3 Pros of Driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander and 1 Con
The Toyota Highlander isn’t one of the best-selling SUVs on the market by accident. This reliable sport utility vehicle has a long history of reliability, plenty of safety features, and comes with a variety of fuel-efficient engine choices. Here are three pros of driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander and one con.
One of the pros of driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander is the style
While driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander this month, a few things stood out. The 2023 Highlander has all of the modern design elements one might expect for a brand-new SUV, but somehow it doesn’t look too modern. Perhaps that is because Toyota has subtly updated and improved the look of the SUV over the years without going too far over the edge. Even the Highlander SUVs from 10 years ago don’t look too dated.
A recent iSeeCars study looked at the potential lifespan of vehicles, and the Highlander made the list twice. The study found that the Highlander had the potential to last 218,075 miles or more with proper care and maintenance. It also found that the Highlander Hybrid had the potential to last 244,994 miles or more.
It would make sense that the SUV wouldn’t take too many style risks, so it doesn’t look outdated, even if it has more than 200,000 miles on the odometer.
The safety systems made driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander easy
If you’ve been in a modern vehicle lately, all the driving assistance and safety systems can be overwhelming. The 2023 Highlander comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ standard, which includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist.
These systems make driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander easier, but not in an invasive way. The beeping was minimal during everyday driving, and when the systems felt the need to activate for one reason or another, it was helpful and not overbearing. Toyota’s Road Sign Assist was actually quite helpful in the hard rain while entering a school zone, too.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander is the winner of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus. It also received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Hybrid powertrain option makes the Highlander even more fuel efficient
The 2023 Toyota Highlander has two engine choices: the 2.4L turbo four-cylinder and the hybrid. The 2.4L is all new for this year, with 256 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. The 24 mpg combined is the same as last year, but Toyota says it is much more environmentally friendly. It can also tow 5,000 pounds and starts at $36,420.
However, the Highlander Hybrid is pretty reasonably priced but offers much better fuel economy. Toyota offers the Hybrid in four trim levels: LE ($40,220), XLE ($43,220), Limited ($47,475), and Platinum ($50,675). The hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. The Highlander gets 36 mpg combined with the hybrid and can tow 3,500 pounds.
Ensure the cargo space is enough before committing
The Highlander might not have enough space depending on how many seats you need regularly. With the captain’s chairs, it still seats seven passengers, but the cargo area is compromised. All trim levels get 16.0 cubic feet of space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks brings that up to 48.4 cubic feet, and folding the third seat brings the total cubic area to 84.3 cubic feet.
Sixteen cubic feet is enough for some luggage and groceries, but it might not be enough for seven people and groceries. Folding the third row down is easy, and the 60/40 split makes it a little more versatile.
At the end of the day, driving the 2023 Toyota Highlander was a pretty wholesome experience. The pros outweigh the cons, but no car, truck, or SUV is perfect. Modern vehicles benefit from more features and technology, but these aren’t foolproof either. Comfort, versatility, and safety are just a few of the positives following the Highlander.