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2009 Toyota Highlander Review

2009 Toyota Highlander Review
Dec 17, 2009
2009 Toyota Highlander Review
by Marc Bouchard , Auto123.com
The Toyota Highlander is the very portrait of the quiet SUV: sober look, lacklustre engine, efficient yet impersonal steering. In short, despite its undeniable road-going capabilities, it’s easily lost in the sea of SUVs out there and doesn’t push the envelop on any level.

Its trapezoid grille and protruding rear fenders enhance its presence on the road.

Driving a Highlander is an unremarkable experience that will officially get you from point A to B with neither thrills nor disappointments. But after all, isn’t that exactly what a car is supposed to do?

Discretely refreshed
This is the second generation of the Toyota Highlander, one that benefited from a few touch ups two years ago. Some lines were softened, the overall look was slightly tweaked, and the whole package was improved.

In point of fact, what once looked like nothing so much as a small, uninspired square box now at least has some modern flair. Its trapezoid grille and protruding rear fenders enhance its presence on the road. And although it’s not a model of aesthetic innovation, it isn’t unpleasant to look at either, quite the contrary. At most you can take issue with its resemblance to everything else that’s being put out there. But does that mean that everyone’s got it wrong?

Versatile interior
Where the Toyota Highlander really shines is inside. The cabin is definitely more contemporary, and its chrome-ringed instruments liven up a dash that is, by Jove, really quite nice.

You can’t help but appreciate the presence of an info centre atop the centre console providing all the necessary mileage, fuel consumption and sundry data that, although perhaps unnecessary, is always carefully taken into account by the driver. It’s also worth noting that on some variants, the Highlander includes a tiny screen displaying the images recorded by the reverse camera to help with parking.

Lastly, the cloth-covered seats easily fold down to reveal the cargo area in all its glory. Passengers have easy access to the rear seats when they’re up, even if comfort isn’t exactly on the menu. The seats are a little on the hard side, but there’s enough head- and leg-room to eliminate the need for awkward acrobatic feats.

The cabin is definitely more contemporary, and its chrome-ringed instruments liven up a dash that is, by Jove, really quite nice.
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