William Maley

VW News: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack To Begin At $26,670*

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Volkswagen has announced pricing and various details on the upcoming 2017 Golf Alltrack this week.

The Golf Alltrack differs from the Golf SportWagen with 0.6-inch higher ride height, underbody guard for the front bumper, a larger gas tank (14.5-gallon for Alltrack vs. 13.2-gallon for Golf SportWagen), and 4Motion AWD as standard. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is rated at 22 City/30 Highway. 

Pricing begins at $26,670 for the Golf Alltrack S with the manual and $27,770 for the DSG (prices include an $820 destination charge). The S gets leatherette seats, heated front seats, cruise control, an eight-speaker audio system, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with a backup camera.

The Golf Alltrack SE starts at $30,250 with the manual or $31,350 with the DSG. SE models feature a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry with push-button start, and a Fender audio system. Wrapping up the Golf Alltrack lineup is the SEL which kicks off at $33,710 for the DSG. SEL models come with a 12-way power driver seat, dual-zone climate control, and navigation.

S and SE models can be equipped with an optional Driver Assistance package that adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, parking steering assist, and rear park distance control for $845. SEL models get all of these features along with high beam control and bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting for $1,995.

The 2017 Golf Alltrack arrives at dealers in a few weeks.

Source: Volkswagen

Press Release is on Page 2


2017 GOLF ALLTRACK: VOLKSWAGEN’S STYLISH AND SOPHISTICATED WAGON IS READY FOR ADVENTURE
Sep 11, 2016

  • MSRP ranges from $26,950 for the S model to $32,890 for the top-tier SEL trim
  • 4Motion® all-wheel drive, Hill Descent Control, Alltrack-exclusive “Off Road Mode,” and increased ground clearance provide exceptional performance on a variety of road conditions
  • Available advanced driver assistance systems include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), front and rear Park Distance Control (ParkPilot), Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist), Lane Departure Warning system (Lane Assist), and High Beam Control (Light Assist)
  • Golf platform offers the utility of a compact SUV—cargo volume, roof rack—without compromise in road manners
  • High-tech features include a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen with rearview camera, Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect and an available Off-Road HMI section for the MIB infotainment platform

Herndon, VA – The Golf Alltrack, the eagerly awaited derivative of the Golf SportWagen, marries that vehicle’s practicality and fun-to-drive nature with the capabilities of 4Motion® all-wheel drive and rugged exterior styling. The Alltrack offers an affordable yet upscale alternative to existing all-wheel-drive wagons that are on the market.

The Alltrack uses Volkswagen’s powerful yet fuel-efficient 1.8-liter TSI® turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine, which makes 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The TSI engine will initially be offered with a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, with a six-speed manual transmission available later in the model year. The latest generation 4Motion all-wheel-drive system features a fast-acting center differential. Golf Alltrack will be available in three trims—S, SE and SEL—and will be in dealer showrooms in October.

Exterior

The Golf SportWagen body shape is immediately evident in the Alltrack, but there is absolutely no mistaking the two. Despite the overall length and width remaining roughly the same at 180.2 inches and 70.8 inches, the overall height has been increased because ride height is elevated by 0.6 inches. This change in proportions helps to make for a bolder, more capable appearance without compromising the pillars of Volkswagen design DNA—tight, crisp lines and understated-yet-modern surfaces.

From the front, the Alltrack’s rugged character becomes even more apparent, with a redesigned bumper and added underbody guard, a matte-aluminum low-profile radiator grille crossbar extending into the headlights, a lower silver crossbar that incorporates standard foglights and unique black honeycomb grilles.

The Alltrack’s profile also provides differentiation from the SportWagen, with body cladding on the side sills and around the wheelarches that carries over to the lower areas of the redesigned bumpers. Unique accenting can also be seen in the silver roof rails, Reflex Silver side mirrors and lower window chrome molding. A panoramic sunroof is standard equipment on SE and SEL grades. Also obvious from the side are the standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy “Valley” wheels (18-inch “Canyon” on the SEL) and the impressive ground clearance of 6.9 inches.

At the back, the Alltrack sports dark-red taillights and a new bumper that is highlighted by dominant silver underbody protection, matching the style of the side sills and incorporating chrome exhaust outlets on either side. “Alltrack” and “4Motion” badging also make it clear this is a distinctly different vehicle than its Golf brethren.

