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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
All major safety equipment is standard
Five stars, front driver impact; four stars, front passenger impact; five stars, side impacts
Good," frontal offset impact; "good," side impact; Top Safety Pick
It's hard to perform much better in crash tests than the 2010 Toyota Highlander. In both NHTSA and IIHS tests, the 2010 Highlander ranks as one of the safest vehicles on the road. It earns perfect five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in three of four impact tests: front driver, side driver, and side rear passenger impacts. The only test in which it doesn't earn five stars, for front passenger impact, results in a still-impressive four-star rating. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the standard 2010 Highlander are rated four stars for rollover.
In tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Toyota Highlander garners the highest possible rating of "good" in every test conducted, although the IIHS did not test roof strength for the 2010 Toyota Highlander or Highlander Hybrid.
The Highlander's safety credentials don't end there, however, since it's also equipped with a wide range of standard safety equipment. Cars.com reports that the 2010 Toyota Highlander comes "standard with four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system." 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 be glad to hear that the 2010 Toyota Highlander AWD comes standard with "hill descent control," according to ConsumerGuide.
The 2010 Toyota Highlander is, in most regards, a safety standout. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com find fault with the Toyota Highlander is one area, however: 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." Sadly, this is an increasingly common result of stronger rollover protection.
The 2010 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid score at the top of the pack for safety, always an important selling point for family vehicles.