2016 Toyota Highlander LE Plus V6
Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal
2016 Toyota Highlander LE Plus V6
4D Sport Utility
6 Cyl – 3.50 L
6-Speed Automatic Electronic with Overdrive
Estimated MPG Highway
Estimated MPG City
Power (SAE): 270 hp @ 6,200 rpm; 248 ft lb of torque @ 4,700 rpm
The 2016 Toyota Highlander is a very spacious and strong SUV. Very comfortable inside, folding seats everywhere for more flexibility. It has a bold front grille, available LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and available dark-black-accent headlights make a powerful first impression. It has the classic highlander look and design, strong, rough but with some modern touches and very nice interior details.
The Highlander became the first medium-sized SUV or mid-sized crossover based on a vehicle, and was Toyota’s best-seller before being outdone by the RAV4 in 2006. It is the counterpart of the mid-size SUV based 4Runner, and it is more resistant to all roads.
Highlander features an available direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine, plus a Direct Shift-8AT (8-speed Automatic Transmission) for very impressive performance.
The 2016 Toyota Highlander is getting its first significant changes since the current model arrived in 2014. There’s a new grille—with different finishes for the many different versions of this highlander. A new, direct-injected V-6 backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. There also will be more Highlanders from which to choose, with the arrival of an SE model and two new, less-expensive Highlander hybrid variants.
The 2016 Highlander will continue to offer a choice of three powertrains: a 2.7-liter four-cylinder (with front-wheel drive only), a V-6 (with front- or four-wheel drive), and as a gas-electric hybrid. Most Highlanders are sold with the V-6.
The 2016 highlander comes with better fuel economy, something that consumer will appreciate by saving gas, time and money. The new 8-speed transmission means driving the 2016 brings a few extra, smooth shifts, as well as less commotion from the engine when passing or traveling up a grade. The 8-speed works great when using the Highlander’s maximum 5,000-pound tow rating.
Prices and Versions
Listed MSRP is for a 2016 Toyota Highlander LE I4 FWD base trim with no options. Includes destination fee. Assumes base MSRP of $37,210 for 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE V6 AWD trim.
Approximate MSRP Price
2016 Toyota Highlander LE Plus V6 $37,210
In December 2016 there was a lease promotion for $422 x month for the 2016 Toyota Highlander LE Plus V6, however the price can change depending on the model and features. This lease amount is based on a 36-month, 15000-mile-per-year lease.
Manufacturer’s Original Warranties
Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 2 Years/Unlimited Miles
Maintenance 2 Years/25,000 Miles
The 2016’s large, trapezoidal grille extending it to the bottom of the bumper. The trim within the new grille depends on trim level, though.
The five razorlike slats are silver on the lower LE, LE Plus and XLE trims and chrome on the upper Limited and Platinum. On the new, sportier SE trim, the slats are gloss-black, making the Highlander look a bit like Darth Vader — perhaps a reason to select black paint, too.
Meanwhile, Toyota has slightly reshaped the headlights and exaggerated the corners of the bumper. Around back, the taillights have been redesigned and feature standard LED-lighting elements.
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Windshield wiper de-icer, and much more.
- Tow Package on V6 models
- Fog lights
- A height-adjustable power rear liftgate with flip-up rear hatch window
- Heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators
The Highlander’s cabin design, nor has its seating layout. However, it’s now possible to equip the top Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels with 8-passenger seating thanks to a bench-style middle row in place of captain’s chairs. The new SE also gets special interior trim. A premium interior offers space for up to eight, five USB ports for charging on the go, a ton of cargo space and a whole lot more.
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Heated front seats
- Smart Key with push button start
- Tilt-slide moonroof
- Driver Easy Speak
- Second-row integrated sun shades
- Chromtec® roof rails
- 4.2-inch color multi-information display
- Anti-theft system
- Entune® Audio featuring a 6.1-inch touchscreen
- Bluetooth® phone and music streaming;
- an integrated backup camera
- Seating for eight with second- and third-row 60/40 split fold-flat seats
- Ample storage compartments including a massive roll-top center console
Every trim level now comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense bundle of accident-avoidance technologies. These include a forward-collision warning and automatic-braking system that can detect both cars and pedestrians. Other features include lane-departure warning and steering assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. This is a big deal, as these features are optional on every competitor, and even then, they’re often restricted to upper trim levels. There’s also the quality of those features — the Honda Pilot at least offers its safety tech on all but its base trim, but its forward-collision warning and adaptive cruise control are not as well-executed as the Highlander’s.
In terms of infotainment, the Highlander retains its large, responsive and relatively easy-to-use touchscreen interface.
The 2016 has only a single USB port up front. Those interested in the Highlander Hybrid should also welcome the new LE and XLE trim levels, which makes the gasoline-electric SUV’s fuel savings available at a lower price point. No longer are you forced into the Limited and Limited Platinum trims.
The 2016 Highlander comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of accident-avoidance technologies. These features, along with a blind spot monitoring system. A blind spot monitoring system is now standard on all but the LE and LE Plus.
In government crash tests, the 2016 Highlander received the best possible 5-star rating for overall crashworthiness.
It received four stars for frontal-crash protection and five stars for side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Highlander its best possible rating of Good in every crash test. Its forward-crash prevention system was also given a rating of Advanced, which is the third of six possible ratings. This may change for 2017, though, as the equipment is now standard.
- Safety Connect (Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification. Available by subscription.)
- Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Lane Departure Alert with Automatic High Beam Headlights
A highlander is a highlander, Toyota continue to enhance and provide a great SUV Crossover. This Toyota is especially great for those who love the classic SUVs, kind of vintage style but with the power of today’s engines. Good fuel economy, beautiful and flexible interior with many folding seats. Plenty of cargo space, much more cargo than with many other SUVs.
On the road, the Highlander definitely feels great, but it’s still easy to drive daily. The interior remains very quiet on the road that you go. It’s fast to accelerate, smooth and one of the quietest vehicles on the road.
If you drive quickly around a tight turn, the three-spoke steering wheel is quite accurate in grip. The six-speed automatic transmission works well and offers fast gear reductions.