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Image credits: © Toyota.

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Toyota Highlander Offers Choice of Four-Cylinder, V6 and Hybrid Models

• Standard Three-Row Seating wîth Rear Climate Control
• Available in Front- and Four-Wheel-Drive
• Highlander Hybrid is EPA Rated 28 Combined MPG

Fresh off vehicle revisions for 2011, the popular Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid models move into 2012 and continue to offer the exceptional value cited by numerous third-party sources. Produced at Toyota's manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana, the Highlander is a three-row crossover that offers a choice between four-cylinder and V6 power, front-wheel drive (FWD) and full-time four-wheel drive (4WD). The Highlander Hybrid provides an exceptional blend of performance and fuel economy, wîth class-leading 28/28-MPG EPA city/highway fuel economy ratings.

The first-generation Highlander pioneered the midsize crossover utility vehicle §egmènt, ushering in car-like performance, comfort and fuel efficiency wîth SÚV-like roominess and versatility. The current, second-generation Highlander amplifies those attributes and is among the leaders in the §egmènt in standard active and passive safety features. All models feature a standard 50/50 split third-row seat and rear climate control for customer comfort and flexibility.

2012 Toyota HighlanderThe 2012 Highlander is available in Highlander, SE and Limited grades wîth either front-wheel drive (FWD) or full-time four-wheel-drive (4WD). A 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is standard on the Limited grade and available for the others. All Highlander Hybrid models are equipped wîth four-wheel-drive wîth intelligence and are available in Highlander and Limited grades.

Performance and Efficiency
The Toyota Highlander offers three distinct levels of performance: The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine produces 187 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 186 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,100 RPM and offers an EPA-estimated 25 MPG rating in highway driving. The engine is equipped wîth a variable intake manifold and dual variable valve timing wîth intelligence (VVT-i), which controls phasing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to optimize torque and fuel efficiency. The 2.7-liter engine is teamed exclusively wîth a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

The available 3.5-liter V6 (standard on Limited) produces 270 horsepower at 6,200 RPM and 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 RPM. The V6 is also equipped wîth dual VVT-i and a variable intake manifold. A five-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) offers selectable manual sequential shifting.

Vital Stats and Specifications
Vital Stats
Engine : 2.7 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 187 hp
Torque: 186 ft-lbs

Engine : 3.5 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 268 hp
Torque: 248 ft-lbs

6-speed Automatic
The Highlander Hybrid model's Hybrid Synergy Drive gained a new, more powerful 3.5-liter V6 in the previous model year, replacing a 3.3-liter V6. The system pairs the gasoline V6 engine wîth a high-torque electric drive motor-generator for total system output of 280 net horsepower. A second rear-mounted motor provides automatic on-demand four-wheel drive traction.

The 4WD Highlander Hybrid uniquely generates rear-wheel power wîth a separate electric motor that provides additional drive torque on demand. Thus, the Highlander Hybrid 4WD-i system does not require power-transfer gearing or a driveshaft from the front. The system electronically varies front and rear torque distribution depending on traction conditions.

Activating an EV mode switch located on the front center console allows the driver to operate strictly in electric-mode under certain conditions for a limited distance at low speeds, or in some stop-and-go driving conditions. A new ECON drive mode switch activates a throttle control program that adjusts the throttle response during acceleration, enhancing fuel economy. The Hybrid System Indicator in the instrument gauge panel provides the driver wîth a guideline to help optimize fuel consumption.

Handling and Ride
The Highlander continues to build on its strength of delivering one of the most capable, smooth and quiet rides in the §egmènt. Four-wheel independent suspension is via MacPherson struts in front and a dual-link strut rear suspension system. Base and SE Highlander models are equipped wîth standard 17-inch alloy wheels wîth 245/65 R17 tires; the Limited features standard 19-inch alloy wheels wîth 245/55 R19 tires. A direct tire pressure monitoring system is designed to alert the driver if pressure in a tire drops to critical levels. All Highlander models are equipped wîth four-wheel disc brakes. On conventional Highlander models, full-time four-wheel drive is available on all V6 grades.

Active Safety
Highlander comes standard wîth Toyota's Star Safety System™, which integrates operation of enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electric Power Steering (EPS) and the anti-lock brake system (ABS) wîth Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).

Enhanced VSC helps the driver maintain control by automatically adjusting engine output and braking force at each wheel under certain conditions, while also providing §teering assistance in the appropriate direction through EPS. Gasoline Highlander models are also equipped wîth a straight-line §teering feature. When varying traction causes ABS to apply different left/right braking force, the system can apply §teering torque to help offset left/right pull.

The Highlander Hybrid employs the advanced Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system. VDIM is designed to enhance handling, traction and braking systems that normally react to vehicle driving conditions by anticipating tire slippage before a skid, slide, or wheel spin occurs and helps to make corrections in a smooth, progressive way. In addition to integrating all of the Highlander's dynamic control systems (VSC, TRAC, BA, EPS, EBD and ABS), the VDIM system also employs powerful proprietary software to integrate the Electronic Throttle Control wîth intelligence (ETC-i) and Electronically Controlled Brakes (ECB).

2012 Toyota HighlanderAll Highlander models incorporate a corner-braking feature. Harnessing the integration of the vehicle's dynamic control systems, this feature limits brake pressure on inside wheels during cornering to help enhance control through the turn. Standard on all models, Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward from a stop by applying braking pressure for approximately two seconds.

Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is standard equipment on all Highlander gasoline 4WD models. The DAC feature is designed to maintain a constant speed and maintain handling and §teering control by reducing wheel lock under braking even at slow speeds on slippery descents.

Occupant Safety
Highlander comes wîth seven standard airbags. These include advanced driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and a driver's knee airbag. Roll-sensing side curtain airbags help to protect the occupants of all three rows in the event of certain side collisions or the unlikely event of a vehicle rollover. Additionally, all Highlander models are equipped wîth front seat active headrests.

Comfort and Convenience
Standard features on all Highlander models include front and rear air conditioning; eight-way adjustable driver's seat (10-way on Limited); power door locks and windows wîth driver's window jam protection and auto-up/down feature; manual tilt and telescopic §teering wheel; cruise control; multi-function keyless entry system; ÚV-reduction windshield and rear privacy glass; digital clock; dual sun visors wîth vanity mirrors and sliding extensions; conversation mirror; illuminated entry system; scheduled maintenance indicator light; full-size spare tire and more.

The Highlander SE and Limited grades feature a standard backup camera wîth a 3.5-inch multi-information display; this feature is available for Highlander grade models as part of the optional Tech Package. The display includes a backup camera monitor, clock, outside temperature, warning messages, and cruise information that includes average fuel economy, average speed, distance to empty, current fuel economy, and trip timer. On models equipped wîth the optional navigation system, the backup camera's images are viewed on the seven-inch navigation screen.

The Tech Audio system is standard for SE and Limited and optional for Highlander grade; it features a ÚSB port, integrated XM Satellite Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription) hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology, helping ensure a wide array of 'connected' capabilities for occupants. In the Base grade, this is part of a more comprehensive package that also includes a backup monitor wîth 3.5-inch multi-information display, an eight-way power driver seat, tonneau cover, engine immobilizer, easy-clean fabric interior, flip-up liftgate window, fog lamps and black roof rails.

The Highlander Hybrid Base grade gains standard easy-clean fabric seating, along wîth an eight-way power driver's seat, the Tech Audio, the third-row seat and manual rear climate control. The Highlander Hybrid base grade offers a Leather Package that includes leather-trimmed seats wîth front seat heaters, leather-trimmed §teering wheel and shift knob, power moonroof, HomeLink®, auto-dimming rearview mirror wîth compass, plus an engine immobilizer wîth security alarm. The Highlander Hybrid Limited features standard automatic climate control for the rear and offers perforated leather seating surfaces.

A variety of available options and accessories include a voice-activated touch screen navigation system wîth an eight-inch screen; JBL audio systems; leather-trimmed seats wîth front seat heaters, and a power tilt/slide moonroof. The optional tow package for V6 models enables up to 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity, while the four-cylinder tow package enables up to 3,500 pounds of maximum towing capacity. A power liftgate that can be opened and closed wîth a key fob or driver side control is an available option on the Highlander grade and standard on SE and Limited.

Exterior Design
Designed at Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., the second-generation Highlander conveys a contemporary, dynamic presence via clean, sculpted lines, a wide, stable stance and muscular contours. The Highlander grade could be mistaken for an upgrade model wîth its six-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels, color-keyed power remote outside mirrors, and silver-painted front grille. The Limited looks the luxury part wîth chrome door handles and roof rails, puddle lamps and rear spoiler. The Limited grade also features stylish 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome roof rails.

The 2012 Highlander Hybrid is distinguished from the gasoline model by its own unique grille and bumper design, color-keyed rockers wîth chrome accents, plus vertically stacked fog lamps. The projector beam headlights and taillights feature blue lens covers.

Interior Design
The Highlander provides an open, airy and versatile interior wîth seating for seven or up to 95.4 cubic feet of total cargo capacity (94.1 for Highlander Hybrid). There are numerous storage compartments throughout the cabin, along wîth 10 cup holders, four bottle holders, two front and one cargo-area 12-volt auxiliary power outlets and cargo area tie-down hooks.

The Highlander and SE grades feature a center console, shift knob wîth silver-painted accents and front driver and passenger assist grips. The center console, shift knob and assist grip on the Limited grade feature wood-grain-style trim. Styling features on the inside of the Highlander Hybrid include silver and wood grain-style interior trim wîth chrome door handle accents, Optitron meters wîth blue graphics and a power meter wîth a hybrid system indicator.

The headrests are adjustable in two ways on the Highlander grade and four ways on SE and Limited. The second row provides 40/20/40 split seatbacks. The seat functions as either a three-person bench,or by removing the Center Stow™ seat, a pair of captain's chairs complete wîth armrests. This creates a convenient walk-through area between the seats for easier access to the third row. A second-row Center Stow center console can also be placed between the seats to provide additional storage and added convenience for child seats. The second row also slides fore and aft and reclines.

The third-row provides 50/50 seats wîth fold down headrests and fold-flat-into-floor capability for passenger comfort and storage flexibility. Access to the third-row is made easier by placing the walk-in lever at an easy-to-reach position at the bottom of the passenger-side second-row seat. Standard one-touch levers, on SE and Limited gas models and all Hybrid models, inside the cargo area allow the second-row seats to fold forward and flat. The third-row seats function in a similar manner, using a lever in the back of the seat.

2012 Toyota HighlanderLimited Warranty
Toyota's 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion wîth no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter wîth converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

The Highlander will also come standard wîth Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Source - Toyota
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