A pioneering vehicle in many ways, the Toyota Highlander was one of the first midsize crossover SUVs to be sold in America when it debuted in 2001. With its car-based unibody design, the original Highlander provided many benefits over Toyota's more traditional SUVs, including better handling, higher fuel mileage, a quieter cabin, improved crashworthiness and easier entry and exit for passengers.
Since then, the Toyota Highlander has gone on to become one of the most popular crossovers available, appealing to shoppers who want a vehicle with SUV styling, plenty of versatility for hauling cargo and a third-row seat. On the road, the Highlander's near-silent engine is complemented by a liquid-smooth automatic transmission with the refinement you might expect in a Lexus. Although earlier versions of the Toyota Highlander are truly midsize, more recent Highlanders are quite spacious and have more upscale interior furnishings. Overall, we highly recommend the Highlander, as it has always been one of the better values for shoppers seeking a comfortable, easy-to-drive vehicle that can carry a fair amount of cargo and passengers and handle snow and ice during the winter months while still delivering respectable fuel economy.