2020 Toyota Highlander First Impressions; Studded Tires & Rustproofing for Winter Driving

2020 Toyota Highlander First Impressions; Studded Tires & Rustproofing for Winter Driving

We give our first impressions of
the new 2020 Toyota Highlander, discuss if rustproofing is a
wise investment for your car, and talk about the
one car that does it all for us, if not for one big
issue, next on Talking Cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, everyone, and welcome
to another episode of Talking Cars. I’m Jon Linkov. I’m Ron Pszczolkowski. And I’m like Mike Monticello. And in the news this
week, a pretty scary event happened out in California. And Mike, why don’t’
you tell us about it? it was a rollover crash
with a child involved. Yeah, so up in
Northern California, there was an SUV rollover crash. It flipped several times,
and unfortunately, there was a six-week-old
infant that was in a car seat in the
back seat, and it got ejected through
a broken window in the midst of this crash. It was actually found
on the highway shoulder still in his car seat,
luckily relatively unharmed. Yeah, and so the key
thing here is, though, even though it appears
that the car seat might not have been installed
properly to the SUV, the child was fastened
securely into the car seat. And so it’s just a good
reminder how important it is to constantly check
your car seats in your car to make sure that they’re
always in there securely. Yeah, well, one of
the things, I mean, we talk about Ryan being tall. We talk about me having kids. And I’ve got two kids. I’ve gone through
that whole child seat from the infant bucket– which is what this child
was supposed to be in, and we’re assuming that
it was in the bucket– all the way up to the booster. And it is a challenge at times. And just make sure to
get that confidence that the seat was in properly. And I’ve had the staff here
help me out, the child seat experts here, go over it
when we first had kids. And that little bucket,
you can hear it click, but maybe it
doesn’t click fully. Or maybe you just didn’t get
the attachments in the bottom. And if you’re changing
the seat base in a car in and out, in
and out, you could think you’re clicking
on underneath and the latch attachments
on the bottom but miss it. But Ryan, there is
some data out there that shows how many
people actually are installing child
seats incorrectly despite what they think, right? Right, yeah. So I talked to Emily Thomas,
our resident child seat expert, and she surprised me. She says, most
people think they’re putting these
seats in correctly, but actually, 45% of them
are installed incorrectly or flawed in some way. And that’s a big– I mean, that’s a lot. Yeah. Half of these seats are– that’s not good. Yeah. But there is help out there. I mean, first of all, we’ve
written a lot of stories on consumerreports.org,
our website, about how to properly
install a child seat. And also, you can find a local
certified child passenger safety technician or car
seat inspection station on the NHTSA, National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, or Safe Kids website. And you can go there with
your car and your child seat, and they will check for
free to see if you’ve installed it correctly. Right. Exactly. It’s important to have
an expert doing that. A lot people will
say, oh, you know, I was fine back in the day. Well, you know, you
were lucky to survive. But being in a child seat
reduces an infant’s risk of fatal injury
in a crash by 71%. So just using the seat alone– You have to put the
kit in the seat, yeah. –is an advantage
over just having the child being around the car. There’s more information
on the show notes. Check out consumerreports.org
for all of our child safety information as well. We’re going to pivot
now and move over to a new section,
the car of the week. This week, it’s the
2020 Toyota Highlander that we rented from Toyota. We rent press cars
from the manufacturers before they go on sale to
get an early look at them, and while we don’t give our
test results on those vehicles, because it’s an early first
looks we can write about it. This one comes with
a 3.5 liter V6 engine with an 8-speed automatic. Ryan, you drove it. I did. Mike drove it. What do you think first, though? So it’s kind of tough. Because of course,
we have we got, like, some super-duper
platinum premium trim level. I mean, it’s got every
bell and whistle in it. It’s really nice. I enjoyed driving it. I thought– you know, the
Highlander, we’ve always liked the Highlander here. Maybe the last generation
was a little iffy, but I’ve always loved it. I know that. And Toyota doesn’t
change you things a lot. Their cars do change,
but not a lot. And that’s maybe helps
them with the reliability and other things. I think it’s a good thing
it didn’t change a lot, because I did like it. But it’s just really
nice to drive. The V6 is pretty sweet. Yeah. Has good power. The transmission
