The Toyota Highlander celebrated its 20th birthday in 2020. Toyota marked the milestone with the release of its fourth-generation vehicle. The latest generation is more refined and technologically advanced than its predecessors. Yet it retains the practical features that have made this midsize crossover SUV one of Toyota's most loved vehicles. Take a closer look at the 2020 Toyota Highlander.

A Variety of Trim Levels to Suit All Tastes 

The 2020 Toyota Highlander has five trim levels: L, LE, XLE, Limited, and Platinum. Don't mistake the base model L for a downgrade. While the LE was last year's base model, Toyota hasn't taken a step backward. The L's impressive list of standard features will put a big smile on your face. 

Once the name of the base model, the Highlander LE is now the second tier. Along with all the L trim's leading features, the LE comes with a power back liftgate. LED fog lamps and the blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert helps you stay safe. The leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob should make the driving experience feel more luxurious.

The XLE takes luxury to the next level, with heated multi-way power front seats and captain's chairs in the second row. The power sunroof adds ambiance. There are many other additions too, including roof rails, a more versatile 10-way power driver's seat, and auto LED headlights with auto high beam.

The Limited amps up the opulence again. Features such as ambient interior lighting, memory seats, and the JBL audio system are all welcome additions. Finally, there's the Platinum, a car of ultimate indulgences. The panoramic sunroof, heated seats in the first and second row, and an enormous 12.3-inch multimedia touch screen help this trim shine. It also steps up its safety credentials with rain-sensing wipers, a bird's eye view camera, and a head-up display.

Top Technology as a Standard

Image via Flickr by roland

Toyota treats motorists to excellent features across all Highlander trims, so it's a great choice for drivers on a budget. While the extras on higher trims are impressive, the base model isn't left wanting. Toyota includes many items other car makers charge extra for.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on all trims, and it offers peace of mind. This enhanced safety suite builds upon the original concept and improves functionality. It can better detect other cars and pedestrians in low light and bicycles during the day. The lane departure alert now has road edge detection, which makes driving on country roads even safer. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is also improved by tools that monitor and react to other cars on the road. Lane Trace Assist is another new addition that helps you stay centered in your lane.

Staying safe is certainly important, but Toyota wants its customers to have fun with technology too. Leading infotainment suites including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Waze all come standard. You'll also get Sirius XM satellite radio with more than 300 stations focused on music, comedy, sports, and news. An 8-inch touch screen on most models makes interacting with the technology easy.

A Choice of Engines and Powertrains

With a variety of engines and powertrains to choose from, you're sure to find a Highlander that fits your lifestyle. All but the base L trim is available with a hybrid engine. The standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivers 295 horsepower. This engine is so effective, Toyota uses it across the range. The optional hybrid has a smaller 2.5-liter inline-four engine generating 243 horsepower.

Front-wheel drive is the default drivetrain, but you can upgrade to all-wheel drive for more traction. This is a real benefit if you regularly drive on snowy roads.

The hybrid vehicles are predictably the most fuel-efficient option. They get around 35 or 36 miles per gallon in the city, which is slightly better than the 34 to 35 miles per gallon they get on the highway. That makes it about 20% more efficient than the 2019 hybrid Highlander.

If you choose the gas-powered Highlander, expect 20 or 21 miles per gallon in the city, depending on your drivetrain. On the open road, that number jumps to 27 to 29 miles per gallon. Those fuel economy stats are comparable to the 2019 models.

All these options make sure you can get the Highlander you want at a price you can afford. If you want all the bells and whistles, including extra traction, the Platinum AWD is the way to go. If you're eco-conscious but on a budget, a Hybrid FWD in the LE trim is the ideal choice.

A More Comfortable Driving Experience

Every 2020 Highlander is 2.36 inches longer than last year's model. This extension creates a little more space for cargo and third-row passengers.

With all the seats in place, the 2020 Highlander has 16.1 cubic feet of cargo space. If you fold down the third row, that space grows to 40.6 cubic feet. If you need even more space, lay down the second row for a massive 73.3 cubic feet.

The second row moves 1.2 inches further forward. This makes the third row more accessible and creates extra legroom for people in the back. Passengers in the second row don't miss out though. In fact, with ample headroom and legroom, it feels downright luxurious. That's especially true if you choose a trim with captain's chairs.

Then there are the little luxuries that just make you feel good. There's an eight-way power driver's seat in the L and LE trims. In the XLE and higher, that seat becomes a 10-way power driver's seat. With even more configurations available, it feels custom-made. You'll love the lumbar support, especially on long road trips. Three-zone auto climate control as standard enhances the Toyota Highlander's comfort credentials.

Twenty years of research and refinement have made the 2020 Toyota Highlander more sophisticated. At Kings Toyota, we have a variety of brand new 2020 Highlanders that you're sure to love. Book your test drive at Kings Toyota and discover the difference for yourself.

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