2020 Toyota Highlander

Overview

When it comes to manufacturing some of the best SUVs on the market, Toyota surely deserves significant recognition. The all-new 2020 Highlander, which will come as either gas-only or hybrid, is slated for release this winter (December 2019 for the gas model and February 2020 for the hybrid). Toyota has set out to change the game by blending premium interior quality with an improved and more chiseled exterior, plus additional standard features.

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Buyers of the upcoming Highlander will be able to choose from four different trims: L, LE, XLE, Limited, and Platinum. All trims of the conventional gasoline-only Highlander will have a standard 3.5-liter V6 (295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque) paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. With the hybrid edition, a 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine is paired with two electric motors for a total system hp of 240. With a combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 34 mpg, it is 17 percent more efficient than last year’s model, which peaked at 28 mpg. In addition, the ‘20 Highlander introduces three all-wheel drive systems in addition to the standard front-wheel drive. Two of the AWD systems will be available for the V6 models, and the third will be exclusive to the hybrid.


Comfort and Convenience

The base L trim has a slate of great standard features. This list includes tri-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and Smart Key entry on the front and back doors. The LE adds a power liftgate and a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob. With the XLE, a ten-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is an upgrade from the eight-way, and there’s a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. Other features include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a garage door opener, as well as heated front seats, a pair of second-row captain’s chairs, a sunroof, and SofTex upholstery. The Limited gets ambient interior lighting, a cargo area cover, driver’s seat memory functions, a hands-free power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seating, perforated leather trimmed seating, and wood interior trim to enrich the atmosphere. The Platinum trim is loaded with including everything from the Limited in addition to adaptive self-leveling headlamps and heated second-row seating.


Safety Features

All Highlander trim levels come with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of standard driver-assist technologies, although some of the features will only be found on the higher trims. Included across the board, though, is automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. Standard on the LE trim and above is blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, while rear cross-traffic braking with clearance sonar and a bird’s-eye view camera with 360-degree perimeter scanning is available on the Limited and standard on the Platinum.


Standard Technology

For the first time, Toyota will include both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on all Highlanders. Among the other tech features on the base L will be an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia interface, with a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument panel. The LE offers the same infotainment system but with additional capabilities. Moving up to the XLE introduces a larger 7-inch multi-information display for the instrument panel (and the same eight-inch touchscreen interface), while the Limited adds a 120-volt second-row power outlet and a JBL premium audio system with integrated navigation. The Platinum boast the largest infotainment system at 12.3 inches and includes a digital display rear-view mirror.