did well for me. I didn’t have any issues. But again, it’s, you
know, this trim level, super high trim level. I don’t know if that’s going
to compare well when we buy our middle-of-the-road
one, like, say, the Kia– what am I thinking? Telluride. Telluride. Telluride. Yep. And the Hyundai Palisade, right? Which are fantastic vehicles. Right. And they’re really kind
of leading this category a little right now. Right. So it’s a tough one. Monti? Yeah, I agree with
most of that, Ryan. I mean, for me, the
key thing is that it rights some of the wrongs of the
last Highlander that we tested, which was it had some
transmission issues, you know? And where it just didn’t
operate all that intuitively. It would rev too high
when it shouldn’t. It wouldn’t up-shift
at the right times. This one, you get
in it with this V6. It’s super smooth. It’s quiet. And the transmission.
now operates intuitively. It acts just like an
automatic. should. There’s no more of this
high revving for no reason to 4,000 RPM when you’re
just taking off down the road like the last one did. So that part, I
mean they got right. I think overall, again, like
you said, it’s a high trim, so we’re a little clouded
for what the mainstream version is going to be. Right. But it is just overall a
nice, polished, comfortable, 3-year-old mid-sized SUV. There are some
things that I’m not– that are weird about it, like
the second-row seat doesn’t have a whole lot of headroom. You know, like, look, I’m not
a very tall guy, but you know, my spiky hair is just about
hitting the roof of that– I had plenty of space. Well, [LAUGHS] I get it. So there’s some things about–
and the second row seat is very flat, you know, so
it doesn’t really hold you in place. And then there’s the
infotainment system, which I think is a step backwards. I think it’s more
confusing than before. And so I think
mostly steps forward, but when you start introducing
a more confusing infotainment system, I think that’s
a bit of a problem. I don’t think it was– in
the grand scheme of all the new infotainments, I
didn’t think it was that bad. I guess I was– I wasn’t that– that wasn’t– I didn’t pick that out just
because it was it was fair. I figured it was
middle of the road. I was pleased that it’s got
a regular shifter in it. Especially for a high
trim, usually, they have a good electronic shifter. It’s got a normal shifter in it. That’s fantastic. Right. Yep. Unlike the Hyundai, for example. Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, I found it– I found it interesting. I’m not personally a
fan of the Highlander. It just never worked for me. I’ve never liked the, kind
of, plasticky-ness of it. The last one, the touchscreen
was very far away, and it’s a very annoying,
much older-feeling system. It’s almost like when Toyota
uses the old 3.5-liter V6 in a model and, you know, just
changes it a bit incrementally. And even the
transmission, OK, they went a little too
far with eight-speed when they launched it
in the previous gen, and then they made
some fixes to it. They build upon what they’ve got
in incremental gains, not leaps and bounds. Right. But that infotainment system
seemed, like, way too– like they were holding
onto it too long. And now they’ve moved
forward with better systems. It’s also closer, so the
reach isn’t a problem. Yeah, nice big screen, too. Big screen–now, one
has a big screen. The XLE that we will likely
buy will have a smaller screen, so we’ll have to
see how that is. It’s just overall
the feeling I have. And again, we’ll
test it and find out. A lot of times, when
you have the cadence of the manufacturers
bringing out their– you know, you have the
Pilot come, Honda Pilot. And then you have
the Toyota come out, and then maybe the Chevrolet
Traverse comes out. And they’re all kind of,
oh, here, they leapfrog. It’s almost as if nobody knew
Hyundai and Kia were developing those SUVs. Because those things came out,
and if all the other SUV are here, they’re, like, out here. And they moved the bar so
far forward that I don’t– this will get
loyalists, but I don’t know how this is going to
really match up with those. Because they may not be the
most dynamic handling twins, the Kia and Hyundai, but
they just offer so much. I know. The value, yeah. It’s like, they
did it really well. Yeah it’s kind of like– I mean, again, this
is early impressions. So we haven’t bought our vehicle
yet, so we can’t– you know, these are not our
final opinions on it. But sure, it feels– so far, anyway– that the Kia
Telluride, as Shania would say, is “still the one.” Yeah. At least compared
to this Highlander. So– There are some cool things
about that infotainment system, even though I think there are
some confusing aspects of it. I do like how you can switch
the climate controls that display across the screen. I guess if you want to have
it closer to the passenger, you can do that, or
