2020 Toyota Highlander Best Trims: Our Dream Builds Of This New Family SUV

by Lawana Perkins | Posted on Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

The 2020 Toyota Highlander offers tons of options—and we’re not talking about illuminated door sills or blacked-out badges. After our first experience with the redesigned family hauler, we’re … lukewarm about the changes Toyota made. More testing will help fill out our impressions, but we don’t yet see the 2020 Highlander as a Kia Telluride-beater, even though the former will still dominate the sales charts.

2020 Toyota Highlander

So you’re sure you want a 2020 Toyota Highlander? Keep reading to find out how two MotorTrend editors who’ve already driven the new SUV would build their versions.

With Toyota going premium for the top two Highlander trims, the Limited is the one to pick if your budget is a little tighter. After sampling the LE, Limited, and Platinum models during my recent 2020 Toyota Highlander drive, I’d recommend the Limited AWD V-6 version, which offers a good combination of premium materials, technology, and the 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

Besides the added power, the Limited trim comes with 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, perforated leather seats, wood-like interior trim, ambient lighting, and a JBL audio system with 11 speakers, which sounds crisp and clear. I’d skip the 12.3-inch touchscreen (a $1,050 option) and keep the 8.0-inch display; it’s already big enough and comes with pretty much the same things as the bigger screen.

How I’d Spec It: 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD Hybrid—Zach Gale

Rarely these days do you encounter a truly unique advantage, but that’s exactly what Toyota has—for now—with the 2020 Highlander Hybrid. The model was once easy to dismiss thanks to a V-6 engine that couldn’t provide enough fuel efficiency, but that’s changed.

If I’m shopping for a three-row SUV, horsepower isn’t at the top of my list. Anything that can save me time might be, though. And the hybrid’s biggest advantage (besides the obvious plus of better mpgs) is its driving range. No matter how you slice it—by overall city, highway, or combined city/highway mileage—the hybrid will take you way farther on one tank of gas before you need to stop again.


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