Advertisement
Go
2008 Toyota Highlander Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$24,475
BASE MSRP
$27,500
On Performance
The 2008 Toyota Highlander has soft handling and moderate acceleration.
7.0 out of 10
Browse Toyota Highlander inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS

PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

easy to maneuver for its size
Edmunds

“lifeless, artificial steering feel”
Cars.com

“solid, but not precise, feel”
Detroit News

Pleasant to drive, though not quite car-agile
ConsumerGuide


The 2008 Toyota Highlander received excellent reviews from most sites as well as from the experts at TheCarConnection.com. (The 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is covered in a separate review.)

According to Edmunds, the 2008 Toyota Highlander sports "a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6" that "delivers strong, smooth acceleration in any situation." Cars.com says, “Acceleration is adequate off the line and stronger as the engine revs. The transmission helps things along, holding gears and rarely shifting prematurely,” but “hard acceleration can prompt some abrupt transitions among lower gears.”

Edmunds indicates that the "Front-wheel-drive models carry an 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway rating...while AWD models rate 17/23." Edmunds further supports that, saying the Highlander is "still easier to drive than most midsize SUVs, even those of the crossover variety." ConsumerGuide claims that the 2008 Toyota Highlander's ride quality is "among the best in class,” and goes on to say, "overall control is fine, and the brake-pedal feel is firm and progressive." Edmunds, meanwhile, states, "steering is light enough to make it easy to maneuver in tight spaces." Cars.com dislikes the “lifeless, artificial steering feel” and the “spongy response” of the brakes. Popular Mechanics also reports the steering “felt numb” but calls the brakes “precise and quick.” The Detroit News says the Highlander has “solid, but not precise, feel.”

With 8.1 inches of ground clearance and available full-time four-wheel drive (with a 50/50 torque split), light off-roading is also part of the 2008 Highlander's repertoire. “The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the driver,” Cars.com concludes.

TheCarConnection.com tested the 2008 Toyota Highlander extensively and agrees with the sources that feel the Highlander’s handling needs to be sharper. The transmission is a culprit in its somewhat lethargic performance; even in manual mode, it drains some of the zest out of the big V-6. Dynamically, the Sport is the only nonhybrid model in the 2008 Toyota Highlander crossover line that will appeal to enthusiasts. With the Highlander, Toyota’s base and Limited editions are too softly sprung to be interesting on a twisty road. Plus, the electric steering offers zero feedback, and the springs and dampers feel mushy. Most drivers aren't enthusiasts, but all drivers want to feel in control.

Conclusion

The 2008 Toyota Highlander has soft handling and moderate acceleration.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
7.8
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
Advertisement
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.