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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
The Highlander comes with the usual standard safety features, and options for others, but its crash-test scores aren't all in yet.
In tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Highlander garners the highest possible rating of "good" in every test conducted. Since it's also passed the new roof-crush standard added to the IIHS' checksheet this year, the 2011 Highlander earns the insurance industry-funded group's "Top Safety Pick" award, too.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has altered its star-rating system for 2011, too. As of this writing, the Highlander hasn't been tested. We'll update this review when results are published.
The Highlander's long list of standard safety equipment includes dual front, side and curtain airbags, as well as a driver knee airbag; daytime running lights; downhill assist control on 4WD models; and hill-start assist. A rearview camera is standard on the SE, Limited and both Hybrid models, and it's an option on the gas-only base Highlander.
The 2010 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid score at the top of the pack for safety, always an important selling point for family vehicles.