if you want to have it closer to the driver. Right. So there are some neat
things about that. Yeah. Well, overall, an important
vehicle for Toyota, obviously. Very popular with
Consumer Reports members. We will have a first drive up
online on ConsumerReports.org, and we’ll be buying ours
as soon as they go on sale. So check back later to
see where that goes. And so we’re going to
move on to the question segment of the show. As always, send your questions,
video, text questions, to [email protected] Love to get them. Try to get as many on each week. Maybe you’ll be on one of
our all-questions episodes. Anyway, first
question is from Dom who says, “I’m a little confused
about your braking tests. What is the relationship
between the tires on the car and the car itself in
overall performance? A car manufacturer may
put different tires on the same model year vehicle. Does your testing
account for this?” We’re going to throw it to
tire man extraordinaire Ryan. Yes. So it kind of takes
care of itself. The reason being is,
the original tires that come on a vehicle
from the factory, say, just for example,
Toyota, they’re going to put tires
on a Highlander, they can call three
different tire companies and have OE tires
made for this vehicle. Original equipment. Original equipment tires. Now, what they do is
they’re actually– there’s a spec
that they have to– the tire company
has to abide by. So in short, we expect
similar performance, because these tires, even
though they’re different brands, and makes, and everything,
they have to still uphold a certain level of performance. That the car manufacturer
asks of the tire manufacturer? Exactly. Because if Toyota’s putting a
tire on a car they want super fuel-efficient, they’re going
to make that tire manufacturer really emphasize low
rolling resistance, which helps with fuel economy– things like that. So there’s– the Highlander,
they can’t have a Highlander out there that stops way longer
than another just because they put a different tire on it. So they’re shooting
for a similar spec. So in short, yes, we would
expect them to perform similar. And so this is the question I
have– or more of a statement. I was looking for tires
from my wife’s Acura MDX– 2011 MDX, anyone who
wants to buy one. And the Pirellis that we
put on, the Scorpion Verdes, they had the Porsche spec. Yep. They had, I think,
a Mercedes spec. Right. And then they had
just general spec. Yes. Is that the same thing? Yeah, so those are designations
for certain manufacturers. An aftermarket or
replacement tire that we would test
at Consumer Reports is not designed for a
certain vehicle, which is why we don’t test original
equipment tires, because they might be tuned, actually, for a
Toyota, or a BMW, or whatever. So you know, he’s
referring to our testing, which is a brand new
vehicle with the OE tires. We would expect them to– even
with the different brands, we’d expect them
to be pretty close. They’d have to be. And it’ll be a lot to
change tires every year, or even half model year,
or something like that. Right. Because of just the cost,
but also just the time it takes to build. Right. So it’s figured
in that the car’s going to keep the same tire. Yeah, and that’s, too, why we
say, when new tires wear out, I mean, use our ratings,
and take a look, and see what– you might want
some different attributes stronger than
others or whatever. It’s a good tool to have. Cool, awesome. Well, Dom, hope that helps
answer your question, and check out our ratings
on ConsumerReports.org if you are looking for tires
and have more tire questions. Our second question
is from Mike, who says, “I live in New Jersey
and drive about 40 miles a day for work, regardless
of road conditions. I’ve recently seen ads for
underbelly rust proofing and wonder if this
is something I should look into to protect
my car from salt and chemicals applied to
the roads in the winter.” So Monti, we’ve had ice. We’ve had snow here
in Connecticut, other parts of the country. It’s December. What should Mike
do with his car? Why don’t I get a cool
nickname like Ryan does? You’re not cool. Oh, OK. Fair point– and hurtful. Yeah, so the thing
with this is that there are some products out
there that– as far as rust-proofing yourself. But you want to be a little
careful about adding these rust-roofing products, because
if you were to spray something underneath that were to get– somehow hurt the electrical
system of the car when it’s within
its basic warranty– quite often, it’s three
years, 36,000 miles, whatever the warranty is,
the basic bumper-to-bumper warranty. So if spraying that
rust-proofing on there were to damage
something in some way, and then it
malfunctioned, and then you brought it
back to the dealer, they might say,
well, look, this, you doing this
caused this, and now we’re not going to fix
that thing for free. So the advice would be,
wait until your car is out of its basic warranty. And then, if you do driving
