Through four generations and more than 20 years, the Toyota Highlander has been the brand’s offering in the mid-size SUV segment. In fact, it was among the first mid-sizers in the now famously popular crossover category that serves family-oriented buyers who aren’t keen on driving a minivan. The fourth-gen Highlander arrived as a 2020 model.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
For 2022, Toyota makes AWD standard across the Highlander range, which means the disappearance of last year’s entry-level L FWD trim level. XLE and XSE trims gain a heated steering wheel, XLE models and up get a power front passenger seat, and there’s a new hybrid-only package with bronze trim elements and a few extra features.
Toyota offers the Highlander in LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited trim levels. A 3.5L V6/eight-speed automatic powertrain is standard in all four, while LE, XLE, and Limited can be optioned to a hybrid setup with a 2.5L engine, electric motors, and a continuously variable transmission. As mentioned above, AWD is standard in all trims and with both powertrains.
LE trim’s highlights start with a Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite of automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, forward collision mitigation, and pedestrian/cyclist detection.
You also get passive keyless entry, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, three-zone A/C, LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a front wiper de-icer.
LE Hybrid adds a power tailgate, LED fog lights, and heated side mirrors.
Gas-powered XLE models build on LE Hybrid with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear door sunshades, integrated home remote, power front passenger seat, Softex upholstery, 7.0-inch driver info display, and a sunroof.
In gas models, XSE gets wireless phone charging, sport-tuned suspension, second-row captain’s chairs, ambient lighting, and 20-inch wheels.
Limited’s notable additions are front parking sensors, rear cross-traffic braking, hands-free tailgate, navigation, 11-speaker audio, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a panoramic roof. Non-hybrid also get a driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar and bottom cushion.
A Limited Platinum package adds a bird’s-eye view camera, 12.3-inch touchscreen, digital rearview mirror, heated second-row seats, and platinum bumper trim.
And in XLE Hybrid models, a Bronze Edition pack brings a multi-adjustable driver’s seat, 1,500-watt power outlet, digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting, 11-speaker audio, second-row captain’s chairs, and puddle lights.
Toyota’s fuel consumption estimates for the Highlander are 6.6/6.8 L/100 km (city/highway) for the hybrid powertrain, and 11.8/8.6 L/100 km for V6-powered models.
The Toyota Highlander’s main competitors are the Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Atlas, Kia Sorento, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda CX-9, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, and Dodge Durango.