Toyota Highlander: There are more than a dozen vehicles in the mid-size SUV sector, where the Highlander competes, so the market is extremely cutthroat. Eleven unique exterior finishes are offered. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is an optional upgrade; hybrid and nonhybrid powertrains are both offered. Though the Highlander’s driving attitude might use a jolt of energy, all of the trims deliver respectable handling and a pleasant ride.
Modern comforts, basic infotainment, and a bevy of driver-assistance systems are all included even on the entry-level L trim. Both the Limited and Platinum look and feel like a Lexus thanks to their leather interiors, high-quality JBL sound systems, and abundance of technological enhancements. However, the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade provide greater opulence and third-row capacity, the Mazda CX-9 boasts a finer cabin and better driving characteristics, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L provides off-road prowess. The Highlander, while serviceable, pales in comparison to the other choices.
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Toyota Highlander 2023
The new 2023 Toyota Highlander is scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2022. The product will be available for purchase at Toyota dealerships in the USA and in some other countries. At Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana assembly plant, the Highlander is produced alongside the Sequoia SUV and the Sienna minivan.
Toyota Highlander Trims and Pricing
The base price of a Highlander L is $36,620 (plus $1,215 for shipping). It comes standard with 18-inch painted alloy wheels, a spare tyre in a compact size, heated power-adjustable side mirrors, tinted glass, fully automatic LED headlights, LED brake lights, variable intermittent windscreen wipers, and a fixed-interval rear wiper with a defroster.
The driver’s seat can be adjusted electronically in eight different ways, there’s cloth upholstery, the middle and rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 split, there’s proximity keyless entry, push-button ignition, automatic climate control, a locking glove box, two 12V power outlets, one-touch power up/down windows, a full floor console, and hidden cargo area storage. There are a variety of ways to pass the time, including six speakers, an 8-inch infotainment display, Amazon Alexa compatibility, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, enhanced voice recognition, and Bluetooth.
The Highlander LE costs $38,820 and includes a power liftgate, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic warning. Included amenities include HD Radio, a leather steering wheel, remote engine start, and fog lights.
The Highlander LE Hybrid is the finest choice for the money. It gets excellent gas mileage and has several convenient amenities included in the low base price of $40,270.
The difference between the LE and XLE trim levels is $3,000. This extra money buys you a sunroof, wireless charging, roof rails, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and captain’s chairs in the second row. A second-row bench seat is included at no extra cost, and navigation can be added for $1,040.
Bronze Hybrid XLE
Brand new for 2022 is the $45,295 Hybrid XLE Bronze, which features unique bronze-colored details both inside and out, such as bronze-colored 18-inch wheels, door sills, and inside stitching. A digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory, and hands-free powering of the liftgate are all standard on the hybrid-only XLE variant.
Pricing starts at $45,775 for the Limited, which includes special exterior detailing and 20-inch wheels. In addition to the standard features, this model includes a hands-free liftgate, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, satellite radio, an in-dash display, an intercom system, an 11-speaker JBL premium audio system, and upscale interior trim.
Toyota Highlander EXTERIOR COLORS
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Front- or all-wheel drive, as well as a 265-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, are all standard on the Highlander. We can’t speak to this version’s performance just yet, but after we have some seat time in it, we’ll have some thoughts. The Highlander Hybrid has a 2.5-liter inline-four gas engine and two electric motors for a combined 243 horsepower.
This model’s CVT allows for either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Using Toyota’s hybrid know-how, this powertrain provides customers with a vehicle that is much more fuel efficient than the base model without sacrificing much in the way of performance; the last hybrid variant we tested reached 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. The ride is comfortable and suitable for the role of family chauffeur, and the handling is unremarkable but secure. There is a chance that customers in this market category know that the Ford Explorer is also offered as a hybrid. However, when comparing the fuel efficiency of different pickups, the Toyota comes out on top.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
In the L and LE trims, the second and third row bench seats fold flat to accommodate an eighth passenger, while in the higher trims, the second row captain’s chairs fold down to create a more spacious seven-seat arrangement. There is more room for passengers than in the CX-9, but it’s still not as roomy as the Chevrolet Traverse, especially in the third row, which is uncomfortable for adults. When compared to the first-generation Highlander, the cabin in the second-generation is a substantial improvement. The Palisade and Telluride have more standard features, while the more luxurious Limited and Platinum trims offer more conveniences. Only four luggage would fit in the space behind the third row, but the Traverse could fit six.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Highlander’s standard infotainment system is 8.0 inches in size, while the Limited and Platinum grades have a 12.3-inch screen and a second 12.3-inch screen that serves as the instrument cluster. Low-end models keep their analogue gauges, but the larger 12.3-inch infotainment display is available on the XLE and XSE. A JBL sound system with eleven speakers is at your disposal. Toyota equips all of their vehicles with standard features like satellite radio from SiriusXM, Wi-Fi from a 4G LTE network, smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. As an extra, you may instal a wireless phone charging pad inside the dashboard, just below the infotainment screen.
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2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$51,068 (base price: $49,975)
DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline -4, 186 hp, 175 lb-ft + 3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC motors; combined output, 243 hp
continuously variable automatic
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.3-in vented disc/13.3-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Eagle Touring, 235/55R-20 102V M+S
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 194.9 in
Width: 76.0 in
Height: 68.1 in
Passenger volume: 135 ft3
Cargo volume: 16 ft3
Curb weight: 4615 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.3 sec
100 mph: 21.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.2 sec
1/4 mile: 16.0 sec @ 87 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 29 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 35/35/35 mpg