2015 Toyota Highlander Overview
Although this vehicle looks as bulky as possible it still falls in the crossover class. New model borrowed some of the exterior elements from other popular vehicles in it class, namely BMW X5 and Dodge Durango, while the interior design close resembles the one we can see in RAV4. New model comes with the same engine options as the last generation models and are similar to the engines we can find in other Toyota crossovers like already mentioned Toyota RAV4.
Short History of Toyota Highlander
First Highlander model was made for 2001 model year. It was based on Toyota Camry platform and presented for the first time on 2000 New York Auto Show. This vehicle represents the crossover version of Toyota 4Runner, which is much tougher off-road vehicle. In Japan and Australia this vehicle is called Toyota Kluger, since Highlander name is alredy taken by the Hyundai Terracan trim level. third generation model came out last year and it was presented on New York International Auto Show.
Last year’s model was totally reshaped. Its new look is borroved from other bigger crossovers from its class. It comes with Mitsubishi look alike grille and we also can see a lot of influences of X5 and Durango in new model’s profile. It also got little bit wider, so it looks more like 4Runner, which gives it another dose of toughness and separates it from some other usual models from this class like Hyundai Santa Fe or Ford Flex.
Generation change brought a lot of interior changes as well. Unlike the exterior, that shifts more towards an SUV look, interior design is totally car-like. It comes with a nice combination of interior lines, colors and textures, with very transparent functions that are all in the right places. It also comes with very practical dashboard shelf which drastically increases storage space. we can also see that the cabin had a much better finish than in previous model years.
Interior space is increased since its wheelbase received additional 0,5 inch and the vehicle got 3 more inches in its longitude. Cabin became much quieter since the new model comes with new acoustic glass, while the vibrations are down to minimum with floor insulation. We can also notice increased amount of soft-touch surfaces, nice looking woodgrain and tray sculpted into a dash that can be used for storage. Front seats are nice and comfortable and they come with a lot of support, but if you want them power adjustable you will need to purchase the most expensive Limited trim level. Second row seats are reasonably comfortable and they come with kind of console in the middle, covered in tambour. It also comes with flip out cup-holder tray in second and third rows. Behind the third row there is increased cargo space, comparing to the one in the last year’s model. Behind third row seats there are 13,8 cubic feet of cargo space, and behind second row of seats there are 42,3 cubic feet.
Standard version of 2015 Toyota Highlander comes with standard Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity. There is also a USB port and premium cloth upholstery. LE trim comes with dual zone climate control,power tailgate and driver seat. With XLE trim level you get garage door opener, Homelink, 8 inch touch screen display, leather upholstery, sunroof and heated front seats. Limited is the highest trim level, and when it comes to Hybrid version it is the only one. It comes with some extra safety features like: blind spot monitor and rear parking sensor. It also comes with power driver seat, second row’s captain chairs and front seats that are both heated and ventilated.
All engine options that you can find in 2015 Toyota Highlander are the same as in previous generation vehicle. They come with little bit improved output and fuel efficiency, but that’s about it. Also handling in 2015 model is much much better. Base version comes with 2,7 litre four cylinder engine which can produce 185 horsepower and 184 pound feet of torque. It is combined with six speed automatic transmission and it’s definitely not the most popular among the Highlander engine options. Base trim levels comes with front wheel drive only.
Second more expensive engine option is the 3,5 liter V6, that brings back 270 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque. This engine comes with respective fuel efficiency and power to match. It can be paired with front or all wheel drive and six speed automatic transmission.
The most expensive powertrain that comes with Hybrid version is constituted of regular 3,5 liter V6 that returns 231 horsepower paired with two electric engines, with all three producing 280 horsepower. It is paired with CVT transmission system and in the all wheel on road mode front wheels are being powered by the gas engine, while rear wheels are being powered with electric engines only.
Base version of 2015 Toyota Highlander can be bought for $29,415. All wheel drive cost around $2,700 more and the most expensive Platinum package of the highest Limited trim level can be bought for $43,790.
With Dodge Durango out of the picture, the toughest rival of Toyota Highlander is BMW X5.
2015 Toyota Highlander Insurance Rates
It is hard to find the exact insurance rates for this model, since the price might be influenced by numerous factors, from the age of the driver to his/hers previous traffic offenses. Anyway to insure 2015 Toyota Highlander you will need from $1,200-1,300. This would be an average figure for the whole US, while insurance in some states can be much more or less expansive. For example Michigan is the most expensive state when it comes to car insurance, while Ohio is the least expensive. California is also one of the more expensive states, while Texas is somewhere around average.
Toyota Highlander User Manual Download
On this link you can download owner manuals for Toyota Highlander models made from 2001 to 2007.
One of the most famous Highlander commercials is the one that features The Muppets which was made for 2014 model. Some celebrities that own this vehicle are: Ryan Phelippe, actor Jimmy Smiths and currently one of the funniest guys in America, Seth Rogen.
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