Family Focused: The 2019 Toyota Highlander SE Meets Most Needs

One of the best parts of the holiday season for me is being able to slow down, spend time with my family and friends, and have a reduced working schedule that really allows me to get into an automotive test drive. So the timing was perfect for a post-Christmas into the New Year getting acquainted with the 2019 Toyota Highlander SE.

It’s a pouring down raining on New Year’s Eve—as my mother would say, “it was raining cats and dogs!” But I ventured out in the Toyota Highlander for some end of the year errands; went to pick up my cousin in downtown Washington, DC and take her to spend time with my mother; and then headed to a live concert recording and NYE church service at a church in Maryland.

Despite the extremely wet conditions and the occasional water build up on the road, I felt extremely safe as the Highlander gripped the road. The standard high-tech safety features were an added assurance.

The weather was so cold that night as well, but the heating system in the SUV warmed the vehicle quickly and I never felt uncomfortable waiting for the car to heat up.

On New Year’s Day, I drove the truck to a brunch a friend had. The sun was up and the weather (going through a bi-polar state) had changed drastically and temperatures felt like spring.

Driving that day you could appreciate the stylist, contemporary design of the SUV in one of my favorite color options, red with black accents.

This truck packed a punch, with its sizeable V6 engine. And equally impressive is its great fuel economy. You can get up to 21 miles per gallon in the city driving and then earn 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cargo was adequate, but the third row was cramped. If you use the third row for additional storage, then it’s ideal. But if you need to get additional people back there, well this may not be the SUV for you.

I felt this truck would be ideal for families looking for a more stylish alternative to a minivan. But it’s an overall practical SUV that people with various needs could benefit from.

Favorite Features: Stylish truck design and vehicle amenities

Least Favorite Features: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t offered and tight third row seating

Spin Control: With base models starting at $40,440, the 2019 Toyota Highlander SE is a solid offering and worth the asking price.

Status: B LIST

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