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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Substantially larger, roomier and more powerful than its predecessor
Kelley Blue Book
Large, easy-to-read gauges and high-mounted audio and climate controls
The 2010 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are indistinguishable from the 2008 models, the first year for the restyled second-generation Toyota Highlander. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that the styling hardly inspires passion, but like most Toyota models of recent years, it won't offend. With the exception of the space-age Prius hybrid, Toyota vehicles rarely stand out, and that includes the Highlander.
The lines of the 2010 Highlander and Highland Hybrid have grown more rounded but no more distinctive. While the interior is well built and offers all the amenities buyers expect, it's not particularly stylish-which seems to be just fine with hundreds of thousands of Highlander buyers.
Kelley Blue Book reviewers are among the most positive regarding the 2010 Toyota Highlander's exterior, calling it "an attractive vehicle designed more to blend into the automotive landscape than stand out from it." Car and Driver reviewers find that the new Toyota Highlander "features more aggressive and muscular styling," though that's not saying much in light of the ultra-conservative styling of the first-generation Toyota Highlander. Popular Mechanics, however, feels that the Toyota 2010 Highlander is less attractive, claiming it "[resembles] a minivan."
The Highlander's interior is better received; most reviewers heap compliments upon the interior styling. Kelley Blue Book reviewers are impressed by how the 2010 Toyota Highlander's interior "is at once conservative, functional and attractive." Edmunds appreciates that "the control layout remains simple and easy to understand," while ConsumerGuide raves about the "large, easy-to-read gauges." Popular Mechanics reviewers feel "the layout and detail of the instrument panel tilt toward the functional, with larger dials and clear labeling of controls" and they appreciate "the added bonus of the information window that sits atop the IP, relating bits of info on MPG, tire pressure, compass reading, ambient temperature, back-up camera, clock and more." Cars.com says, however, that "SUVs like the Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Veracruz boast some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota falls a bit short," although "the chrome accents and electroluminescent gauges look terrific."
The 2010 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are functional, but not particularly stylish or noticeable.