Safety first. That’s our unofficial family motto. Whether we’re crossing the street or strapping the kids into their car seats, safety, just like it is for many of you, is front and center in our minds. The same goes for buying a new family car. Safety followed closely by convenience. When Knoxville Moms Blog and Toyota Knoxville invited me to take part in the Toyota Drive Experience for the month of July, I jumped at the chance.
For the #toyotadriverexperience, I drove the 2018 Toyota the month of July to review the features and share my experience from our partners at Toyota Knoxville.
Who wouldn’t want to drive a new car for a month???
When I picked up my 2018 Highlander, Toyota gave me a quick lesson on all the bells and whistles. (Believe me when I say there were a lot!) I had already done some homework before I even pulled into the car lot that day. I knew the Toyota Highlander was considered one of the safest mid-size SUVs on the market and that gave me the confidence to get behind the wheel.
Here’s what I discovered in the following weeks:
As I mentioned, the Highlander got top marks for safety from US News & World Report and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highlander does more than just protect you in a crash, it has features to PREVENT a crash. A steering control feature lets you know if you’re drifting into another lane. Also, an alarm will sound if you’re not braking and you should be. Even more amazing, if the Highlander notices you’re swerving a little on the road (like a drowsy driver), it will tell you to stop and get a cup of coffee. Hey, you don’t have to tell me twice! There is a backup camera to maneuver in tight spaces or safely back out of the obstacle course of toys that is your driveway. The Highlander even offers a sophisticated all-wheel drive system that automatically switches on when you need it in dicey conditions, something which no doubt will come in handy during an East Tennessee winter — rain, snow, slush, ice. We see it all don’t we? I experienced this system firsthand during a torrential summer thunderstorm while driving down I-40 with both kids in the back. Even in the midst of the monsoon conditions, the Highlander seemed steady and secure. Those tires didn’t slip once despite the pounding on the roadway.
The Toyota Highlander definitely checks the box for safety! And for convenience too!
The Toyota Highlander is packed with things to make #momlife easier. You don’t have to dig through the stale cheerios at the bottom of your mom bag to get the keys. Just stand by the car with your purse, grab the handle and voila! The door unlocks. The same goes for the lift gate. Speaking of the trunk, there is LOTS of space. I managed to put in our giant double stroller and still have room for groceries. A third row can be folded down to allow you to carry even more and that gives you the options for a variety of seating arrangements. (The Highlander can seat up to eight.) My four-year-old desperately wants to sit in the third row, but she’s still in a car seat, so that will have to wait for now. (Although that probably would be pretty awesome!)
You don’t have to yell at your kiddos to keep it down in the backseat thanks to the driver easy speak. You simply hit the button, speak in your normal voice, and a microphone amplifies it into the back. Brilliant! Even though I’m not the most tech-savvy person, the GPS system is very user-friendly. It can help you identify a restaurant when you get off an interstate exit and then guide you there. You can even use the GPS to look up places using a generic term like “coffee.” Then the GPS lists what’s close by, and you choose your favorite and the GPS takes you there. If only the Highlander, could brew coffee too! But something tells me the folks at Toyota are already working on that!