Crossover & Midsize

2020 Toyota Highlander: Consumer Reports Biggest Knocks Aren’t Dealbreakers

The 2020 Toyota Highlander has hit the sales floors, and it’s attracting quite a bit of attention. The hybrid version is considered a luxurious bargain, and the regular Highlander is beating out competitors like the Ford Explorer. Does it really deserve that reputation, however?

Consumer Reports seems to think so. The 2020 Toyota Highlander may not be perfect, but it’s got enough perks to make it worth considering. Here’s what we were able to find out about this newest iteration of the Toyota Highlander.

The 2020 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander got a redesign for 2020, and it might just be better than ever. It now has a V6 engine, 295 hp, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This helps it get 22 mpg overall. That’s not exactly great, but it’s not bad for an SUV.

If you want a better fuel economy, then the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the way to go. It has the best fuel economy of any three-row SUV currently on the market. The Highlander Hybrid gets 35 mpg overall, which is the dream for many SUV owners. 

On top of that, it has a very comfortable ride, which is nice whether you’re just driving to work and back, or headed out on that long-overdue road trip. The third row is more than a little cramped, however, so jamming a bunch of adults back there for a long trip is probably not going to earn you any new friends.

Features like the adaptive cruise control, pre-collision with pedestrian detection, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and lane departure alert with steering assist make driving more stress-free than ever. There’s also more cargo space behind the third row, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are finally being offered as an option. 

SUVs aren’t exactly for known for their agility

RELATED: The Highlander Was the Only Car Toyota Redesigned in 2020

Consumer Reports had two cons listed for the 2020 Toyota Highlander. One is its lack of agility, and the other is the ease with which drivers can accidentally turn off the daytime running lights.

That being said, most drivers who buy an SUV aren’t doing so because they want agility. They’re probably looking for a vehicle to go off-roading in or else need a reliable vehicle to transport their family. That’s not to say that no SUVs can be agile, because the Mazda CX-9 proves that they can. Still, most SUV drivers don’t care about agility.

There was a third con listed in the road test review, and it revolved the annoying beeping you’ll be berated to if you’re going around curves in your Highlander. Consumer Reports stated, “The lane-keeping assist feature does a good job of keeping the car from crossing lane lines without fighting the driver. But on curvy roads, the repetitive tugs of the lane-keeping system and frequent warning beeps are likely to cause drivers to turn both systems off.”

You can’t beat the Highlander’s reliability or extended hybrid warranty

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Toyota Highlander a score of 86 out of 100. It was ranked No. 5 out of 25 in the Midsize SUVs. The predicted reliability score is a four out of five, and the owner satisfaction rating is four out of five as well.

Toyota brings its legendary reputation for reliability to the Highlander, along with a few extra perks. New buyers get two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance when they purchase the Highlander, and hybrid owners get a warranty that provides eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage.

There is one recall on the 2020 Toyota Highlander. Consumer Reports states, “Improper fuel supply programming can result in a vehicle stall, increasing the risk of a crash.” This can be dealt with by taking your Highlander to your local dealership.