If you plan to visit the upcoming New York International Auto Show, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Japanese mid-SUV, revised for 2017. The new technology-pack’s most important enhancement is the direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission.
The new unit is more compact than the current 6-speed automatic transmission, it offers even more efficiency and will be standard equipment for the V6, 3.5 liter engine. Speaking of the engine, it is new and it will develop “significantly more horsepower” than the 270 hp of the outgoing one, while consuming less fuel, mainly thanks to the new direct injection system. A start & stop (S&S) system will be available for the new V6 without extra cost. The new V6 will be offered as a stand-alone unit or paired with an electric motor, under the Highlander Hybrid’s hood. The same powertrain scheme will also equip the 2017 Toyota Sienna van. The standard powertrain remains unchanged, as the 4×2 LE will be moved by the current combination of the 4-cylinder, 2.7 liter engine, paired with the 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Besides the technical enhancements, a new body style will give the 2017 Highlander more appeal. In front, a newly designed radiator grille will be painted in silver or chrome, depending on the equipment level. The rear end will benefit over the taillights’ sleeker redesign and the chrome trim garnish of the Limited and Platinum’s rear bumper. Toyota will also prepare three new exterior colors for 2017 model: Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl. Onboard, the Limited Platinum grade will receive brown leather upholstery, while four more USB chargers will join the one already found in the current Highlander. Tired of luxury? The new SE trim level is pointed to the sportier customers, offering 19 inch wheels, specially tuned suspension and a dark touch for the grille, roof rails and headlamp housings.
Only good words about the safety: gathered in the Toyota Safety Sense package, the Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake work together with Pedestrian Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams to offer an excellent active-safety level. For the XLE grade, the Blind Spot Monitor is a standard feature.