3 Reasons the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE Is the Most Popular Trim

You aren’t alone if you’re interested in the 2022 Toyota Highlander. As one of the most popular midsize SUVs available, choosing the right one can be challenging. However, the most popular trim level among buyers is the Highlander XLE. Is there something better about it that makes customers want it so badly? There are three reasons the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is the most popular trim.

a white toyota highlander
Toyota Highlander | Toyota

According to Edmunds, the most popular 2022 Toyota Highlander trim is the XLE. Starting at $42,270, it’s only a few thousand dollars more expensive than the lower-tier models. As a result, the added features and value are tremendous since the XLE model isn’t too expensive. The upper trims, like the Highlander Limited and Platinum, are much more costly. A few essential things make the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE the perfect mid-tier trim.

1. Second-row captain’s chairs

Red interior of a 2022 Toyota Highlander three-row suv. Why is the XLE trim the most popular?
2022 Toyota Highlander with red interior | Toyota

First, versatility is one of the most important things in a three-row SUV. Not only do owners need a lot of interior space, but they also need it customizable to their needs. As a result, the XLE is an ultra-popular selection. Moreover, buying a 2022 Toyota Highlander provides seating for eight and a bench seat in the middle.

Upgrading to the XLE version of the Highlander, however, changes the bench seat to second-row captain’s chairs. In addition, it reduces the number of seats to seven, which is actually better for most owners. Furthermore, the bench seat isn’t simply gone forever by choosing this Highlander model. As we said, options and versatility are paramount, and XLE buyers can swap out the captain’s chairs for a bench seat if they want. The good news is that opting for the bench seat comes free of charge.

2. Interior simulated leather upholstery

A 2022 Toyota Highlander SoFtex simulated leather upholstery on interior seats. This is why the XLE trim is popular.
2022 Toyota Highlander simulated leather seats | Toyota

Next, the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE comes with SofTex simulated leather upholstery. Choosing the lower L or LE models offers owners fabric upholstery throughout the cabin. Although it isn’t terrible, Toyota’s SofTex simulated leather is a massive step up. Most customers buying a three-row or any midsize SUV generally want a comfortable, high-quality interior. Vehicles of this size tend to get a lot of use and see frequent passengers in the rear seats.

Taking care of your vehicle and feeling comfortable in it can be more difficult with a low-quality interior. After all, that is where you’ll spend all your time with it, inside the vehicle. That’s why another reason the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is the most popular trim is the upgraded SofTex simulated leather upholstery. Nearing luxury, the XLE’s interior quality is much higher than cheaper-feeling trims.

3. Heated front seats

White 2023 Toyota Highlander SUV towing a boat
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

RELATED: 2022 Toyota Highlander vs. 2022 Sienna: SUV vs. Minivan Showdown!

Finally, the last reason most people choose the Highlander XLE is the heated front seats. If you’ve purchased new vehicles before, you know this is one of the most essential features to many. It’s the first step toward feeling like you’ve gotten value from your new vehicle purchase. While ventilated and massaging seats are slightly over-the-top, heated seats are simple and comfortable.

Especially for people living in cold climates, these can be essential. Moreover, they’re one of the most requested features during any purchase. That’s why opting for the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is much easier when it’s the cheapest way to get heated seats. Who wouldn’t want a warm bottom in their new midsize three-row SUV?

In conclusion, there are many reasons the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is the most popular trim. Starting with second-row captain’s chairs, this option offers a lot of seating versatility and even extra interior space. Next, SofText simulated leather upholstery turns the cabin into a more comfortable, sleek, and luxurious place to be. Lastly, one of the most requested features from buyers is heated seats, and the Highlander XLE is the cheapest trim that has them. These three features are common reasons why most buyers want the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE instead of less popular trims.

RELATED: How Much Does a Fully Loaded 2022 Toyota Highlander Cost?