Cars.com experts walk you through the 2009 Toyota Highlander and its important new features.
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2009 Toyota Highlander Review
Hi! This is Joe Bruzek from Cars.com, we’re here at the 2009 Toyota Highlander. Now for 2009, the Highlander gets four cylinder power. When it was first introduce in 2008 with its current redesigned, you can get a four cylinder. The mile per galloon improvement with the four cylinder, now you get 18/24 with the V6, the front wheel drive. Four cylinders get 20 miles per galloon in the city and 27 miles for gallon in the highway.
Now with that extra fuel economy, you take a hit in horsepower. The force owner makes 187 horsepower and the V6 is 270. Now just going around town, the Highlander still performs really respectively but on the highway the V6 definitely has it its advantages as passing power.
Now the Highlander four cylinders start at $25,700.00 and now it comes in front wheel drive. Now you can’t get an all-wheel drive version with the four cylinders. Now with front wheel drive, you either you get a chance to drive it in snow but I did drive it in lots of rainy cold conditions and there was noticeable wheel spin just trying to accelerate out of the way. Now in the snow, there's a special snow mode here that’s standard that you hit and the transmission shifts different way to give you maximum traction.
I actually found that extremely useful in a rain. In the second row, this removable center section is standard. Now it either acts as a center seat like it is now or you can take it out and in its place stores cup holders and extra storage. Now what I found with this is that it takes a lot of force to put back into place, so if you're trying to do that from the first row, It’s pretty difficult. What's not standard in the second row is this rear air conditioning unit. Now there's a vent back here and this is would be great if you have kids back here, control freak adults, pets or control freak kids.
Now this third row is optional. The standard Highlander has room for five but with this added row, you increase that passenger into seven. Now with this folded down, we put a bunch of golf bags back here and that’s pretty much expected from an SUV of this size. If you wanted more in depth look at the interior and seating configurations, be sure to Kelsey Mays’ video on the 2008 highlander. Even with the optional equipment that we outline, this Highlander still comes in under $30,000.00. In our test that’s $29,200.00 so the vehicle this size. All its room inside, its cargo, its low entry level price and its high gas mileage, it’s a Highlander is a great value.