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Anyone shopping for a new three-row midsize SUV will likely consider the 2022 Toyota Highlander. It’s popular for many reasons, but especially because of its reliability. There are six different Highlander trim levels available. However, only one is the most popular among buyers and is recommended by two significant experts. Buyers and experts agree on the best 2022 Toyota Highlander trim, the Highlander XLE.

A silver 2022 Toyota Highlander parked in the wilderness, the Highlander is a competitor to the new Honda Pilot
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

According to Edmunds, the most popular 2022 Toyota Highlander trim among buyers is the XLE model. Slotted two spots above the L base model, a Highlander XLE provides many more features. What’s so good about it that makes customers always want it? A few simple but highly desirable features make the XLE the most popular version of the Highlander. Plus, it remains affordable, starting at $42,270, just a few thousand more than the base Highlander.

For example, a wireless charging pad, heated seats, and second-row captain’s chairs are standard for the XLE. Moreover, the most popular 2022 Toyota Highlander also comes with roof rails, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, simulated leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, second-row sunshades, and a larger digital driver information display. Lastly, the XLE model unlocks new optional features, like a factory navigation system.

Experts agree on the best Highlander trim

This 2022 Toyota Highlander could be the SUV you want to drive
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Fortunately, experts agree with customers about choosing the best Highlander. It doesn’t happen very often, but for once, the most popular is also the highest recommended version. Edmunds likes the XLE for a few reasons. Furthermore, it’s a great value since it comes with L and LE necessities, plus plenty of bonus extras. For example, heated front seats, simulated leather upholstery, and second-row sunshades are all niceties.

Alternatively, Car and Driver also agree the Highlander XLE is the best option. However, C/D recommends upgrading with the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation packages. As a result, the XLE gains factory navigation and an upgraded audio system. Next, all-wheel drive is also recommended and costs an extra $1,600. Lastly, the publication wants the hybrid powertrain, another $1,400 upgrade over the standard V6. With so many optional upgrades available at this trim level, there’s really no reason to go with a more expensive Highlander.

Buyers and experts agree on the best 2022 Toyota Highlander trim

Sometimes buying a new car can be challenging. Choosing the best version of a vehicle out of the many available trims is not easy. However, the 2022 Highlander makes the choice obvious. With a wide variety of features for the price, the Highlander XLE is the most popular for a reason. Experts recommend buying it as well, along with the many available upgrades.

Since things like all-wheel drive, a hybrid powertrain, and a better stereo system unlock with the XLE, there’s no need to go with higher trims. Although some of the range-topping features are nice to have, they aren’t necessary. For those with a limited budget looking for a reliable three-row midsize SUV, the 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is an excellent choice.


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