Car News

Toyota Adds 5 New Special Edition Models Including Trail Trucks, Highlander XSE

Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota unveiled five new special edition models in its truck and SUV lineup. The Highlander gets a sporty new XSE trim, the Tacoma, Tundra, and Highlander get Trail editions, and the Tacoma adds a black-out Nightshade special edition.

To make the Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner trail-ready, they get some of the same style that Toyota applied to the Trail models of the RAV4 that came before. This means they will be available in a Cement colour paint, like the RAV, but also Army Green, black, and white. They get black badges on the outside, and on the inside are black seats with tan stitching. Look down and there are all-weather floor mats to help catch mud, snow, and water.

All three are based on the SR5 trim trucks, but they get their own specific set of upgrades. The Tacoma Trail adds dark grey 18-inch TRD alloys with Kevlar All-Terrain tires. It has the chrome grille from the Limited trim and a 115-volt power outlet. Tundra Trail gets the grille from the 1794 Edition, the top of that truck's line, with a body colour surround and a special set of wheels.

The 4Runner sees the coolest changes. On top of the grey TRD wheels, there's a Yakima LoadWarrrior cargo basket on the roof and inside is a special 40-quart (38 litre) cooler on a sliding cargo tray. The cooler is made for Toyota and comes with a locking lid, freezer-grade gasket that helps it keep ice frozen for up to a week, tie-down straps and brackets, a drain plug with lanyard, and a flat top to let you use it as a table or chair. Most importantly, it comes with latches that boast integrated bottle openers. The coolers come in Army Green if you picked that exterior paint, and Cement for all others.

With the Highlander, Toyota has added its XSE trim to the model for the first time. It comes with an absolutely massive front lower grille, and mesh for the top, but also some real driver-friendly upgrades. There are 20-inch alloys, but behind the wheels are new stiffer springs and a thicker rear sway bar. The shocks are retuned as well, but for lower friction. Toyota says that it makes the Highlander more agile without spoiling the ride.

More than just a big new grille, the XSE gets a new set of headlights and accent lights along with new side skirts. For the first time on a Highlander, Toyota has exposed the dual-exhaust tips, and the roof rails, window trim, and mirror caps are finished in black. Inside are Softex seats in black with fabric inserts (red inserts are available) and it will have an available 11-speaker JBL audio system. It will be offered with front-wheel drive or torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, both powered by a 295-hp 3.5L V6 and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Last up is the Nightshade Tacoma, which joins the Corolla, Camry, 4Runner, and Sienna. It's a Limited trim truck that gets black leather seats and black exterior trim including a dark chrome grille.

All five of the new trim Toyotas are set to arrive later this year as 2021 models. Expect pricing closer to the on-sale date.