Text by Wooley
Lol ok, I guess I’m going to have to eat my words now. I poked fun at the Toyota Highlander in our magazine about a year ago for their ad campaign with the muppets, where they sang a song about how they ‘ain’t got no room for boring’. As a car guy, my take on it was – it really doesn’t get any more boring than a Toyota Highlander. (Keep in mind – car guys tend to be narrow-minded, overly-opinionated, and quick-on-the-draw when it comes to that sort of thing.)
But then we took this press car to the South Walton beaches for the week. It was me, my wife, and our 19-month-old little girl. And I realized, that no, the Highlander might not be the most ‘adventurous’ car on the market. It might not get thumbs ups from the dudes. Meaning – it’s not lifted on huge tires, and it not a 2-seater with 500 horsepower. But what it is – is a great OUTLET to adventure.
And that’s the key.
Because let’s be real for a second. In the real world, you can’t actually USE those previously-mentioned types of cars on the long trips. They stay at home in the garage. I know that, because I have those types of cars… and they sit at home anytime my family is involved. The Highlander is your all-around ACCESS to family adventure. It might not climb a rocky wall of the Grand Canyon, but it’ll GET YOU to the Grand Canyon… and then you can go climb it yourself. 🙂
The Highlander is set up to be an ultimate family fun capsule. It’s a great road trip vehicle. And it’s just as great of an everyday vehicle. It’s comfortable & it’s easy. It’s stress & irritation free! It’s got options for just about all the creature comforts you can imagine. Huge panoramic sunroofs, built-in window shades for the kids. Comfortable & roomy captains chairs in the rear… with rear heat heaters and rear climate control. It’s easy to get the babies out their car seats without having to lean halfway in the car and expose your rear-end the world while you struggle with those child seat belts.
The front has seat heaters, seat coolers, steering wheels heaters, touch-screen infotainment/nav, auto hi-beams, and adaptive cruise control – which means the car will match the speed of the traffic in front of you.
It’s got power lift/close hatch, remote start, backup cameras & sensors… everything you need to keep your heart rate chill. The Highlander has a very well thought out dash & interior, with plenty of space for accessible storage.
There’s also plenty of power. It’s equipped with an adaptive all-wheel-drive, which significantly improves traction when you need it. And it gets decent enough gas milage – 23 MPGs loaded down with family & gear/luggage. The highlander is a big vehicle with a ton of room, yet it doesn’t feel weighted down, wobbly, or sluggish. It just – works seamlessly for your life. I don’t know how else to say it. Toyota’s got this stuff figured out.
If you’re looking for a new car, and your making comparisons between makes/models, and getting stuck in the little details – here’s one thing to consider. Toyota makes damn near a perfect-solution, reliable car for nearly every type of driver. This is their answer for the growing family who doesn’t want to sit at home on the weekends… and it deserves a test drive.