In addition to the standard foglights and LED Daytime Running Lights (all trims) with automatic headlight activation (SE and SEL only), a Driver Assist & Lighting Package is available for the Alltrack SEL that adds automatic headlight adjustment and replaces the halogen headlights with Bi-Xenon units.

Interior

Inside, the Alltrack offers the same spacious 94.3 cubic feet of passenger volume as the SportWagen, as well as 30.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 66.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Headroom also remains the same at 38.6 inches, as does the front and rear shoulder room of 55.9 and 53.9 inches and front and rear legroom of 41.2 and 35.6 inches.

Despite having the same measurements, there are some notable differences that make the Alltrack’s upscale cabin stand out. V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces—including a unique “Marrakesh” brown color option—are standard equipment across the line, along with heatable front seats. A 12-way power driver seat is standard on the SEL trim. The unique interior equipment of the Alltrack adds a black headliner, a 4Motion-branded chrome strip on the center console, stainless-steel door kickplates with the Alltrack logo, and custom aluminum-look pedals.

In addition to the expansive interior space, driver controls are positioned to help optimize ergonomics and usability. The seat position, height of the shifter and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for increased driver comfort. This driver-centric design focus is evident from the center stack, which is angled towards the driver, a feature frequently seen in premium luxury or performance vehicles. Ambient lighting further highlights this upscale character, as well as the use of premium materials throughout, such as the soft-touch plastics and leather-wrapped handbrake, shifter knob and multi-function steering wheel.

An equal amount of attention has been paid to helping to optimize comfort and convenience throughout the lineup. The Alltrack comes equipped with a long list of modern comfort, convenience and entertainment features, including power windows, locks and mirrors, rearview camera, Bluetooth® technology and Volkswagen Car-Net® Security and Service. KESSY® keyless access with push-button start is standard equipment on SE and SEL trim levels, as is the Fender® Premium Audio System, while Climatronic® automatic dual-zone climate control is standard on SEL models. The Alltrack S is equipped with an eight-speaker audio system.

As standard equipment across the Alltrack line, the MIB II infotainment system not only creates the foundation for the next generation of Volkswagen’s Car-Net connected vehicle services platform, but also offers one of the most comprehensive suites of connected vehicle services and features available in the automotive industry today. The Composition Media unit is standard in S and SE trims, while the Discover Media navigation unit is found in the SEL trim. Both MIB II units are anchored around a 6.5-inch, 800x480 capacitive color touchscreen display with proximity sensor.

The Alltrack SEL also features the Discover Media unit, which upgrades the 6.5-inch touchscreen with 2.5D Navigation, one-shot voice destination entry, predicts possible destinations based on often used routes, and Destination Entry with Quick Search and Auto-complete, and Car-Net Guide & Inform.

Compatible smartphone integration is a key part of this system, offering users the ability to run certain smartphone apps directly on the vehicle’s display through services like Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirroLink®.  Alltrack’s infotainment system also offers AUX-in, SD card and USB multimedia interfaces with Apple iPhone® and iPod® compatibility, as well as a rearview camera display and Bluetooth technology with audio streaming for compatible phones. Other features include the ability to sync two phones simultaneously, along with a JPEG viewer, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, HD Radio and support for lossless audio file format (Free Lossless Audio Codec FLAC).

Security & Service

With the Car-Net Security & Service suite, owners can access their VW remotely through vw.com/carnet as well as a smartphone app, providing access to the features available from virtually anywhere your mobile device is connected to wireless internet.

Available security related features include Automatic Crash Notification, which can automatically notify an operator who can contact first responders in the event of an collision; Manual Emergency Call, a feature that allows for quick access to customer specialists at the touch of a button; Roadside Assistance, for added peace-of-mind in the event of trouble on the road; and Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, which uses VW Car-Net Security & Service to assist law enforcement with locating your vehicle in the event that it is stolen.

In addition, Volkswagen Car-Net Security & Service offers layers of convenience, such as remote vehicle access, remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash (of lights), last parked location information, and remote status check (doors and windows).

The Car-Net Security & Service also offers Family Guardian, a suite of features that help families. Features including speed alert, which can notify the owner of the vehicle when the preset maximum speed limit is exceeded; and boundary alert, which can alert you if the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary.

Diagnostics and maintenance information is also available through VW Car-Net. A Vehicle Health Report allows Volkswagen customers to check to see an overview of vehicle diagnostics. When it’s time for scheduled service, Car-Net Security & Service can not only alert the customer, but also provide a simple way to schedule a dealer visit. It can even identify the closest dealer in case you need a recommendation.

Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with Volkswagen Car-Net Security & Service connected vehicle services (not including App-Connect) will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of Volkswagen Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99.

Guide & Inform. Car-Net Guide & Inform offers an enhanced navigation and infotainment experience for Volkswagen customers. Volkswagen has incorporated technologies that enhance existing navigation offerings while adding an additional level of information that empowers owners.

Satellite navigation is refined with Car-Net Guide & Inform, which incorporates several layers of information right onto the screen. MIB II-equipped Volkswagen models with in-vehicle navigation systems feature real-time fuel prices, sports scores, movie information and weather data as part of the three month SiriusXM Travel Link trial. Volkswagen customers will also enjoy real-time traffic information and a complimentary three-month SiriusXM Traffic trial.

Customers purchasing new Volkswagen models equipped with Volkswagen Car-Net connected vehicle services (not including App-Connect) will receive a no-charge trial for six months after purchase. To extend the benefits of this connectivity system, customers can choose from a number of Volkswagen Car-Net payment options: 1 year, for $199; 2 years for $378; 3 years for $540; or, month-to-month, for $17.99. App-Connect can be used free-of-charge and is not included as part of the subscription-based services. Car-Net Guide & Inform services are provided by SiriusXM, and following the three-month trial period of SiriusXM Travel Link and SiriusXM Traffic, customers can contact SiriusXM at www.siriusxm.com to learn how to initiate paid subscriptions to these services.

Powertrain

The Alltrack shares its 1.8-liter TSI engine with other members of the seventh-generation Golf lineup. This four-cylinder gasoline unit is a member of the latest EA888 engine family, utilizing turbocharged induction and direct fuel injection to help achieve excellent efficiency while still delivering impressive power. Output is rated at 170 horsepower at 4500 rpm and a stout 199 pound-feet of torque beginning at just 1600 rpm.

Across all grades, Alltrack is launching with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission will be available early in 2017 on the S and SE trimlines. Regardless of transmission, power is routed to all four wheels via the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Also unique to Alltrack is a large 14.5-gallon fuel tank, which offers a greater range for adventure than SportWagen’s 13.2-gallon tank. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 30 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.

4Motion all-wheel-drive system

One of the Alltrack’s key features is the 4Motion permanent all-wheel-drive system. The latest-generation 4Motion system is activated before any wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate nearly all traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, which can help save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the center differential, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels, up to a maximum of 50 percent at the rear axle.

In addition to the center differential that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks (EDL) that are a function of the electronic stability control system act laterally. The system can briefly brake a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.

Chassis

As a member of the modern Golf lineup, Alltrack is built on the same MQB chassis architecture as the rest of the line. The unitary construction chassis has two solid-mounted subframes with bolt-on front fenders, and utilizes new technologies such as laser clamp welding, which produces “wobble seam” welds in a wave pattern to help maximize strength in a limited space, offering up to four times the strength of a traditional spot weld.

The stamped steel body and chassis boasts a large percentage of high-strength, hot-formed steel. This technology, along with the use of newly developed ultra-high-strength steels, allows much of the chassis and body to be constructed from thinner and lighter parts without any loss in strength. Additionally, thanks to the use of selective thickness for parts, a single component can be tailor-rolled to have as many as 11 zones of varying thicknesses.

Thanks to the extensive use of modern construction techniques and high- and ultra-high strength steels, Alltrack’s chassis manages to remain lightweight despite its upscale features and enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has optimized components—such as the seats, air conditioning system, and even the electrical architecture—to help save weight.

The Alltrack has its own, unique suspension tuning, with a ride height that is raised by 0.6 inches. Up front, a strut layout uses coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar, with a multilink arrangement with coil springs, telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar at the back.

The Golf Alltrack’s braking system features 11.3-inch vented front discs and 10.7-inch solid rear discs with standard three-channel ABS with electronic brake pressure distribution. The rack-and-pinion steering features electric power assist and features a 13.6:1 ratio that allows for 2.76 turns from lock to lock and a vehicle turning circle of 35.8 feet.

The Alltrack features a unique Driving Mode Selection that enables an Off Road Mode setting. This driving profile alters the ABS system and accelerator pedal character and activates the hill descent function, helping Alltrack deliver exceptional performance off the beaten path. The available Off-Road HMI that is part of the navigation system displays compass, steering angle, and altitude when driving off-road.

