The 2008 Toyota Highlander Sport 4WD comes equipped with a full-time four-wheel-drive system, which delivers improved traction and stability on all types of roads. The four-wheel-drive system joins a number of other standard safety and traction features, including antilock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control, and a new feature called Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, which helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle under adverse conditions.
In addition, the Highlander is the first Toyota vehicle with active head restraints and a new hood and fender designed to crumple on impact with a pedestrian.
A 270-hp, 3.5-liter V6 delivers plenty of power, although some reviewers note that a number of competitors' vehicles provide a sportier driving experience. The engine links to a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with sequential shift and a Snow Mode. The EPA rates gas mileage at 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg at highway speeds, which can be considered good mileage for a midsize SUV.
The Highlander features an all-new design for 2008, with a sloped-back roof, prominent wheel wells, a silver-painted grille, multi-reflector halogen headlights, and a chrome exhaust tip. Integrated foglights, dark-silver-painted roof rails, a glass rear hatch, and 19-inch alloy wheels all come standard.
The midsize SUV features a roomy, functional cabin, with a Center Stow seat that can be hidden beneath the front console when not in use, used as a center console between the two middle seats, or unfolded so the vehicle can carry seven passengers. In addition, both the second and third rows can be folded down to create a flat cargo area.
Other interior features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 3.5-inch multifunction display with backup monitor, remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, and a six-speaker AM/FM audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and MP3 capability.
Options include a voice-activated DVD navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, leather-trimmed seats, a power rear liftgate, and a power tilt/slide moonroof.