Trucks & SUVs

Avoid the 2021 Toyota Highlander and Choose One of These Alternatives Instead

The 2021 Toyota Highlander has a lot going for it. It’s reliable, safe, and offers plenty of passenger space. For growing families, it’s practically perfect. But does that mean you should buy this year’s Highlander? Not necessarily. So if you aren’t entirely sold on this year’s Highlander? We’ve got a few alternatives to the 2021 Toyota Highlander that are definitely worth your consideration.

2021 Toyota Highlander parked
2021 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2021 Kia Telluride is a cheaper alternative to the 2021 Toyota Highlander

The 2021 Toyota Highlander isn’t the cheapest SUV out there. In fact, this year’s model is pretty expensive. This year’s new Toyota Highlander boasts a base price of $34,810, which is prohibitively expensive for many car shoppers. Its price doesn’t get any lower from there either. If you’re hoping to treat yourself to a fully-loaded SUV, you can expect to spend at least $46,965 on the Highlander Platinum.

Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives to the 2021 Toyota Highlander. Take, for instance, the 2021 Kia Telluride. This year’s Telluride boasts a base price of $32,190 and will only have you spending $42,490 for a fully loaded model. Not to mention, the Telluride comes standard with a significantly better warranty. While the Telluride comes standard with a decade long warranty program, this year’s Highlander is standard with a 36-month/36,000-mile limited warranty, a 36-month/36,000-mile basic warranty, and a 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

RELATED: 2021 Kia Telluride: Consumer Reports Struggled To Find Any Flaws

The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is more enjoyable to drive than the Highlander

The 2021 Kia Telluride isn’t the only alternative to the 2021 Toyota Highlander. You might also want to consider the Mazda CX-9, which according to Car and Driver, is more enjoyable to drive. Though the Highlander comes standard with a 295-hp V6 engine, Car and Driver reports that “handling is unexciting but stable.” Consumer Reports made a similar judgment, adding that the Highlander isn’t “particularly agile.”

The 2021 Mazda CX-9, on the other hand, is known for being enjoyable to drive. According to Consumer Reports, “agility is a high point for the CX-9.” This year’s model can steer into corners in a “resolute manner, conveying a sense of control and precision to the driver.” Car and Driver added that the 2021 Mazda CX-9 is “clearly the driving enthusiast’s family hauler.”

RELATED: $2,000 Can Go a Long Way to Making the 2021 Mazda CX-9 Even More Luxurious

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade outranks the 2021 Toyota Highlander

For another alternative to the 2021 Toyota Highlander, check out the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s Palisade slightly outranks the Highlander in multiple areas. While the Highlander earned an overall score of 84, the Hyundai Palisade earned an 85 overall score from Consumer Reports.

But what it is that earned the Hyundai Palisade a higher score than the 2021 Toyota Highlander? It all came down to road tests. While the Highlander scored an 86 in Consumer Reports’ road tests, the Palisade managed a score of 88. According to Consumer Reports, the Palisade “delivers smooth, punchy acceleration.” Its transmission shifts “smoothly and responsively” too.

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Has 1 Huge Family Advantage

These aren’t the only alternatives to the Toyota Highlander

If none of these options seem like the right choice for you, and you still aren’t sold on the 2021 Toyota Highlander. Don’t worry. There are plenty of alternatives to the 2021 Toyota Highlander, and these are just a few of them. To get a full understanding of whether or not the Highlander is a fit for you and to explore other options, we recommend heading to your local dealership.