Is the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum Worth the Extra Cash?

There’s a lot to like about the Toyota Highlander, especially if you find yourself considering the range-topping Toyota Highlander Platinum. But is the Toyota Highlander Platinum actually worth all that extra cash? After all, it’s not the only high-ranking trim level this year’s Highlander has to offer.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum parked
2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum | Toyota

The 2021 Highlander is available in several trim levels

There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to the 2021 Toyota Highlander. It’s available in six different trim levels, including the Highlander L, LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and the Toyota Highlander Platinum. Opt for the Highlander L, and you can expect standard features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. For added features like a blind-spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alerts, consider the Highlander LE.

And if that doesn’t quite do it for you? The Highlander XLE adds on sought after features like wireless smartphone charging and heated front seats. The Highlander XSE, on the other hand, adds on premium amenities like leather-trimmed seating. This year’s model is available in two additional trim levels too, including the Limited and the Platinum.

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What’s the difference between the Highlander Limited and the Highlander Platinum?

While the Toyota Highlander is available in six different trim levels, it’s the range-topping Highlander Limited and Toyota Highlander Platinum that offer the most features. Of course, there are a few key differences between the Highlander Limited and the Platinum.

First, let’s take a look at exterior differences. The Highlander Limited is standard with LED projector headlights with LED-strip daytime running lights, washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers, and a power tilt/slide moonroof with a sunshade. The Platinum model, however, benefits from upgraded exterior features such as LED projector headlights with an adaptive front-lighting system, rain-sensing washer-linked variable intermittent windshield wipers, and a power panoramic view moonroof with a convenient sunshade. 

As for interior features? Both models offer sought after features like wireless smartphone charging, leather-trimmed seating, and a heated steering wheel. But it’s the Toyota Highlander Platinum that offers up features like a digital rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated second-row, and a bird’s eye view camera. Unlike the Limited, the Platinum also features a 10-inch color head-up display and a premium audio system with dynamic navigation.

The interior of the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum
The interior of the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum. | Toyota

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Here’s how much the Toyota Highlander Platinum will cost you

But here’s the thing, the Highlander Platinum is pricey. While the Limited will cost you approximately $43,865, the Toyota Highlander Platinum will have you spending a minimum of $47,065. That’s a $3,200 difference in price, which is by no means chump change. That’s the bare minimum too. If you’re after a Highlander with all-wheel drive, you can expect to spend at least $45,815 on the Limited and $49,015 on the Platinum model.

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Is the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum worth the upgrade?

So is the 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum worth the upgrade? It all depends. If you’ve got your heart set on a fully-loaded Highlander, then you really can’t go wrong with the Platinum. After all, it is pretty well-stocked with features. But if you don’t need premium features like rain-sensing wipers and heated second-row seats, then the Platinum model may not be worth the extra spend.