click above image for more pics of the 2008 Toyota Highlander

Toyota's redesigned 2008 Highlander is expected on dealer lots in a couple of weeks, and buyers can expect relatively modest price increases over last year's model. The mid-size SUV drops the standard 4-cylinder in favor of a 270-hp, 3.5-liter V6 and the interior gets some upgrades. Toyota brags that the larger, more powerful Highlander retains its 2007 V6 fuel economy numbers of 17/23 for 4X2s and 16/22 for 4X4s.

At the low end, the Highlander Base 4X2 model's sticker gets bumped $510 to $27,300 while the 4X4 is up $560 to $28,750.

Sport and Limited level Highlanders get standard backup cameras independent of a navigation system and 19" wheels. Sport 4X2 models get a $985 bump to $29,950. Limited buyers also get keyless entry and will pay MSRP of $32,700 for the 4X2 and $34,150 for the 4X4, which is $1,890 and $1,940 more than 2007 models.

Highlander Hybrid sales are to begin in September, and Toyota will announce pricing for those nearer the fall.

After the jump read Toyota's complete press release with details on interior goodies and other upgrades.

[Source: Toyota]

Related Gallery2008 Toyota Highlander


Toyota Announces Prices for All-New 2008 Highlander

TORRANCE, Calif., June 20 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., announced manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the all-new Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV).

The 2008 Highlander is significantly larger, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces. Yet its fuel efficiency will be virtually unchanged. It is noticeably quieter, smarter, with significantly improved versatility and ride comfort. The 2008 Highlander will have one of the most comprehensive lists of standard safety features in it the mid-size SUV class where safety is at the top of purchase considerations.

Highlander will be offered in Base, Sport and Limited grades. All three grades will be powered by a new 3.5-liter V6 with dual independent variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that delivers an impressive 270 horsepower -- a 55 horsepower gain over the previous generation's 3.3-liter engine.

Highlander has an impressive list of standard safety features. It will provide a segment-leading total of seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag and roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three rows in addition to active headrests for the driver and front passenger.

As with all Toyota SUVs for the last three years, Highlander will provide Toyota's STAR(TM) safety system, featuring: anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and for the first time, enhanced vehicle stability control, with electronic power steering.

For all Sport and Limited models, a stand-alone backup camera with a 3.5-inch LCD multi-information screen, not tied to a navigation system, is standard equipment.

Highlander rides on an all-new chassis derived from the current Camry and Avalon. It is nearly four inches longer and three inches wider, with an inch more ground clearance and three inches of additional wheelbase than the Highlander it replaces.

Highlander's second-row seating flexibility features captain's chairs with armrests that, if needed, can be converted to a bench seat for three passengers. A "Center Stow(TM)" seat, when not in use, is hidden in a compartment under the front center console. In its place, passengers can easily put in the Center Stow(TM)console or choose to leave the area open as a walk-through to the third row. The second row also slides forward and back 4.7 inches and reclines.

Clever and convenient standard features include: a third-row bench seat with foldable headrests for a flat rear cargo area, a rear glass hatch for quick access to the rear cargo area (optional on Base grade), and Smart Key System with Push Button Start for Limited. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels will be standard on both Sport and Limited gas models.

The 2008 Highlander adds significant standard features (all new V6 engine, new five-speed automatic sequential shift transmission, electronic power steering, three-row curtain side airbags, driver's knee airbag, new larger alloy wheels, etc.) with only a modest MSRP increase.

The 2008 Highlander Base grade will carry a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of $27,300 for the 4x2 model, an increase of $510, or 1.9 percent over the previous generation Highlander. The Base grade 4x4 will carry a base MSRP of $28,750, an increase of $560 or 2.0 percent.

The base MSRP for the Sport grade will carry a base of $29,950 for the 4x2, an increase of $985, or 3.4 percent. The Sport grade 4x4 will carry a base MSRP of $31,400, an increase of $965, or 3.2 percent.

The MSRP for the top-of-the-line Highlander Limited will be $32,700 for the 4x2, an increase of $1,890 or 6.1 percent. The Limited 4x4 will carry a base MSRP of $34,150, an increase of $1,940 or 6.0 percent. Highlander gas models will go on sale in July with hybrid models reaching Toyota dealers in late September.

Pricing for hybrid models will be announced closer to launch.

The delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee for the 2008 Highlander was increased by $40 to $685. DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.