DRIVEN AN AVERAGE OF ONLY 7,100 MILES PER YEAR! Far below the national average!
Based on the same platform as the Lexus RX 300, which itself is based on modified Toyota Camry mechanicals, the Highlander represents an optimum blend of three utilitarian types of vehicles: the station wagon, the minivan and the sport-utility vehicle.
Longer, taller and wider where the wheels meet the pavement than the Lexus, the Highlander could almost fool you into thinking you were driving a family sedan. Riding on a fully independent suspension, this SUV exhibits none of the tippiness that we've experienced in other sport-utes.
There are two engine choices: a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter V6. The four-cylinder makes 155 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque, while the smooth V6 puts out 220 ponies and 222 lb-ft of twist. A four-speed automatic transmission is the only one offered, and it provides a "snow mode" for easy starts on slippery surfaces. Tow ratings are on the light side, the maximum being 3,500 pounds with a properly equipped V6 model.