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Sunday, September 6, 2020

2020 Toyota Highlander Limited: Has Finally Veered Into The Grown And Sexy Lane


Highlight:
This year’s Highlander is compatible with both Android and iPhones.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $48,088 (Base MSRP: $35,775)

Seating Capacity: 7 or 8 passenger seating

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; all-wheel drive a vehicle stability system; a traction control system; hill start assistance; a pre collision braking system with pedestrian detection system; a lane departure alert system with steering assist; a lane tracing assist system; automatic high beams; a radar activated cruise control system; a road side assist system; a temporary spare tire; back up camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system


Standard Equipment (L): 18-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; driving modes: eco, normal and sport; a fuel-efficient stop/start system; front grille in material black with silver paint surround; electronic parking brakes; rear liftgate windshield defogger; privacy rear glass; rear spoiler; a three-zone a/c system; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; 8 cup holders, 4 bottle holders; dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors; cloth seats; a power driver’s seat; bench second row seats; fold flat third row seats; 6 tie-down cargo hooks; a driver speak easy microphone; keyless front door entry system; color-keyed heated power outside mirrors; and backup camera washer

Standard Equipment (Limited): 20-inch wheels; color-keyed power outside mirrors; front grille in black paint with chrome plated surround; power sunroof; handsfree power liftgate; automatic dimming rearview mirror; leather seats; heated/ventilated front row seats; power driver’s seat with memory function; power front passenger seat; second row sunshades; leather trimmed steering knob; pseudo wood – door trim; front door sill scuff plates; cargo cover; front and rear parking assist with automated braking; mud, sand and dirt driving mode; an electronic blind spot monitor; a reverse tilt down feature with outside exterior mirrors; a premium 11-speaker audio system; a navigation system; ambient interior lighting; and 2, 120-volt outlets

Options: 360-degree camera and carpeted floor mats

Other Trim Levels:

XLE

Limited

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM  

Android/Apple CarPlay: Available

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder turbo/295-hp

Towing Capacity: 5,000 lbs

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 21-city/29-hwy

What’s New: The 2020 Highlander takes on a new design direction for the 2020 model year.


Why: For the 2020 model year, the brand’s fullsize crossover wears a more expressive bulky, athletic look, with its bowtie grille. Personally, we weren’t a fan of the previous slanted wide mouth grille that was plastered on the fascia of last year’s model. Based on sex appeal alone, this year’s model is a standout.

The fourth generation Highlander is available in a front wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. Toyota has done the unthinkable with their all-wheel drive system. This automaker offers three variations of their all-wheel drive system, depending upon trim.

And, this year’s 2020 model is available in five trims, ranging from the base L trim to the higher end Platinum. Toyota refers to them as grades, while the uniform term in the industry is trim. Our test model was the Limited trim, which was a step below the Platinum model.

Moreover, the Highlander is available in two powertrains. One can opt for an updated 4-cylinder hybrid or the standard 6-cylinder gasoline model, which produces 243-horsepower and 295-horsepower, respectively. While the model we reviewed was not outfitted with Toyota’s updated hybrid powertrain, our Highlander was outfitted with the brand’s standard stop-and start-engine system, which aids in saving fuel.

To enhance the driving experience, the fullsize crossover, is available in a variety of driving modes too. Those modes consist of normal, eco and sport.

Inside the vehicle, one can opt for a 7 or an 8-passenger seating arrangement, depending upon if one opts for buckets or a bench seat in the center row. With the seats, one opt for cloth, pseudo-leather or real leather.

Also based on trim, the all-new Highlander can be outfitted with everything from heated and ventilated front seats to a 12-inch easy-to-use infotainment screen to a power moonroof to a panoramic moonroof to a navigation system to a 360-degree camera. The Highlander offers features to capture literally every price point in the fullsize segment.

Lastly, the Highlander has the latest safety aids to help steer this vehicle too. Some of those features consist of  a road sign assist system, automatic high beams and a land departure alert system.

But: Our major quirk with the Highlander is that the third row seats aren’t suitable for adults, especially on long trips. They seem more suitable for small kids.

Moreover, we’ve heard some buyers complain about the middle row buckets appearance wise don’t seem as durable as some of the competitors in the segment.

Lastly, the panoramic roof should be available on all of the models, not just the Platinum trim.


Verdict: Toyota has the upped the ante with the 2020 model. Its available in a variety of trim. The vehicle can be driven on or off road. Fuel efficiency considers to be theme even in this fullsize crossover. And pricing stars in the mid-thirties and can rise to fifty thousand based on how the Highlander is accessorized. Lastly, we can’t forget how sexy the vehicle

Competition: 2020 Chevy Traverse; 2020 Ford Explorer Limited; 2020 Hyundai Palisade; 2020 GMC Acadia; 2020 Honda Passport; 2020 Nissan Pathfinder; and 2020 Kia Telluride

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