Consumer Reviews Summary
39 of 41 (95%) customers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.
2012 Toyota Highlander Overview
The midsize 2012 Toyota Highlander crossover is one of the most family friendly vehicles around, with plenty of cargo space, seating, and flexibility.
Redesigned in 2011, the Highlander continues into 2012 with seating for up to seven passengers across three rows. Although the Highlander is one of the smallest three-row crossovers around, which we actually think is a good thing – it will actually fit into parking spaces, its interior is one of the most functional around thanks to a few nifty features. The three-seat second row has a removable center seat that you can store under the center console, which gives you two captain’s chairs in the second row and a clear path to the third row. If you fold down the second and third rows, the Highlander features 95.4 cubic feet of cargo volume.
There is a pair of engine options for the 2012 Highlander. The base engine is a 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder that comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. If you need more power, a larger 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is available which is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and increases towing capacity from 3,500 to the 5,000 pounds. All-wheel drive is available if you opt for the V-6; otherwise the Highlander is exclusively front-wheel drive.
Fuel economy numbers are decent, but not great for the Highlander. They range from 17-20 mpg in the city and 22-25 mpg on the highway depending on drivetrain choices. If you want even more efficiency, then the Highlander Hybrid (reviewed separately on this site) and its 28/28 mpg city/highway might be more your speed.
Besides having a flexible interior, the 2012 Highlander also features air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, USB/auxiliary audio inputs, and power windows and locks. If you want to further spruce up your Highlander, options include tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth® connectivity, a navigation system, and leather upholstery.
The Highlander is also adept when it comes to safety, with four overall stars from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS to its credit. Standard safety features include a full suite of airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, electronic stability system, active front head restraints, and antilock brakes.
For a family on the go, the 2012 Toyota Highlander offers an appealing combination of safety, a flexible interior space, and a choice of efficient or powerful engines.