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in 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $20,725 - $29,456
Original MSRP: $28,090 - $37,045
MPG: 20 City / 25 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Toyota Highlander Review

Review Last Updated: 7/31/12

The 2011 Toyota Highlander is a great family vehicle, according to reviewers. It’s comfortable, capable and has good fuel economy.

The 2011 Toyota Highlander is ranked:

The 2011 Toyota Highlander is a great all-around seven-seat SUV. The 2011 Highlander received a major refresh, gaining a standard third row, a more powerful available V6 engine and updated looks. The Highlander also has strong safety and reliability scores, a roomy, well-made interior and good fuel economy with the base engine. For these reasons, reviewers agreed that if you’re shopping for a three-row crossover, the Highlander should definitely be on your list.

However, it does have a few flaws. The Highlander’s performance trails some midsize SUVs that offer more power or better handling, and its third row can be cramped. Still, if you’re looking for a practical, comfortable family vehicle, the 2011 Toyota Highlander is the crossover for you.

The Highlander is available with a four- or six-cylinder engine and front- or all-wheel drive. It comes in three trims (base, SE and Limited) and is available as a hybrid model, which is reviewed separately. The base Highlander’s four-cylinder engine gets fantastic fuel economy for a gas-only, three-row crossover, but test drivers said it’s woefully underpowered. If you can handle the small drop in fuel economy, reviewers said the V6 engine is worth it. The base trim comes standard with features like a six-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio jack and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, but other trims and packages have features like a power liftgate, Bluetooth phone connectivity, push-button ignition and leather-trimmed seats.

See the full 2011 Toyota Highlander specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you need seating for seven but want an SUV with an interior that’s a bit more updated and high-tech than the Toyota Highlander, take a look at the 2011 Ford Explorer. Some trims have MyFord Touch, Ford’s touch-screen interface for media and climate controls, while others have the Sync voice-controlled infotainment system. Reviewers said that the Explorer’s interior is particularly upscale, and they appreciated its smooth handling. The Explorer’s reliability score isn’t as good as the Highlander’s, but if you want an SUV with a little more style, the Ford is a good choice.

The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the roomiest SUVs in its class, with a cargo capacity that’s larger than most rivals and an adult-sized back seat, which is rare among three-row SUVs. Plus, the Traverse can seat up to eight, which means you’ll have one more seat than the Highlander. The Chevy’s V6 can’t match the four-cylinder Highlander’s fuel economy and its reliability score isn’t as strong, but if you’re looking for a comfortable family SUV with tons of interior space, the 2011 Traverse is one of the best used midsize SUVs.

Compare the Highlander to the Explorer and Traverse »

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