By Cars.com EditorsNovember 20, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Joe Bruzek takes a look at the 2009 Toyota Highlander. It competes with the Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse.
(upbeat rock music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. I this is Joe Bruzek from cars.com. We're here at the 2009 Toyota Highlander. After 2009, the Highlander gets four cylinder power.
When it was first introduced in 2008 with this current redesign, you couldn't get a four cylinder. The mile per gallon improvement with the four cylinder. Now you get 1824 with the V6 and front wheel drive. Four cylinder gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. Now with that extra fuel economy, you take a hit and horsepower. The four cylinder makes 187 horsepower and the V6 is 270. Now just go around town. The Highlander still performs really respectively, but the on the highway, the V6 definitely has its advantages as passing power. Now Highlander four cylinder starts at $25,700. It only comes in front wheel drive. You can't get an all wheel drive version with the four cylinder. Now with front wheel drive, I didn't get a chance to drive it into any snow, but I did drive it in lots of rainy cold conditions. And there was noticeable wheel spin, just trying to accelerate out of the way. Now in the snow, there's a special snow mode here that's standard that you hit and the transmission shifts differently to give you maximum traction. I actually found that extremely useful in the rain. In the second row, this removable center section is standard. Now it either acts as a center seat like it is now, or you can take it out and in its place, stores, cup holders, and extra storage. Now, what I found with this is that it takes a lot of force to put back into place. So if you're trying to do that from the first row, it's pretty difficult. What's not standard in the second row is this rear air conditioning unit. Now they are vents back here, and this would be great, if you have kids back here, control freak adults, pets, or control freak kids. Now this third row is optional. The standard Highlander has room for five, but with this added row, you increase that passenger room to seven. Now, with this folded down, we put a bunch of golf bags back here. That's pretty much expected from the SUV that size. If you want a more in-depth look at the interior and seating configurations. Be sure to see Kelsey Mays' video on the 2008 Highlander. Even with the optional equipment that we outlined, this Highlander still comes in under $30,000. Ours tested at 29,200. So at the vehicle this size, all of its room inside, cargo, it's full entry-level price and it's high gas mileage, the Highlander is a great value. (upbeat rock music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kicking tires.net.