Toyota has created a Sport trim level for the Highlander SUV and will add a version of the base Highlander with the V-6 engine and four-wheel drive but no third-row seat. The new models go on sale late this month.
To create the Highlander Sport, Toyota added items such as fog lamps; a tilting, leather-wrapped steering wheel; a power driver's seat; and 17-inch alloy wheels. All Highlander Sports are powered by a 215-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 engine.
A two-wheel-drive Highlander Sport with two rows of seats will carry a suggested price of $28,370, including destination charge. That is $2,175 more than a comparable base Highlander.
The 2wd Highlander Sport with three rows of seats carries a sticker price of $29,220. That also is $2,175 more than a comparable base model.
A 4wd Highlander Sport with two rows of seats will be priced at $29,840. That is $2,245 more than Toyota's other addition to the Highlander lineup -- a base 4wd V-6 model with two rows of seats. That new model will have a suggested price of $27,595.
A 4wd Highlander Sport with three rows of seats has a sticker price of $30,690. That also is a $2,245 step up from the comparable base model.
Toyota said it hopes the new trim level will make the Highlander more competitive.
Highlander sales in 2005 rose 3.3 percent from the year before to 137,409 units. But after two months of this year, Highlander sales are down 7.7 percent to 17,781 units compared with the same period last year.
You may e-mail Kathilee Grace at [email protected]