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2017 Toyota Highlander

Eric Peters on

The Highlander's optional V-6 is more powerful (295 horsepower versus 270 previously) and gets better gas mileage; it is paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, whereas it had a six-speed automatic last year.

There's also a new sport-themed SE V-6 package with firmer suspension tuning, a 19-inch wheel/tire package and blackout exterior trim.

All Highlanders get an exterior styling refresh, including a new grille and headlight design.

What's Good

It's more manageable in tight spots and easier to park.

The standard four-cylinder engine is mechanically simpler than rivals' turbocharged four-cylinders.

The all-wheel-drive system can lock the power split 50-50 front to rear, very much like a truck-type 4WD system.

It has 8 inches of ground clearance -- more than most in this class.

What's Not So Good

The standard four-cylinder isn't as powerful as turbocharged four-cylinders in rival vehicles.

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