at a reasonable price point. But no model offers Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a glaring omission in 2018.
2018 Toyota Highlander Fuel Economy
The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid delivers excellent fuel efficiency. Other models? Not too much.
Having its strong V-6, the 2018 Toyota Highlander is rather fuel-efficient given its size and girth. Even so the real standout this can be a Highlander Hybrid, among few truly thrifty vehicles competent at seating up to 8.
Our 6 out of 10 score is good best-selling version: an all-wheel drive Highlander using the V-6 gas engine.
That model is rated utilizing the EPA test at 20 mpg city, 26 highway, 22 combined. Not great, but not terrible either. Skip the all-wheel drive and the ones figures rise to 21/27/23 mpg.
Think you’re going to use less gas by sticking using the Highlander 4-cylinder only accessible with front-wheel drive for the entry-level LE? You better think again: its 20/24/22 mpg actually helps it be the thirstiest Highlander since the miscroscopic 4-cylinder has to figure so hard to motivate this bulky crossover.
All V-6 Highlanders have a vehicle start/stop system that cuts out of engine at traffic lights and starts it down again the moment the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. It’s mostly unobtrusive which is among the best of these systems.
This is a prettier picture on the subject of the Highlander Hybrid: 30/28/29 mpg for that LE using its 18-inch wheels and 29/27/28 mpg for other models as a consequence of slightly larger wheels and a roof rack that increases drag.