2018 Toyota Highlander

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
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Toyota Highlander highlights

Customer rating


  • Above-average EPA estimates with all powertrains
  • Nicely sized and well equipped for most buyers


  • Base engine feels a bit underpowered
  • No Apple CarPlay® or Android Auto™ availability

Mileage (EPA estimate)

19 city, 24 highway, 22 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

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The 2018 Toyota Highlander remains a top pick for family-friendly crossover

Versatile and comfortable, the 2018 Toyota Highlander has a lot to like. Add a classy interior and a suite of standard driver aids, and it gets even more appealing. There's a Highlander model to suit most every need and budget, starting with the base LE with its respectable level of standard equipment and 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive and automatic transmission are standard, and all-wheel drive is offered as an option. At the top of the range, the Highlander Hybrid offers a Limited Platinum model with a mix of impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy and upscale equipment. It can be pricey, though, which makes the XLE trim in the standard Highlander lineup a sensible choice. It not only offers a solid mix of convenience and comfort features, but it also comes with the powerful V6 engine under its hood.

With the V6, you'll have a smooth, easy-driving, capable crossover that's powerful yet returns decent EPA estimates. The interior is spacious enough unless you want to carry adults in the rearmost seats. The third row is a bit tight but roomy enough for kids. That's one of the few complaints to level at the Highlander, along with the lack of Apple CarPlay® or Android Auto™ for quick and easy connectivity with your smartphone. That aside, the Highlander is a real contender among three-row crossovers. If you're shopping, be sure to test-drive the big Toyota.

All Toyota Highlander years

2018 Toyota Highlander trims

Curious how Toyota Highlander trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities

LE and Hybrid LE:

  • Includes Bluetooth connectivity, Entune six-speaker audio system, integrated backup camera, six-way adjustable driver's seat, 6.1-inch touchscreen, slide and recline fold-flat rear seating, and more.

LE Plus:

  • Adds eight-inch touchscreen, three-zone automatic climate control, Stop and Start engine system, height-adjustable power liftgate, and more.

XLE and Hybrid XLE:

  • Adds power tilt and slide moonroof, Chromtec® roof rails, integrated navigation, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, leather-trim upholstery, push-button start, and more.


  • Includes LED daytime running lights, 19-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, blue LED ambient interior lighting, black leather-trimmed seats, and more.

Limited and Hybrid Limited:

  • Unlocks rear parking assist sonar, Entune Premium JBL® Audio, driver's seat memory function, heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats, rear cargo area tonneau cover, and more.

View all Toyota Highlanders in stock

Toyota Highlander photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Toyota Highlander

1. Hybrid option

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Engine | CarMax

With three hybrid models available, you won't be disappointed in the 2018 Highlander. The 306-horsepower hybrid powertrain can help reduce stops at the pump, with an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined on Hybrid LE models with AWD.

This technology is as capable as it is thrifty, too, with an estimated towing capacity of 3,500 lbs on all hybrid models, when properly equipped.

2. Cargo and towing capabilities

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Cargo | CarMax

If you have a lot of stuff to take on your next adventure, don't miss this capable SUV. The 2018 Toyota Highlander has plenty of clever storage in the cabin, as well as a total of 83.7 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded. This opens up options for new DIY projects, hobbies, and business ideas. If you want to take some toys along for the ride or hitch up a trailer, look for the 3.5L V6 engine, which can tow an estimated 5,000 lbs when properly equipped.

3. Standard driver aids

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Dashboard | CarMax

If you want peace of mind on the road, you'll love the 2018 Highlander's driver-assistance features. On all models, you'll get pre-collision assist, lane-departure warning with steering assist, and dynamic cruise control. You'll also find a helpful rearview camera from the base model up. If you want more driver aids, look at the XLE model, which has a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

4. Panoramic moonroof

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Moonroof | CarMax

Let the light in with the available panoramic moonroof, which is part of an add-on package to the 2018 Highlander Limited trim. The glorious expanse of glass overhead is a real passenger-pleaser, especially when you're heading out into nature. During cool weather camping trips, you can enjoy the warmth of your Highlander while you look up at the stars.

