The 2012 Toyota Highlander: The dynamic, modern mid-size crossover vehicle combines strength, intelligence and versatility making it a popular choice for Canadians

(TORONTO) – When they have places to go, things to carry, and people to entertain, Canadian drivers know the Toyota Highlander makes it all easier to handle. With a variety of trim levels, a generous suite of standard features, including the Toyota Star Safety System, excellent ride comfort and intelligent performance – plus room for seven passengers in every model – the Toyota Highlander is the most accommodating mid-size crossover sport utility vehicle on the road.
“The Toyota Highlander is quickly becoming a favourite among Canadian drivers, combining modern styling, modern convenience and versatility, modern power and efficiency – and more,” said Tony Wearing, Senior Managing Director, Toyota Canada Inc. “The 2012 Highlander also features excellent ride comfort, driving confidence and class-leading safety systems. With a choice of powertrains and trim levels, there’s a Highlander for every active Canadian family.”
Power and performance
The 2012 Toyota Highlander features a choice of two powerful yet efficient engines. A 2.7L four-cylinder delivers a 187 peak horsepower and up to 186 lb-ft of torque, plus a 3,500 lb towing rating and a combined city/highway fuel efficiency of just 9.0 L / 100 KM. For class-leading power, the Highlander is also available with a 270 peak horsepower 3.5L V6, which produces up to 248 lb-ft of torque and offers a 5,000 lb towing rating and a combined fuel efficiency of 10.9 L / 100 KM.
Both engines feature Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) and Sequential Multiport Electronic Fuel Injection for maximum efficiency and a Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions rating, plus the reliability of a heavy-duty battery, starter, alternator and heater, and a stainless steel exhaust system.
The four-cylinder engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, while V6 models are mated to a five-speed automatic. Both transmissions are electronically controlled and feature overdrive, sequential shift mode, a gate-type shifter, lock up torque converter and transmission cooler.
Handling and Control
All Highlander models feature electric power steering, which uses a computer to analyze driving conditions and adjust vehicle responsiveness. The result is steering that is quicker, with heightened levels of control and an 11.8m turning circle.
All Highlander models feature independent suspension systems – front and rear – with Macpherson gas struts, gas shock absorbers, coil springs and stabilizer bars, plus specially designed anti-vibration subframes. The result is excellent manoeuvrability and a confident, stable ride.
Highlander models equipped with four-cylinder engines feature front wheel drive for maximum efficiency, while V6-equipped Highlander models feature full-time four wheel drive, which divides torque between front and rear axles for superior traction depending on driving conditions. V6 models are further enhanced with Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control.
The Highlander rides on either 17” or 19” aluminum alloy wheels, and every model features a full-size spare tire with alloy wheel.
The Highlander delivers class-leading levels of safety, with a well-integrated combination of active and passive safety systems. Every 2012 Toyota Highlander is engineered to help prevent accidents, and to protect driver and passengers if an incident occurs:
  • All Highlander mid-size SUVs are standard equipped with the Toyota Star Safety System™, a suite of six active safety technologies designed to protect occupants by helping drivers avoid accidents in the first place. The Toyota Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) enhancements, plus Smart Stop Technology (SST)
  • The Highlander surrounds driver and six passengers in a suite of seven airbags, including dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, driver knee airbag, front seat mounted side airbags, and front & rear side curtain airbags
  • A carefully engineered body structure that helps channel impact forces away from occupants and protect pedestrians in the event of an accident
  • Power-assisted front ventilated disc and rear disc brakes
  • Active front headrests with whiplash protection
  • All-position three point lap and shoulder belts, front seat pretensioners, force limiters and adjustable shoulder belt anchors
  • Anchor points for child-restraint seats and child protector rear door locks
  • A direct tire pressure monitoring system
Full featured
Comfort, function and versatility: Add it up and the answer is “Highlander” – the generously-equipped mid-size SUV. Every model includes:
  • Two-zone climate control including air conditioning, cabin air filter and rear seat heater ducts
  • Room for seven in comfort, including a 40/20/40 split second row with removable centre stow seat/console, foldable armrest and recline function, plus a 50/50 split 3rdrow bench seat that folds flat with a remote release conveniently located in the cargo area
