You only need to give the Highlander a quick once over to realise this recreational vehicle definitely wears its heart on its sleeve.
It features bold exterior details, like a chiseled front grille design, halogen headlights, stylish 18” alloys and rugged black contrasting trim framing each flared wheel arch.
The Highlander has a premium look about it, but you also know this is going to be a perfectly proportioned – and entirely practical – family car. It’ll take seven people and plenty of luggage too.
Hill-Assist Control (HAC) is a rather clever system designed to help stop the Highlander from rolling backward when setting off on a steep slope.
Essentially after you’ve moved your foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator, HAC continues to electronically hold the brakes for you for a further two seconds so you don’t roll backwards. It releases as soon as you accelerate away from your standing start.
Count them; 7 airbags. That’s the standard number in all versions of Highlander, proving its worth as a reassuringly safe recreational vehicle with a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. This comprehensive safety suite includes front airbags for the driver and front passenger seats, along with a knee airbag for the driver. In addition, the driver and front passenger seats have side airbags, and curtain shield airbags provide side protection from the front right down to the 3rd-row seats.
There are plenty of different seating options within the cabin. The standard third row of seats in every Highlander which have been engineered to seat two adults with enough head, shoulder and leg room to keep everyone in the back comfortable on even a longer journey.
Seats fold forward individually, meaning getting in and out of the third row is easy too; with second row seats that move forward to allow plenty of room to enter and exit.
A family-sized vehicle needs a decently powerful engine. The Highlander’s 3.5-litre V6, with 218kW maximum power and 350Nm of torque on tap is perfect for this vehicle.
The Highlander’s V6 also features dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - intelligent) technology which optimises power and fuel economy and complies with stringent Euro 5 emissions standards, meaning it’s kinder to the environment.
The Satellite Navigation with SUNATM traffic channel is like having a personal 'traffic expert' in the car with you at all times, anywhere you go in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington or Christchurch.
The SUNA channel broadcasts real-time traffic information about major arterial roads, freeways and motorways directly to the in-built navigation system, which is then translated into warnings relevant to your exact location.
SUNA is able to recommend alternative routes that minimise congestion and delays, so you can get where you're going faster and stress-free. It also maximises your safety by letting you know if there are any major oil spills or road slips in your vicinity.