Last Friday Toyota quietly announced the availability of two new Highlander models. The first is the Highlander Sport available in either 2WD or 4WD trim with Toyota’s 215-horsepower V6 as the standard powerplant. Sounds sporty already. Exterior enhancements include a color-keyed grille, some chrome trim bandied about and 17-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels, while the interior benefits from an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather wheel with audio controls and 3-in-1 AM/FM/Cassette/CD stereo. Curiously only the 4WD model will actually get a sport-tuned suspension. Prices start at $27,765 for the 2WD model and $29,235 for the 4WD version.
The other model is the decidedly non-exciting base V6 4WD two-row model that will go for $26,990 or about $850 less than a similar V6 4WD third-row model.