Shopping for a new Toyota Highlander?
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Seats are nicely supportive, and there's ample headroom and legroom
Interior materials quality is high
Interior space measures a comfortable and massive 145.7 cubic feet
Car and Driver
The 2009 Toyota Highlander earns rave reviews for its spacious, comfortable interior and good construction inside—though reviewers’ comments conflict on the apparent quality of the materials used.
ConsumerGuide reviewers provide the perfect introduction for the 2009 Toyota Highlander, remarking that "Highlander is a competent, refined, family focused SUV that offers great practicality, cargo and passenger versatility, and evident quality."
The first thing that passengers in the Toyota 2009 Highlander will notice is the comfortable seating arrangement within the cabin. Cars.com says the 2009 Toyota Highlander will "accommodate up to seven" with its standard three rows of seats, but "you can drop the third row in order to save a little cash, reducing seating capacity to five." ConsumerGuide proclaims that the front seats "are nicely supportive, and there's ample headroom and legroom" for tall occupants. Kelley Blue Book says "the reclining second-row seats also slide 4.7-inches fore-aft and offer a lift-out middle seat cushion for pass-through into the rear row." Edmunds reviewers are particularly impressed by that innovative middle seat, "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." Speaking of the rear third row, Car and Driver reports that "the latest Highlander's third row is spacious enough for smaller adults to use."
In addition to the impressive occupant space, the 2009 Toyota Highlander offers a large amount of interior storage. Edmunds says the "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 is impressed by the "top-notch small item storage" inside the 2009 Toyota Highlander, although "there's only grocery-bag space behind the third-row seat." However, the third row does fold easily to create a much larger space for gear in the back of the Toyota 2009 Highlander.
Like most Toyota vehicles, the 2009 Toyota Highlander has generally high-quality materials and construction. ConsumerGuide declares that the new Highlander Toyota has "above-average-grade plastics and comfortable cloth upholstery," although they point out "the fuzzy headliner feels cheap." MyRide.com agrees, commenting that 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." Taking a negative approach is Cars.com, which says interior quality on the 2009 Toyota Highlander suffers because "most areas are trimmed in hard plastics," and "the textures lack the appeal of the stuff in several competitors."
Solid construction, a Toyota hallmark, has served to create a very serene driving environment inside the 2009 Toyota Highlander. ConsumerGuide finds few problems with noise levels, claiming that the Toyota Highlander is "generally quiet, though wind and road noise are noticed at highway speeds." MyRide.com reviewers agree, reporting that the Highlander Toyota has "an interior that's very nearly as quiet as the best luxury crossovers we've driven."
A few minor complaints about materials aren't enough to keep the 2009 Toyota Highlander from scoring very high here, thanks to its versatility and space.