The 2021 Toyota Highlander is back and ready to take on the competition after last year’s edgy redesign. The fourth-generation three-row midsize SUV is bigger than ever, with room for up to eight passengers. This year’s Highlander model offers a larger cabin and more cargo-carrying capacity. The reliable Highlander highlights extra tech, advanced safety features, and improved fuel economy. The enhanced size also comes with a higher price tag, leaving consumers to wonder if the extra space is worth it.
Bigger than ever for 2021
The 2021 Toyota Highlander is larger than last year’s model by 2.2 cubic feet and features a spacious interior. Behind the third row sits 16 cubic feet of cargo space. With the rear seats folded down, the area expands to 84.3 cubic feet. Offering the longest cabin space in its class, there are plenty of small hidden storage compartments strategically placed throughout the cabin.
The stylish updated exterior design is visually appealing, allowing for a commanding presence on the roadways. The larger size boasts well-defined side panels and an impressive front end grille that received a new model year facelift.
Autotrader stated the Highlander is “among the most recommendable 3-row midsize SUVs, with superb practicality, strong resale values, and an impeccable reputation for reliability.”
The spacious interior is spectacular
Second-row seating options include a bench that allows for accommodating eight passengers or a pair of wide captain’s chairs that allow you to fit up to seven people. With plenty of extra room to haul the family and their belongings, the 2021 Toyota Highlander is a favorite in the three-row SUV market.
The well-appointed cabin utilizes high-end color contrasting materials to provide a comfortable experience for all occupants. The soft-touch fabrics on the seats create an upmarket feel, and the easy-to-use infotainment system keeps the interior climate and audio settings within reach.
It is worth noting that the third row still doesn’t have as much space as its competitors. An ample 27.7 inches of legroom isn’t enough to compete with the Buick Enclave and the Volkswagen Atlas that both offer 33 inches of legroom. The rear headroom is also limited for taller passengers.
New features for the 2021 Toyota Highlander
The 2021 Toyota Highlander is in the second iteration of the fourth generation. The MSRP is $35,985 for the V6 engine that comes in six trim levels.
A hybrid drivetrain is now available with a front-wheel-drive variant that is more affordable. All models have the option of going with all-wheel drive for an additional surcharge ranging between $1,600 and $1,950. Improved performance and better fuel economy put the Highlander at the head of its class.
The fuel-efficient crossover provides a wide array of standard safety features. Every model includes eight airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, and a brake assist system. The IIHS Top Safety Pick also features the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 package that provides standard driver aids such as lane tracing assistance, road sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic emergency braking is now a standard feature.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander utilizes LED projector headlights with automatic high beams in every vehicle. An XSE trim is also being introduced to this year’s model. Additional features include a panoramic moonroof, adjustable seating, a heated steering wheel, and the option to upgrade to leather upholstery. Reclining rear seats, three-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver’s seat create an unsurpassed feeling of luxury. Toyota is all about comfort and convenience, as is evidenced by the USB ports and AC controls in all rows.
The all-new Highlander offers solid reliability along with a strong resale value, making the 2021 model not only bigger but better than ever.