Over the course of 5 years, from two thousand seven to two thousand and twelve years, about 100,000 Toyota Highlander were sold annually in the United States, in other words, approximately 10,000 units per month. In Russia, a Japanese SUV is not so needed, but it is also in demand: in two thousand and fourteen, it took the second place in its own class (13 500 40 eight sold cars). We compared our memories from Highlander and tried to figure out the prerequisites for its popularity. One of them in the literal sense of the word on the surface – it really is very beautiful.
The third-generation Highlander is based on the slightly stretched platform of the Toyota Camry sedan (the wheelbase of the cars is the same – two thousand seven hundred and ninety mm). However, the rear suspension here is different: not McPherson, as on the Camry, but a multi-link, as on the current generation Lexus RX. The four-wheel drive version of Highlander and the JTEKT multi-plate clutch, which connects the rear axle with the front axle slipping and is capable of sending up to 50% of the torque, came from the same machine. Crossovers for Russia, by the way, have a slightly softer suspension than their counterparts in the United States.
The car that we had on the test is equipped with a gasoline engine of 2, seven liters capacity of one hundred eighty-eight hp. with a maximum torque of two hundred and fifty-two Newton meters. The 1AR-FE engine with an alloy block is well known to Toyota lovers in the Venza models and the same Highlander of the previous generation. In addition, it is installed on the most affordable version of the Lexus RX – RX 270. On Highlander, the unit is paired with a six-speed automatic. Up to one hundred km / h SUV weighing one 880 kg, the model accelerates in 10, three seconds and is capable of reaching a maximum speed of one hundred and eighty km per hour.
On the top version of Highlander in Russia, a 3.5-liter V6 with two hundred and forty-nine horsepower is installed. Up to one hundred km / h, such a car accelerates in 8, seven seconds. The maximum speed – the same as that of a less powerful brother – one hundred eighty kilometers per hour. The same engine in the USA has a big return: two hundred seventy-three horsepower. Especially for Russia, in order to reduce the amount of tax, the engine was deformed.
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Someone considers Highlander not brutal enough. To me, the Japanese SUV seemed a completely harmonious car. For the test, we got a dark red front-wheel drive Highlander with a leather beige interior and a four-cylinder 2, 7-liter engine. This color adds nobility to him, let the Land Cruiser remain black.
The impressive dimensions of the Highlander and the weight of two tons allow you to feel confident on the track, while maneuverability of the car in urban realities does not suffer. Highlander has a rather stiff suspension for a family car, but I liked these settings both as a driver and as a passenger. In general, the car surprises with ease of control: it is pleasant to accelerate on it, it is predictable in braking.