2023 Toyota Highlander: What We Know So Far
2023 Toyota Highlander – Highlander with a larger, more aggressive-looking body is built on well-received RAV4 design cues. By only entering its third model year, we expect the Toyota Highlander 2023 to be a carryover, saving some potential unique edition models.
The new generation Highlander arrived in 2020 with a bold design built on the success of the new generation RAV4. A more upright, SUV-like design without losing its crossover character. It also has muscular wheel arches, striking character lines, windy headlights and taillights, and more.
2023 Toyota Highlander
Buyers looking a little sportier can opt for a custom XSE trim-level look. In addition to the potential of some new unique edition models, we expect Highlander 2023 to maintain this look.
Toyota Highlander Redesign
The new look includes a more upright, SUV-like attitude without losing its crossover character. Other bold design cues include robust wheel arches, rising character lines, wraparound headlights and taillights, and more.
The XSE trim level adds a dose of character with its sportier design and a more distinctive look. We expect this design to remain the same in the 2023 Highlander hybrid.
The Highlander today combines sophistication with simplicity with the center of its block steering wheel, a prominent touchscreen sticking out of a relatively thin dashboard, a clean, well-organized middle stack, and more. Move to XSE and add custom shades with the available two-tone color scheme. We hope this interior design remains the same in Highlander 2023.
Highlander is well equipped across the range, including its entry-level L trim. The basic model comes with standard three-row seating, upholstery, 18-inch wheels, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, five USB ports, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and more.
2023 Toyota Highlander Features
Optionally, buyers can add more premium features, including a JBL audio system, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, leather upholstery, and more. These standard features and options stay the same in the Toyota Highlander 2023.
The Highlander is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that pumps 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. As a standard, highlanders are equipped with front-wheel drive, but two all-wheel-drive systems are optional, including torque vector systems in Limited, Platinum, and XSE trim. We expect this powertrain to remain the same at Highlander 2023.
Toyota is big on safety, and Highlander today is no exception. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and lane departure alerts. In LE and higher trim, Highlander adds a standard blind-spot monitor.
There are also optional parking sensors and surround display monitors. In IIHS testing, the Highlanders currently receive a “Good” rating in all crash tests. It also has an optional “good” rated LED light and “Superior” automatic emergency braking. When combined, it is rated IIHS Top Safety Pick. We expect standard security features and ratings to remain the same.
2023 Toyota Highlander Engine
The Highlander comes with a 295 hp 3.5-liter V-6, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and front or all wheels. During a short test drive, we found the V-6 can cope with short on-ramps without straining; on our test track, our all-wheel-drive test vehicle made it to 60 mph in reasonably fast 6.7 seconds. Handling is unpleasant but stable, and travel is perfect for family-chauffer tasks. More driving pleasures can be found in the Mazda CX-9.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Powertrain
Four 2.5-liter cylinders and two electric motors teamed up for a combined 243 horsepower in the Highlander Hybrid. This model has a continuously varied automatic transmission (CVT) and a choice between front drive and all wheels. This powertrain gives buyers something more fuel-efficient than the standard model.
The tradeoff comes in acceleration performance due to the lower hybrid horsepower rating and the fact that this model uses CVT instead of an automatic eight-speed nonhybrid. The hybrid model reached 60 mph in 7.3 seconds on our test track.
Potential buyers in this segment will probably know that the Ford Explorer also comes in hybrid form. Toyota came out on top in fuel economy, and the Highlander Hybrid’s starting price of $39,585 was a whopping $11,810 less than the Explorer Hybrid.
The EPA estimates that the Highlander V-6 will deliver up to 29 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive cuts it by two mpg. Hybrid models carry a higher rating, with the front-wheel-drive variant producing 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the road.
We’ve tested the standard Highlander on our 200-mile highway fuel economy route, delivering 28 mpg. When the hybrid visits our office, we will test its fuel efficiency on the same road.
2023 Toyota Highlander Interior
The base L and mid-range LE models can accommodate eight passengers using bench seats in the second and third rows, but a seven-seat arrangement with a second-row captain’s chair is available on higher trims. Passenger space is more generous here than in the CX-9 but not as comprehensive as in the Chevrolet Traverse, especially in the third row. The material throughout the cabin is much better than that in the last generation of Highlander.
The Upscale Limited and Platinum models provide the most creature comfort, but compared to the features in question by Palisade or Telluride, they fall short. The cargo area behind the third row contains only four carry-on luggage; Traverse fits six.
The 8.0-inch infotainment system comes standard on most trims, but Highlander Limited and Platinum get a 12.3-inch screen. A JBL 11-speaker audio system is available. Toyota has SiriusXM satellite radio, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots, and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration for all models.
2023 Toyota Highlander Release Date and Price
There is no official release date for Highlander 2023. Based on the previous schedule, we expect the arrival of summer 2022.
The price is also unofficial. With no change in employment, the 2023 Highlander MSRP will likely remain close to the MSRP range of the current model of $35,985 to $50,090 (including destination costs).
The three-line crossover will compete with the Chevy Traverse, Ford Explorer, and Honda Pilot.