Less Power Actually Helps the 2023 Toyota Highlander

We have good news and not-so-great news about the Toyota Highlander. This SUV is back with significant upgrades for the 2023 model year. However, these changes don’t come cheap. Check out why the 2023 Toyota Highlander is more powerful and more expensive. 

How much does the 2023 Toyota Highlander cost? 

2023 Toyota Highlander new turbo engine
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Highlander price starts at $36,420. The 2022 model kicks things off at $35,885. So, this is a modest price increase of about $535, which isn’t bad. But adding all-wheel drive increases the cost to $38,020. 

That means it costs $1,600 to upgrade! Plus, these prices don’t include the delivery fee or dealership markups. 

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid rings in at $40,220. The 2022 Highlander Hybrid model starts at $39,555. It only went up in price by $665. The Platinum Hybrid trim actually has a $370 price cut, though. 

Also, the largest price increase includes a $2,065 upcharge for the Highlander Limited FWD trim. The Bronze Edition AWD model now costs $1,200 more. 

What’s new for the 2023 Highlander? 

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a little extra muscle thanks to a new turbocharged engine. According to Motor Trend, the 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four engine delivers 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

This engine is replacing the outgoing 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. While the Highlander loses 35 hp, it gains 47 lb-ft of torque, which is better for daily driving and towing. 

Toyota shared that the 17 percent torque increase will make the Highlander more enjoyable while hauling eight people. Also, the smaller engine can tow up to 5,000 lbs and gets trailer sway control. 

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid remains mostly unchanged. It’s powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to generate 243 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. 

It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds. The outgoing gas-powered model can reach 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. The 2023 model could be faster. 

The Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. Toyota shared that the new turbo engine should get 25 mpg combined, which is the same as the outgoing model. 

Does the 2023 Highlander have interior upgrades? 

2023 Toyota Highlander interior
2023 Toyota Highlander interior | Toyota

Yes, the 2023 Toyota Highlander has a few notable interior upgrades. You can now opt for a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Lower trims have a new standard 8.0-inch infotainment unit. 

Also, the standard 7.0-inch cluster gauge cluster has more personation options, updated graphics, and displays more information. The old screen was 4.0-inches. 

Limited and Platinum trims have standard power-folding mirrors. The JBL 11-speaker premium audio system has Clari-fi tech. Plus, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board. 

Higher trims get a hands-free power liftgate and a new 360-degree view of the vehicle. Each model comes with a long list of standard safety features too. 

We can’t wait to see how the new engine performs. The towing and tech upgrades seem to make the price increase worth it too.

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