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2018 Toyota Highlander Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Best Bang for the Buck in this category by RxSmirk

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Introduction

Surprised at how much better the AWD is compared to the FWD. With the new transmission and more powerful Direct Injection, I get better fuel efficiency on my SE AWD 2018 than I did in my LE Plus FWD 2016. I bought the '16 at the end of the year, for 31,000 (list 38,xxx). Traded it for the SE AWD '18 at the end of the year, and paid 13,000 including all taxes, fees, etc., plus my 2016 with 26,000 miles on it. The SE listed at 46,xxx.
If you are on the fence about FWD or AWD, get the AWD. The vehicle has so much unusable power in FWD mode, the AWD allows you to keep traction when you really need to accelerate...that in itself was worth it to me.
I was pleasantly surprised the shorter side-walls and slightly stiffer suspension on the SE did not translate into a rougher ride. The SE handles better, even though it's not REALLY sporty. An 11.5 hour drive was tolerable due to the great seating positions and smooth ride. I notice the Lane Departure caught me not being as alert as I should be toward the end of the drive...forgetting to turn my signal on, or simply drifting a bit. If you don't realize your driving is suffering, you may assume you're driving just fine...LDA indicates otherwise! Nice to have the awareness...

Reviewed: 2018 Toyota Highlander

4dr SUV 295-horsepower 3.5L V6 8-speed shiftable automatic AWD

2018 Toyota Highlander Love Letter

Sportier-looking than the Pilot. About the same look as the Mazda CX5 or CX9. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Conclusion

Not as big as the Pilot...especially if you are REALLY going to use the third row seating. Bigger than the CX5. About the same as the CX9...although I didn't look at it's third-row seating, as it's not important to me. The CX9 was smooth, but, it relies upon a turbocharged engine to give it pep. The Highlander uses the proven 3.5 L V-6...that's just hard to beat....less complexity than a turbo system with wastegates and additional sensors.
I'd buy it again every time for the price and performance.

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Response from LectroFuel

7:31 pm February 12, 2019

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