One of the most popular SUV’s, the Toyota Highlander, is getting updated for the 2023 version. In the first quarter of 2022, the Highlander sales in the mid size SUV segment were only passed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new model with retain the same working formula in terms of design, but will improve on tech and convenience features.
For 2023, Toyota has opted to go for more torque but less horsepower. The new Highlander replaces the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 which produced 295 hp and 263 lb-ft (357 Nm) and went for a new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine which makes 265 horsepower and 309 pound-feet (419 Newton-meters) of torque. The company said the new turbo engine retains the same fuel economy of the previous V6 but with lower emissions. It will also retain the same two capacity of 5,000 pounds (2270 kgs).
For even fewer emissions, there’s the Highlander Hybrid which keeps the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two motor-generators making a total of 243 horsepower (181 kilowatts). It returns 36 miles per gallon combined fuel economy and can tow up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kilograms).
Both gas- and hybrid-powered models come with standard front- or all-wheel drive, with higher trims offering a more advanced dynamic torque-vectoring AWD system.
The new Highlander will add dual Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The Highlander’s top two trims — the Limited and Platinum — will come with dual 12.3-inch information display screens, replacing the 2022 models’ 7-inch digital instrument cluster. The 12.3-inch display will be optional on the 2023 Highlander XLE and XSE, which both come with a standard 8-inch screen.
The L and LE versions get larger screens too, a 7.0-inch display for the instruments will replace the previous 4.2-inch monitor.
Other convenience features include a wireless charging pad and standard stop-start system.
In terms of smart driver assistance features, the Highlander comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, and automatic high beams. The LE grade and above have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Limited and Platinum have front and rear parking assist with automatic braking. A 360-degree camera system is optional for the Limited and standard on the Platinum model.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander will go on sale towards the end of the year. Pricing details were not announced, but for comparison, the 2022 gas-powered Highlander had a starting price of $37,070 and the Hybrid starts at $40,770 all inclusive of destination charges.