5. Parent-friendly features

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Interior Features | CarMax

If you're a parent or regularly travel with kids, you'll appreciate the kid-friendly features in the 2018 Highlander. You'll find plenty of USB ports throughout the cabin, allowing everyone to plug in when they need to. And the roomy interior means your passengers can stretch out and relax. Soft seats plus plenty of driver-assistance features means you can carry your loved ones in comfort.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2018 Toyota Highlander, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Mazda CX-9

Seating seven across three rows, the Mazda CX-9 delivers crossover comfort and SUV capability in a stylish, athletic package. All 2017-2019 CX-9s are powered by a 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower that offers smooth handling and impressive maneuverability. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

The 2017-2019 CX-9 has 14.4 cubic feet of fixed cargo storage, which expands to 71.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded away. This makes the CX-9 a flexible option if you need to switch between carrying people and large cargo items.

Standard features of the 2017-2019 Mazda CX-9 Sport base trim include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels

  • Seven-inch infotainment display

  • Rearview camera

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2018 Toyota Highlander is a great family car. Based on customer reviews, it has a smooth ride, is reliable, and has a lot of space.

RepairPal gave the Toyota Highlander an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Toyota Highlander 6th out of 32 among Midsize SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander features and specs

XLE 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Entune
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Third Row Seat
  • Traction Control
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Quad Seats
  • Rear Entertainment System
  • Running Boards
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 44.2"/M 38.4"/R 27.7"

Head room

F 39.5"/M 39.6"/R 35.9"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

500/5000 lbs.



2018 Toyota Highlander FAQ

More about the 2018 Toyota Highlander

Color options

2018 Toyota Highlander Review: Top Colors | CarMax

Exterior colors:

  • Alumina Jade Metallic

  • Blizzard Pearl (additional cost)

  • Celestial Silver Metallic

  • Midnight Black Metallic

  • Ooh La La Rouge Mica

  • Predawn Gray Mica

  • Salsa Red Pearl

  • Shoreline Blue Pearl

  • Toasted Walnut Pearl

Interior colors:

  • Almond

  • Ash

  • Black

  • Saddle Tan (optional with Limited trim standard engine only)

Interior details

The interior of the 2018 Toyota Highlander is a great place to spend time, no matter which trim you choose. You'll get seating for up to eight people, plenty of soft-touch surfaces, and handy in-cabin features like cable management, a center console with a removable tray, and five USB ports. Climb the trim levels and you'll find additional features like leather-trimmed seats (XLE), ambient LED lighting (SE), and a premium sound system (Limited).

Child seat details

The 2018 Toyota Highlander with standard seating for eight has two full sets of LATCH restraints (upper tether and lower anchors) in the second-row outboard seats. In addition, both rear middle seats feature an upper tether LATCH restraint.

The seven-seat 2018 Highlander model equips both second-row captain's seats with full sets of LATCH restraints. In addition, the third-row middle seats feature an upper tether LATCH restraint.

All LATCH equipment is easy to find on the 2018 Highlander, and each rear seat belt is equipped with a child restraint locking mechanism. The third-row bench seat is easily accessible, thanks to sliding second-row seating.

Manufacturer warranty

When new, the 2018 Toyota Highlander included 3-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) basic coverage and 5-year/50,000-mile (whichever occurs first) powertrain coverage. Hybrid-related component coverage is 8-year/100,000-mile. Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. See Warranty Information Booklet for complete details. The balance of this warranty may apply on some vehicles.


The 2018 Toyota Highlander's available V6 engine can propel this SUV from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new). Perhaps more impressive is its towing ability. With the same 3.5L V6 engine, the 2018 Highlander can tow an estimated 5,000 lbs when properly equipped.2 If miles per gallon are important to you, look at the hybrid Highlander. The AWD Hybrid LE trim gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined.


According to EPA estimates, the 2018 Highlander LE with FWD and the 2.7L engine has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 407 grams per mile. With FWD and the 3.5L V6 engine, EPA-estimated tailpipe emissions are 391 grams per mile. With AWD, that engine has EPA-estimated tailpipe emissions of 403 grams per mile.

Adding the stop-start system decreases emissions for the LE Plus FWD 3.5L model to 384 grams per mile, according to EPA estimates. The LE Plus model with AWD has EPA-estimated tailpipe emissions of 390 grams per mile. For other AWD V6 models with the stop-start system, there are EPA-estimated tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 398 grams per mile.

According to EPA estimates, the Hybrid LE with AWD has tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 305 grams per mile. The other hybrid models with AWD have EPA-estimated tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions of 313 grams per mile.

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