Introduction The Toyota Highlander has become the best-selling vehicle of its type, a car-based midsize sport-utility vehicle. Its independent suspension is set up for comfort and ride quality as a priority. The 2005 Toyota Highlander offers a choice of four-cylinder or V6, with front-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive. First introduced as a 2001 model, the Highlander was substantially revised for 2004. The 2005 Toyota Highlander adds standard features that were optional. Optional curtain-style airbags and side-impact airbags are designed to protect passengers' heads and torsos in a side impact or rollover. The Highlander remains the easiest of motoring companions. Getting in and out is easy due to the relatively low floor height. Its flexible interior makes it easy to various combinations of people and cargo. Seating for five comes standard, with an optional third-row seat to carry up to seven passengers, though they'd be cramped. The third row folds flat and the second-row seat folds nearly so, revealing 80 cubic feet of cargo space, more than a Toyota 4Runner. The Highlander can swallow impromptu flea-markets buys with ease, and tote them home despite sudden worsening of the weather. The Highlander offers a relatively soft, smooth ride for an SUV and the interior is unusually quiet and free of wind noise and engine vibration. The base model, equipped with the revised 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, performs well around town and on the open highway, delivering responsive performance when merging into highway traffic. Equipped with the larger 3.3-liter V6 and all-wheel-drive, the Highlander offers strong power and secure handling in nasty weather. Highlander offers much of what made the Lexus RX 300 popular, but without Lexus-sized monthly payments. Model Lineup The Toyota Highlander is available in base or Limited trim, each with either front-wheel drive or full-time all-wheel drive. A choice of engines is available: A 2.4-liter inline-4 comes standard, rated at 160 horsepower. A new 3.3-liter V6 that produces 230 horsepower is optional on the base Highlander and standard on the Limited. Four-cylinder models come with a four-speed automatic transmission; V6 models get a five-speed automatic.