It's hard to perform much better in crash tests than the 2009 Toyota Highlander. The Highlander's safety credentials don't end there, however, since it also comes equipped with a wide range of standard safety equipment.
In both NHTSA and IIHS tests, the 2009 Toyota Highlander emerges as one of the safest vehicles on the road today. The Toyota Highlander 2009 earns perfect five-star ratings from NHTSA in three of four impact tests. The only test in which it doesn't earn five stars, for front passenger impact, results in a still-impressive four-star rating. In IIHS tests, the Toyota Highlander garners the highest possible rating, "good," in every test conducted, and it meets all the criteria required of a Top Safety Pick.
Regarding safety features, Cars.com reports that the 2009 Toyota Highlander comes "standard with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system." Edmunds adds that "all major safety equipment is standard," and ConsumerGuide says the equipment includes "curtain side airbags that cover all seating rows, front side airbags, and a driver knee airbag." Anyone who plans on taking their Toyota Highlander off-road will also be glad to hear that the 2009 Toyota Highlander AWD comes standard with "hill descent control," according to ConsumerGuide.
The 2009 Toyota Highlander is, in most regards, a safety standout. However, the one area where reviews read by TheCarConnection.com find fault with the Toyota Highlander is in terms of driver visibility. While ConsumerGuide says "forward visibility is good thanks to an elevated seating position," they add that "rear visibility is impeded by 2nd-row headrests and thick rear roof pillars."