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Do tell...

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.
 

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Today, I traded-in 2009 for 2019. Took some pictures. And noticed a glaring issue with the newest design.

Do you see what I am talking about?
Yes, the 2019 is smaller with 12 cubic feet less cargo volume. :thumbsdow
 

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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.
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.
 

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Trying to wear too many hats becomes a problem. One can't have an all terrain rock climber version, mini van comfort with tons of room and soft ride, and a full frame four wheel drive with decent mileage. This is the reason for additional models. If your a off road seeker try the forerunner. It competes with the Subaru. Siena for the mini van, a Highlander for the task of general usage people hauling, trailer towing , and multi purpose tasks.

We bought it for the interior room, ease of driving, sitting high like a truck view, towing capacity, road stability, and the van seating for occasional multi person transports. I'm happy to say it works well with our needs. We have a Wrangler and a Chevrolet truck as well as a fleet of sports and muscle cars. Hauling a loaded car trailer the long wheel base with good fuel mileage makes it practical . Being 6' 4" tall I don't bump my head with entry and seating room for driving is more than adequate.

Its easy to pick apart any form of transport. Maybe the problem is one did not do the homework and select the proper application from their needs.
 

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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.
You purchased 4500 lbs of relatively simple vehicle, with a practical interior, use it on all types of road surface with confidence, it should last a long time. I looked at the new rav4 recently and loved the ground clearance it has, but opened one of the rear doors to look inside and that door felt like paper compared to the highlander.
If you want the virtues of the highlander with true off road ability get the Lexus GX 460 sold as the Toyota landcruiser prado elsewhere in the world.

 

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Today, I traded-in 2009 for 2019. Took some pictures. And noticed a glaring issue with the newest design.


Do you see what I am talking about?
So why did you buy a Highlander?
 

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The front is lower because of safety. If you hit a pedestrian, it is less likely for a serious injury if they do not go under the vehicle. Most all of the vehicles are lower in the front than the previous models.
 

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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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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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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.
 
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