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#4

in 2012 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $22,179 - $30,738
Original MSRP: $28,240 - $37,195
MPG: 20 City / 25 Hwy
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Used Car: 2012 Toyota Highlander Review

Review Last Updated: 6/5/14

The 2012 Toyota Highlander gets good fuel economy for the class with its base four-cylinder engine and has a soft, serene ride.

The 2012 Toyota Highlander is ranked:

The 2012 Toyota Highlander has a standard four-cylinder engine that some test drivers said makes adequate power, though most preferred the available V6, which they said makes the Highlander feel much quicker. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, which test drivers praised for its smooth shifts. Fuel economy for a four-cylinder Highlander is up to an EPA-estimated 20/25 mpg city/highway, which is quite good for the class. With the V6, the Highlander is rated at 18/24 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to most class rivals’ fuel economy. When it was new, test drivers said the Highlander has a comfortable ride, but noted that it doesn't handle as nimbly as other SUVs in the class. Critics also said that the steering feels a bit numb, and others mentioned that the brake pedal feels mushy. However, reviewers were pleased that the Highlander is a bit easier to maneuver than some in the class due to its slightly smaller size.

When it was new, most test drivers said the 2012 Highlander's interior is built with mostly high-quality materials and that its center stack controls are logically laid out and straightforward to use. Reviewers said the front seats are comfortable and supportive. They also noted that the middle row offers plenty of space and most agreed that third-row legroom could be better, which is a common criticism for the class. A CD stereo with an auxiliary input is standard. Features that were optional when it was new include a nine-speaker JBL stereo system, a USB port, navigation and Bluetooth. The Highlander offers up to 95.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is good for the class as a whole, but class leaders like the Buick Enclave offer more space.

Other SUVs to Consider

The Chevrolet Traverse offers among the most cargo space in the class, and reviewers were impressed with the passenger space in its third row. Additionally, the Traverse was well-liked for its pleasant ride quality and good brake and steering feel.

The Mazda CX-9 was regarded as one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the segment, as reviewers liked its nimble handling and responsive steering. The CX-9 has more overall cargo space than the Highlander, and test drivers were impressed with the CX-9's high-quality interior.

Compare the Highlander, Traverse and CX-9 »

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