it in a lot of salt, and snow, and stuff like
that, then you can– there’s products out there. We’ve talked about this before. It’s like Fluid Film, which is
a lanolin or wax-based substance that you can spray on the car. And like I said, once the car
is out of its new car warranty, feel free to do that. And that is supposed to
be a pretty good product for warding off rust. Help protect your
investment, right? Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I think that that Keith– another one of the
bearded millennials, like our whole group
here, who’s a host– he did a story talking about
that you should really just do an undercarriage wash. Like– Yeah, keep up with it. The best way is just
keeping it off, not waiting until the end of
winter to wash the car, right? Right. And what you mean
by that is taking it through the automatic car wash. Yep. And you know you make
sure you choose the one– you have four different levels. And make sure you choose
one of the– usually, it’s one of the top two ones– that say they have an
undercarriage wash. You can do that, or you
can just use the hose. Get underneath there and
just use the pressure washer. Yep. And just– that’s what
I just did with my truck the other day. And I just– just get underneath
there and really spray it. Because those undercarriage
washers can only do so much. It’s limited. Yeah, right. Because you go through and
it’s over before you know it. But I think there’s
nothing wrong with getting underneath
there and really spraying all this stuff off. Absolutely. Yeah, where it builds up. Exactly. So there you go, Mike. Make sure you take your
car to the car wash after this recent storm. Third question. Mike from Colorado says,
“is there any reason to avoid studdable
winter tires if I have no intention of
adding studs to them? I sometimes see
studdable tires that are cheaper than the
traditional kind.” And Ryan, we don’t really
see these tires a lot out there like Mike says. Yeah, not anymore. Kind of just a little
history tidbit– winter tires back
in the day we’re basically all-terrain tires
with studs out of them, because we didn’t have
the compounding technology that we have now. Modern– So to many the type? Yeah, a modern snow
tire is super soft, and the compound’s flexible
even in crazy temperatures, cold temperatures. We didn’t have that then. We have that now. So to answer his question,
no, any modern snow tire, even if it’s a
studdable snow tire, is going to be
great in the snow. We’ve found in all our testing
where snow tires fall down is on dry, dry and wet grip. A really good snow tire
will be a little better in the dry or wet, but
in general, they’re all really good in snow and
ice just because they’re designed for that one thing. So yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t
say be afraid of that at all. I mean, just for instance,
a General Altimax Arctic 12 is a tire we tested
a few years ago. It’s a studdable winter tire,
and it’s a fantastic tire. We tested it without studs. We can’t test studs here because
we’ll rip the track apart. Sure. And studs are kind of
a pain because you’ll rip your driveway up. They’re illegal in some areas
at certain times of the year. Yeah, you have to have those
snow tires with the studs off by a certain
time in some states. Yeah, well, they’re damaging. I mean, they’re
carbide-tipped, so they’re damaging to the road surface. But modern snow tires are
really good without studs. I mean, studs, really,
it’s a mechanical thing. So studs help you on hard
ice– hard, hard snow or ice. Sp– Unless you’re living
in the Colorado Rockies and up at a 14-er constantly,
driving on almost hard pack the whole time, you’re going
to be fine with snow tires. Absolutely. OK, cool. Well– Sounds good. Hope that helps out. Our final question comes
from Pavel from California. And he says, “Many of your
cars fall dramatically in your rankings and lose
their recommendations due to a problematic CVT– continuously variable
transmission– or infotainment screen, et cetera. Which cars out there today
would be great if it was not for one big issue?” So one of the first things
is that a lot of the cars lose their recommendations
with our reliability, in regards to
reliability, particularly when there’s a model year
change with a design. So it’s not just the model
year, like 2019 to 2020, but it’s when it’s been
redesigned for that year, or it’s a first year
of a model ever. Manufacturers just
don’t get it right. So it tends to be not just, oh,
the infotainment screen was not liked. It was that they did
something brand new, and that’s the issue. And it takes a little time for
manufacturers to work that out. And that comes across the line,
from Honda, to Jaguar, to Audi, to Volvo. But it did give us an
idea of thinking about, was there a fatal flaw
car, like he was asking– a fatal flaw in one car that
would take it totally out of the running for us. So we’re going to go to
