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    New York Auto Show: 2017 Toyota Highlander


    • It might not be the most exciting, but the 2017 Highlander is important


    Toyota has updated the Highlander - its three-row crossover - for the 2017 model year. It might not be the most exciting vehicle making its debut at the New York Auto Show, but it is an important one as crossovers are currently the big sellers for many automakers.

     

    The changes begin on the exterior with more prominent lower and upper grilles that are finished in either silver (LE, LE Plus and XLE) or chrome (Limited or Limited Platinum). Toyota has also introduced a new trim for the Highlander called the SE. This trim adds a dark finish for the grilles, 19-inch alloy wheels, and new suspension tuning.

     

    Under the hood is a new 3.5L V6 with direct injection. Toyota hasn't revealed any power figures, but does say “will generate significantly more horsepower” than the current 3.5L V6. An eight-speed automatic will no doubt improve fuel economy. The base 2.7L four-cylinder and hybrid powertrain carry over.

     

    Toyota has added a number of safety features for the 2017 Highlander. Automatic braking, auto high-beams, lane-departure warning, Pedestrian Pre-Collision, and radar cruise control all come standard via Toyota Safety Sense package.

     

    The 2017 Highlander family arrives at dealers later this fall.

     

    Source: Toyota

     

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Toyota's Debut of 2017 Highlander Mid-Size SUV to Showcase Significant Performance Updates

    • Newly Developed Direct Shift 8-Speed Automatic Transmission
    • New 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Boosts Horsepower/Helps Increase MPG
    • New Available Stop and Start (S&S) Engine System
    • Standard Toyota Safety Sense
    • New Sportier SE Gas Model; Hybrid Trim Expands to Four Grades
    • Refreshed Exterior Styling


    TORRANCE, Calif., March 14, 2016 -- Toyota will be debuting the significantly enhanced 2017 model year Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) on Wednesday, March 23 at the upcoming New York International Auto Show. The popular Highlander, receives an array of new and updated equipment and technology, inside and out, including a new Direct Shift 8-speed (8AT automatic transmission).

     


    Highlander is a no-compromise mid-size three-row SUV that brings together the best in style, technology, comfort, capability, and safety. Its exterior design conveys both refinement and strength, which complements a refined interior that sets a high bar in its segment. The third- generation model, now entering its fourth year, offers room for up to eight, a choice of three powertrains and six model grades, including a new sporty SE model. The Highlander Hybrid adds two new grades, (LE and XLE) to its existing lineup of Limited and Platinum models for a total of four. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to be all-wheel drive (AWD). The six Highlander gas models will continue to be (LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited and Limited Platinum) available in both front-wheel and AWD. It all adds up to the ideal family vehicle.

     

    Greater Level of Performance
    Performance will be enhanced in the 2017 Highlander gas models with the addition of the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) that will be paired with a new 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine. The new transmission is more compact and will provide more transmission efficiency through its 8-speed gear range. The 8AT (Automatic Transmission) will be standard on all V6 Highlander gas models.

     

    The new 3.5-liter Direct Injection V6 Engine will be available on all Highlander gas models and standard on all Hybrid grades. The new engine will generate significantly more horsepower, provide enhanced fuel efficiency, and deliver a more direct driving feel by expanding the lock up range.

     

    In addition to Highlander, the new Direct Shift 8AT (automatic transmission) and 3.5-liter V6 Direct Injection Engine powertrain will be equipped in the 2017 model year Toyota Sienna van.

     

    In an effort to help conserve fuel, Highlander V6 models (excluding LE) will come standard with a new Stop and Start Engine System (S&S). While driving the Highlander, the S&S allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and restarts when the driver lifts their foot off of the brake pedal.

     

    The standard powertrain on Highlander 4x2 LE gas models will remain the 2.7-liter 4- cylinder paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission. All Highlander Hybrid models will continue to receive the electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT).

