– By Melanie Droz Shawcroft
There is a unique stress that comes with having a second child, especially when it is five years after your first son was born. Add to that, the doctor keeps telling you this is going to be a big baby (close to 10 pounds) so let’s schedule your induction. Luckily, during the week prior to induction day, I got to drive the stress-free 2016 Toyota Highlander.
There is no anxiety when it comes to the safety of the Highlander. With a 5-star government safety rating, this SUV comes with a star safety system that includes smart stop technology. Having to make several bathroom stops at 39 weeks pregnant, I felt it was easy to stop quickly when the nearest bathroom appeared. We also tested out the LATCH anchors and tethers for two car seats in case the baby giant were to arrive prior to induction day (which he did). Other additional features that would be great for the kids in the back: child protector rear door locks and second row side-window sunshades.
There was also a calmness that came over me as I was driving the Highlander because of the comfortable interior. My baby belly wasn’t even scrunched by the steering wheel. The leather heated driver seat with six-way power memory with lumbar made the Highlander one of the most comfortable seats I could find at the end of my pregnancy. I actually found myself going for drives because I couldn’t get nearly as comfortable on my couch. With seating up to seven, I started calling my friends and family to see if they needed a ride anywhere.
There is nothing more nerve-racking than the anticipation of what labor is going to be like. It is different with each child, so you never know. However, you definitely know what performance you are going to get from the Highlander. Its reliable 3.5L DOHC VT engine with front independent McPherson strut and rear double wishbone suspension are just a couple features that make this Toyota predictable, and there is definitely nothing wrong with being predictable when we have come to expect the best from Toyota. I may not have expected the Highlander’s towing capacity, but it was a pleasant surprise to learn it can lug up to 5,000 pounds. Baby giant was not predicted to be that big but glad to know we have options with the Highlander.
Needless to say, the week leading up to Baby Spencer’s arrival was filled with many nervous moments. The 2016 Toyota Highlander Limited had a plethora of features that practically acted as a stress ball – we got an average of 20mpg making us stress-free about the frequency and cost of filling up; the remote engine starter allowed us to get the AC going quickly (39 months pregnant feels like an oven); the backup camera and blind spot monitor made it easy to see what was around me since I could not adjust my position as easily; and, the entertainment of Entune Premium JBL with 8” Touchscreen navigation assisted me in enjoying my favorite tunes and locating my favorite ice cream shops (every night).
Spencer did arrive a few days before the induction was scheduled – my doctor thinks it is because I was so relaxed. Thank you, Highlander! Spencer was only 8 pounds, 1 ounce – not the 10 pounds they anticipated. Either way, we got to take him home in the 2016 Toyota Highlander and that was a real treat. Even though it was brief, he got to experience the relaxation of the Highlander and for that short period of time, he was calm and stress-free. As we approach a few weeks old, it is easy for me to say he has never felt that peaceful – he has cried ever since, probably missing the comfort of the Highlander. (wink wink).