The Toyota Highlander Hybrid was redesigned for the 2020 model year and along with a new design came a new engine and some cool new features. We had the fuel-sipping three row SUV for a week and during our time with it, we couldn’t believe just how much Toyota upped the ante by making the Highlander much more luxurious and more tech-savvy than ever before. We kept having to reminds ourselves that we were in a Toyota. Here are a few of the coolest features that our Highlander Hybrid tester came equipped with.
12.3-inch multimedia display
Toyota says that the 12.3-inch multimedia display in the Highlander is the “largest in the segment,” and we have no reason not to believe it (although, we could just look it up). Aside from the massive size of the touchscreen that sits front and center of the dashboard, we really liked the configurability of the menus. For example, the climate controls can be switched to either the passenger or driver side with a simple swipe and the whole system is responsive and intuitive. Additionally, there are even volume and tune knobs, which is an added plus.
Bird’s eye view camera
To the left of the steering wheel, on the dashboard, there is a series of buttons. One of them is to change the views and angles that the cameras show on the infotainment system and we got a real kick out of playing around with it.
One of the views is a bird’s eye view that not only shows the top of the car, but also the complete proximity around the vehicle in a video game-like style. It’s great for tight parking situations or for watching it while you’re driving. Although, we don’t recommend doing that.
Second-row captain’s chairs
The second-row captain’s chairs are really nothing new for the segment, however, we were impressed with how supportive and stylish they were. There are even digital climate controls, heated seats, USB, and a 120V outlet in the second row. Again, while it’s nothing new, it’s a great addition to the Highlander in terms of keeping passengers comfortable.
10-inch color head up display
Some might not like head-up displays, but we liked that the 10-inch display on the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum displayed the most pertinent information in color. The display not only shows the vehicle speed but also the turn-by-turn directions when you have a destination plotted on the navigation.
JBL 1,200-watt, 11-speaker premium sound system
We can’t stress enough just how great the JBL sounds system is in every Toyota we have driven. However, since the Highlander Hybrid is so quiet, the serene cabin made it so that we could hear all of the highs and lows that the premium 1,200-watt sound system had to offer. Fortunately, if you’re in the market for a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, then the JBL sound system can be found on the Limited trim level as well. But if you end up opting for one of the lower trims, then we highly suggest checking the box for it.