Alltrack is also equipped with the XDS+® Cross Differential System—a feature originally developed for the performance-oriented GTI model. This technology acts somewhat like an electronic substitute for a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential, working by actively monitoring data from each wheel sensor. If the suspension becomes unloaded, the system automatically applies braking to the driven inside wheel as needed to help reduce understeer (the tendency for the front wheels to run wide). This not only helps stability, but can also help improve handling and cornering performance.

Safety

Like the rest of the Golf line, Alltrack provides an intelligent combination of both passive and active safety systems. The 2017 Alltrack has been given a 5-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A standard feature on all 2017 Alltrack models is the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping to reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

The Alltrack also includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions. All Alltrack models are equipped with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Driver Assistance Systems

The Alltrack S and SE are available with the Driver Assistance Package (MSRP $845) that adds Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), front and rear Park Distance Control (ParkPilot), and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist). The Alltrack SEL can be equipped with the Driver Assistance & Lighting Package ($1,995), which includes the above-listed systems and adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Lane Departure Warning system (Lane Assist), High Beam Control (Light Assist), and Bi-Xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses forward facing radar to maintain a set speed while helping maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. The driver sets the speed and the desired spacing via buttons on the multifunction steering wheel and can use the accelerator, brake pedal, or steering wheel to cancel or override the ACC function. All system messages appear in the central multifunction display.

When the roadway ahead of the vehicle is empty, the system maintains the set speed. Alltrack models fitted with automatic transmissions and ACC can match the speed of a vehicle in front and come to a stop, as well as resume ACC control after the driver presses the accelerator pedal or the “resume” button on the steering wheel. On manual transmission Alltrack models, the ACC ceases to operate below 19 mph.

Within physical system limits, Forward Collision Warning helps warn the driver of critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a warning symbol in the instrument cluster, and, if necessary, Autonomous Emergency Braking is activated to slow the vehicle if the driver fails to brake. If the brake pedal is applied but the driver brakes too lightly, the brake pressure is increased by the system.

If there is an indication that the vehicle is unintentionally straying from its lane, an available Lane Departure Warning system can actively countersteer to help keep the vehicle in the lane above 40 mph. The system’s camera can recognize visible lane markings (one side can suffice) and, using a special algorithm, calculates the risk of the car leaving the lane. If the driver takes their hands off the wheel for a defined period of time, or the vehicle crosses a lane marking without use of a turn signal, the system countersteers and later provides an audible warning and a visual signal in the instrument cluster, asking the driver to take over steering.

The system works in the dark and/or in fog, but will not engage if it cannot properly detect lane markings. If the turn signal has been set before crossing a lane marking, the Lane Departure Warning system will not engage or give a warning. The driver can “override” the system at any time by applying minimal force, and is not relieved of responsibility to make conscious driving decisions.

Park Distance Control uses ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers to monitor a range of up to five feet in front or behind the vehicle. The system is activated when reverse gear is engaged or below a speed of 9 mph and helps provide guidance when parking or in tight situations. The system has audible and visual warnings when the car starts to approach parked cars or static objects from the front or rear.

Park Assist can automatically steer the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces in reverse. After pressing the Park Assist button – once for parallel and twice for perpendicular – the driver only needs to activate the accelerator pedal and brake once a gear is selected.

The driver can override or deactivate the steering assistance at any time by turning the steering wheel, disengaging reverse gear or pressing the button. Below 25 mph, the system can scan both the left-hand and right-hand sides of the road, for example in a one-way street, for any parking spaces as it drives past. By activating the turn signal, the driver stipulates which side of the road they wish to park on.

Limited Warranty

2017 Golf Alltrack models are offered with Volkswagen’s standard five-year/60,000-mile (whichever occurs first) powertrain limited warranty and three-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) new vehicle limited warranty.

Model Line-up

Destination on all Golf Alltrack models is $820

Alltrack S
$25,850 with manual transmission (late availability)
$26,950 with automatic transmission

Alltrack SE
$29,430 with manual transmission (late availability)
$30,530 with automatic transmission

Alltrack SEL
$32,890 with automatic transmission

Competitive Set
Subaru Outback
Subaru XV Crosstrek


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Now if I could only get a killer loyalty offer from VW when i turn in the TDI.....HMMM.....nice looking wagon!

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Real nice looking wagon.  Something's missing though.

