2018 Toyota Highlander: The Toyota Of Three-Row Mid-Size SUVs













The 2018 Toyota Highlander is Toyota’s entry in the mid-size, three-row SUV wars. It has been on the American scene since its debut for the 2001 model year. It was one of the first car-based mid-size SUVs, and is built on the same platform as Toyota’s Camry sedan. The Highlander slots into Toyota’s SUV lineup as the larger sibling of the compact RAV4, and the smaller sibling of the full-size Sequoia.

The current 2018 Highlander represents the third generation of this popular vehicle, which was introduced for the 2014 model year and was facelifted for the 2017 model year with restyled front and rear ends. For 2017 year to date through October, the Highlander holds onto a solid third place in class, behind the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

2018 Highlander Trim Levels And Pricing

The 2018 Toyota Highlander is available in a variety of trim levels, and also comes as a gasoline-powered version or a gasoline-electric hybrid version. The gasoline-powered version is available in five trim levels: LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, and Limited. The gasoline-electric hybrid version comes in LE, XLE, and Limited trims.

Pricing on the 2018 Highlander starts at $31,030 for Highlander LE with two-wheel drive, and goes up to $48,280 for the Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum. Based on the trim level selected, the 2018 Highlander can seat either seven or eight passengers.

A Choice Of Engines And Drive Systems, Both Gasoline And Electrified

The gasoline-powered LE comes with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower as standard, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Optional on LE and standard on all other gas-powered trims is a 3.5L DOHC V6 with 295 horsepower, driving through an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard on all gasoline-powered trims, with an all-wheel drive system optional.

The 2018 Highlander Hybrid uses a system combining a 3.5L V6, a CVT transmission, and two electric motors driving the front and rear wheels. This gives the Hybrid model standard on-demand all-wheel drive. Total hybrid system power is 306 horsepower.

Advanced Safety Technology Is Standard On 2018 Highlander

Every 2018 Toyota Highlander comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense P. This package of driver assistance technologies includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control. Also standard across the board is the Star Safety System, which adds enhanced vehicle stability control traction control, anti-lock brake system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology. Eight airbags are placed throughout the interior to protect the occupants.

For Maximum Luxury, Pick The Limited

The 2018 Highlander Limited, available in gas-powered and hybrid versions, gives you the ultimate in luxury to go with your utility. You get perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, a JBL premium audio system, 19”chrome alloy wheels, and LED accent strips on the headlights.

For even more pleasant surroundings, choose the Highlander Limited Platinum, with its panoramic sunroof, dark chrome 19” alloy wheels, 360-degree view camera system, heated steering wheel, and heated second-row seats. Add the rear-seat entertainment system and you’ve got it all!

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Is Many SUVs In One

Whether you are looking for a basic front-wheel drive mid-size SUV, a full-on luxury vehicle with all-wheel drive capability and hybrid efficiency, or something in between, the 2018 Toyota Highlander has a version to satisfy your needs. As a top-three mid-size SUV player offering traditional Toyota quality, it is satisfying a lot of today’s buyers. Check it out if this type of vehicle is on your shopping list.

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.