It's rare to see a significant price drop come with a new look and extra equipment, but Toyota is doing it for the 2017 Highlander.

Toyota is launching a major refresh for the 2017 Highlander, but buyers of the hybrid version can actually get the crossover for thousands less than last year. The electrically assisted powertrain is also now available on more trims in the lineup.

The company debuted the updated Highlander at the 2016 New York Auto Show a revised front end and improved interior. Toyota also added a new 3.5-liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque and an eight-speed automatic. Stop-start comes on the V6 in trims above the base LE. A six-cylinder is also in the Hybrid and the additional electric motor takes the total system output to 306 hp. The greener models are only available with all-wheel drive, but there’s a choice of two- or four-wheel drive on the rest.

A backup camera and the Safety Sense P driver-assist suite are now standard  on all models. The system includes a pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams. The XLE model and above also get blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. The Limited Platinum adds a Bird’s Eye View Camera.

2017 Toyota Highlander
2017 Toyota Highlander
2017 Toyota Highlander

Toyota really gets behind the Highlander Hybrid for this refresh by expanding the powertrain’s availability. The electrically assisted setup is now available on the base LE for $37,210 (after $940 destination) and on the XLE for $42,270. For comparison, the V6 LE with all-wheel drive starts at $35,080 or $40,920 on the XLE.

The hybrid is even cheaper on the Limited and Limited Platinum trims for 2017, too. Prices for the Limited drop $3,110 from last year to $45,700. The Limited Platinum gets a slightly smaller cut of $2,605 to $48,820.

Depending on the trim, the non-hybrid variants see prices inch upward by two or three percent for the new model year. However, the base two-wheel drive LE with a four-cylinder now goes for $31,570, which is just 0.5 percent (or $140) more than last year.

The new addition to the ICE lineup is the SE trim that gives the Highlander a sporty appearance by using darker trim for the grille, headlight housing, and roof rails. It also has a different suspension tune from the rest of the lineup. Prices start at $40,630 with two-wheel drive and grow to $42,090 for a four-wheel drive version.

The 2017 Highlander arrives at dealers in the United States in mid-November and should help the model continue its success. In the first 10 months of 2016, Toyota has delivered 144,713 of them in the U.S – an 11.3 percent boost over the same period last year. It has been the brand’s second-strongest selling crossover in 2016 behind the RAV4, which moved 286,809 units in the same period.

Source: Toyota

Be part of something big