Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander Taking the Kia Telluride Kitchen Sink Approach?

The 2023 Toyota Highlander comes with great standard features. The midsize SUV aims to compete with the best in its segment. Did Toyota take a play out of Kia’s playbook to make the Highlander a better rival for the popular Kia Telluride midsize SUV?

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is loaded with standard features

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The Kia Telluride has ascended to midsize SUV greatness. The Telluride currently dominates midsize SUV rankings. Kia’s midsize SUV nameplate is only a few years old, and it has already made a huge impact on the market. How did the Kia Telluride get so popular?

One reason that the Kia Telluride has become so popular with consumers is the value it provides for the money. The Telluride was once one of the most affordable models in its segment. It has become much more expensive for the 2023 model year. However, consumers still expect value from the midsize SUV.

The Telluride was able to attract a huge following and win over the hearts of drivers because its base model came with many features that are usually exclusive to upper-trim-level models. Features like a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and SynTex seating materials made the Telluride more luxurious than most base-model midsize SUVs.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander has a new starting price. Like the Telluride, it has some premium features standard to entice consumers. The new Highlander comes standard with hill start assist control, a tire pressure monitoring system (individual tires), and dynamic radar cruise control. It also features remote keyless entry, a rear windshield and backup cam washer, and a road sign assist. Car and Driver praises the Highlander’s standard tech.

Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander as good as the Kia Telluride?

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

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Kia still has plenty of 2023 Kia Telluride details to unveil. The Telluride is likely to come with more standard creature comforts than the Toyota Highlander. That being said, Toyota has really stepped its game up when it comes to standard safety and driver assistance features.

Toyota vehicles are smarter and more technologically advanced than ever before, which is great for consumers. The Toyota Safety Sense suite of standard driver assistance and safety features makes the Highlander safer and easier to drive than previous model years. The Highlander nameplate is aging well. However, there are other midsize SUVs that are more likely to compete directly with the Kia Telluride, the midsize SUV segment’s top dog.

Should you get a new Toyota Highlander?

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Standard features and pricing aside, the best reason to get a Toyota Highlander is to benefit from its longevity. The Highlander is built to last, like many Toyota SUVs. If the Highlander has one advantage over the Telluride, it’s the midsize SUV’s long history of reliability. So, the 2023 Highlander is a definite upgrade, yet the Telluride remains the more exciting midsize SUV for most consumers.

If you’re deciding between the two models, Kia’s massively successful midsize SUV is worth waiting on as the brand releases more specs and details. Can any midsize SUV dethrone the Kia Telluride?

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