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The Toyota Highlander is the midsize SUV that has been a popular choice for years. It helped establish the crossover SUV as a viable alternative to body-on-frame SUVs like the Suburban. The Highlander was totally new for 2020. With many of these 2020 Highlanders coming off of two- and three-year leases, we wanted to look at contemporary reviews to see how they rated it when new.

We looked at three consumer advocate websites that include, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds. What they found can help your search for the perfect used SUV today, in 2022. review of the 2020 Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Toyota Highlander SUV | Toyota

The automotive consumer site gave the 2020 Toyota Highlander a 4.6 out of 5.0 rating. 

“The redesigned Toyota Highlander boasts high-end technologies even among base models and, on higher trim levels, lavish cabin materials that go toe-to-toe with the poshest rivals. But space for people or luggage is not its forte — a historical weakness for the model that has improved only modestly in this fourth-generation overhaul. By contrast, the Highlander Hybrid has impressive efficiency potential and no clear rival. The closest was Ford’s new Explorer Hybrid, but the latter is so much costlier than it’s hard to fathom anyone cross-shopping the two.”

2020 Highlander owner comments

“I owned a 2003 Toyota 4 Runner before. After almost 20 years I switched to the Highlander. The ride is hard and the seats are not that comfortable. I should have gotten another 4Runner. MPG is not that great, either.”

“Couldn’t be happier with the choice as it is comparable to the Mercedes. Gas mileage in the city is averaging 25 mpg, and highway reach as high as 34.1 mpg. The car rides beautifully on the road, although the Bridgestone tires cause some outside road noise. When the tires are worn, I will switch over to a softer tire to lessen the road noise. The car is a keeper, and we truly enjoy all aspects of it. Would recommend it to anyone who wants a top-notch vehicle.”

Edmunds conclusions for the 2020 Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Toyota Highlander SUV | Toyota


  • Comfortable, quiet ride
  • Easy to see out of
  • Good power and fuel economy from the V6 engine


  • The third row is kids-only
  • Below-average cargo space behind the third-row seat

“The new Highlander is slightly longer than its predecessor, increasing the cargo space behind the third-row seat. Last year’s Highlander could only hold 13.8 cubic feet of gear behind the third row. The extra room increases the 2020 Highlander’s carrying capacity to 16 cubes.

“The Highlander gets high marks for its superb comfort and above-average fuel economy. It feels confident on a winding road, and its responsive acceleration is useful for driving around town. It’s also comfortable on long-distance drives. But the Highlander suffers from a third-row seat that is confining and falls below the mark set by the top players in this segment.”

Consumer Reports review for the 2020 Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Toyota Highlander SUV dash | Toyota

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Toyota Highlander a 4.6 rating out of 5.0. Here is what the owners had to say.

Owner comments 

“Our service people and friends said Toyota Highlander was the vehicle to look at for long-term reliability and comfort. Couldn’t be more pleased and we’ve only owned it for 24 hours. Exceeds our expectations.”

“I cannot get a comfortable driving position in my 2020 Highlander. The steering column doe not extend far enough. The seat is too short and not enough leg support. The front does not angle up far enough either to support my leg. I regret giving up my Honda Pilot!”

“The Highlander Limited includes so many features that there are few options to consider. This model has all the bells and whistles we need or want. The only dealer-installed options we picked were the all-weather floor mats, door edge and body side protection, and a cargo carrier net. This car is loaded with the latest safety, and comfort technology.”

Consumer Reports says

2020 Toyota Highlander
2020 Toyota Highlander SUV | Toyota

“The redesigned, fourth-generation Highlander looks, feels and drives in a very familiar way. It benefits from incremental improvements across the board and remains competitive in the three-row midsize SUV class. All told, it’s a smart choice for families looking for a do-it-all vehicle—but it is not a standout.

“Buyers first have to decide if they want the V6 or the much more fuel-efficient hybrid version. The next decision is between seven- or eight-passenger seating. The former has a second-row bench, the latter has captain’s chairs.” 


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