2023 Toyota Highlander Review, Pricing, and Specs (2023)

Starting at $37,755

8/10

C/D RATING

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2023 Toyota Highlander Review, Pricing, and Specs (1)

Toyota

(Video) 2023 Toyota Highlander Review, Pricing, and Specs

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  • Highs Optional hybrid system’s impressive fuel economy, top models’ luxe interior trimmings, plentiful standard tech.
  • Lows Bland handling, limited third-row space, no fuel-economy improvement from the new four-cylinder.
  • Verdict The Highlander offers plenty of overall competence, a fuel-sipping hybrid model, and lots of features, but it’s still behind the leaders of the three-row family SUV class.
2023 Toyota Highlander Review, Pricing, and Specs (2)By Drew Dorian
(Video) New 2023 Toyota Highlander Turbo - Wonderful SUV Review, Pricing & Specs

Overview

The Highlander has plenty to offer, but in a brutally competitive mid-size SUV segment of more than two dozen vehicles it’s only a mid-pack player. There are eleven trims to choose from. Hybrid or nonhybrid powertrains are available, front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. All trims provide competent handling and a smooth ride, but the Highlander’s driving demeanor could use a jolt of caffeine. The interior is nicely equipped, even on the base L, with modern conveniences, easy-to-use infotainment, and a host of driver-assistance features standard. The Limited and Platinum models do a good impression of a Lexus, with handsome leather upholstery, a premium JBL stereo system, and additional tech features. Despite all that, rivals such as the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade deliver more luxury and third-row room, the Mazda CX-9 offers a nicer interior and better driving dynamics, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee L brings that brand’s off-road capability. The Highlander, while thoroughly competent, is a less compelling alternative in comparison.

Where This Vehicle Ranks

1Kia TellurideSTARTING AT: $37,0252Ford BroncoSTARTING AT: $33,8903Hyundai PalisadeSTARTING AT: $36,5454Jeep Grand Cherokee LSTARTING AT: $43,5205Jeep Grand CherokeeSTARTING AT: $40,12012Toyota HighlanderSTARTING AT: $37,755

What's New for 2023?

The Highlander’s standard V-6 has been replaced by a new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder for 2023.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 wonder why the switch to fewer cylinders was made. A new 12.3-inch infotainment display is available and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster now comes on Limited and Platinum trims. Those high-end models also gain power-folding exterior mirrors while the XLE and XSE trims add a hands-free power-operated rear liftgate.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

    In our view, the midrange XLE is the one to get. It has heated front seats, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and a power sunroof, among other niceties. We'd also spring for the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation package, which brings in-dash navigation and an upgraded stereo system.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    The Highlander comes standard with a 265-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. We haven’t driven this version yet, but when we do we’ll be able to comment on its performance. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors team up for a combined 243 horsepower in the Highlander Hybrid. This model comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive. Leveraging Toyota's hybrid expertise, this powertrain provides buyers with something considerably more fuel efficient than the standard model without giving up much in terms of performance; at our test track, the last hybrid model we tested made it to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Handling is unexciting but stable, and the ride is perfectly suitable for family-chauffeur duty. Potential buyers in this segment will perhaps know that the Ford Explorer comes in hybrid form, too. But pitting these utes against each other, the Toyota comes out on top in terms of fuel economy.

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    So far, Toyota has only said that the new turbocharged engine is good for 24 mpg combined, so we don’t know what its city and highway ratings are. Hybrid models will undoubtedly carry higher ratings than the gasoline-only version, with front-wheel-drive variants earning 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. When the Highlander visits our office, we'll be putting its fuel efficiency to the test 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

    Base L and midrange LE models can seat eight passengers using bench seats in the second and third rows, but a seven-seat arrangement with second-row captain's chairs is available on higher trims. Passenger space is more generous here than in the CX-9, but not as spacious as in the Chevrolet Traverse, especially in the third row, which is on the tight side for adults. Materials throughout the cabin are much improved over those in the last-generation Highlander. Upscale Limited and Platinum models provide the most creature comforts, but compared with the features proffered by the Palisade or Telluride, they fall short. The cargo area behind the third row fit a mere four carry-on suitcases; the Traverse fit six.

