2020 Toyota Highlander
model. 2020 Toyota Highlander
price. $35,720 (incl $1,120 destination)
as tested. $50,663 (incl dest) Platinum
seating/style. 5-pass/4-door SUV
powertrain. 3.5-Liter 6-cylinder, 295 hp
transmission. 8-speed automatic
driveline. RWD, AWD tested
fuel economy. 20/27/23 city/highway/combined
The 2020 Toyota Highlander is a stalwart part of the automotive landscape with good reason. It’s well-known for reliable durability, ideal for families with seating up to eight and classic, appealing styling. This redesign provides more cargo space and a V-6 engine across all trims except hybrid.
Highlander’s interior is thoughtfully laid out but the family-friendly materials result in hard, plastic surfaces. I liked the multi-functional touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (finally added for 2020) worked seamlessly. Adjusting the seats and reconfiguring for people or cargo is friendly.
On the road, the Highlander is competent, but there’s a disappointing tininess to the door closures reflected in elevated road noise. Another layer of insulation would be welcome. Acceleration and power provided by the V-6 engine is smooth and the 8-speed automatic well-calibrated for the various drive modes of Sport/Norm/Eco. Standard Toyota Safety Sense is helpful without being intrusive while the optional stop-start (part of Star Safety System) is well-behaved.
But the Highlander is facing increasingly impressive competition from nearly every brand, and there are some really good alternatives out there. You won't go wrong with the Highlander, but it’s worth shopping around to see what else your money buys.