     

    Updated Luxury Look and Feel
    The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will receive tasteful styling enhancements that will continue to turn heads. The changes start with a new upper and lower front grille design for all grades. Each grade will be distinguished by different grille finishes that will also carry into the headlamp housing. The grille on all LE, LE Plus and XLE grades will receive a silver painted finish, while Limited and Platinum grades will receive a painted chrome finish. From behind, the rear taillights will receive a sleeker redesign. A chrome trim garnish will also be added on the rear bumper of Limited and Platinum models.

     

    Highlander will receive three new exterior colors, including Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and, exclusively on the new SE, Salsa Red Pearl.

     

    Interior updates include a new brown leather interior that will be available on the Limited Platinum grade. Charging personal devices will be more efficient as all Highlanders will add four USB ports for a total of five.

     

    For those looking for a Highlander with all the bells and whistles but require added passenger seating, the premium Limited and Limited Platinum grades will offer buyers the choice of second-row captain’s chairs (providing seating for seven), or second-row bench seats that will expand capacity to eight people.

     

    Sporty New SE Grade
    For a touch of sportiness, Highlander will now be available in the new SE model. It starts on the outside with unique 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, tuned suspension for a sportier ride, and a sporty dark paint treatment to the front grille, which is also incorporated into the headlamp housings and roof rails.

     

    Inside, the SE will stand apart from all other Highlander models with unique black leather- trimmed seats with silver stitching and pattern seat inserts, a black front tray, and matching dash and door inserts.

     

    Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
    The 2017 Highlander will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS), a new multi- feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including Pre-Collision System (with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake), Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Pre- Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

     

    The Pedestrian Pre-collision System (PCS) uses a camera and radar to detect objects ahead of the vehicle. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system provides additional braking force. If the driver fails to brake in a set time, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing speed in order to prevent or mitigate the collision.

     

    Lane Departure Alert (LDA) uses a camera to detect visible lane markings. If the system determines that the vehicle is starting to deviate from the lane, LDA alerts the driver and will provide steering assist to help get the vehicle back into its lane.

     

    Automatic High Beam (AHB) helps enhance forward visibility during nighttime driving. It uses a camera to detect the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the tail lights of vehicles ahead, and then automatically switches between high beams and low beams so as not to dazzle other drivers.

     

    The Highlander XLE grade will also adopt blind spot monitor as standard equipment.

     

    To help make parking easy and safe, the 2017 Highlander Limited Platinum grade will come standard with a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. This Toyota technology employs four cameras that are mounted on the front, the side mirrors and rear of the vehicle to project a panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings on the central touch display monitor. The system offers drivers assistance when parallel parking, and when pulling in and out of parking spaces. The Bird’s Eye View Monitor system also debuts a Toyota-first feature called Perimeter Scan, which provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping the driver to see potential obstacles.

     

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (TMMI) in Princeton, Ind., which employs over 4,000 American workers, assembles all Highlanders and exports them to 12 countries.

     

    The 2017 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will begin arriving at Toyota showrooms in the fall of 2016.

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    User Feedback


    Yawn, As boring as the rest of the Toyota product line and a lower half of their ugly predator grill.

     

    I am sure it will sell well to the Toyota Faithful, but this auto does nothing to stir the passion of wanting one and taking it on a road trip.

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    This is a very nice, and quite frankly, unneeded upgrade. The Highlander was already near the top of this segment, and the power bump and styling updates are just nice bonuses.

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    The front end reminds me of the last-gen RAV4.

     

    I think it's a pretty decent update. But I'm the kind who'd try to egg my better half to get the minivan just for nostalgia's sake and for being politically correct.

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    The front end reminds me of the last-gen RAV4.

     

    I think it's a pretty decent update. But I'm the kind who'd try to egg my better half to get the minivan just for nostalgia's sake and for being politically correct.

