In cooperation with the LA County Lifeguards & Toyota Team Up for Beach Water Safety event, we had the opportunity to experience the 2016 Toyota Highlander XLE V6 AWD to see how it stacks up to our mega-sized family. With seating for eight, and sliding 2nd row seats, will the 2016 Toyota Highland be able grow with our family and last us for years to come?
Another requirement we have in a vehicle is power. Living within the Santa Susanna Mountain range and frequently traveling through the Santa Monica Mountains means we are constantly pulling hills and maintaining speed is a must. Find out if the 2016 Toyota Highland fit our family’s needs, and if will fit your needs too.
2016 Toyota Highlander XLE V6 AWD Review
The day of the Beach Water Safety Event, we packed for a family of 12. Okay, not really, but with looming clouds inland and an unstable weather forecast for the beach, we wanted to be sure to bring enough clothes for any weather condition. In addition to clothing for a small army, we also packed our beach wagon, beach tent, and a few buckets and molds to build the ultimate sand castle, all of which easily fit behind the 3rd row seat.
We’re a spontaneous family, and deciding on who sits where in a vehicle is no exception. Our seating order changes like wind on a stormy day. Typically, the booster seats don’t move, but I never really know who’s sitting where until I lock up the front door and jump in the car myself. Thankfully, with the sliding 2nd row seating and roomy 3rd row seating our children can comfortably sit anywhere they choose, even if that means three kids in the middle with one in back, or two kids in the middle with two in back.
Being relatively new to Southern California, I fell in love with the 4.2″ Color Nav-linked Multi-Info display between the tachometer and speedometer. Not only does it tell you the name of the road or highway you are on, but it also lets you know what the speed limit is (when available) if there are no street signs around, because no one wants to get a speeding ticket.
Another feature I fell in love with is the flip-up rear window on the adjustable power lift gate. This is a must have for any large family. Gone are the days of lifting the rear gate and having groceries, toys, luggage, even crazy children, fall out. Now, when we pack for an adventure I know I can lift out the first few items easily before lifting the gate.
Isn’t this view gorgeous? I will never get tired of visiting this coastline.
Or watching our kids grow up on the beach…
And if you’re wondering how the 2016 Toyota Highlander rides, just look at this. This is what I found when we arrived home after the event. Four kids, sound asleep.
As for the power, the 2016 Toyota Highlander XLE V6 AWD had more than enough zip through the mountains to get us from the beach to little league. The Highlander is the perfect fit for our mega-sized family!
Additional Features of the 2016 Toyota Highlander XLE V6 AWD Include:
Mechanical and Performance
- 3.5L DOHC V6 Engine with Dual VVT-I
- 6-Spd Auto Trans; 5,000 lb Tow Capacity
- Front Independent McPherson Strut & Rear Double Wishbone Suspension
- Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV-II)
- Power Assisted 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
- 18″ Alloy w/P245/60R18 Tires; Temp Spare
- Dynamic Torque Control All-Wheel Drive
- Hill-Start & Downhill Assist Control
- Smoked Chrome Auto On/Off Headlights; Fog Lights
- UV Windshield; Privacy Glass RR Side, Quarter & Hatch Windows, Folding Heated Power Side Mirrors
- Chrometec Roof Rails; FR Wiper with De-Icer
- Adj Power Liftgate with Flip-Up Rear Window
- Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof with Sunshade
- Seating for 8; Leather Heated Front Seats; 8-Way Power Dr with Lumbar, 4-Way Passenger, 2nd & 3rd Row 60/40 Split Fold-Flat Seats with Recline
- Integrated 2nd Row Slide Window Sunshades
- Backup Camera with 8″ Display
- Entune Prem w/8″ Touch Screen, Navigation, AM/FM, CD/MP3/USB/AUX, HD, & SMX all access 3-month trial, Bluetooth Phone/Music, App Suite
- 4.2″ Color Nav-linked Multi-Info Display
- Homelink; 3-Zone Auto A/C; Leather Steering Wheel w/ Aud; Phn & VRec Ctrls; Conv Mirror
- 8 Cup/4 Btl Holders; 3-12V & 1-120V Outlet Roll-Top Console/Arm Rest, In-Dash Shelf
Safety and Convenience
- Star Safety System: Incl. Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brake System, Elec Brake-Force Distrib., Brake Assist & Smart Stop Technology
- 8 Airbags: Driver & Front Passenger Advance Airbag System, Drive & Front Passenger Seat-Mounted Side, Driver Knee, Passenger Seat-Cushion & 3-RW Side Curtain Airbags
- Smart Key; Alarm & Engine Immobilizer
- LATCH Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
- Child Protect Read Door Locks
Our family was provided the opportunity to test drive the 2016 Toyota Highlander courtesy of DriveShop for one week. No compensation was provided and all opinions are my own.