Need all-wheel drive in your well-equipped midsize crossover? The 2012 Highlander Limited AWD could be just the thing. This 7-passenger almost-ute sports 3 rows of seating, 95.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, V6 power and all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction for those wintry commutes. And, as the chieftain of the Highlander clan, this practical and potent people-hauler comes loaded with 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and roof rack, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable mirrors, added chrome exterior trim accents and a rear power liftgate.
Premium leather upholstery, as well as leather and simulated alloy cabin accents and steering wheel adorn the inside of this kingly crossover, complementing simulated wood interior trim, heated power-adjustable front seats and reclining second-row seats with center under-seat storage and a one-step folding feature. Tri-zone climate control is, of course, standard, as are cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a universal remote garage door opener and rear-view camera. A single-CD player with 6 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection, all bolstered by Bluetooth music streaming and hands-fee communications, provide road-worthy entertainment and information.
Options, meanwhile, run to the exotic and the utilitarian, with voice-activated touchscreen navigation, towing prep equipment, remote engine start, BLU Logic audio-interfaced hands-free calling and rear-seat DVD entertainment all available.
The standard 270-hp, 3.5-liter variable-valve-timed V6 engine aboard the 2012 Highlander Limited AWD mates with a capable 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission with standard descent control for 248 lb-ft of torque leading to 5,000 pounds of properly equipped trailer-towing capacity. Mileage estimates for the Highlander Limited AWD run 17 mpg city/22 highway, while the full-time AWD system is managed by a mechanical center-mounted limited-slip differential.
Finally, standard 4-wheel antilock brakes, as well as traction and stability control are under the auspices of Toyota’s touted Star Safety System, further bolstered by front side-mounted airbags, 3-row head airbags, a driver’s knee airbag and front head-restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, dusk-sensing headlights, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm all come standard, as well. Finally, glass breakage sensors and Toyota’s VIP security system are optional aboard this well-wrought craossover.