Toyota ’s 2009 Highlander mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV) will offer an all-new, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that will generate 187 hp (139 kW) at 5,800 rpm and 186 lb-ft (252 Nm) of torque at 4,100 RPM on regular 87 octane fuel.
The new four-cylinder engine will be mated to an all-new six-speed electronically-controlled automatic overdrive transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). The new transmission will help deliver quiet and smooth performance on par with a V6 and acceleration that is quick for a four-cylinder, according to Toyota. When equipped with a tow package, the new powerplant will achieve a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
The Highlander equipped with the new four-cylinder will be EPA-rated as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEVII). Official EPA fuel efficiency ratings will be announced closer to launch.
With the new four-cylinder engine, Highlander will be the only mid-size SUV in the current market to offer three powerplant choices: the top end 3.5-liter V6; the full-time 4WD-i Highlander Hybrid, equipped with a 3.3-liter V-6 combined with front and rear electric motors; and the new 2.7-liter I4.