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The 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE is two steps upward for this midsize three-row SUV. When the lower trims just won’t do the job, and you want a Highlander that delivers more features, the XLE trim is where you want to be. Could this be the right Toyota SUV for you to drive? Let’s find out.

What does the 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE trim offer?

Toyota Highlander Trio Photo shows the SUV, the infotainment screen, and the engine
2023 Toyota Highlander, Infotainment Screen, and Engine | Toyota

Toyota adds a generous package of features to the XLE trim to give you:

  • Roof rails
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Powered moonroof
  • Wireless device charging
  • Heated front seats
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Optional hands-free tailgate
  • Driver Easy Speak is optional

These features are in addition to what you find in the lower trims. Some items you’ll find from the L and LE models are:

  • LED exterior lighting
  • LED fog lights
  • Keyless entry
  • Push-button starting
  • Tri-zone automatic climate controls
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-tracing assistance
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Automatic high beams
  • 8-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • One USB-A port
  • Four USB-C ports
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Satellite Radio
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Remote engine starting
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel

How much room will you find in the Highlander XLE SUV?

Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain's Chairs
Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain’s Chairs | Toyota

Every Toyota Highlander has the same cabin area. The XLE trim is the first in the lineup to bring a pair of captain’s chairs to the center row. This reduces your seating from eight to seven but provides more comfort for larger second-row passengers.

Behind the rear seat, you’ll find 16.0 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold down the third row, and this space increases to 48.4 cubic feet and then again to 84.3 cubic feet when the second row is also folded.

What powertrain does the 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE use?

Every 2023 Highlander uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. A hybrid version of this SUV is also offered but covered separately. The non-hybrid powertrain includes an 8-speed automatic transmission. Power from this setup is 264 horsepower and 309 horsepower. We don’t have the official EPA fuel mileage numbers yet, but we know this powertrain is good for 24 mpg combined.

The maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, and an optional AWD system is offered for this Toyota SUV.

What are the pros and cons of driving a Highlander SUV?

Blue Toyota Highlander on the road
Blue Toyota Highlander | Toyota

This midsize three-row SUV has a lot going for it. A few of the pros and cons are:


  • Top build quality
  • Reliability
  • Standard safety features


  • Third-row is too small for adults
  • More expensive than other models in the same class

How much does the XLE trim cost?

The starting price for the 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE should be approximately $42,000. If you want all-wheel drive added to this SUV, it will cost you an additional $2,000.

Should you drive this version of the Toyota Highlander?

When you want some upgraded features without moving to a luxury trim, the XLE model of the Highlander can be the right SUV for you to drive. Compare the Highlander to the Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, or Hyundai Palisade to see if you’re getting the best value in the Toyota SUV.

Next, check out the new Hyundai electric crossover SUV, or watch the Toyota Highlander video below:


These 13 Family SUVs Get Over 30 MPG