How do you improve upon an SUV that is already one of the
best values in its class? How about a midlife update that
essentially creates a whole new level of style and comfort?
Well, that was the question Toyota was faced with; and that
was the answer they came up with.
The 2004 Toyota Highlander can best be described as a midsize
sport utility version of Toyota's Camry sedan. It also shares
its underskin structure with the Lexus RX 330, a V6 five-passenger
luxury SUV from Toyota's premium division.
The 2004 Toyota Highlander gets the RX 330's engine, providing
it with quite a bit more jump out of the gate.
The 2004 Toyota Highlander is offered a base model and a
The 2004 Toyota Highlander doesn't just brag about being
more capable, it is. The SUV now seats up to seven with
a two-passenger third-row seat, which folds flush into the
floor. The Highlander offers 81.4 cubic feet of cargo volume.
Base models are quite nice. Entry-level Toyota Highlanders
with the new third-row seat also get a rear heater and rear
privacy glass. Limited models are filled with premium appointments.
Some of the things found inside include automatic climate
control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls,
heated power mirrors and a JBL sound system.
For 2004, the Highlander gets its first navigation and
rear DVD entertainment options. A sunroof, heated seats
and leather upholstery are also optional.
A full-size spare tire is standard. Base models have 225/70R16
tires. Limited models have 225/65R17 tires and alloy wheels.
They also include a rear spoiler, fog lights and a roof
The engine the 2004 Toyota Highlander shares with the Lexus
RX 330 is a 3.3-liter V6 model. The sophisticated powertrain
pumps out up to 230 horsepower at 5600 rpm and 242 lb-ft
of torque at 3600 rpm.
The other engine is a 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder model.
It produces 160 horsepower at 5700 rpm and 165 lb-ft of
torque at 4000 rpm.
Models powered by the new V6 use a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Both engines team with front drive or all-wheel drive without
Safety and Security
Newly available curtain side airbags cover the first and
second seating rows and include front torso side airbags.
Also newly standard is a tire-pressure monitor. Traction
control, an antiskid system and antilock 4-wheel disc brakes