Ahead of the New York International Auto Show Toyota has taken the wraps off the 2017 Highlander. The 2017 model has received a host of updated aimed at keeping Toyota’s midsize crossover competitive in a fiercely competitive market segment. Toyota has essentially sprinkled in changes throughout the entire Highlander, starting with a tweaking of the exterior design.
For 2017 the Highlander’s front clip has received a total work-over, including a grille treatment that is more in line with the new Camry and Tacoma. The new look removes the awkwardness of the 2016’s oversized, one-piece grille and gives the Highlander a sleeker look that pairs well with the rest of the body lines. Additionally each trim level of the Highlander will feature a unique grille design, similar to what the brand has done with the Camry and truck lines in recent years.
Complementing the new look is a new 3.5-liter V-6 that Toyota says will be more powerful than its predecessor, though final performance figures have not yet been released. The new V-6 will be mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and all V-6 models north of the base LE will feature start-stop technology. Start-stop allows the vehicle engine to shut up entirely during complete stops to conserve fuel. The standard Highlander engine will continue to be the 2.7-liter four-cylinder.
Those wanting a sportier take on the Highlander can now opt for a new SE trim level. Highlander SE will feature unique 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and darkened front grille and headlights. Inside the SE will feature black leather seats with silver trim.
Rounding out the changes on the Highlander are new safety features. The 2017 Highlander can be had with Toyota’s Bird’s Eye View camera and perimeter scan system. The system is basically Toyota’s marketing lingo for a 36-degree camera system.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander will go on sale in the fall of 2016.