2017 Toyota Highlander Ground Clearance

The 2017 Highlander's 8 inches of ground clearance is enough to see it safely over gravel.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A ground clearance of 8 inches is enough to take your
2017 Toyota Highlander
safely over gravel, but you should stop before hitting any rocks or large sand drifts.
Suspension, traction control, skid plates, and heavy-duty tires—that’s not all that makes an off-roadster! You’ll also want to invest in a car with a high enough ground clearance to roll over whatever debris lies in your way. 
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2017 Toyota Highlander ground clearance by trim level

The good news is that you don’t have to spend more to get a higher ground clearance for the 2017 Toyota Highlander. The bad news is that it’s because every trim has a fixed height. Take a look:
  • LE
    :8.0 inches
  • LE Plus:8.0 inches
  • XLE
    :8.0 inches
  • SE
    :8.0 inches
  • Limited
    :8.0 inches
  • Limited Platinum:8.0 inches
Unless you’re looking for a sunroof, 19-inch wheels, or a top-of-the-line 360-degree parking camera, you don’t need to go up a trim level. Opting for the larger 3.5L V6 engine or all-wheel drive also won’t make a difference.

Toyota Highlander ground clearance over the years

Height-wise, not much has changed for the Highlander over the years. You can buy new or buy used as your budget dictates. The only generation you should avoid is the first.
From 2008 on, you’ll see little difference in the Highlander’s ground clearance: 
  • 1st generation, XU20 (2001 to 2007): 7.3 inches
  • 2nd generation, XU40 (2008 to 2013):8.0-8.1 inches
  • 3rd generation, XU50 (2014 to 2019):8.0 inches
  • 4th generation, XU70 (2020 to present):8.0 inches
MORE: The 10 best SUVs for towing

Why you should care about ground clearance

If you try to roll over a 6-inch rock in a car that’s only 5.2 inches off the ground, you’re going to put a dent in your fender. Even worse, you could damage your fuel lines, engine, and other important undercarriage parts. That’s why drivers looking to go off-road prioritize ground clearance, i.e., the distance between your vehicle’s chassis and the ground below
Ideally, you should look for a ground clearance of 6.6 to 8.7 inches for gravel, 8.8 to 9.4 inches for over-landing, and at least 10.8 inches if you intend to go rock-crawling
With 8.0 inches below the chassis, you can feel at ease driving the 2017 Highlander over rough roads.
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Is the 2017 Toyota Highlander a good off-road vehicle?

Yes,the 2017 Toyota Highlander is rugged enough to go off the beaten path, as long as there’s nothing but gravel and low drifts underneath. Keep in mind, however, that the Highlander still lacks many of the features of an off-roading specialist, like enhanced traction control, heavy-duty suspension, and undercarriage armor. 
For obstacles that top eight inches, take a look at the
Jeep Wrangler
Ford Bronco
, or
Dodge Ram 1500

The best coverage for a 2017 Toyota Highlander

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