4 Key Features of The Toyota Highlander Perfect For A Busy Family | @ToyotaUSA #LetsGoPlaces

We had been pondering the idea of looking for a new car. Lets face it, don’t we all want something new, pretty and shiny? For us, our vehicle has to meet specific requirements for our busy family with all of the events and family activities we have planned each week. A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to put to the Toyota Highlander to the Willey Family test.

2016 Toyota Highlander

The 2016 Toyota Highlander comes equipped with:

Mechanical & Performance:

  • 3.5 liter V-6 engine
  • 18-in. split 5-spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Rear Double Wishbone Suspension
  • Power Assisted 4-Wheel Disk Breaks

Safety & Convenience:

  • Star Safety System
  • 8 Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Latch – Lower Anchors and Tethers for Child Seats
  • Child Protector Rear Door Locks


  • Smocked Chrome, Auto Headlights
  • UV Windshild & Power Side Mirrors
  • Adjustable Power Lift Gate & Flip Up Rear Window
  • Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof with Sunshade


  • Seating for 8
  • Integrated 2nd Row Slide Window Sunshades
  • Back Up Camera with 8″ Display 
  • Entune Premium Touch Screen Navigation, AM/FM/CD/MP3/USP/HD & Sirus XM
  • Tons more

Now, you may like reading the details off the sticker, but these are the features we loved best about the 2016 Toyota Highlander:

2016 Toyota Highlander 2nd Row Seating

The Size:

  • The size of the 2016 Toyota Highlander is perfect for an active family of four. The front seat has two roomy bucket seats with a center console that can accommodate all kinds of trinkets, necessities and things you’ll typically need on the go.
  • The second row is very roomy and plenty of room to seat 3, even with 2 booster seats. Many times we’re transporting friends as well – this extra space is great for many kids piling in to go to the next sporting event or practice.
  • The 3rd row seating doesn’t have as much room as the 2nd row unless you slide the 2nd row forward – Another great feature. This row also seats 3 – however it is a little tighter fit so I suspect if you’re traveling with car seats, you could only fit 2 in the 3rd row.
  • This size vehicle is a perfect fit in our garage as we have a lot of sports equipment and ride on toys that take up half of our space.

2016 Toyota Highlander 2nd Row DVD

The Technology:

  • The technology of the 2016 Toyota Highlander seems standard for today’s vehicles, but to compare it to a vehicle that I purchased in 2009 without the display screen, it is a whole new world to me! For instance, the Entune Premium 8″ Touch screen that includes a navigation system, AM/FM radio, SiriusX M Radio as well as linking to our telephone is simply awesome. I love that you can do all at the touch of the screen.
  • The DVD player comes down out of the ceiling. It is placed in the middle of the roof, so it takes some getting used to as it does block a little of your rear view out the back window. The DVD player links with the display panel in the dash and allows the sound to go through the car stereo system. In my current vehicle, we have to link the head rest DVD players sound through a radio signal/station.
  • From the 2nd row, you have the ability to access temperature controls as well as two different electric outlets and AV adaptor outlets for game consoles or whatever electronics you’d bring along on a road trip.
  • The trunk – rather than having to pull the entire door down, yall you need to do is hit a button on the bottom of the door and it will automatically close.

2016 Toyota Highlander Technology

The Storage:

    • I already mentioned the center console in the front row, there is a lot of space to store items you need to access quickly whether it be paperwork or trinkets.
    • The storage in the back of the vehicle was quite surprising to me. When traveling with a full car of passengers, I was curious as to how much storage was available. I took the kids and our lab on an overnighter at Grammie’s and my goal was to pack their necessities in the very back – with all of the seats in their upright positions. Check it out:

2016 Toyota Highlander Storage

    • Need more room? The 2016 Toyota Highlander can do that! After dropping off the kids, I headed off to Yorba Regional Park in Orange County. That is the site of the softball tournament my husband hosts annually. That weekend, his soft ball team’s parents and I managed the snack bar and I utilized the storage capacity of the Highlander to transport our supplies back and forth. If you fold both rows of seats, you can store an amazing amount of items in the vehicle. I was able to get 7 full sized ice chests, a snow cone machine and all kinds of snack bar treats.

Back of 2016 Toyota Highlander
The Ride:

  • Besides the fact that it’s just “pretty”, I enjoyed the ride. The car is very comfortable and the ride is super smooth.  
  • Funny, when the car was delivered, I didn’t hear it when it was out front. My dog typically hears EVERY car in the neighborhood and barks regularly at them, but with the Toyota Highlander, all was quite. I even had all doors and windows open too. Love this super quiet car.
  • The vehicle handles like a charm. I had performed U-turns, parallel parking while at school and backing into parking spaces and it was really easy to drive.
  • The V-6 engine has power. When testing driving it on the street, I noticed it was quick and fast. My car hesitates a bit, so I definitely appreciate this powerful engine.

When the car was picked up, it was sad to see it go. The kids also enjoyed our busy week in the 2016 Toyota Highlander. In asking them what their favorite feature was – of course, the DVD player that they could both watch any movie on the same screen. However I did notice that they didn’t complain as much when climbing into the second row- meaning the spacing between was perfect enough that they didn’t annoy each other when getting in and buckling up like they currently do. To a busy mom always on the go, that is a BIG selling point!

Have a Highlander? Please share your favorite features. As a fan of Toyota Vehicles, the Highlander is scoring high in my book as our next family vehicle!

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