The Toyota Harrier has been quite a staple since the day it entered the country although, it started to get common after the third-gen was introduced in 2013. In 2017 though, it received a facelift.In this issue, we shall explore what new has been introduced in the car.
As the world gets leaned in a more SUV oriented movement, it’s no surprise that everyone wants to feel a bit superior on the road by staying a little above the ground from sedans and hatchbacks. Bangladesh is no exception in this movement. While the number of SUVs increases in the country exponentially as time goes by, the most common choice of Bangladesh is none other than Toyota and yes, you might have guessed it, it’s all about the new Harrier this time.
“It’s refreshing to see companies still doing things for the enthusiasts too.”
What to expect?
The newer models of the Toyota Harrier are still on the third-gen chassis (XE60) initially released in 2013. Even though it received a cosmetic overhaul in 2017, the car is still in the same flesh for the 2018 and 2019 models. A hybrid variant has been introduced too but since it’s a 2.5L, the tax brackets increases, and not many get imported in the country. Overall, for the 2.0l non-hybrid variant, the optional packages are still like before; with the addition of the GR trim, where everything changes and becomes quite sporty. It has a lowered suspension and cosmetic changes like the bumpers and wheels on the outside and has sportier seats with a redesigned steering wheel in the cockpit.
Exterior and looks
“…makes the car more handsome and nicer to look at…”
When you look at the car and try to find out what’s exactly different, the first thing you will notice is that the fog light position has been moved inside, on the sides of the grille of the bumper and in the previous position, always on LED lights have been added which looks marvelous. Also, LED headlights are standard on every trim level. On the tail, nothing much is different apart from the lights. A long strip of light has been added which by the looks of it, seem they were meant to connect but somehow, the Toyota logo comes in the middle. It does not look bad at all though. Overall, the refresh makes the car more handsome and nicer to look at in my opinion.
Interior and infotainment
“12 top of the line JBL speakers, which provides you a crisp and enjoyable audio experience.”
I want to start by saying the interior of the Harrier has always been nice. This time around it’s no exception. The seats get a Nappa leather treatment and come with heated or cooled options where you will need the cooled seats in the scorching heat during the summer days of Bangladesh. The steering wheel comes stitched in leather and the dashboard is in leather too with the addition of wooden trim. The center console is a soft touch panel and has a large 9.2-inch screen for the infotainment system packed with features such as hands-free calling and music. It packs 12 top of the line JBL speakers, which provides you a crisp and enjoyable audio experience. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which has got everything covered.
There are two engine options in terms of the non-hybrid version, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder 2liter 3ZR-FAE which comes with 152 horsepower and 206 Nm of torque, and a turbo version which has a completely different setup with an 8AR-FTS, the same engine found on Lexus NX and RX models, packing 231 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. It also comes in a 2.5L hybrid version too which packs 211 horsepower and 270 Nm of torque. Overall, the car packs quite a punch while being efficient at the same time where the non-hybrid 3ZR variant goes an average of 17 KMPL and the hybrid variant goes around 21.8 KMPL.
The Toyota Harrier receives quite an exquisite amount of features from the top of the line Toyota models such as the Lane Departure Alert (LDA) which alerts you if it can detect the car accidentally switching lanes, it has four cameras with sensors throughout the car which helps in detecting blind spots, a pre-collision system which technically applies brakes when it detects any obstacles in front; albeit it’s quite useless in Bangladesh due to the general lack of driving etiquette.
The GR Trim
“A lower, sporty suspension, 18-inch alloy rims, a redesigned steering wheel, and a whole lot of carbon fiber…”
Toyota managed to stay true to the GR badge as it gives quite an upgrade in terms of performance. The chassis gets extra weld points which increase rigidity. It is quite rare these days to get a chassis overhaul on a mere trim level but it is very much appreciated. A lower, sporty suspension, 18-inch alloy rims, a redesigned steering wheel, and a whole lot of carbon fiber bits and pieces in the cockpit. Looks quite sporty from the other trim levels like it’s meant to be. Nonetheless, it’s a refreshing sight to see a company still doing things for the enthusiasts too.
Toyota has been a staple in Bangladesh for decades now and when it comes to midsized SUVs the Harrier is no surprise being the most common choice within the population. With a price tag of 60-70 lacs, you are getting quite a feature full car which will hold its value for a long time. Overall, it’s a nice car to own and drive around the city, whilst having Japanese reliability in your pocket.
TURBINE RATES IT: 7.5/10