Mike first on that one. So for me, if you’re looking at
it from a fatal flaw in terms of reliability, it would
have to be the BMW 3 Series– the new BMW 3 Series. Because right now, the
predicted reliability is much worse than average. Yeah. So fatal flaw important
to me, because I don’t want a car that is– even though it’s going
to be under warranty, I don’t want to deal
with having you bring it back and forth to
the dealer or what’s going to happen down the road
if I keep it for a long time. I love driving that
car that’s a great car. I think it’s a great
little sports sedan. But that would keep me– that would keep me from buying
the car because of its really poor reliability right now. But I also thought
about it another way, if you don’t mind me– Why should we care? Putting a Mike Quincy and
throwing everything all out of kilter. The fatal flaw for
me that would keep me from buying some cars
today would be a sports car without the– without the option of
a manual transmission. Because if I’m throwing down
my her hard-earned money on a sports car, I want
the whole deal, OK? So that would– while the 2020
Toyota Supra is really fun to drive, I’m not buying it. If I were buying it,
I wouldn’t buy it, because I would buy
something else that has a manual transmission. Because that, the
manual transmission, the involvement that you get
with a manual transmission is so much a part, for me,
of driving a sports car. So that means no Toyota Supra. No 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. No Porsche 911 GT3 RS. No 4GT. Right, which is going to be in
the driveway next week, right? No– basically, no Ferrari
or Lamborghini made today. I wouldn’t buy. Now I know Ferrari is going
to be like, oh, great, now we lost that buyer, right? Whoever is next on the
list, don’t worry– Mike’s not taking your spot. But for me, that is the thing. I would not go buy one
of those cars right now. I mean, I love Ferraris. I mean, I have an Italian
last name, Italian heritage, and two of my three favorite
cars of all times are Ferraris. But I wouldn’t buy a
brand-new Ferrari today because I would want to
buy one of the older ones that has that awesome
gated manual shifter. I mean, that’s so much
a part of a sports car. It really bothers me that
we’re going away from that. It is. That’s my rant for the day. Sorry, guys. It’s OK. So Ryan, can you stop that one? So I’m not that
passionate about it. But I do agree with you. I do agree with you. Just off the top of my head, any
other new Mercedes infotainment systems drive me nuts. I love driving the cars. They drive nice. But I wouldn’t buy one because
I can’t get used to that system. And then I’m pushing
buttons by accident on the steering wheel, those
little- those swipey things. I just get lost, and
that drives me nuts. And that’s a car I really
do– most of those, I like. But I don’t think I can get
over the infotainment systems on them. I was thinking the way– like Monty’s first
thought was, I like, actually, the Alfa Romeo Julia. Yeah. And it’s not just us. I mean– It’s a hot-driving little car. It’s fun to drive, yeah. It’s a fun car. I think it looks
pretty good for– I mean, it’s tough
to see cars today. They’re all so
generic-looking, more and more. It’s unique. Unique, and horrible
reliability. That’s a total
fatal flaw for that. That would just be,
not even consider. Yeah. A couple of things
I was thinking, that I had a student at a
recent track event that I was– so I was instructing. And he had a BRZ. And it was a great– Subaru BRZ. Great car. Really fun car. Really great. And it was at Virginia
international Raceway, so some long straights. And he would rip it
up through the curves, but on the straights, he would
run out of gas immediately. That needs the WRX engine in it. Yep. So that’s the fatal flaw. The BRZ would be a
great sports fun car because it can do–
it can really run away from some of the more
high-performance cars in the turns, but
Miata-like, it just is sort of like, all right,
all right, go by me, go by me, go by me when you get
to the straightaway. I’d like to see that. So that’s a fatal flaw
for that car for me. That would be awesome, if they
put a turbocharger in that. I’ve always said that we use
the 86es for tire testing. Yeah, and what a
fun car that is. And it needs another
50, 75, horsepower. It would be a blast. Because it is so much fun
to take around our track. Oh, and it’s well-balanced. Fun engine, rear
drive, it’s a manual. Yeah. It’s a proper sports
car without the power. Yep. Exactly. Exactly, needs a
little more gut. All right, so on
that note, we’re going to wrap up
this week’s episode. As always, send
us your questions, your video questions,
your text questions, to [email protected] Also remember to
check the show nodes for information on everything
that we’ve talked about. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time. [MUSIC PLAYING] [ENGINE REVVING]

