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10 Biggest News Stories of the Week: Toyota Highlander Takes High Road, Mercedes C-Class’ Luxe Runs Out

toyota highlander hybrid platinum 2023 08 exterior rear angle scaled jpg 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

If you’re shopping for a three-row SUV to pull family duty, the 2023 Toyota Highlander should rank high. It has admirable (if uninspiring) ride, handling and acceleration; highly competitive fuel economy, particularly in the hybrid version; regenerative brakes in the hybrid that are actually livable; and a handsome, user-friendly multimedia display upgrade. But, as Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger laments in her comprehensive critique of the mid-size SUV — one of our most popular articles of the past week — the Highlander isn’t hitting all the high notes.

Related: 2023 Mercedes-Benz C300 Review: Losing Its Way

Engine noise annoys, particularly when called upon to, y’know, accelerate (you had one job to do!); a difficult-to-maintain electric-only mode; a difficult-to-reach knob here, an unnecessarily complicated infotainment quirk there; and the dreaded third row that’s not really good for a whole lot — not adults, not car seats and not cargo behind it when the seats are up.

“A third row with an adult level of space and comfort is a rare thing, and the Highlander is no exception; it’s a real pain back there,” Geiger notes in her review. “Just getting there was a challenge, even for my small 12-year-old daughter, and once you’re seated, legroom is very tight. You’ll need to move the second-row seats forward to give passengers any space at all.”

For Geiger’s full take on the 2023 Toyota Highlander, which primarily focuses on the hybrid variant, follow the link below to the No. 3 article on this week’s countdown of most read stories.

Further down this week’s countdown is a luxury stalwart that seems to have lost its way a bit amid the fast-changing landscape of competitive, technologically advanced rivals. As such, we found about as much to dislike as to like about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class in our rapid-fire roundup of pros and cons.

To its credit, the redesigned-for-2022 compact sedan delivers abundant oomph from its mild-hybrid-boosted powertrain; boasts athletic, responsive handling and available sport suspension if you add an AMG package; features an attractive, configurable and easy-to-use digital display; and earned top crashworthiness scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Liabilities include numb brakes; a rough ride confoundingly out of sync with the luxury experience; poseur-esque features like an ersatz exhaust note and tips to match; and varied cabin criticisms.

For full details on what we loved and what we loathed about the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, follow the link below to the No. 7 news story of the week.

Beyond that we’ve got headlines on the Honda Accord, Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, Buick Enclave and much more — so don’t stop reading till the digits double. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:

1. How Much Do Electric Car Batteries Cost to Replace?

2. Which Electric Cars Are Still Eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit?

3. 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review: Long on Efficiency, Short on Space

4. Why Does My Car Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

5. Here Are the 11 Cheapest Electric Vehicles You Can Buy

6. Which SUVs, Minivans and Sedans Have the Most Cargo Space?

7. Is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class a Good Car? 4 Pros and 4 Cons

8. Is the 2023 Honda Accord a Good Car? 5 Pros and 3 Cons

9. Chevrolet Bolt EV to Be Discontinued by Year’s End: Should You Get It While You Can?

10. 2023 Buick Enclave Avenir Review: Dated and Confused

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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