The Toyota Harrier was Japan’s best-selling SUV for 2020 and probably all the reason needed to bring that very same the fourth generation (codenamed XU80) to Toyota showrooms in Malaysia.
Toyota Malaysia can consider itself to be in the niche company of a select few privileged markets to officially have the Harrier in its portfolio. Apart from us, only Japan, Singapore and the United States of America carry this luxury SUV although in the USA it’s rebadged as the Venza.
As is the trend with SUVs, the new Harrier gets a sloping rear roofline for misplaced bragging rights by claiming to resemble a coupe. Overall, the design takes on more chiseled and muscular bodylines for additional presence on the roads.
Positioned as a premium offering, the designers didn’t hold back with the high-quality materials and finishing. That extends to comfort and refinement with particular attention on Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels. Generous and intelligent use of sound-absorbing materials, especially on the windows, has resulted in a quieter cabin.
One notable absentee here is the turbo attached to the engine. While the previous iteration had a little helping hand from forced induction, this new Harrier is powered by a 2.0-litre inline-four from Toyota’s Dynamic Force engine family. If the name sounds familiar, the RAV4 was the first Toyota to feature those engines here.
In the Harrier, the M20A-FKS Dynamic Force 2.0-litre ditches the turbo for increased efficiency in the form of 171hp and 203Nm of torque. Only one powertrain trim will be offered with the Toyota Direct-Shift CVT-type transmission propelling the front wheels.
Another familiar sounding name would the platform underpinning the Harrier; the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-K platform. Being 30mm lower than its predecessor means a lower centre of gravity while the extended width and wheelbase further increases stability.
Safety-wise, the Harrier is packed with seven-airbags and the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of active tech. TSS comprises Pre-Crash System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Auto High-Beam Systems (AHS).
A favourite feature of ours would be the panoramic moonroof with electro-chromatic glass. This means the roof can switch between an opaque and crystal-clear clarity at the push of a button. Completing the bells and whistles are 12-way power adjusted seats, head-up display, wireless charging pad, dual-zone air-conditioning, powered hands-free boot lid and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity.
The sole Harrier 2.0 Luxury trim will set you back RM249,706.50 and can be had in Slate Grey Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Precious Black and Steel Blonde Metallic. Unfortunately, Steel Blonde Metallic isn’t actually blonde. That price is inclusive of a full factory five-year unlimited mileage warranty.