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Isn't it great learning about a previous generation vehicles issues when the next gen comes out! As a prospective buyer of a 2-3 year old Highlander, now I know all the things to watch out for.

  2. these guys dont care bout reliability or resale because they have new cars every year. the highlander is the MARKET LEADER in this segment for a reason. real people spending their real hard earned money unlike CR.

  3. A good vehicle that has bad reliability Chrysler Pacifica. Hands down most practical, good looking , best handling and most luxurious interior in a minivan but has a junky transmission and unpredictable electronics.

  4. Interesting about your comment on studded tires. Here in Sweden around half of all cars in the winter (mandatory M+S or better tires in the winter) drive on studded tires. They're not "studdable" (or whatever you said), they're actually studded from factory. We have 4 categories of "winter tyres":
    1. M+S
    2. European winter tyres (optimized for occasional snow).
    3. Nordic winter friction tyres (optimized for snow/ice more often)
    4. Studded nordic winter tyres.

    The recommendation here in the northern part of the nordics it to keep to 3 or 4, and stay away from 1 and 2 since it just doesn't work properly for stopping/stability.

    I find it fascinating how differently these things are done around the world.

  5. On the subject of studs on winter tires I'm still undecided. I drive an '07 FJ Cruiser. The first winter I tried to make it through with a set of AT tires and it was a disaster. Once the temperature dropped below about -5 degrees Celsius the FJ became un drivable. The overly aggressive traction control and ABS would drive me crazy and I would end up in 4HI just to regain some semblance of drivability. The next winter I got a dedicated set of Nokian SUV 5 studded. The difference was incredible. With those tires, all the electronic nannies worked perfectly. So much so that I only use 4Hi in snow storms. Even on glare ice, it is completely predictable and can will prevent any skids much faster than I can react with my older reflexes.
    I have noticed reduced traction on pavement (dry or otherwise) but I can't see myself giving up the great traction on ice or very hard pack snow. My latest set of studded Nokian tires have a technology where the stud will collapse in the tire on pavement to prevent damage to the road however I find the grip on ice somewhat reduced compare to the old tire. I still prefer studded tire but for one issue. The noise drives me nuts by the end of winter. Lets face it, 99% of the driving in winter is on bare or wet roads. But there is no way I'd risk loosing traction when I really need it for the sake of reduced noise or slightly more grip on pavement. I'm not going through that horror again.

  6. Car manufacturers that make infotainment systems with a steep learning curve might turn away people who drive many other cars.

  7. Why are the 3 of you stammering to find something negative to say, is it because Toyota is not a donor. I don't understand, 99% of the time you're so upbeat and encouraging. I'm not hearing that, I just don't understand. I hear your credibility scrapping up against the curb on this one. This doesn't have that objective voice.

  8. How many Americans who buy three row SUVs actually need them? My Aunt and Uncle have two children and they bought an Acura MDX. Why on earth would you need an Acura MDX or Toyota Highlander when you only have two children.? I also know another couple that I used to work with that have one child and own a Toyota 4Runner and live in the middle of a large city and don't go offroading. I really don't understand the buying choices of many Americans.

  9. I agree with the comment that Toyota tried to fix and tweet known problems to improve the Highlander but they really didn't change it much, other than providing the new, more under-powered Hybrid that now gets the best Fuel mileage in the class. If you liked the previous generations of Highlander(very reliable) you can buy a refreshed/tweated version that finally gets Apple Carplay. I agree that Kia and Hyundai really moved the bar and maybe in another 5 years Toyota will try and catch up with their next generation of Highlander to the new standards being laid down by their newer competitors.

  10. Send them back to their country where they belong. We don't need their cars in our country we have enough American cars to suit us just fine. Never will own . I believe in supporting our country not others. Our American people need the money from their sales more than what they do keep it in the US.

  11. Mike in Joisey, You want Krown Rustproofing for your car. It will not hurt the electrical system in any way. It is high time CR devoted some resources to testing a variety of the Rustproofing products on the market.

  12. I bought a palisade ultimate model. Already put 8000 kms on it. One of the best cars I have ever owned. Not even 1 issue since the day I got it.
    Never been back to the shop for anything.
    I was a big time Honda and Toyota fan before this. I’m sure Highlander is good but not sure it can beat Palisade.

