Life has gotten really busy as your family grows bigger. Inevitably, you will need a good reliable vehicle that is also big enough to fit the whole family and transport all the gear you need for long trips. Toyota might be among the brands you are considering because of its image and reliability. Now the next question is of course, which SUV is big enough for the needs of your big family.
The Toyota Highlander is the largest SUV in the Toyota lineup. It comes equipped with a standard extra row of seating and space for transporting cargo. This way, you can transport your family safely and comfortably for long trips without struggling to fit all the cargo in as well.
So with the Toyota Highlander being the largest SUV in the Toyota lineup, you might wonder if this is the only option for big families. Of course not! It’s a good place to start though, and we’ll explore some other large SUV models below.
The Toyota Highlander gives a smooth comfortable ride along with an engine powertrain. Its V-6 engine also packs a lot of reserve power which gives you a solid 22 MPG. Hybrid models do not have the reserve power but will get a great 35 MPG. Overall this SUV is great for getting the job done and transporting a large family since it can fit 7-8 people total. The downside to having multiple rows for passengers is that the third row has less space.
The flipside to the tiny 3rd row is the added cargo space behind it. The trunk itself is 16 cubic feet, which increases to 48.4 cubic feet if the last row is folded down. If all of the rows are folded down, the total space is about 84 cubic feet. This is a great amount of space afforded by this SUV to go along with the useful driving features it has.
The Toyota Highlander is built for maximum comfort. The design is made to look attractive, and the inside seating also contains heating and cooling systems. The overall size of the vehicle creates a lot of roomy space. The Highlander was made to be a family car with a focus on space and comfort. If this is your purpose for getting an SUV, then this model should serve you well.
As for safety, this car is one of the top-rated SUVs. There are many new features that have been added to the latest models. Some of the features included are the pre-collision systems, pedestrian protection, and full-range radar cruise control. There are also built-in driver assistance systems.
However, if you do not have that big of family and you do not plan on bringing a whole lot of things on vacations, then maybe you might want to look for other Toyota alternatives.
The Toyota 4Runner is smaller than the Highlander which would work well if your family size is smaller. It is a very large SUV with an optional third row. Despite being a bit smaller than the Highlander, the 4Runner actually has more cargo space with 89 cubic space when all the seating rows are down.
The SUV utilizes a tough-looking rugged-body frame that gives it optimal power and control when off-roading. For this reason, The 4Runner is essentially built for more adventurous excursions while the Highlander was built more for comfort.
This does not mean the 4Runner cannot guarantee the comfort that you need because it is also capable of being an everyday use vehicle. It just happens to be more on the adventurous side.
If you and your family are more geared towards adventure, this may be your SUV of choice. Along with this, the SUV is equipped with many off-roading features such as the rear differential, crawl control, and multi-terrain selection.
These are interesting features because for example the multi-terrain selection is built for an ultimate off-roading experience which adjusts the engine throttle and increases traction. Therefore, this can be the SUV for you if you are into adventure.
The 4Runner too is built for safety. Some of its safety features are the child-protector rear door, power window lockout, impact door beams, tire pressuring system, etc. As always, the number one priority for the manufacturer was safety.
What is the Best Toyota SUV
According to this article from Toyota, the RAV4 is the best Toyota SUV. It is the most popular model because it combines both power and performance. In this sense, it kind of combines the best of both worlds. With the Highlander, the design was for maximum comfort and appearance. The 4Runner is a great overall SUV as well, but it is designed more for adventure. The RAV4 on the other hand can perform well in all scenarios.
The RAV4 also features high-tech which might be another reason why it is a popular choice. An example of this tech is the liftgate in the rear which will open automatically if it senses your SMART Key fob. The fuel economy too for this SUV is around 40 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway.
Because of these impressive features, the Toyota RAV4 is just overall a popular choice for SUVs, but it may not be the largest SUV. With all of the seats folded, the Toyota RAV4 will get about 70 cubic feet of space. As far as seating goes, you can only fit a total of five people in the car so if you have a bigger family then you will need a bigger SUV and you may want to consider between the Highlander and the 4Runner models.
As for reliability ratings, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid received a 4/5 score from JD Power while receiving an 8/10 from U.S views. They also rated the Toyota Highlander Hybrid which came in for JD with a 4.5 which was the highest-rated Toyota SUV. These ratings can be found here.
The largest Toyota SUV is the Toyota Highlander, but it may not suit all of your needs. Depending on if you like having more off-roading adventures with your SUV and whole family, then the 4Runner might be a better fit. If you just want a great, reliable vehicle that provides a great driving experience, then either the RAV4 or the Highlander will be a great fit for you. If you are just looking for the largest SUV overall, then go with the Highlander.