Can You Actually Find Value in the 2023 Toyota Highlander LE SUV?

That first step is sometimes the hardest to take but extremely rewarding once accomplished. On the other hand, “that first step is a doozy” has been part of entertainment for years. When you take one step up the ladder for the 2023 Toyota Highlander, you find yourself in the LE trim. Could this SUV be the right choice for you, or is this a step you shouldn’t take?

How does the Toyota Highlander LE add more to your driving experience?

Blue Toyota Highlander on the road
Blue Toyota Highlander | Toyota

RELATED: Toyota Just Ran Out of EV Tax Credits

Toyota gives us the LE trim as a step above the basic qualities in the base L trim of this SUV. The LE brings you:

  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alerts
  • Height-adjustable power rear liftgate
  • LED fog lights
  • Leather-trimmed shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • One-year trial subscription to Remote Connect services

What do the Remote Connect services offer for this SUV?

The Toyota Remote Connect services allow you to communicate with the Highlander via smartphone or smartwatch. This communication includes:

  • Remote starting
  • Last parked location
  • Vehicle status alert

Does the Highlander LE have a comfortable and versatile cabin?

Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain's Chairs
Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain’s Chairs | Toyota

Passengers in the Toyota Highlander SUV find two rows of benches in the rear. Second-row passengers enjoy 41 inches of legroom, while the third row is better for smaller children with only 27.7 inches of legroom offered.

When you need to carry cargo in the Highlander LE, you’ll find 16.0 cubic feet of space behind the third row of seats. This area increases to 48.4 cubic feet with the third row down and 84.3 cubic feet when both rear rows are folded.

Is the Toyota Highlander a reliable SUV?

RepairPal tells us the Toyota Highlander offers above-average reliability in the midsize SUV class. The frequency and cost of most repairs for this SUV are below the average for the class. The severity of any issues reaches the average for the class. These factors make the Highlander a reliable SUV.

What is the 2023 Toyota Highlander LE powertrain?

Front angle view of Wind Chill Pearl 2023 Toyota Highlander SUV
Wind Chill Pearl 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Every 2023 Highlander uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. A hybrid version of this SUV is also offered but covered separately. The non-hybrid powertrain includes an 8-speed automatic transmission. Power from this setup is 264 horsepower and 309 horsepower. We don’t have the official EPA fuel mileage numbers yet, but we know this powertrain is good for 24 mpg combined.

The maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, and an optional AWD system is offered for this Toyota SUV.

What’s the starting price for the 2023 Toyota Highlander LE SUV?

The LE trim offers a starting cost of $38,500. This is a reasonable price for a three-row SUV and only $2,500 more than the base L trim.

Are the trim-specific features of the LE trim worth the added cost?

Light Blue Toyota Highlander posed
Light Blue Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The added safety items and fog lights can make this small price increase worth the Highlander LE’s cost. Toss in the connected services, and you’ve got a vehicle that brings you into the modern era with alerts and desired controls.

The Toyota Highlander LE is only one step up the ladder if you’re looking for more out of your three-row SUV. There are many steps you can take to find the features you want in the Highlander lineup.

Next, check out why hot car deaths keep happening or watch the Toyota Highlander SUV video below:

RELATED: Is the High Starting Price for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia SUV Justified?