“Bigger is better,” the conventional wisdom goes. That’s why most three-row crossovers grow whenever they’re redesigned, adding inches of legroom and cubic feet of cargo space with each new generation.
But if you want to seat up to eight passengers without excessive bulk, the 2021 Toyota Highlander is a popular option. Slightly smaller than most of its competitors, this mid-size crossover beats most of them for fuel economy and maneuverability. We spent a week in the Highlander — which is priced from $34,810 — to see how it stacks up against an increasingly strong set of competitors. Here’s what we learned.