With eleven trims to choose from, the Highlander has something for everyone--but it only falls in the middle of the spectrum when compared to its more than two dozen competitors in the mid-size SUV segment. You can opt for a hybrid or nonhybrid powertrain, front-wheel drive is included as standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. All trims provide smooth handling and an overall comfortable ride; however, the Highlander could benefit from a burst of energy in terms of its driving demeanor.
Even the base L model comes with modern conveniences like a easy-to-use infotainment system and driver-assistance features. The Limited and Platinum models have higher quality leather upholstery, a premium JBL stereo system, and additional tech features that rival those of a Lexus.
Although the Highlander is reliable, its rivals offer more luxury and space. For example, the Kia Telluride has a better third-row room than the Highlander while Mazda CX-9 provides a nicer interior overall. If Jeep Grand Cherokee L's off-road capability is something you're looking for in a car, then it would be a better choice as well.
What's New for 2023?
The Highlander's standard V-6 has been replaced by a new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine for 2023. The new engine makes 265 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque; Toyota says the combined fuel economy rating of 24 mpg is equal to that of the outgoing V-6, making us question why they decided to switch to fewer cylinders in the first place.
The new 12.3-inch infotainment display is available on all trims, and the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard on the Limited and Platinum trims. The XLE and XSE trms add a hands-free power liftgate to their already impressive list of features while those high end models also gain power folding exterior mirrors .
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Highlander begins with a 265-hp 2.4L four-cylinder engine that matches an eight-speed automatic transmission, which you can have in front or all-wheel driveways. We will be able to provide more insight once we've had a chance to test it ourselves, but for now know that this exists as an option. The 2.5L four cylinder and two electric motors generate 243 horsepower combined in the Highlander Hybrid--which also offers continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT) and comes available in both types of driveways as well.
too. Utilizing Toyota's hybrid engine, this car is much more fuel efficient than the standard model while only sacrificing a little bit in terms of performance; at our test track, the last hybrid model we tested made it to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Although the handling isn't exciting, it is stable, and the ride quality is perfect for chauffeuring around family members. Those interested in this car segment may know that the Ford Explorer also comes in a hybrid version
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
So far, Toyota has only said that the new turbocharged engine is good for 24 mpg combined; we don’t yet know its city and highway ratings. However, it's a given that hybrid models will have higher ratings than the gasoline-only version; front-wheel-drive variants are expected to get 36 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway.
We'll be testing the Highlander's fuel efficiency on our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route and updating this story with results. For more information about the Highlander's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is more generous in the base L and midrange LE models than in the CX-9, but not as spacious as in the Chevrolet Traverse. The eight-passenger arrangement with bench seats in the second and third rows is available on all trims, but a seven-seat arrangement with second-row captain's chairs is available on higher trims. Adults might find the third row tight though.
The cabin material in the updated Highlander is much better than its predecessor. The top-of-the-line Limited and Platinum models offer more luxury, but compared to the Palisade or Telluride, they don't measure up. The trunk space behind the third row could only fit four small suitcases; by contrast, the Traverse had room for six.
Is Toyota Highlander a reliable car?
The Toyota Highlander has received above-average scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gave it 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it seventh out of 26 SUVs. Its average annual repair cost is only $489, which is lower than the average $573.
Which Toyota Highlander is the best?
It's popular for many reasons, but especially because of its reliability. There are six different Highlander trim levels available. However, only one is the most popular among buyers and is recommended by two significant experts. Buyers and experts agree on the best 2022 Toyota Highlander trim, the Highlander XLE.
What year is a good Toyota Highlander?
The best choice is probably the 2008-2013 version. This generation gives you more interior space, more features, and a more powerful engine lineup, plus better safety and crash test scores.
Does Toyota Highlander have transmission problems?
Transmissions are a common problem with the Toyota Highlander. Transmission problems are a common problem with the Toyota Highlander. The design of the transmission can cause several different types of problems to occur, and these issues can be very expensive to fix.