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Toyota’s new Highlander brings some welcome updates for the 2023 model year. The Japanese midsize SUV comes standard with some great driver assistance and safety features. It now uses a standard turbocharged four-cylinder. Which Toyota Highlander SUV trims should consumers be most excited about?

The 2023 Toyota Highlander XLE is the Highlander trim sweet spot

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

The vehicle trim that offers the best value is often the sweet spot between the base model and the final trim or the most affordable version and the most well-equipped version. The new Highlander comes in six different trim levels. Toyota also offers a hybrid version of the Highlander that gets incredible gas mileage. The Highlander XLE is worth getting excited about because it balances affordability, tech, and creature comforts well.

The 2023 Toyota Higlander XLE starts at $41,820. It comes standard with heated outside mirrors with turn signal and blind-spot warning indicators, a blind-spot monitor, and an anti-theft system with an engine immobilizer. The midsize SUV also features heated front seats and wireless smartphone charging. Car and Driver recommends the Highlander XLE over other trims.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Platinum is the smartest Highlander

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

Drivers truly live in one of the greatest eras of technological innovation ever when it comes to driver assistance and safety features. Many of the features are becoming standard, while some of the more advanced tech features are reserved for final trim-level vehicles.

The Highlander Platinum comes standard with a panoramic view monitor and front and rear parking assist. It’s by far the easiest Highlander trim to park and maneuver through tight spaces.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Platinum also includes a leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, ambient interior lighting, and a heated front and second row. The Highlander Platinum final trim starts at $49,075 (which is relatively close to today’s average new vehicle price).

Don’t sleep on the base model Toyota Highlander

Base models often get a bad rap for being too barebones, but at a time of economic uncertainty, base models are looking better and better. Automakers are also producing some of the most well-equipped base model vehicles in history thanks to technological innovation. The Kia Telluride is a perfect example.

The 2022 Kia Telluride comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and SynTex seating materials. Talk about setting the tone.

The Toyota Highlander L starts at $36,420. It comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense, Toyota’s suite of safety and driver assistance features. Toyota Safety Sense includes lane-departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist, and full-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Full-speed dynamic cruise control is great for driving long distances in moderate traffic.

The 2023 Highlander L may not offer as many creature comforts and tech upgrades as upper trim levels, but its value proposition is still exciting, especially if you’re planning on long-term ownership. A new Highlander L should be able to last over 200,000 miles or 14 years.

Toyota’s midsize SUV will compete with one of the best midsize SUVs on the market.


The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is More Sensible Than the Gas Version In Real Life