Skip to main content

The Toyota Highlander is a staple in the midsize SUV segment. The Highlander is a great family SUV because it’s reliable over long periods of time and has great standard features. Is the final Highlander trim worth over $49,000?

Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander Platinum worth the money?

A gray 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Platinum starts at a whopping $49,075. It costs $12,655 more than the base model. The question is, does the Platinum trim provide over $12K worth of value?

The Highlander Platinum comes standard with leather-trimmed front and second-row seats, a heated front, and second row, and ambient interior lighting. It also includes a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Toyota’s final Highlander trim definitely offers some great creature comforts and tech upgrades. Some of its trim-exclusive driver assistance and safety features include a panoramic view monitor and front and rear parking assist with automatic braking. It also comes with a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

When you consider the Highlander Platinum’s near-luxury interior features and sophisticated standard tech, the Japanese automaker’s pricing seems fair. Is the Highlander Platinum the best trim for the money? Probably not. But it sure is loaded with goodies.

What is the best Toyota Highlander trim for the money?

A white 2023 Toyota Highlander is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Car and Driver calls the 2023 Highlander XLE the best Toyota Highlander trim. It’s tough to disagree because of the midsize SUV’s value proposition. The 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE isn’t as bare bones as lower trim levels, and it doesn’t break the bank at $41,820. In fact, claims that the average new vehicle price is close to $48,301 as of August. So, the Highlander XLE is actually reasonable by today’s standards. Factor in the midsize SUV’s reliability, and it begins to seem like a steal for its price.

The XLE is a step up from the LE because it includes a blind-spot monitor, an anti-theft system with an engine immobilizer, and heated outside mirrors with turn signal and blind-spot warning indicators. The Highlander XLE trim is a better option than the base model for long-term ownership.

Should you get a Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to make 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It achieves 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Highlander isn’t the most powerful midsize SUV, or the most fuel efficient. It isn’t the best midsize SUV in its class for the money. The Highlander provides plenty of value over long periods of ownership, but you should consider models like the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride before making a final decision on the Highlander. Used Highlander models are another story. If you’re in the market for a used midsize SUV, the 2017 Toyota Highlander is a great place to start.


The 2022 Toyota Highlander Challenges the Kia Sorento