  • Power door locks with keyless entry
  • Power windows with driver’s side auto up/down function and rear privacy glass
  • High-visibility Optitron instrumentation gauges, including a tachometer, dual trip odometer and digital clock
  • Cruise control
  • Dual vanity mirrors and a conversation mirror
  • Tilting/telescoping steering column
  • Up to 95 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats, with a payload of up to 826 KG, and plenty of thoughtful in-cabin storage, including a front centre console box, front seat back pockets, illuminated cargo area with tie-down rings, overhead sunglass storage, front and rear cup holders, storage compartments under the cargo area, door map pockets, coat hooks, and more
  • Retained accessory power and a 12-volt power outlet
  • A front tow hook
  • Engine immobilizer
  • A modern, stylish exterior featuring: aluminum alloy wheels with wheel locks, power adjustable, foldable exterior mirrors, roof rails, front and rear splash guards and spoiler with LED stop lamp
  • Variable intermittent wipers, a rear window wiper/washer and windshield wiper de-icer
  • The automatic headlamp system, projector-style halogen headlamps and fog lamps
Available packages
The 2012 Toyota Highlander is available in three models:
In addition to the above standard equipment, the Highlander with four-cylinder engine and front wheel drive features: an audio system with CD with mp3/WMA audio capability, audio auxiliary input jack, XM Satellite-ready antenna with prewire and six speakers; eight-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger’s seat; fabric seat surfaces and door trim; 17” aluminum wheels; and more.
The Highlander 4WD V6 includes all standard features, plus: an audio system with CD with mp3/WMA audio capability, audio auxiliary input jack and USB input, Bluetooth capability, integrated XM Satellite radio, six speakers, a vacuum fluorescent display, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls; eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable front passenger’s seat; easy clean fabric seat surfaces and fabric door trim; a multi-information display, outside temperature gauge, digital compass and stand-alone back-up camera; keyless entry with rear hatch release; a power rear door with jam protection; 17” aluminum alloy wheels; and more. The Highlander 4WD V6 may also be fitted with one of two available options packages:
  • The Leather Package adds: leather seat surfaces, heated front seats, and an integrated garage door opener.
  • The Sport Package adds all items in the Leather Package, plus: 19” aluminum alloy wheels, three-zone independent automatic climate control, a power moon roof, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The Highlander 4WD V6 Limited features all standard Highlander equipment, plus: a premium JBL Audio system with four-disc CD changer with mp3/WMA audio capability, audio auxiliary input jack and USB input, Bluetooth capability, integrated XM Satellite radio, nine speakers, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls; a three zone independent automatic climate control system with steering wheel-mounted HVAC controls; 10-way power adjustable and heated driver’s seat and four-way power adjustable and heated front passenger’s seat; perforated leather seat surfaces; a voice-activated DVD navigation system with integrated backup camera; a multi-information display and outside temperature gauge; a modern premium interior featuring satin mahogany woodgrain-style interior trim, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and chrome inner door handles; the Toyota Smart Key system with Push Button Start; keyless entry with rear hatch release; a power rear door with jam protection; an anti-theft system; 19” aluminum alloy wheels; puddle lamps on the exterior mirrors; silver painted roof rails; a power moon roof; chrome-finished exterior door handles; and more.
Visit to learn more about how you can personalize your 2012 Highlander.
Pricing and availability
The 2012 Toyota Highlander is now on sale at Canadian Toyota Dealers, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $31,675.
About Toyota Canada Inc.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, SUVs and trucks. Toyota is the first full-line manufacturer to make all of the elements of the Star Safety System standard on every 2011 vehicle. The Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). TCI’s head office is in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver.


Every effort has been made to ensure the product specifications, equipment, and content on this site are accurate based on information available at time of publishing. In some cases, certain changes in standard equipment or options may occur, which may not be reflected online. Toyota Canada reserves the rights to make these changes without notice or obligation.