2020 Toyota Highlander
Toyota’s popular midsized SUV, the Highlander, returns for its fourth generation with a completely fresh design. For the next model year, there will be two versions available – conventional and gas-electric hybrid – although they go on sale at different times. The gas-only version will arrive in December of 2019 and the hybrid in February of 2020. For the conventional Highlander, there will be five trim levels – L, LE, XLE, Limited, and Platinum – while the Hybrid will come in all but the L. We’ll focus on the gasoline-only version on this page.
Under the hood of the conventional Highlander is a 3.5-liter V6 D-4S Injection engine mated to a direct shift eight-speed automatic transmission that churns 295 horses and 263 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain is rated for an EPA-estimated combined 22 mpg; with it, you’ll be able to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Comfort and Convenience
All trims come with the Highlander’s best accommodations yet. Starting with the L, you’ll find tri-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and Smart Key entry. Upgrading to the LE adds the equipment from the L in addition to a power liftgate and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob. It’s with the XLE where the luxury really starts to kick in, since it comes with a ten-way power driver seat, a four-way power front passenger seat, an auto dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, a second-row captain’s chair, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, roof rails, and SofTex-trimmed seats/door trim.
Following the XLE is the Limited, which adds ambient interior lighting, a cargo area cover, driver’s seat memory functions, a hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats, perforated leather-trimmed seats, and wood interior trim. At the top of the heap is the Platinum, which bundles everything from the Limited and adds adaptive, self-leveling headlamps, perforated leather-trimmed seats, heated second-row seats, and a panoramic moonroof.
Safety & Technology
The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 system comes standard on all trims, although some get more of these active safety features than others. Each trim gets pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, and all-new lane tracing and road sign assist technologies. On the LE and above, though, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is added as standard equipment, and rear cross-traffic braking with clearance sonar is available for the Limited and above. There is also a 360-degree Bird’s-Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan available for the Limited trim but standard on the Platinum.
The L grade comes with a 4.2-inch multi-information display, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Waze navigation, and Amazon Alexa. The LE includes all of these as well, but it adds more multimedia capabilities. With the XLE, a larger 7-inch multi-information display is included, while the Limited gets a standard 120-volt second-row power outlet, embedded navigation, and a premium eleven-speaker JBL audio system. Finally, the Platinum adds a 12.3-inch multimedia display and a digital display rear-view mirror.