Trucks & SUVs

The Consumer Reports List of Cons for the 2020 Toyota Highlander Is Microscopic

The Toyota Highlander has been a success for a while now. People bought it, and people liked it. The longevity and reliability of Toyota matched with the growing popularity of the midsized SUV market has cemented it as a win for the marque. That trend has continued with the 2020 Toyota Highlander

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Highlander a shining review resulting in an 84 out of 100 overall. Obviously, this isn’t a perfect score or anything like that, and other vehicles have done better, but CRs list of negative aspects can hardly even be called a list; there are only two things – Two.

The two things Consumer Reports didn’t like about the 2020 Toyota Highlander

The first of the two complaints is barely even worthy of being called a complaint. Consumer Reports says that the daytime driving lights are too easy to turn off accidentally. Yep. That’s the first of the two complaints; daytime driving lights. Moving on.

The second is a more legitimate complaint that is worth addressing. Consumer Reports says that the Toyota Highlander is not overly blessed in the agility department. Honestly, even this critique feels like an example of, “well, if I haaaave to find something wrong…”

2021 Toyota Highlander XLE
2021 Toyota Highlander XLE | Joel Lerner/Xinhua via Getty

CR mentions that it handles corners without excessive body roll and gives drivers a sense of control and confidence. The critique lies in a comparison to the Mazda CX-9. CR says it’s “not particularly agile and certainly not in the same league as the CX-9.” I mean…OK. That’s all they got? 

All that’s left is the good stuff about the 2020 Toyota Highlander

The midsized Toyota is powered by a spry little V6 paired with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. It also got a brand-new aesthetic design that looks much more aggressive and almost sporty. The V6 is surprisingly thirsty, with an average of 22 mpg overall. The hybrid model with a CVT gets a far more impressive 34 mpg overall. However, the hybrid is reportedly much slower and overall less responsive. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Driving experience

Like we mentioned earlier, the Highlander could be a little more nimble on quick direction changes, but overall, it is a fairly maneuverable SUV, according to Consumer Reports. The day-to-day ride is nice and smooth, taking bumps and road imperfections in stride. 

RELATED: The Toyota Highlander is underwhelming

CR says that the road noise is pretty low, but there are dull wind and V6 humming noises to deal with. They say that it may not be the best in that department if you really want a super quiet ride. Even though it isn’t dead quiet, CR says that it compares well to other models in its class. 

Driver aids and tech 

The Toyota Highlander isn’t heavy with driver aids, but the ones it does have are significant. The adaptive cruise control works well and responds to changing conditions efficiently, and the lane-keep assist follows that trend neatly. 

Although the color choices in the interior are a bit bland, the materials are high quality and hold up well. CR recommends the XLE trim for a heated steering wheel and seats and genuine leather upholstery. While there’s nothing wrong with the interior is doesn’t compete with the semi-lux feel of similarly priced Kias. 

Driver position, visibility, and seat comfort all follow the same line; they’re fine. That’s the motto for the 2020 Toyota Highlander: “Eh, it’s fine.” CR corroborates the Highlander’s fineness. There just weren’t any problems to speak of. If you need an SUV that will work and be “fine,” head for the highlands.