2012 Toyota Highlander Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

If it's people-toting size you're after, the Highlander's in the same league as the Ford Flex, Chevy Traverse, and most of the other big seven- and eight-passenger crossovers.

The Highlander's front seats are easy to climb into--the so-called step-in height is at an ideal adult height--and the seats themselves are nice and wide, though they're pretty flat, too. The Highlander's head room soars, even in the second row where the roofline tapers ever so slightly, and leg room is ample too--the Highlander's middle seat reclines, and can be configured with a "Center Stow" seat that provides a middle seat, or folds out of the way so parents can climb into the standard third-row bench to load in kidlets.

It's versatile and spacious, and the Toyota Highlander now has a standard third-row seat.
Until this year, the Highlander could be ordered as a five-seat wagon. The third-row seat is now standard, and it's the usual mixed bag, compromised in the same ways other three-row vehicles are. No adult would want to sit on the vinyl-upholstered bench for very long; it's roomy enough for kids who can entertain themselves, and small adults who don't know any better.

Behind the seats, the Highlander offers a swell amount of interior storage. The center console is vast and deep, and bins on the doors will easily hold iPads and game controllers. And while the Highlander can only boast a narrow strip of cargo space behind the third-row seat, it can be folded flat to expose a deep, spacious cargo well that leaves room for five passengers plus a Tums-inducing visit to Costco.

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