Between long commutes to work and vacation getaways it sometimes feels like we live in our cars as opposed to our homes. If you’re not careful some people will think that you choose to do so, especially if you own a comfortable and spacious SUV, namely a Toyota 2015 Highlander Limited AWD. This eight seater is the combination of cargo pants and painter’s pants. You will find a spot for everything just because you can.
Powered by a 3.5L DOHC V6 engine with Dual VVT-I and 6-speed automatic transmission, this smooth ride feels like a crossover. When I test drove this SUV with passengers, we spent quite some time in it trying to maneuver across the city through blocked neighborhood roads set up for a marathon that pretty much split the city in half. We also took the highway to the foothills of the mountains that same day. There was no need to use the hill-start/downhill assist control, but I knew it was there. Through it all, the performance was seamless and we had access to most things we needed, including audio-visual entertainment.
Coming in colors such as Predawn Gray Mica with woodgrain trim to accent the dark interior, this SUV features an 8-way power memory driver’s seat with lumbar support, captain chairs in the second row and 60/40 fold-flat seats in the third row. It also features heated/ventilated front seats and three-zone automatic climate control with air filter and separate control panel for the second row. I think of the center walkway to the third row as a hallway to the back room.
Need more storage space? This Highlander, riding on 19-inch Chromtec wheels with P245/55R19 tires, can accommodate you. Let’s start with the elegantly carved in-dash shelf, make our way to the oversized roll-top console armrest, and prepare our minds for the flexibility of the cargo space. Also attractive are all the compact storage spaces in between.
Need access to your cargo space from the outside, and don’t want to open for everyone to see all that you’ve stored, try using the flip-up rear window instead of the adjustable power lift gate. Need a power nap midday? The privacy glass on the rear side has got you covered.
With the capacity to tow up to 5,000 pounds, one day you may think about hooking up a load of anything that isn’t already inside and hitting the road. The Highlander life is an enviable one.
2015 Toyota Highlander Limited AWD: $41,300. City/highway MPG: 20.