If you know what that headline is referring to, then you're a bigger dork than I am. There's a movie called "Highlander" that came out in the '80s and is about these crazy sword-wielding dudes who try to kill each other in order to do something or another. Like, be the last of their kind standing, thus absorbing all the others' power and knowledge. It's been awhile since I saw it, but like any other sci-fi film involving Scottish immortals, it has a lot of fans out there who are alive and well. Trust me on this one; multiple guys have asked me how I liked the 2008 Toyota Highlander, then repeated this line from the movie: "There can be only one." Riiight.
All the same, while I'm pretty sure Toyota didn't name the Highlander after the movie, its tagline could certainly apply to this family-friendly crossover. The 2008 version has an awesome second row that can either be a three-seat bench or convert to captain's chairs separated by a magic console. This configuration may very well make the Highlander an immortal family-friendly car, destined to survive the ages.
Two different attachments can go in the center of the second row (Center Stow Seat and Center Stow Console). The Center Stow Seat can be folded down with the pull of a strap, and kids can step on its lowered seatback to enter or exit the third row. Alternatively, this seat can be removed and replaced by the Center Stow Console, which also has a spot to step on to get into the third row, plus cupholders and a cubby for storage. Clearly, only one can be used at a time, so what do you do with the unit you're not using? Why, store it in the bottom of the center console up front, of course!
There are four cupholders in front, and each door has a spot for water bottles. The glove box isn't much to work with, but the aforementioned console between the driver and passenger seats is pretty nice. It's not too cavernous, and the space isn't too specialized, which is what I like to see. There are no coin slots, but there is space large enough for a BlackBerry or another bigger phone. I've written off glove boxes for a long time now; I really only use the center console most of the time.
While the driving experience may not mimic that of a racecar, I did enjoy driving the Highlander. It's got good acceleration for when I need to get to preschool fast (within the bounds of the law, of course). It's kind of a casual-driving vehicle, which is quite nice on those long days spent in the car. If I were immortal, the Highlander might be the kind of crossover I'd choose because I'd never be uncomfortable in it.
I'd be able to carry an eternity's worth of stuff, too, provided the third row was folded. Otherwise, there's not much difference between the Highlander and other crossovers' cargo areas. It's a bit tight with the third row up, but can manage a stroller and some groceries, no problem. I love that the seats fold flat into the floor with no effort, by the way. And a power liftgate is a feature that always seems to win me over, no matter what millennium I'm in.
Lastly, if I were attempting to evade my foes, the Highlander's standard stability control, traction control and antilock brakes would surely get me out of a jam. If something worse occurs on my quest to be the most powerful immortal in history, the standard driver and passenger front and side airbags, as well as the driver's knee airbag, should help keep me safe. There are side curtain airbags in all rows of seats to keep my passengers safe. If there really can be only one, I'll need a vehicle to manage all the tasks I take on, and the Highlander is up for the job.
*For more information on the 2008 Toyota Highlander and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 8
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample/Galore
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times/Groove On
2008 Toyota Highlander
Base price: $34,150
Price as tested: $42,059
Engine: 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6
Fuel: 17/23 mpg
Ground Clearance: 8.1"
Turning Radius: 19.4'
Cargo space: 10.3-95.4 cu. ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: 5 Stars
Passenger's side: 4 Stars
Front occupant: 5 Stars
Rear occupant: 5 Stars
Rollover resistance: 4 Stars
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Kelsey Mays||Cars.com National||August 8, 2007|
|Mike Hanley||Cars.com National||April 25, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||June 21, 2008|
|Sara Lacey||Mother Proof||March 24, 2008|
|Colette Fischer||Mother Proof||August 21, 2007|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||August 12, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||July 5, 2007|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||July 4, 2007|
People Who Viewed This Car Also Viewed
Closest Dealers Listing this Car
Featured Services for the Toyota Highlander
- Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.