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Four-cylinder Toyota Highlander pricing starts at $25,705

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The vast majority of the auto team voted import with their dollars

The vast majority of the auto team voted import with their dollars

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Shifting demand for smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles around the globe, but especially in North America, has hit carmakers hard. Even industry leader Toyota is feeling the pain, announcing shocking profit results for the past quarter on the back of flagging sales for its SUV and pickup models in the U.S. market. The carmaker has responded to the changing trends by announcing today that its midsize Highlander SUV will be available with a new four-cylinder petrol engine in January.

Pricing for the 2009 Highlander equipped with the four-cylinder engine will start at $25,705. The new 2.7L mill generates 187hp (140kW) and 186lb-ft (250Nm) of torque and is fitted with a dual exhaust manifold to help improve torque levels at lower rpms. According to Toyota, the four-cylinder Highlander will accelerate from 0-60mph in around 9.7 seconds.

A six-speed automatic comes as standard, and both 2WD and 4WD modes are available. When equipped with a tow package, the new powerplant will achieve a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The EPA has rated the vehicle as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEVII), with official numbers coming in at 27mpg on the highway, 20mpg in the city and 22mpg combined.

Pricing for the Highlander V6 and Hybrid models are unchanged, starting at $27,600 for the FWD V6 model and topping out at $41,020 for the AWD Highlander Hybrid.

The 2009 Highlander four-cylinder will begin arriving at dealerships next month.
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Comments (4)
  1. That car with that engine will likely be able to accomplish a lot of the day-to-day tasks of a full-size SUV without needing a hybrid drivetrain or a V8. It will be interesting to see how many people purchase Highlanders with that engine.
     
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  2. Why they did not launch w/ a 4 cylinder (like the previous model) is beyond me. Shame it took all of this for them to release a more efficient model.
     
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  3. impressive, I was going to get a jeep before, now I have another choice.
    Hows the performance?
    Still i don't think Suv's the car of the future unless NASA needs them.
    However they do sell still if you have the right requirement.
     
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  4. A four-banger in a vehicle that size and weight looks to account for a lot of labor, even though the hp & torque numbers for that 4-cylinder engine are decently high, on par to what V6s were in the 1990s. It is the public perception that the four would have greater MPG, but with similar demands like steep grades and full loads, the harder-working four would not have really greater MPG numbers than an easier working and more confident V6.

    Also, I don't understand something: a new Highlander in 2009, pushed ahead from 2010 - Isn't this Highlander a newly introduced model? Can someone clarify this?
     
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