2011 Toyota Highlander arrives in the U.S. with a new look


The 2011 Toyota Highlander first showed up at the Moscow Auto Show in late August of this year. Russia got the first batch of the 2011 Toyota Highlander, and now it is in the United States as we had expected. Toyota is introducing a hybrid version of the 2011 Toyota Highlander as well with a lot of new updates both inside and outside.

The 2011 Highlander has been updated with a new hood, fenders, lights and front fascia, with the profile freshened by black rockers with chrome accents. In the hybrid, it  features a unique grille and front bumper to distinguish itself from the standard Highlander. It shares the new fenders and hood with the gas Highlander but features color-keyed rockers with chrome accents, plus vertically stacked fog lamps.

In the powertrain department, the new 2011 Highlander gets three different engine options: the base model gets a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine, which is also available on the SE model, and it produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque with a 25 miles per gallon fuel economy rating on the highway. The higher up model gets a 3.5-liter six-cylinder that delivers 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.  Both the I4 and the V6 share the same five-speed automatic transmissions. Lastly, the 2011 Highlander Hybrid gets an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is the most powerful engine of the three. The combined output of the new engine with the electric motor is 280 horsepower, but fuel economy rating is average at 28 mpg in the city and on the highway.

As for the interior, the Highlander now has three-row seating. In the SE and Limited trims, it comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and XM. While the base Hybrid Highlander has an optional Leather Package, which comes with heated front seats and a power moonroof.

Pricing of the 2011 Toyota Highlander lineup can be daunting for some. The base model with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive will cost you about $27,390. Jump up one level, the SE V6 FWD can be had for $33,150. The third level is the Limited V6 with all-wheel drive will cost about $36,345. And the last two top-of-the-line hybrid trims start out at $37,290 for the base model and the Limited model will be around $42,945.