An honest response is, yes, what Toyota has done really is transform the Highlander from a bona fide sport utility vehicle to a glorified crossover. A big reason why I'd rather buy a Subaru Ascent for off-road/camping use than the contemporary Highlander.Well. Ok. Not going to test your patience. Look at the approach and departure angles. Old HL was off-road ready. Or may be not. It was truck-like. The new one is minivan-like. Old would not scrape over nice bumps. The new one will have issues climbing these bumps with its low lip.
With 8 inches of clearance you are not going to be scraping much on road or trail surfaces or scraping the front on kerbs. What you get over the 2009 is a lexus like vehicle, that has greater body rigidity.This improves road manners and overall refinement. If you want a true off road vehicle you need 45 approach angle and around 30 departure, more suspension travel ,low range and preferably a truck chassis for longevity minimum and then add to that a manual transmission, hand operated parking brake, some frame flex, and of course topped of with aggressive all terrain tires, none of these things have ever been on a highlander. If the terrain you encounter looks too much for the vehicle don't take it there, things will break. Subaru may have a more aggressive awd system but it will break if used often in proper off road situations. Buy a tacoma, if that's your thing, but don't go rock crawling, rocks wreck vehicles quicker than anything, I doubt if anyone with any sense was doing heavy off road in a 2nd gen highlander.Well. Ok. Not going to test your patience. Look at the approach and departure angles. Old HL was off-road ready. Or may be not. It was truck-like. The new one is minivan-like. Old would not scrape over nice bumps. The new one will have issues climbing these bumps with its low lip.
Get over it. Subaru is a competitor in the transportation network. I see five Subaru's to one Highlander on a daily basis. Huge following with a history of trouble free extended miles. Friends have them , no bad press with a lot of praise. A noted favorite for midwest winters.Give it a rest.
Well said, my thoughts exactly. Couldn't careless about some approach angle. If I wanted a truck-like SUV for off roading, I wouldn't have gotten the Highlander.I don’t think off-road enthusiasts are the target consumers of the Highlander. Therefore, the approach angle means little to nothing to most Highlander owners.
On the flip side, there are many benefits from the change that are important to Highlander owners. IMO the biggest benefit of the is improved MPG.
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