Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
December 11, 2008
Toyota's new 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine will help make the Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) one of the best in its segment in the areas of fuel economy, low emissions, performance, and value. It is expected to appeal to value-driven, mid-size SUV buyers seeking these characteristics without the price premium of a V6.
The four-cylinder Highlander will be among the leaders in fuel efficiency in the gas mid-size SUV segment with EPA fuel economy estimates of 27 MPG highway, 20 MPG city and 22 MPG combined. In addition, it will be EPA-rated as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEVII).
Highlander's new four-cylinder powertrain will produce impressive power, while greatly reducing noise and vibration to levels normally expected in a V6 or larger engine. It will generate 187 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 186 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,100 RPM on regular 87 octane fuel.
The new engine will be mated to an all-new six-speed electronically-controlled automatic overdrive transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) that is one of the lightest and most compact in its class. The new transmission delivers a smooth shifting, remarkably quiet ride that is on par with a V6, and acceleration that is surprisingly quick for a four-cylinder. Internal preliminary 0-60 mph testing was timed at 9.7 seconds, nearly one second quicker than the average four-cylinder mid-size SUV. When equipped with a tow package, the new powerplant will achieve a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Highlander's new 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine will come standard on the well-equipped Highlander grade two-wheel-drive model with two rows of seats, contributing to its all-around excellent value. The two rows of seating features an innovative and versatile 40/20/40 second row seat with the industry's first Center Stow™ seat or Center Stow™ center console.
Adding to the four-cylinder Highlander's appeal is an array of standard convenience features that include air conditioning; an AM/FM/CD audio system with six-speakers; front seats with height-adjustable active head rests and eight-way adjustable driver's seat; power door locks and windows with driver's window jam protection and auto-up/down feature; cruise control; a multi-function keyless entry system; UV-reduction windshield and rear privacy glass; a digital clock; dual sun visors with vanity mirrors and sliding extensions; a conversation mirror; an illuminated entry system; manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel; scheduled maintenance indicator light; full-size spare tire; and much more.
All Highlanders are equipped with one of the most comprehensive list of standard safety features in its class and include the Toyota Star Safety™ system (with enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, Brake Assist, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), driver and passenger active headrests,a direct tire pressure monitor system, and seven airbags (including dual front, side and curtain roll sensing, and a driver knee airbag).
The 2009 Highlander four-cylinder will begin arriving at Toyota dealers in January 2009.
(December 5, 2008)