2020 Toyota Highlander First Impressions; Studded Tires & Rustproofing for Winter Driving

We rented the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander SUV this week, and give you our first impressions after taking it for a spin at the Consumer Reports test track. We also discuss whether underbody rustproofing and studded tires (or lack thereof) are must-have equipment for driving in the snow and ice this winter. Other topics include how manufacturers determine their original equipment tires, the importance of proper child seat fitment, and what is one car we would love, if not for a critical misstep.

SHOW NOTES
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:29 – importance of proper child seat installation
3:25 – 2020 Toyota Highlander First Impressions
9:05 – relationship between tires and car in CR’s braking tests
11:58 – is underbelly rustproofing worth purchasing for winter driving
14:42 – can studdable tires be used without installing studs?
16:25 – cars that would be great except for one major issue
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2020 Toyota Highlander Review:
How to Avoid Common Car-Seat Installation Mistakes:
Consumer Reports Tire Selector:
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29 Comments on "2020 Toyota Highlander First Impressions; Studded Tires & Rustproofing for Winter Driving"

  1. QuantumOverider | December 20, 2019 at 6:59 PM | Reply

    13:45 A car is not an investment, its an always depreciating asset.

    • A car is an investment if it’s a barn ornament sports car. A car is a tool to the rest of the 99%.

    • There are exceptions–certain “super” or “hyper” cars increase in value….

    • @Transpower yeah the normal person doesn’t spend $200k on a car. Cars aren’t investments but it’s important to maintain and keep it safe because many people are crashing now a days

  2. Cheyenne Brown | December 20, 2019 at 8:37 PM | Reply

    Im 10 minutes in. Just wanted to also be able to see the vehicle. :/

  3. Mikes comments about fun cars are one of the best parts of Talking Cars

  4. Christopher Brown | December 20, 2019 at 10:44 PM | Reply

    How many Americans who buy three row SUVs actually need them? My Aunt and Uncle have two children and they bought an Acura MDX. Why on earth would you need an Acura MDX or Toyota Highlander when you only have two children.? I also know another couple that I used to work with that have one child and own a Toyota 4Runner and live in the middle of a large city and don’t go offroading. I really don’t understand the buying choices of many Americans.

    • Exactly and who buys a supercar that actually drives past 100mph. Lol

    • Have you ever seen a crossover or SUV driving down the road with more than 2 people in it? Or any cargo? Or anything other than a middle-aged bleached blonde woman driving it to CVS? Of course not. It NEVER happens. People are lemmings: if the fad suddenly became that everyone had to buy a purple Corolla, then all you’d see on the road is purple Corollas (which is a better car btw than most crossovers). “I like sitting higher up!” – uh, you’re like 6 total inches higher and don’t tell me it helps you see farther down the road, because 9 times out of 10 you’re checking your phone, not looking down the road.

    • Many individual have hauling needs that are single and no child that are looking for the cargo space!

    • Michael Szymborski | December 21, 2019 at 4:34 PM | Reply

      You clearly don’t have kids. The third seating is rarely used but the additional storage is a huge plus when traveling.

    • Michael Williams | December 21, 2019 at 5:28 PM | Reply

      Following that flaud logic most of us can get by with the Horse and Carriage. You can also feed your family when the horse dies. So practical. Why want more?

  5. CR, Buy the Hybrid Highlander. 35-36 mpg is something unprecedented in this segment.

  6. David Sant Jordi Coronel | December 21, 2019 at 1:53 AM | Reply

    don’t take a car that you care about through an automatic car wash. your paint will suffer.

    • Go to one that is completely touchless without any brushes or so called rags. They are high powered sprayers only that work like shower massagers. Those won’t ruin your paint.

  7. Resident Child seat expert….
    That’s when I unsubbed to save any last little bit of self respect i still have.

  8. so you’re asking toyota/subaru to raise the price for a measly bit of power on a niche vehicle that was focused on driving and being lightweight, why? still gonna get destroyed on the straights by any muscle car, so what is the difference? in a land where you can easily buy 600-800 HP “boats”, plenty of folks would still cry about power!!…not to mention with the higher price, they would cry about the interior, the noise, etc…the 86/BRZ are slotted perfectly in the market and are thoroughly enjoyable the way they are, gives folks that don’t care about power a choice to have something different….americans are just too spoiled with cheap and easy torque that hilariously the majority of owners of such cars would never fully utilize so they can never appreciate using less HP to the fullest! they all want instant gratification! go to europe and get into a cheap 3 series, they sell them with 2.0 turbos that go slower than a NA 86/BRZ but yet no one bats an eye!

  9. IM STILL WAITING FOR JENN TO COME BACK

  10. Hmm, I don’t think I am going to get on my hands and knees, on the wet floor of a car wash, with a high pressure wand. Here in Canada, some car dealerships offer rust protection when they are selling you the car.

  11. howlingwolf125y | December 21, 2019 at 5:55 AM | Reply

    While I am blowing off some steam.. Another thing that makes no sense to me is the trend of lower profile tires. Like the 19″ and 20″ wheels?? Do people like a vehicle that does not ride smoothly?? The thing that allows for a smooth ride is simply the volume of air in the tires. The more air the smoother the ride. A vehicle with lower profile tires will not ride as smoothly as a vehicle with higher profiles. I like a smooth riding vehicle so I hope the trend back to higher profile tire returns soon. On an Suv, I would want 17″ or even 16″ wheels for a smoother ride.

  12. The dream team.

  13. Show the car for more than 5 seconds….dang
    Toyota messed up that highlander.,bring back boxy SUVs

  14. If you’re going to drive an suv take it to snow & dirt

  15. I agree about the infotaintment systems especially the ones that make go through 6 steps to turn on the heated seats or simply the A/C, it’s ridiculous!

  16. I’ve had great results with studs with my camarro in the winter

  17. Great episode guys! Thanks for not talking over each other, which is sometimes a problem for your other presenters.

  18. Very good commentary on the highlander and this segment as a whole.

  19. Love Mike’s rant and I agree

  20. Rock’n beards! Looks good. Don’t let the nay-sayers force you to shave! #savethebeards

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