Shopping for a new Toyota Highlander?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
passenger cabin that is noticeably larger
more passenger and cargo room
interior materials quality is high
Reviews of the 2008 Toyota Highlander for comfort and quality were nearly unanimous, with only a few dissenters.
According to ConsumerGuide, the 2008 "Highlander is a competent, refined, family focused SUV that offers great practicality, cargo and passenger versatility, and evident quality."
ConsumerGuide says it is "redesigned with larger dimensions." Edmunds concurs, saying the Highlander has "more room...and more conveniences than its predecessor" and is "truly optimized for family use."
Cars.com describes the seating offerings in the Toyota: 2008’s version has three standard rows of seats that “accommodate up to seven, though you can drop the third row in order to save a little cash, reducing seating capacity to five.” The Detroit News reports that the second-row seat has “one-touch levers” that “allow a person to lower the second row from the back of the vehicle.” Edmunds adds, “Just as useful is the new 'Center Stow' feature, which allows owners to easily stow the center section of the 40/20/40 second-row bench seat, thus providing walk-through access to the third row. The '20' section simply slides into its own cubby under the front-seat center console.” The Detroit News says the third-row seat isn’t as useful as some claim: “The third row can squeeze in an adult but not two.”
Other interior storage options include a “center console between the front seats has four cupholders and a wide storage bin. Forget laptops; the glove box could fit a small desktop computer.”
ConsumerGuide tends to disagree even with comments on the base Highlander; Toyota’s big crossover has "above-average-grade plastics and comfortable cloth upholstery," although they point out "the fuzzy headliner feels cheap." MyRide.com feels the "interior materials and craftsmanship are generally of a high-quality, though we were a bit disappointed by the amount of hard plastic on the dash." Cars.com says of the big Toyota, 2008’s interior suffers as “most areas are trimmed in hard plastics,” and “the textures lack the appeal of the stuff in several competitors.”
ConsumerGuide goes on to say the ride is "generally quiet, though wind and road noise are noticed at highway speeds." Myride.com agrees, saying that in the Highlander, Toyota has crafted "an interior that's very nearly as quiet as the best luxury crossovers we've driven."
The 2008 Toyota Highlander is comfortable for two rows of adults and has nifty seating options, but some materials disappoint.