The 2012 Highlander looks big from the outside, and it delivers on that impression inside. Even bigger adults will fit in the second row—and that seat has a clever middle seat that stows inside the front console when not needed, leaving a walk-through to the third-row seat. No adult will want to sit in that third row for more than a few miles, but the space is large enough for children to feel comfortable.
Those concerned about safety won’t have anything to worry about here. The Highlander has been named a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, with top scores in all categories, and it gets a mix of four- and five-star ratings in the tougher new federal tests. The roster of safety features is up to par in this class, too, with downhill assist control and hill-start assist on AWD models.