4 Great Toyota Highlander Alternatives Under $36,000

The Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular midsize SUVs, and it’s easy to see why. It has an attractive design, plenty of standard technologies, pleasing driving dynamics, and an efficient hybrid option. However, there are more affordable midsize SUVs that are worth considering. Here are four great Toyota Highlander alternatives that cost less than $36,000.

More affordable midsize SUVs to get instead of a Toyota Highlander

Front angle view of gray 2022 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV, highlighting affordable alternatives that cost under $36,000
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The starting price of the 2022 Toyota Highlander is $35,855 MSRP. While the official price information for the 2023 Highlander is not yet available, it will likely cost slightly more than the 2022 version. There’s much to like about the Highlander, but if you want a cheaper alternative, then check out these four models that cost under $36,000:

  1. 2022 Kia Telluride (Starting price: $33,390 MSRP)
  2. 2023 Hyundai Palisade (Starting price: $35,250 MSRP)
  3. 2023 Nissan Pathfinder (Starting price: $34,600 MSRP)
  4. 2022 Ford Explorer (Starting price: $35,510 MSRP)

Kia Telluride is a great alternative to the Toyota Highlander

Front angle view of silver 2022 Kia Telluride, affordable midsize SUV alternative to Toyota Highlander costing under $36,000
2022 Kia Telluride | Kia

One of the best midsize SUV alternatives that’s more affordable than the Toyota Highlander is the 2022 Kia Telluride, which has a starting price of $33,390 MSRP. The Telluride has been an immense success for Kia. It has a stylish exterior design, a considerable amount of passenger and cargo space, desirable technologies, and a lengthy list of standard features.

Also, the Telluride has generous warranty coverage, with the backing of a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. For the 2023 model year, the Telluride has a refreshed design, along with new features and off-road-focused X-Line and X-Pro trims. The official price information is not yet available for the 2023 Telluride, but we expect it to cost slightly more than the 2022 version. 

Hyundai Palisade is a budget-friendly choice for a midsize SUV

Front angle view of gray 2023 Hyundai Palisade, affordable midsize SUV alternative to Toyota Highlander  costing under $36,000
2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

Another great alternative to the Toyota Highlander that costs less than $36,000 is the Hyundai Palisade, which has a starting price of $35,250 MSRP. Like the mechanically-similar Kia Telluride, the Palisade has a refreshed design for the 2023 model year, with new features and a rugged new XRT trim. It has positive attributes in many different areas, including its attractive design, good driving dynamics, a roomy interior, and a wealth of standard features.

Also, the Palisade offers similar warranty coverage as the Telluride, with a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. On top of that, it has a complimentary maintenance plan, with three years or 36,000 miles of coverage.

Nissan Pathfinder is a more affordable alternative to the Toyota Highlander

Front angle view of Scarlet Ember Tintcoat 2023 Nissan Pathfinder midsize SUV
2023 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan

The third affordable midsize SUV alternative to the Toyota Highlander that costs under $36,000 is the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, which has a starting price of $35,000 MSRP. Highlights of the Pathfinder include its quiet and spacious cabin, useful storage compartments, good handling, and many standard features. Also, its 6,000-pound towing capacity is one of the highest for a mainstream midsize SUV.

Following the redesign for the previous model year, the 2023 Pathfinder brings back the Rock Creek Edition model, which has a lifted suspension and an off-road mode.

Ford Explorer: Midsize SUV with powerful engine options

Front angle view of silver 2022 Ford Explorer
2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

If you want a midsize SUV that packs plenty of power, then the 2022 Ford Explorer might be a good choice for you. The 2022 Explorer, which has a starting price of $35,510 MSRP, offers powerful engine options, ranging from the 300-hp 2.3-liter I-4 to the 400-hp 3.0-liter V-6 in the high-performance ST model.

Along with its powerful engine options, the Explorer has a long list of features, a spacious cargo area, and nimble handling for its size, as detailed by U.S. News. Also, with the off-road-focused Timberline trim, the Explorer can head far out into the wilderness.

More affordable midsize SUV alternatives to the Toyota Highlander that cost less than $36,000 include the 2022 Kia Telluride, 2023 Hyundai Palisade, 2023 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2022 Ford Explorer. If you’re looking for a midsize SUV that’s cheaper than the Highlander, then these models are worth a closer look.

For details on the 2023 Highlander, continue reading below.

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