  13. so you're asking toyota/subaru to raise the price for a measly bit of power on a niche vehicle that was focused on driving and being lightweight, why? still gonna get destroyed on the straights by any muscle car, so what is the difference? in a land where you can easily buy 600-800 HP "boats", plenty of folks would still cry about power!!…not to mention with the higher price, they would cry about the interior, the noise, etc…the 86/BRZ are slotted perfectly in the market and are thoroughly enjoyable the way they are, gives folks that don't care about power a choice to have something different….americans are just too spoiled with cheap and easy torque that hilariously the majority of owners of such cars would never fully utilize so they can never appreciate using less HP to the fullest! they all want instant gratification! go to europe and get into a cheap 3 series, they sell them with 2.0 turbos that go slower than a NA 86/BRZ but yet no one bats an eye!

  14. Hmm, I don't think I am going to get on my hands and knees, on the wet floor of a car wash, with a high pressure wand. Here in Canada, some car dealerships offer rust protection when they are selling you the car.

  15. Good info from CR.. Thanks for posting. I have a few thoughts. I wish auto manufactures would just stick to traditional methods inside the cabin. Like a traditional shifter, and traditional controls on the dashboard. Oh, and I like the traditional meter (or analog) speedometer and tacho. Which is what is in this Highlander (very good job Toyota). The touch screen infotainmnent thing is terrrible in all vehicles if you ask me. Trying to use the touchscreen to adjust things while driving down the road is VERY dangerous, because you have to take your eyes off the road to use it. Not to mention it is harder to use than manual controls (large knobs, traditional controls of 10 or 20 years ago were much better, safer – and easier to use while driving down the road). I do like Ryan's comment about the traditional shifter.. I wish auto manufacturers would just stick to using the traditional shifter instead of a push button shifter – and I have even seen rotary knobs to do the shifting. Just stick to traditional methods … They look nice, are reliable, safer to use, and easier to use. The last thing that I would like to mention is also very important. I wish they would raise the roof about 2 or 3 inches in this Highlander. I am about 6'3" and have spikey hair – I could use quite a bit more headroom. Seems like to save a bit on gas these days they are trying to make cars, SUV's and Minivans lower in stance. Raising the roof would give the cabin more room, make it more comfortable, and improve visibility (which makes for safer driving).. If they would just raise the roof, I would be willing to pay a bit more for gas – No problem.

  16. While I am blowing off some steam.. Another thing that makes no sense to me is the trend of lower profile tires. Like the 19" and 20" wheels?? Do people like a vehicle that does not ride smoothly?? The thing that allows for a smooth ride is simply the volume of air in the tires. The more air the smoother the ride. A vehicle with lower profile tires will not ride as smoothly as a vehicle with higher profiles. I like a smooth riding vehicle so I hope the trend back to higher profile tire returns soon. On an Suv, I would want 17" or even 16" wheels for a smoother ride.

  17. 6:30 YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT AN OLD-TIMEY SHIFTER????!!!!!!!! How clueless are you?! That old shifter can’t shift autonomously for self driving, self parking, self approaching. Your ability to recognize “innovation” is USELESS!!!!!

  18. Very subjective view of the Highlander…Linkov’s claim that it is “plasticky” needs some clarification. The infatuation with the Koreans is a bit much. Yes, the Palisade and Telluride are nice cars and a good value. In my opinion, their styling is gimmicky and won’t stand the test of time; they already look dated to me. They are not alone in this, however. Toyota makes a good product and you would do better to more thoroughly evaluate it on its merits before haphazardly comparing it to the Koreans. Also, the vast majority of Americans, especially the younger generation, do not learn how to drive a manual transmission. The issue is not the automakers, but the driving schools who do not bother to teach kids how to drive a stick.

  19. The highlander hybrid has a lower performance then the outgoing model. Why only saving 1-2 mpg. Horrible imo, the previous gens can outperform these v6 turbo luxury SUVs. Hopefully they don't screw up the lexus rx but then again it is toyota.

  20. I agree about the infotaintment systems especially the ones that make go through 6 steps to turn on the heated seats or simply the A/C, it's ridiculous!

  21. Great news for me, I will probably buying the 2020 Hylander when after the 1st year and there is no demand for it meaning high mfr. incentives, dealer discounts and easy negotiations, no more two week negotiation sessions.

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