2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2018 Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is a three-row crossover that has a lot more in common with a minivan than an SUV. This is actually why so many people prefer buying it over minivans. It offers all the bells and whistles of a minivan without looking like a dull family carrier. In order to remain as competitive as possible, the car received another small update with the 2018 Toyota Highlander. Unfortunately, this doesn’t bring that many upgrades over the 2017 model which was the mid-life refresh. Even so, it remains a choice worth taking a second look at because it offers everything a family would need and more.


All praises for the Hybrid version
Strong V-6 engine


No Apple CarPlay
A little space behind the third bench

2018 Toyota Highlander Review

As we said, the car is based on Toyota’s K-platform, so it shares its running gear and most of its floor-pan with the Sienna.

The Highlander is not only based on the same platform as the minivan, it also drives nearly identically to it.

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander shown – Source: caranddriver.com

This isn’t exactly great and that’s one of the main reasons it didn’t manage to outsell its main rivals.

The car may feel a bit too dull on the road and there is plenty of body-roll which is not really the case with some of its rivals.

On top of that, the new Highlander is not cheap

The design

The 2018 Toyota Highlander looks identical to the 2017 version but that’s to be expected considering it didn’t receive much attention since it was updated.

The car features in the front a large grille that spans the entire height of its front end

The swept-back headlights, the bulky-looking fenders and hood and the blacked-out accents make the Highlander stand out.

2018 Toyota Highlander V6 AWD LimitedExterior Dimensions
Height68.1 in
Width 64.2 in
Wheelbase109.8 in
Ground Clearance8 in
Base Curb Weight4655 lbs

On top of that, even though the car is quite long and tall, it manages to look a lot smaller than it really is.

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander shown – Source: motortrend.com

This is possible thanks to its really long wheelbase, short overhangs, and nearly perfect SUV proportions.

In the rear, it features a really expressive set of tail lights as well as a rather large roof-spoiler which really elevates the way it looks.

Our only complaint with it is the lack of an off-road looking model but this might change in the near future.

Let’s remind us and compare the older versions

Inside the cabin

One of the biggest complaints we have with the current model is the complete lack of Android Auto or CarPlay support.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Toyota Highlander doesn’t bring any upgrades here which is a real shame.

Luckily, the car still manages to offer plenty of kit for its price

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander shown – Source: motortrend.com

The base model gets things like a touch-screen infotainment system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, silver inserts all around the cabin and up to 8 seats.

In the higher end models, the Highlander gets a rear-seats infotainment system, mid and rear AC vents as well as satellite navigation.

Hybrid Drivetrain – 2018 Toyota Highlander

The base model of the 2018 Toyota Highlander will be available with the same 2.7-liter naturally aspirated inline-four as before.

This is capable of 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque which is barely enough for this car. Most people will want to go for the optional 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6.

Being capable to run in a modified Atkinson-cycle, this engine can provide up to 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque which is quite impressive.

The base engine will retain the same 6 speed automatic as before with the larger V6 getting the much more impressive 8-speed gearbox

Both of them will be available with either front or all wheel drive but none of them will get a torque vectoring system.

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander engine shown – Source: sptoyota.com

The more interesting engine remains the 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 hybrid.

This combines a 231 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque V6 with two electric motors. The end result is a rather impressive combined output of 306 horsepower and north of 250 lb-ft of torque.

The only real drawback of this setup is the limited towing rating which is one of the lowest in its class.

Release date and Price

Even though the official pricing hasn’t been revealed for the 2018 version, it is safe to assume it won’t change much over its predecessor.

Vehicle Price
2018 Toyota HighlanderN/A
2017 Honda Pilot$30,500
2017 Ford Explorer$31,500
2018 Volkswagen Atlas$30,500
2017 Chevrolet Traverse$28,700
2017 Nissan Pathfinder$30,300

While the base model is a relatively good deal at just $31,500, the higher end models, which are going for north of $45,000, aren’t as good value for money which is also why so many people prefer buying some of its rivals. 

We believe that at the beginning of the next year, Highlander will take the place in the world of SUVs


Toyota Highlander is a great car, with positive comments and ratings. Below we list its main rivals, compare and tell us, is it really that good compared to the competition.

. . . . write us below in the comments what you think about this car

Take a look at the previous version while we wait for the 2018 Highlander

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander shown – Source: caranddriver.com

2018-Toyota-Highlander-10 2018 Toyota Highlander Review

2017 Toyota Highlander interior shown – Source: molletoyota.com

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