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STYLING | 7 out of 10
new SUV is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor
the Highlander Limited is the headturner of the bunch
“resembling a minivan”
You're looking at the second-generation 2008 Toyota Highlander, which is bigger inside and out than the SUV it replaces. While the Highlander used to be sized closely to the Ford Escape, it's now in line with the Ford Explorer. Its styling has grown even more rounded but less distinctive, and while the interior feels like a quality piece, it's not a standout in terms of style, either.
According to Edmunds, the 2008 Toyota Highlander has received a "top-to-bottom redesign.” MyRide.com says that it has "a sleeker skin that also makes it easy to distinguish this new Highlander from the boxier outgoing model."
Most car reviewers thought the 2008 Toyota Highlander’s redesign wasn’t an improvement over the previous version. Cars.com says, “To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with just enough curves to offset the angles. With its creased headlights, flashy grille and characterless bumper, the Highlander seems a bit too slick — like a convenience store shopper who won't take off his sunglasses.” Popular Mechanics thinks the Highlander is close to “resembling a minivan.”
Edmunds says of the interior, “the control layout remains simple and easy to understand.” However, Cars.com says, “SUVs like the [Mazda] CX-9 and [Hyundai] Veracruz boast some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota falls a bit short,” even though “the chrome accents and electroluminescent gauges look terrific.” Popular Mechanics thinks “The layout and detail of the instrument panel tilt toward the functional, with larger dials and clear labeling of controls. We liked the added bonus of the information window that sits atop the IP, relating bits of info on MPG, tire pressure, compass reading, ambient temperature, back-up camera, clock and more.” MyRide adds, “the design is attractive and controls are well-placed and easy to use."
The 2008 Toyota Highlander isn’t much of an improvement over the last version.