    2023 Toyota Highlander Review, Pricing, and Specs (9)

    (Video) Introducing 2023 Toyota Highlander — PRICE, RANGE, INTERIOR, EXTERIOR Details

      Infotainment and Connectivity

      An 8.0-inch infotainment system comes standard on most trims, but the Highlander Limited and Platinum get a 12.3-inch display with a secondary 12.3-inch screen serving as the gauge cluster. Mid-range XLE and XSE can be optioned with the larger 12.3-inch infotainment display but continue to use the analog gauges from lower-end models. An 11-speaker JBL audio system is available. Toyota provides SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration for all models. A wireless smartphone charging pad is optional and is integrated into the dashboard below the infotainment display.

        Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

        As is the Toyota way, the Highlander offers a standard suite of driver-assistance features. The package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and automatic high-beam headlamps. For more information about the Highlander's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

        • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
        • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert
        • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist

        Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

        Toyota's warranty coverage adheres to the norm of the segment; however, buyers get two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, which is a nice perk that most rivals don't offer. The electrified Highlander comes with a separate hybrid-component warranty that provides eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage.

        • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
        • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
        • Hybrid-component warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
        • Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles

        Specifications

        Specifications

        2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD

        VEHICLE TYPE
        front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

        PRICE AS TESTED
        $51,068 (base price: $49,975)

        POWERTRAIN
        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

        TRANSMISSION
        continuously variable automatic

        (Video) 2023 Toyota Highlander Turbo Limited Price and Specs

        CHASSIS
        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

        DIMENSIONS
        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

        C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

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        FAQs

        Will there be any changes in the 2023 Toyota Highlander? ›

        Toyota continues to update the maintain of its family-oriented line-up. The big change for Toyota's bread-and-butter family SUV in 2023 is the departure of the V-6 engine in favor of a turbo 4-cylinder. Time marches on, and fuel economy is king in the current market, even in a three-row SUV.

        How much is a fully loaded Toyota Highlander? ›

        The base 2022 Toyota Highlander L starts at $35,405, which is above the class average. The range-topping Platinum trim carries a starting price of $47,760. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available for an additional $1,600 or $1,950, depending on the trim.

        How much should I pay for a new Highlander? ›

        2022 Toyota Highlander MSRP and Invoice Price
        TrimsMSRPEdmunds Suggested
        LE$39,270$39,745
        XLE Most Popular$42,270$42,875
        XSE$43,865$45,065
        Limited$46,225$47,176
        2 more rows

        Does the Highlander hold its value? ›

        Compared to other SUVs in its class and compared to other Toyota SUV models, the Highlander offers some of the best resale values. In fact, after five years, a Highlander retains 46.3% of its value, beating every SUV in its class when it comes to value.

        Is Toyota redesigning the Highlander for 2023? ›

        The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation in 2019 with a radical redesign. Powering this fourth-gen Highlander was either a hybrid powertrain or a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. For the 2023 model year, the Highlander is swapping the V6 for a turbocharged 2.4-liter I4 and a new base price.

        Will the 2023 Highlander hybrid be redesigned? ›

        For 2023, the Highlander Hybrid gets a small series of changes that should make it an even more appealing option for prospective customers with one eye on practicality and another on efficiency. The big news comes in the form of new and bigger screens.

        Will the Toyota Highlander be redesigned? ›

        The Highlander, Toyota's largest hybrid electric SUV, gains options for a fresh look and new technologies for a more connected and personalised user experience for the 2023 model year*.

        Is the Toyota Highlander being discontinued? ›

        Toyota is one of the few automakers that's holding on to its V6 engines. Look at the Toyota Camry – it's one of the last options in the midsize class to retain its available 3.5-liter V6 engine.

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