Ever since its debut in 1998, the Toyota Harrier has been a firm favourite among buyers looking for a crossover SUV, wooing them with its good looks, great build quality, and decent practicality. Its biggest draw was perhaps that it was a Lexus with a much lower price tag. And now in its third generation, the Harrier has done quite well to hold on to its ground as a luxury crossover SUV.
The Harrier is without doubt a head turner. It manages to carry the curves on its body without looking too busy. The chiselled front nose, a grille with 3D slats, and chrome surrounds on the fog-lights, add to the bold look of the car.
Around the back, the curved lines are concentrated towards the rear LED lights, giving the car plenty of character. While the car was given a complete makeover, the design cues can still be linked to the ones from the previous generation; the rear quarter windows with the signature upward kink and the tapered tailgate, were both found in the second generation Harrier.
On the inside, the cabin is full of quality materials. There are no signs of cheap and hard plastics, instead everything has been made of premium plastics and lush leather, matched with contrast stitching on both the door panels and dash trimmings. However, the shiny plastic trim on the centre console is a magnet for fingerprints.
While there are bunch of features available on the Harrier, the model we tested came with front seats that are electrically operated, the dual-zone air conditioning controls, and a full panoramic roof to play with.
The seats, also wrapped in the same lush leather with contrast stitching, are very comfortable and offer plenty of support. The rear seats have plenty of legroom and the backrests can be adjusted for tilt.
Performance wise, things could have been better. To drive, the Harrier is a tad light, but the car is able to tackle corners and bends quite confidently.
It is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine rating at 151HP and 192Nm of torque. However, when pushed to its limits the engine does sound slightly rough and while dragging the 1600kg body around, we felt that it is missing the 'oomph' factor.
The ride comfort is fairly good over imperfect road surfaces and interestingly enough, during our test drive, we felt that the ride on the rear seats felt smoother than on the front seats.
The Harrier has gotten a five-star NCAP safety rating, and an array of electronic safety features including ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, stability, and traction control. Airbags such as front, side and full-length curtain, they all come with roll-over sensors that measure the tilt of the vehicle and activates during an imminent roll-over.
At the end of the day, the Toyota Harrier is a car that aims to provide its occupants with comfort while giving the driver a hassle-free driving experience. It is without doubt one of the best SUV in its class that fits the bill for a luxurious family car or an executive’s runabout.
House-7, Road-8, Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212
Price: Starting from Tk58 Lacs and onwards