2020 Toyota Highlander Release Date USA – Thanks to recent debuts of models like the Kia Telluride and Volkswagen Atlas, buyers have more choices than ever for a three-row family crossover SUV. But don’t forget about one of the models that started it all. The redesigned 2020 Toyota Highlander is stepping back into the mix with important changes that should continue to make it a top choice in the class.
2020 Toyota Highlander Release Date USA
The fourth-generation Highlander rides on top of a new platform, which Toyota says provides improved agility and driving quality. It’s 2.4 inches longer than before, and Toyota says the additional length goes towards expanding the cargo area and provides more third-row legroom. The 2020 Highlander also features more sculpted body panels and slimmer exterior styling.
Finally time to (car) play
Toyota, one of the few Apple CarPlay holdouts, finally gives buyers an alternative to its clumsy, proprietary Entune software with the new Highlander. The 2020 model will offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (along with optional cordless phone charging) in addition to Waze and Amazon Alexa functionality. Most trim levels get an 8-inch touchscreen interface, while the upper Platinum trim gets a 12-inch screen.
The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 Bundle of Driver Aids comes as standard at all levels and includes automatic emergency braking and lane keeping and centering Assist. Automatic high beams and road sign registration are other additional features. Navigation systems for hybrid models even have a predictive driving feature that can teach a driver the usual habits and routes. They can also optimize battery charging while decelerating, driving in traffic, or when climbing or dropping grades, for example.
Now with a stronger base
Buyers of the Highlander base trim are no longer stuck with an under-powered four-cylinder engine-standard engine across the 2020 Highlander Range is the same 295-horsepower V6 available in previous years. It is mated to an eight-speed transmission and should be good for 22 mpg in combined city / highway driving.
The Highlander optional wheel drive also gets an update, with the base system, which is able to split the engine torque on the front and rear wheels equally. A more advanced system available on upper trims can further fine-tune the amount of power that reaches each wheel, and also comes with driver selectable drag modes optimized for mud, sand and dirt. Like its predecessor, the new Highlander can pull up to 5,000 pounds.
But while 1 4-cylinder disappears, another appears. For 2020, the Highlander hybrid gets a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. While the hybrid’s new four-cylinder Powertrain Control generates less power than the previous hybrid V6 configuration – 240 hp compared to 306 hp – Toyota says the new hybrid can return 34 mpg combined compared to the last generation hybrid 28 mpg.
Toyota will offer the 2020 Highlander in five trim levels: L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum. The Base L and Le trims feature cloth upholstery and a second-row bench seat for eight-passenger seating.
The XLE trimmer gets simulated leather and standard second-class captains chairs, reducing the capacity for seven passengers; The bench seat is optional. The same goes for the limited trim, though it comes standard with 20-inch wheels, perforated leather padding, and a 1,200-watt JBL sound system. Platinum is the Highlander at its most luxurious, offering embossed leather seats, heated second-class seats, a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a panoramic sunroof.
2020 Toyota Highlander Release Date and Price
The 2020 Highlander goes on sale in December, with the Highlander hybrid to follow in February. Toyota had not announced pricing as of its release date, but we expect it to match the outgoing Highlander. That means it can start at around $ 34,000 and range up to about $ 46,000 for platinum. The hybrid is likely to cost a few Grand more, but the fuel savings will offset the cost after a few years of ownership.