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2016 Toyota Highlander

2015 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER: The 2015 Toyota Highlander will draw the attention of families at the 107th annual Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 14-22, 2015. Highlander buyers have a choice of three powertrains. The base engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The available 3.5-liter V6 produces 270-horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder comes only with front-wheel drive, while the V6 offers both front- and all-wheel drive. Toyota also offers a hybrid powertrain that teams the 3.5-liter V6 with three electric motors to make 280 horses. The Hybrid's transmission is a continuously variable automatic that constantly adjusts gearing ratios instead of changing gears. The hybrid powertrain delivers 28 mpg in combined highway/city driving, and it comes only with all-wheel drive. The Highlander's all-wheel-drive system sends 100 percent of the power to the front wheels during normal cruising but can apportion up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels when it detects slip. It also comes with a locking center differential to lock for a 50/50 split. Depending on the model and equipment, the Highlander can tow 1500, 2000 or 5000 pounds. Trim levels start with the LE and progress through LE PLus, XLE, and Limited. Standard features consist of a rearview camera, a 3.5-inch LCD multi-information display, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota's Entune Audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, eight airbags, 18-inch alloy wheels, and eight-passenger seating with 60/40 split-folding second- and third-row seats. Highlights of the top-line Limited model include perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, second-row captain's chairs that reduce seating to seven, Entune Premium JBL Audio with an eight-inch touchscreen and App Suite, and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

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