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Kuat Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2017 Toyota Highlander

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Review of the Kuat Hitch Bike Racks on a 2017 Toyota Highlander

Hey everybody, Ryan here at etrailer. Today on our 2017 Toyota Highlander, we're gonna be checking out the Kuat NV 2.0 platform-style, bike rack. So first impressions of the rack on the back of a Highlander, I think it looks really awesome. And if you we're to ask me, you know, would I put this rack on the back of my Toyota Absolutely, I would not hesitate. Kuat makes really good racks are very high quality. They look great, and one of the best parts is, they're really easy to use.

One of the really cool things about this one, is it's more or less kinda customizable. So you can actually get an add-on and turn this into a three-bike. And there's also a four-bike version, and there's gonna be a few different colors available as well, so you can choose which one matches your Highlander the best or whichever one is your favorite. So with this rack, Kuat really thought things through and made it as user friendly as possible. And one of the big things that this one does that not all platform-style racks do, is it lets you fold the rack down with your bikes loaded on there.

So if you need to get into the back of your Highlander, you don't have to unload everything, you know. You can just push down on that lever, flip this down, and that'll allow you to get into the back of your Toyota with relative ease, and get whatever you might need, in and out. But other than that, let's kinda check the rack out. At the end of each wheel tray, there is going to be an integrated lock, which is nice. You know, you can keep your bike secured, and that way, if you go to the gas station, might get a bite to eat before or after the trails, you know, you're not gonna have to constantly kinda peek outside and make sure no one ran off with them.

And the way it's gonna secure your bike is in two spots. So you're gonna have a wheel hook here in the front and a strap here in the back. And this rack is especially ideal for those of you that have carbon-frame bikes. You know, there's no frame contact, so you're not gonna have to jeopardize the structural integrity of your bike. But, you know, this can hold down any type of bike, obviously, whether you have aluminum frame, carbon frame, whatever the case may be.

But that said, though, let's go ahead and take the bike off. So you always wanna start here at the back and you're simply just gonna push down on that lever there and flip the strap up and out of the way. Then you want to make sure to grab hold of your bike, 'cause once we undo this wheel hook, you know, there's not gonna be anything holding it down anymore. You don't want it to fall off the rack or fall onto your car or anything like that. But just simply gotta push this button and raise up the wheel hook, flip it down. That'll give us more than enough space to get our bike off and go hit the trails. And something we need to think about, you know, whenever we have the rack on the back of our Highlander, it is going to extend the overall length of it. So to find out exactly how much, what I'm gonna do is just measure from our bumper there to the very edge. Looks like it's gonna be right at about 33 inches. So something to keep in the back of your mind, you know, if you have a smaller garage or try to pull into a tight parking spot, something like that. And whenever you're not using your rack, it actually can be folded up to make it a little more compact. So what you're gonna do, pull on that lever, fold it up, and now it hardly takes up any space, really. I'll say probably the furthest point will be the knob down here. And for this one, probably be a little easier to measure like this. We'll measure from the bottom of our bumper to there. And in this position, it looks like it's only gonna add about 16 inches to the back of your Toyota. So with it like this, really shouldn't give you any issues when you do gotta pull into a smaller garage or that tight parking spot. Something that's pretty cool that's integrated into the rack is kinda a maintenance station, all right And that's what this arm here is. What you're gonna do to use it, if you open that up, you can pull this up, lock it in, unscrew this knob, this will open up, then you can rest your bike in there and lock it down, and it's just really convenient, you know. It kinda gets your bike up at chest level where it's a little easier to work on. So that way, if you need to maybe change a tire or adjust your chain, whatever the case may be, you know, it's up in the air and you're not on the ground trying to get those things done. So moving down here, the rack is gonna work with those two-inch by two-inch receiver tube openings like we have here today on our Highlander. And it's also gonna come with a locking hitch pin. Which is nice, you know, keep the rack secured to your vehicle. If we move out a little ways, this knob here on the end, what you're gonna do with it once you have the rack in the hitch, you can tighten this down and that's going to act as the anti-rattle type device. So it's gonna eliminate any slack or play there in the connection point. That way, when you're going down the road, you're not gonna hear, you know, this bouncing around back here. Just to kinda give you an example on how that's gonna work, let's say if we're driving, and we're hitting some bumps. You can see that the rack is gonna move with our Highlander and not on its own. If you're anything like me, you always want to see the product you're interested in actually working or in action. So let's go ahead, load up a couple of bikes, take this out on the test course and see how it performs. First we'll take it onto our slalom course. This will show you the side to side action, such as making turns or evasive maneuvers. Now we're at the alternating speed bumps. This will show you how it looks driving on uneven pavement or potholes. Finally, we're at the solid speed bumps, which simulates going into your driveway or parking lots. And that'll finish up our look at the Kuat NV 2.0 platform-style bike rack on our 2017 Toyota Highlander..

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