Is the 2022 Toyota Highlander Better Than the 2021 Highlander?

Let’s dive in to see which Toyota Highlander model year is the best. Should you get the 2022 Toyota Highlander or save with a 2021 Highlander model instead? Perhaps a used Highlander could provide some savings, but let’s see what’s new. 

2022 Toyota Highlander: What’s new? 

A gray 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
A gray 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a new Hybrid Bronze Edition. The Highlander Bronze Edition includes bronze-colored accents inside and out, including 18-inch bronze wheels, bronze-interior stitching, and illuminated bronze door sills. 

You also get SofTex-trimmed teams with fabric insert and bronze stitching, unique embroidered cargo mats, a hands-free power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, digital rearview mirror, ambient lighting, and driver seat memory with a 10-way power seat. 

The Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition is available in Wind Chill Pearl, Cement, and Midnight Black Metallic. It starts at about $43,880, while the 2022 Highlander has an MSRP of about $35,405. The 2021 Highlander has an MSRP of $35,085, so the 2022 model has about a $400 increase. 

Aside from the Bronze edition, the XLE Highlander and high trim levels now have a standard height-adjustable power seat for the passenger. The rest of the lineup remains the same as the 2021 model. 

How much power does the 2022 Highlander have? 

The 2022 Toyota Highlander comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that pumps out 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to generate 243 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. 

With the gas-powered engine, you get an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and up to 29 mpg on the highway. If you upgrade to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, then you’ll get an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. 

Both options can be paired with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Also, the powertrains are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. When properly equipped, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 lbs. 

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Highlander can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds. This is a little faster than rivals like the Kia Telluride. It has responsive handling and confident brakes but still feels like a larger SUV at times. 

Does the Highlander have good features? 

2022 Toyota Highlander interior
2022 Toyota Highlander interior | Toyota

Yes and no. The 2022 Toyota Highlander provides a smooth ride over pavement with limited road noise for a peaceful environment. However, the third-row seats are pretty cramped. They should be reserved for smaller kids. 

An 8.0-inch infotainment system comes standard on most trims, but the Limited and Platinum have a 12.3-inch display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa come standard. You also get standard Sirius XM satellite radio and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. 

Standard safety features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beams. 

So, there isn’t much of a reason to go for the 2022 Highlander over the 2021 model unless you want the new Bronze Edition. Both the 2021 and 2022 models are great options to consider.

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