Console, Center Stow, and Sit

by Nate Torvik on August 6, 2012

When I’m on the go, I want things to be convenient and carefree. Because when I’m done with a full day of hectic work, I don’t have the time or certainly even the brain power to juggle anything else—like where I’m going to fit my potted plants after shopping at the garden center or where my niece will fit when she rides amongst my numerous art supplies. That’s why I love Toyota Highlander’s Center Stow seating option.

This easy seating option is a surprisingly new feature of the Toyota line, having just appeared in the 2007 and later models.

The Toyota Highlander originally appeared on the market back in 2000 with rave reviews, but the five-passenger SUV allowed little option for a varied life. With the advent of the Center Stow seat, Highlander owners can choose between a fifth seat for their full family plus the dog, or exchanging the seat for a console that can stabilize food and drinks or anything else.

How the Center Stow seating option works is the center seat is pre-installed into your Highlander. And whenever you choose, you can open the front center console from the back seat, slide the console out from its storage space, unlatch the center seat from in between the two back seats, and slide this fifth seat into the now-empty storage spot. All you have to do next is fasten in the console. Easy, peasy! You’ll even find a few “how-to” videos to facilitate this quick job.

The quick exchange between seat to console, or console to seat, takes me about a minute total changeover time, allowing me to rush home with those groceries and start cooking a delicious dinner for the family. And because I’m always running around with what feels like my head cut off, I don’t need to switch these up as often as I had originally worried. I usually go a few weeks in between console/seat shuffles because my needs tend to stay the same on a daily basis.

You might even be surprised to learn that this quick collapsing seat option is just one of many other features offered in the Toyota Highlander.  Some quick Highlander additions to make anyone’s life a little less hectic include Remote Keyless Entry System, 12-volt power outlets in multiple areas, auto-dimming rearview mirror, climate control, and even a back-up camera display. The Center Stow seat option is really just one addition to an already near-perfect specimen of an SUV.

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