The 2018 Toyota Highlander got a mid-life refresh to ensure it remained aesthetically appealing in the competitive SUV segment. Even though the changes are not as drastic as in the 2017 model, the key areas have been face-lifted to give it a more upmarket look.
The Toyota has three main SUV models in the North American market. The Highlander lots between the more compact RAV4 and the larger Sequoia. The 2018 iteration is not expected to adopt the Toyota new Global Architecture for at least three more years. However, it is still a competent crossover suitable for growing families.
2018 Toyota Highlander – Exterior and Interior Design
The 2018 Toyota Highlander retains its distinctive big-grille that still turns heads on the roads. Even though Toyota vehicles are not renowned for their stylish design, the exterior of the 2018 Highlander has been heavily influenced by the more premium Lexus division. The body spots sharper angles and bolder creases along the side.
The body spots sharper angles and bolder creases along the side. The headlights seem to meld with the grille give the front a menacing appearance befitting an SUV. However, the LED headlights have daytime running lights, darkened accents, and an auto on-and-off feature. The tailgate is simple yet functional with the inclusion of a spoiler and redesigned headlights that improve the appearance.
The interior of the 2018 Toyota Highlander has been improved over last year’s model. It sports a 4.2-inch LCD infotainment screen that gives information on cruising range, fuel economy, and the ECO mode indicator. You can upgrade it to an eight-inch screen or add satellite navigation.
The seats are comfortable and supportive. You can opt for a five and eight seat variant. The seats are supportive, and higher models get a full leather interior. The passenger seat is 4-way adjustable while the driver’s seat is 6-way adjustable. The rear passenger seats fold in a 60/40 configuration.
The air conditioning is standards, but you can upgrade to a tri-zone climate control system. The steering wheel allows both up-down and telescopic changes, allowing anyone to get a comfortable driving position. The dash can easily accommodate most drivers’ wallets, keys, and documents. The center console also has a huge bin.
Engine and Performance of the 2018 Toyota Highlander
You can get the 2018 Toyota Highlander with different engines. The Base LE model has a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced 185-bhp. It is paired with an automatic 6-speed transmission. The fuel economy is 20 and 24 mpg in city and highway respectively. If performance is your priority, you can opt for a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295-hp that used an 8-speed transmission.
The city/highway economy figures are 20 and 27 mpg respectively. The range topping engine combines the V6 with an electric motor to increase the output to 306-bhp. This has the best economy figures of 30 and 28 mpg in city and highway performance.
MSRP and Launch Date
Despite the numerous upgrades, the MSRP is identical to last year’s model. The Base LE model will cost $31,500 while the V6 model will cost $33,500. An AWD V6 will cost $47,200. The LE hybrid model will cost $37,200 while the V6 hybrid increases to $49,000.
The unchanged prices ensure that the 2018 Toyota Highlander remains competitive in the American SUV market. The 2018 Toyota Highlander offers style in a functional package. You get different performance, interior and exterior options to suit your needs. The release date is set for the middle of 2018.