Toyota will be bringing the 2017 Toyota Highlander to the upcoming New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). This will be the mid-life facelift for the third-generation XU50 that made its debut at the same show three years ago.
The V6 model gets an all-new powertrain. A new 3.5 litre direct injection V6 engine will generate significantly more horsepower, provide enhanced fuel efficiency, and deliver a more direct driving feel by expanding the lock up range, Toyota says. This new engine will be paired to a new gearbox, a Direct Shift 8AT eight-speed automatic that is more compact and efficient. The new combo will also go into the 2017 Toyota Sienna van.
All Highlander V6 models (excluding LE spec) will come with a new Stop and Start Engine System (S&S) to conserve fuel. No change to the base 2.7 litre four-cylinder six-speed auto model, and the Highlander Hybrid, which continues with a CVT. The choice of front-wheel drive or AWD is available to all.
To the facelift itself. The 2017 Highlander gets a new upper and lower front grille design, with different grille finishes for each grade that will also carry into the headlamp housing. The grille on LE, LE Plus and XLE grades will receive a silver finish, while Limited and Limited Platinum grades get painted chrome. There are redesigned tail lights at the back, plus a chrome trim garnish for both Limited models.
Three new exterior colours have been added – Celestial Silver Metallic, Toasted Walnut Pearl, and exclusively on the new SE pictured here, Salsa Red Pearl. The new SE also gets unique 19-inch alloys, sportier suspension and dark paint for the front grille, which is also incorporated into the headlamp housings and roof rails. Inside, the SE is all-black with silver stitching and inserts.
It’s a different feel for the Limited Platinum, which gets a new brown leather interior. Limited and Limited Platinum grades offer buyers the choice of second-row captain’s chairs (seven-seater) or second-row bench seats that will expand capacity to eight (2-3-3). Charging personal devices will be more efficient as all Highlanders will add four USB ports for a total of five.
The 2017 Highlander will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles safety tech including Pre-Collision System (with Forward Collision Warning and automatic emergency brake), Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Pedestrian Pre- Collision System and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Top Limited Platinum cars will come with a Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan. We’re familiar with the former, but the latter is a Toyota-first. It provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle, helping the driver to see potential obstacles.
The Highlander is made in Indiana and exported to 12 countries. The 2017 Highlander will start to arrive at US showrooms in the fall of 2016.
GALLERY: Third-gen pre-facelift Toyota Highlander