    Minivan sounds extravagant, I'm thinking more

    wagon.jpg

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      The two all-new electrified Honda vehicles will join the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, to make Clarity the first ever vehicle series offering customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains wrapped in a sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger sedan.
      "The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies."
      "Electrification is the future of mobility and the future of Honda, and it all starts now with this new Clarity series," added Steve Center, vice president of the Connected and Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda.
      Honda Clarity Series
      As the next progression of Honda's dynamic styling for electrified products, each Clarity variant has a low, wide aerodynamic body with unique design elements, including its own special hero color, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. Combined with elegant and advanced exterior styling, each Clarity series vehicle has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials.
      Offering Honda's "fun-to-drive" DNA, each Clarity variant provides a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by the smooth and seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration. The Clarity series also features advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, and the full suite of HONDA SENSING™ safety and driver-assistive technologies.
      With three different powertrains and luxury packaging, the Clarity series has wide appeal. This shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable Honda to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes Honda toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions.
      The Clarity series is at the vanguard of Honda's commitment to address society's energy and environmental concerns as the company expects significant growth in sales of efficient, lower CO2 electrified vehicles. Honda has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the U.S. market in 2018. The new Honda hybrid car will be made in America.
      Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
      The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles1, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles1.
      The vehicle's electromotive power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe1  (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport – allowing drivers to customize their experience, maximizing efficiency or driving performance. A fourth mode – HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery's state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes.
      As the sales volume leader in the Clarity lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring.
      Honda Clarity Electric
      The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is geared toward consumers who desire a spacious, comfortable and affordable sedan that suits their daily driving needs. The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.
      The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined)2. Like the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Clarity Electric features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon.
      Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
      Honda views fuel cells as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle technology and the Clarity Fuel Cell offers green early adopters the latest technology to be on the forefront of "what's next." Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December 2016 in select California markets, where a consumer friendly network of hydrogen stations continues to grow, and has already delivered more than 100 vehicles.
      Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to its predecessor, the Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, now comparable in size to a V-6 engine, fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers.
      At 366 miles, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPGe3 combined. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available for the competitive introductory lease price of $369 a month for 36 months with $2,868 due at signing4. The lease terms include an attractive mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, up to 21 days of an Avis Luxury Rental in California, 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for California "White Sticker" single occupant HOV access. Lessees can also apply for the State of California $5,000 rebate5. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available in three colors: Bordeaux Red Metallic, White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl.
    • By William Maley
      Subaru is taking a page out of Honda's playbook with previewing new models via thinly disguised concepts. This morning at the New York Auto Show, the Japanese automaker unveiled the Ascent Concept.
      To our eyes, the Ascent looks like a bigger Forester. Yes, it does have a more muscular look with a large grille and sculpting along the doors. The back end reminds us of the Levorg sold elsewhere in the world as it features similar styling. Move inside and the Ascent offers seating for up to seven people. The dashboard is concept-esq with touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system, locks, and windows.
      One interesting tidbit Subaru dropped was the Ascent would be powered by new turbocharged boxer-four engine. Specifics on horsepower and torque were not revealed. 
      The Ascent will go on sale in 2018. Expect to see the production version sometime later this or early next year.
      Source: Subaru 
      Press Release is on Page 2
      SUBARU ASCENT SUV CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT THE 2017 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
      Subaru confirms future 3-row SUV will be named Subaru Ascent The Ascent will be powered by an all-new turbocharged DI Boxer Engine Ascent SUV Concept showcases 7 passenger interior  NEW YORK -  Subaru of America, Inc., which this month posted its 64th consecutive month of record-breaking sales, today made the world debut of the Subaru Ascent SUV Concept. The styling concept also confirms the name Ascent for the upcoming Subaru 3-row SUV. Both the design concept and the production Ascent will feature an all-new turbocharged direct injection boxer engine.
      The exterior design of the concept follows Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” theme with powerful fender flares representing Subaru’s all-wheel drive system and a large, bluff grille denoting a true SUV look. The interior of the concept features a flowing dashboard design and a 7-passenger configuration with center captain’s chairs.
      The Ascent production model will be based on a modified version of the Subaru Global Platform that debuted last year. The model will be built at Subaru of Indiana, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana and will be sold exclusively in the North American market starting in 2018.
      Specifications:
      Body size: (Length x Width x Height) 198.8 x 78.3 x 72.4 inches
      Wheelbase: 117 inches
      Tire Size: 275/50 R21
      Seating Capacity: 7

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