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4 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Man, if this only had the 2.0T, I'd trade my GTI and wife's Rav in on it in a heart beat.

I actually thought the same thing. I was uber disappointed when I read it has the 1.8T.

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12 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I actually thought the same thing. I was uber disappointed when I read it has the 1.8T.

 

I'm not disappointed, because the 1.8T is still a great little engine. I just wouldn't want to go down in power/performance. The 1.8 makes GTI numbers with just a flash/tune. And even in stock guise, they are more than adequate. Punchy down low, but without running of breath up top. Paired with the DSG, this is probably a quite enjoyable package. 

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18 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

I'm not disappointed, because the 1.8T is still a great little engine. I just wouldn't want to go down in power/performance. The 1.8 makes GTI numbers with just a flash/tune. And even in stock guise, they are more than adequate. Punchy down low, but without running of breath up top. Paired with the DSG, this is probably a quite enjoyable package. 

Indeed, but I would want a DSG tune as well.  Was going to put one on the Jetta before the buy back scenario.

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    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.
      The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this. Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen. The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout. Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort. The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids. Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove.  The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway. You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside. The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll. One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Highlander
      Trim: XLE AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
      Base Price: $39,980
      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Highlander may not be the flashiest or fun to drive. But it has many qualities to make it one of Toyota’s best selling models such as functional and spacious interior, long list of standard equipment, and high-reliability marks. Last year, Toyota unveiled an updated Highlander with tweaks to the exterior, revised V6, and more safety. Considering it has been a few years since we last checked out the Highlander, it seemed a revisit was in order.
      The 2017 Highlander boasts new front and rear fascias to give it a more SUV-appearance and we think Toyota has mostly succeeded in this regard. The only issue is the front end reminding us too much of a Cylon from the original Battlestar Galactica TV. Thank the new grille design for this. Move inside and the Highlander is the same as we last saw it back in 2014 when we did our original review. This is both good and bad. The good is that the controls for the various functions are easy to use. The center console features a huge storage bin that you can easily fit a large purse or a laptop computer. A shelf underneath climate controls provides a nice space to throw small items such as a smartphone. The bad is that the controls for certain functions are not in easy reach for the drive. We also not fans of the capacitive touch buttons around the 8-inch touchscreen as they didn’t always respond. There were times we found ourselves hitting the buttons two to three times to get something to happen. The infotainment system itself is beginning to look somewhat dated with an interface that looks like it comes from the Windows XP era and the screen is somewhat dim. But we cannot argue that the system is easy to use thanks to a simple layout. Passengers sitting in the front and second-row seats will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom on offer. Also, the seats themselves are padded quite nicely. We do wish the second-row was mounted slightly higher for better long-distance comfort. The third-row seat as the seats aren’t that comfortable due to the thin amount of padding. Legroom is also quite tight with only 27.7-inches of space, meaning this is a space best reserved for small kids. Most Highlanders like our XLE AWD tester will feature Toyota’s latest 3.5L V6 that comes with direct and port fuel-injection and an upgraded valve train. The end result is 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque - up 25 and 15 respectively. This is paired with a new eight-speed automatic. Other engines include a four-cylinder for the base LE and a hybrid powertrain. Toyota’s V6 engine is one our favorites as it provides impressive acceleration and a steady stream of power up to redline. This updated engine is no exception as it feels slightly quicker than the last Highlander we drove.  The powertrain stumbles somewhat due to the eight-speed automatic’s programming. Toyota went for something that focuses on fuel economy which means the transmission is quick to upshift, but slow to downshift. This means you’ll be waiting for a moment or two for the transmission to get its act together when trying to merge onto a freeway. You might be fooled into thinking that you’re riding in a Lexus considering the smooth ride of the Highlander. Bumps are turned into minor ripples. Little road and wind noise that come inside. The Highlander is a vehicle you want to keep in its comfort zone when it comes to handling. Push it in a corner and you’ll experience excessive body roll. One thing Toyota deserves credit for the 2018 Highlander is having a number of active features standard across the entire Highlander lineup. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking; and lane departure warning with lane keep assist. The only item we would like to see added to this list is blind spot monitoring. You can only get it on XLE models and above. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Highlander
      Trim: XLE AWD
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S with Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, 
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,430 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana
      Base Price: $39,980
      As Tested Price: $43,184 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Rear Seat BluRay Entertainment System - $1,810.00
      Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00
      Body Side Molding - $209.00

      View full article
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