The 2019 Toyota Highlander ranks highly in the midsize SUV class largely on the strength of an excellent predicted reliability rating. It has an elegant and tranquil cabin and a powerful and efficient optional V6 engine, but it suffers from a small cargo hold and a tight third row.
Pros & Cons
- Comfortable and quiet
- Stylish cabin with first-rate materials
- Lots of standard advanced safety features
- Optional V6 engine is robust and fuel-efficient
- Confining third-row seat
- So-so standard four-cylinder engine
New for 2019
- Exterior upgrades across lineup
- Nightshade Special Edition offered on limited basis
Is the Toyota Highlander a Good SUV?
The Toyota Highlander is an OK midsize SUV. A stellar predicted reliability rating helps the Highlander’s overall score, and it means you should be on the road more than you are at the mechanic. Like many Toyotas, this SUV comes with an impressive set of standard safety features.
The Highlander has an optional V6 engine that won’t let you down, along with a quiet cabin and comfortable first- and second-row seats. However, shoppers in need of a sizable third-row seat or an abundance of storage space may be disappointed.
Should I Buy the Toyota Highlander?
The Highlander is definitely worth a look if you’re shopping for a 3-row SUV, but be warned that the last row is pretty small. Passengers in the first two rows will ride in comfort with crowd-pleasing amenities that include five USB ports, tri-zone automatic climate control, and available Driver Easy Speak, which amplifies the driver’s voice for rear-seat passengers.
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How Much Does the Toyota Highlander Cost?
Prices for the 2019 Toyota Highlander are about average for the midsize SUV class. The entry-level Highlander LE starts at $31,830. Prices jump to more than $35,000 if you equip the LE trim with a V6 engine and all-wheel drive. The Highlander XLE ($39,720) and the range-topping Highlander Limited Platinum ($46,050) both come standard with a V6 engine. For more information on prices and standard equipment, see the “Which Toyota Highlander Model Is Right for Me?” section below.
Highlander Engine: Pick the V6 for More Punch
The base Highlander comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This combination leaves many reviewers wishing for more power. With the optional 3.5-liter V6 engine – available on the base trim and standard on all others – the Highlander accelerates with ease, even with a full crew on board. Its smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission helps V6-powered Highlanders achieve excellent highway gas mileage. Gain even more fuel efficiency without losing any oomph with the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which we review separately.
Highlander Gas Mileage: V6 Wins Again
Fuel economy in front-wheel-drive Highlanders equipped with the four-cylinder engine is typical for a 3-row SUV this size. It earns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The V6 engine outdoes the base engine, however, earning 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
Highlander Ride and Handling: Built for Cruising
Shoppers who prefer the tranquil feel of a car-based SUV will appreciate the Highlander’s comfortable, quiet ride. This Toyota is surefooted and stable, and when equipped with the V6 engine, can be upgraded from front-wheel to all-wheel drive. The SE trim’s sport-tuned suspension adds a mild amount of athleticism.
Is the Toyota Highlander Reliable?
The 2019 Highlander earns an excellent predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.
Toyota Highlander Warranty
Toyota covers the 2019 Highlander with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Highlander Crash Test Results
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Highlander an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. It received a five-star rating for the side crash category and four stars in both the frontal crash and rollover categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick. The 2019 Highlander also earned the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. It also received the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention technology, as well as the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.
Highlander Safety Features
Standard equipment in the 2019 Highlander includes a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). The high-tech systems grouped under this designation include a pre-collision system with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Optional safety features include a surround-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.