It’s a tall order to stand out in the notoriously overstuffed and competitive segment that is the mid-size SUV. In this fight, the Toyota Highlander has successfully held its ground. For 2023, a few changes help it pull away from an even larger percent of the pack.
Most notable of changes is that the standard V6 is history. Replaced by a new 2.5L 4-cylinder turbo engine. You’d expect fuel economy to improve as a result, but oddly enough, it hasn’t. For your mpg’s to really reach impressive heights, you’ll need the hybrid model. Adding two electric motors will put power output at 243 hp, with an impressive 35 mpg. Toyota has accumulated a lot of knowledge and expertise around hybrid systems over the decades. Applying it to the Highlander is a no brainer. More power and 11 more mpg’s over standard models should be enough to entice most to embrace something a little more electric.
Other high notes are the top models’ luxurious interior trimmings. A big 12.3-inch multimedia display dominates the front dash. While another 12.3-inch color LCD gauge cluster is tucked behind the steering wheel. Leather trimmed seating for 7 are comfortable, with the front and middle captain seats all being heated. The third row can be a little cramped. Offering more room than the the Mazda CX-9, but not as much as the Chevy Traverse.
Electronic on-demand AWD will keep you moving in wet, rough and slippery conditions. While a long list of driving aides and safety features will further ensure the whole gang arrives safe and sound. These include: pedestrian detection, pre-collision warning, radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitors and more. All of our favorites together in one all-encompassing, family friendly package. With Toyotas famous reliability for added peace-of-mind.
Price as tested: $53,760.00