*Go straight to the FULL REVIEW.

Overview (Final Score: A-)

Outside of minivans, large three-row sport utilities and crossovers are the family vehicles of choice. None are more family friendly than the Toyota Highlander, which sees a significant refresh for the 2017 model year.

The Highlander sits in the midsize three-row crossover segment with mid-range exterior appeal and a very ergonomic and well-done interior. The 2017 Toyota Highlander is a top pick for this three-row family segment because of that interior and the generally thoughtful design elements that go into the Highlander overall. Small touches make everyday uses, such as grocery grabbing, kid wrangling and weekend getaways, easier.

For the 2017 model year, the Highlander’s mid-cycle refresh includes some exterior styling updates, a new V6 engine, new safety technology and a new SE trim level. These changes build on the Highlander’s already well-deserved reputation for excellence.

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What We Love About the 2017 Toyota Highlander:

  • Best-in-class family ergonomics
  • Excellent fuel economy for both the standard and hybrid versions
  • Excellent safety with advanced tech now standard

 

What We Don’t Love About the 2017 Toyota Highlander:

  • Infotainment lagging behind competition
  • Upper trims get spendy with limited return
  • New sporty SE trim isn’t very sporty

 

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Pricing and Value (8/10)

The 2017 Highlander is relatively expensive for the market, but the vehicle continues a growing sales trend despite that. The Highlander is generally in the top three vehicles in the midsize SUV market for sales. The Highlander’s base (LE trim) price is typical for the class, but includes the under-performing 4-cylinder. Most buyers are into the mid-range with the XE Plus and XLE models. These are well-priced for the package options in the $35,000 to $40,000 range. We recommend these two trims for their value packaging.

More upscale buyers will be interested in the Limited and Platinum trims, which are expensive, but fully loaded with gadgets and goodies. Buyers can get into one of those trims for $45,000 or so.

Traditionally, Toyota vehicles have a slightly higher resale value than market and the Highlander is no exception.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (73/80, 91%)

Competition in the midsize three-row segment is stiff. We recommend shopping the 2017 Highlander against the Kia Sorento, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer. All three are competitive against the Highlander for different reasons.

The Sorento is similarly well-designed and fuel efficient at a lower price point. The Pilot is more contemporary with a similar family-friendly appeal and high value point. The Explorer is more robust and powerful with a similar MPG rating and excellent interior. For those looking at the higher-end Highlander trims, we also recommend cross-shopping the GMC Acadia for its value versus bling.

The 2017 Toyota Highlander is an excellent vehicle and possibly the most family-friendly midsize crossover on the market today. The Hybrid model has a modest price uptick for the hybrid-electric powertrain, but returns impressive fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. Whatever Highlander you choose, your family will be well served.

You can learn more about the 2017 Highlander now in the FULL REVIEW.

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