This Family Friendly Car Review post was sponsored by Toyota as a Mother’s Day Experience that included a gift certificate to The Drybar! I always share my honest opinion here on the blog, and I have to admit they almost had to pry this 2018 Toyota Highlander away from me because I enjoyed it that much! Haha!
Both my parents here in Texas and my in-laws in Puerto Rico own or have owned Toyotas. My hubby and I don’t mind at all if we borrow them whenever we visit. As our kids get older (our son is 12 and our daughter is 8), and our schedules get busier (my husband and I both work full time), we can’t ignore the reality that a second car isn’t a “want”; it is really a “need.”
We actually had a second car last year, a small SUV that unfortunately flooded during Hurricane Harvey. We had not replaced it yet, but the search was definitely on for a second car (and we needed it sooner than later!)
Through the Houston Moms Blog where I’m a contributor, they were looking for a local mom to test drive a brand new 2018 Toyota Highlander for a week. I threw my name in the hat and WON! Happy Mother’s Day / early birthday gift to me! (Mother’s day was last month and my birthday is this month, so it’s celebration time all May and June! Ok, maybe not ALL of both months, but a girl can try! HA!)
A Fun Toyota Experience!
Toyota called this a “Mother’s Day Experience” and they definitely kicked it off right! The Thursday before Mother’s Day, they delivered a brand spanking new, shiny silver 2018 Toyota Highlander to the radio station where I work. You can check out my Insta Stories to follow the sponsored Toyota experience there! I was like, my car’s here, can I just leave now and drive around?! Instead, I decided to be a responsible adult, finish my radio show and THEN enjoy the Highlander!
First, I went to pick up the kids at school. They were THRILLED to say the least! I asked them what their favorite thing was right off the bat and they were flipping out because they each had their own bucket seats and headphones! They couldn’t wait to come home to pick a blu-ray to watch! (That ended up being mommy’s pick — a Peanuts cartoon because I love Snoopy. And Charlie Brown.) After that 1st movie, they were free to watch whatever they wanted! And just in case you need ideas for your kids, I’m sharing my Amazon affiliate links to the movies at the bottom of this post.
Of course, my son glanced up at the movie in between playing on his phone. 😉
(And since we were just going to have the car for the week, I decided to waive my “no holiday movies until the appropriate months” rule and we watched Thanksgiving and Christmas specials!)
We enjoyed the Toyota Highlander for the next couple of days, driving the kids back and forth between school, gymnastics, running errands and afternoon Starbucks runs. Before we knew it, Sunday was here and it was officially Mother’s Day! This photo turned out a little blurry, but we had to do a “Highlander selfie” before heading to church and lunch with my Mami and Abuela (who came to stay with us from Puerto Rico!)
I have to say, Toyota added a fantastic extra touch with a little pampering at The Drybar. I loved it! It was my first time checking them out and I had so much fun! If you’re not familiar with The Drybar, they are a salon that focuses exclusively on shampoo, drying and styling. No cut or color. But it’s perfect for a quick blowout appointment.
I heard there was a group before I came in to the Drybar that was headed to a wedding, so it’s perfect for special occasions. But I decided I would use my gift card for a self-care, pampering, me-time day! It was just what this tired mom needed. And I love how my before and after pics turned out!
I opted for a style that’s called a cosmo tai (a blend between soft curls and beach waves). I absolutely loved it and wish my hair looked like this all the time!
And then, just like that, my Toyota Highlander Mother’s Day experience came to an end. They almost had to pry the car off my hands! Ok, not really. But I honestly enjoyed my experience and can wholeheartedly recommend this car for families.
I do want this to be an honest review, so I’ll share the one thing I had an issue with: the trunk. At first, I loved the automatic button that closes the trunk on its own. But when it wouldn’t close, I thought I messed something up! Apparently, after a google search and a helpful Youtube video, I found out that there was nothing wrong. If the back window is open, the trunk won’t close. It’s a safety feature that if you don’t know it, can throw you off! All I had to do was make sure that rear door window was closed, hit the automatic close button and DONE!
It was a treat to test drive the 2018 Toyota Highlander for a week. I loved all the bells and whistles. The XM satellite radio was a plus (even though I’m a regular radio girl!) I also thought one of their safety features should be standard on all cars. This Toyota Highlander has a lane sensor that, if you go above a certain speed, the car will beep if you’re crossing over into the other lane. BRILLIANT! I appreciated those alerts that I felt kept us a bit safer on the road.
Alright, as promised, these are my Amazon affiliate links below to the car movies my kids (and I) picked for the week. If you’re looking for movies for your car, these are a few of our favorites! If you click and buy, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Thank you for reading my blog! I hope you enjoyed my Toyota Highlander 2018 family-friendly review!
Laughing (and driving) thru life,
Love this! I’m a Chevy girl myself, but so many of my friends are Toyota drivers that they’ve got me interested.. Also, LOVE your hair! The Dry Bar definitely sounds like a place I need to check out!
Thanks, Gerri! I’m feeling the same! My parents love their Toyota, and our last cars have been Chevy, Nissan, Mazda (not a good experience) and Ford Explorers. Lol! This Highlander Experience has me definitely thinking about that 2018 sweet ride! Haha! And thanks! The girl who did my hair, Lisa, KILT it!!! She was fun and did an amazing job! <3
LOVE your shoes in that last picture. I haven’t driven a Highlander but I do love Toyota cars. Their safety features are so great and there’s so much room! Definitely a great family car.
Thanks, Virjinia! 🙂 I love those shoes, too! And girl, you would love the Highlander! I’m still dreaming about it! Haha!