The Highlander is not a terrible car (I would have sold it already if it was), but it's just mediocre and not worth the price Toyota asks for one. It's not comfortable, the powertrain is average, towing capacity is a lie, and 3rd row seat is a joke. Cargo space is mediocre even with the 3rd row seat folded. It also isn't particularly durable, the cheap plastic interior rattles and squeakes even on flat, nicely paved roads. Finally, as every Toyota, it is plagued with safety recalls. Toyota dealership service is bad, and Toyota corporate doesn't help, quite the contrary - the worst customer service I have ever seen.
Fuel economy is OK-ish. And that's the only good thing I can say about this car.
Overall power is OK-ish, but take-off is slow. It's definitely not a nimble car.
Steering is vague and imprecise. Cornering performance is mediocre. Ride is harsh and stiff, you can feel every small imperfection in the road surface. Not acceptable for the vehicle class and price.
Noisy. Both road and wind noise are unacceptable.
Rear seat room & comfort
3rd row seat is midget sized. Claiming that the Highlander is an 8-passenger vehicle is a lie. It's either 5 normal-sized people, or Snow White and the 7 dwarfs. There is no way you can accommodate 8 normal-sized people comfortably in this car.
Toyota claims 5000 lb towing capacity, but the car isn't wired for 7-pin trailer connector, only 4-pin one. 7-pin connector is required for trailer brakes which are required by law for trailers 3000 lb or more. Not equipping the car with proper safety equipment is a serious flaw, that borders on false advertising.
Definitely not recommended. If you are looking for a comfortable, capable family vehicle, look elsewhere.
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