2017 Toyota Highlander Gets New V6, Eight-Speed Auto

The refreshed 2017 Toyota Highlander has been revealed before it makes its public debut next week at the 2016 New York Auto Show. 

The exterior of the Highlander is lightly revised, with the biggest changes coming from a new front fascia and headlights. To differentiate different trim levels, the LE, LE Plus and XLE models with get a silver-painted grille while the Limited and Platinum trims with get a chrome finish.

The Highlander’s color palette has also been expanded to include celestial silver metallic, toasted walnut pearl and an exclusive color for the new SE trim, salsa red pearl. That new SE trim brings along 19-inch wheels, a tuned suspension for a sportier ride and a dark paint on the front grille.

Revisions to the powertrain lineup include the addition of a new eight-speed automatic transmission paired to a new 3.5-liter V6 that will have more horsepower than the current V6, though Toyota didn’t say exactly how much. That new engine will be standard with the Highlander hybrid, while the base unit remains a 2.7-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic.

Fuel economy will be improved thanks to the new engine and transmission combination along with the addition of stop-start technology that comes standard on nearly every V6-powered model.

Moving inside, a new brown leather interior is now available with the Limited Platinum model, while every Highlader has added four USB ports for a new total of five. Seating for seven or eight passengers is available with the premium Limited and Limited Platinum.

For safety technology, Toyota is including Toyota Safety Sense P, a suite of technologies that include pre-collision braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, pedestrian pre-collision system and radar-based cruise control.

Toyota also announced that the 2017 Sienna minivan will also be getting the new 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission.

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