Larger families on the go will appreciate the 2019 Toyota Highlander. If you are looking for a comfortable three-row cruiser that is quiet, comfortable and reliable, look no further. But if you are looking for popular features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration you may want to look at the competition.
The base four-cylinder engine will be a let down as well, so opt for the V6 if you want better fuel economy and respect on the road.
The Highlander excels in the standard feature department. Features worth noting include: heated and ventilated front seats, and a 12-speaker audio system. Standard safety features include: pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beams, lane departure alert with steering assist and cruise control.
The Limited Platinum trim that I test drove added a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, a surround-view parking camera, front parking sensors, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats as well as Safety Connect emergency communications. (This particular trim can be yours for $48,319.)
The interior of the 2019 Toyota Highlander offers ample room in the first two rows. Don’t like your teenage daughter’s boyfriend? Stick him in the third row, he’ll break up with her by the time you reach home. (So, I think we’ve established that the third row isn’t so roomy).The doors of the Highlander open wide, making entry and exit easy peasy. And if you have second-row captain’s chairs, then third-row access isn’t so terrible.
I love the view from the Highlander. A large windshield provides great visibility and blindspots are minimal. The rearview camera also aids in visibility and I would highly recommend the optional surround-view cameras as well.
The Toyota Highlander offers a comfortable ride and the interior materials aid in that comfort with soft-touch materials.
Automatic climate controls for temperature make everyone happy as rear passengers can control their own climate. There are ceiling mounted vents for second and third rows peeps, so even if the boyfriend is crushed, at least he isn’t suffocating.
Passengers can also appreciate little exterior noise. Toyota does a great job on beating out their competitors in this department. The cabin is smooth and quiet, and the dull hum will lull passengers to sleep.
What sort of technology is in the 2019 Toyota Highlander? There are a plethora of safety features, including an adaptive cruise control system and lane departure warning. These are all controlled by the touch of a button, literally right at your fingertips on the steering wheel. The navigation system is meh, I preferred my Waze app on my iPhone. (Hoping that Apple CarPlay integration will be available in the near future). Pairing my phone for Bluetooth connection was a piece of cake though. And I will say the infotainment screen in a touchscreen which I did like.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander has its well known shelf that runs the length of the dash. I found there to be plenty of places for storage. The center console had a deep storage area and cupholders were plentiful. Cargo space with the third AND second row folded down is around 83 cubic feet. Nothing to write home about.
Last but not least, driving impressions….The V6 offered plenty of power. I had zero issues when merging or passing vehicles. Steering was responsive, handling was easy and braking required little effort.
If you want to off-road in your Toyota Highlander, make note that ground clearance is listed at 8 inches. All-wheel drive is available with hill descent control and electronically locking differentials.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander is a great vehicle that will be a part of your family for years to come; or at least until the updated Highlander (with Apple CarPlay) is revealed.