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Consumers are used to hearing about how different vehicles top this class, or these are best-sellers in this segment. But when it comes to being the best in the big leagues, Toyota is the best-selling brand on a global scale. Ironically, they don’t earn this distinction because they continuously reinvent the wheel, or redesign existing models like a revolving door.

Instead, Toyota takes a more methodical approach to build cars customers want. And to demonstrate this mission, in 2020, the only vehicle in the Toyota family to receive a redesign was the Highlander.

An automaker that listens to its customers

Let’s face it. Automakers can crank out vehicles all they want. But if those vehicles don’t have or do what customers need, those vehicles will sit on dealership lots indefinitely. The key to designing and building cars that customers actually want and need is all about listening.

Over the last few years, for example, consumers have been flocking to SUVs. Families need ample seating and enough power to pull, haul, and load. But they also want comfort, technology, and safety. Toyota took those sentiments to heart and applied upgrades to its Highlander accordingly.

Toyota improved the 2020 Highlander accordingly

As if it had been listening in on consumer conversations, the 2020 Toyota Highlander came out of the gate, seeming to answer all of the critical sentiments of models past. Fully redesigned, the Highlander is bringing more power with its 3.5L V6 engine, according to CarFax.

To stand out from other three-row competitors, the Highlander offers increased cargo capacity. And to respond to the disappointment of past tech installments, the Highlander is now Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible as a standard. Toyota made the controls easy to use and loaded five USB ports so that everyone can charge their devices.

The Highlander already scores high in crash test and safety ratings. But this SUV comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the impressive suite of driver assistance features.

How the industry experts reviewed the 2020 Toyota Highlander

The industry experts weighed in with their opinions of the redesigned Toyota Highlander this year. Most applaud the additions, especially the phone pairing technology that almost all automakers have already implemented.

Consumer Reports shares the Highlander is familiar, meaning Toyota upgraded what it needed, but didn’t compromise anything else. The CR experts say this SUV remains competitive and a “smart choice for families.”

Others appreciate the newly harnessed power and smooth transmission. Edmunds reviews are quick to recognize the extra room, and cargo capacity increases.

The overall sentiments suggest the critics are supportive of the Highlander upgrades, but they aren’t overly wowed by anything in particular.

The best variation for families

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Deciding which 2020 Toyota Highlander trim is best for your family means first choosing between a seven or eight-passenger capacity. Most reviews say the XLE trim makes the most sense in terms of value.

But for those who really want upscale feel, leather and infotainment boosts, those come at the higher levels. Heated steering wheels, for example, are available on the Limited. But, based on the upgrades this year, it’s clear Toyota made all the most popular equipment available at the lower price points.

Toyota has leveraged a recipe for vehicle sales success. And it’s easy to see their process with the Toyota Highlander. It was a top-selling SUV before, but now has a redesign that speaks directly to the wants and needs of the consumers.

Toyota didn’t have to reinvent the wheel or redesign its entire fleet to be successful. The Highlander was the only model that the Toyota engineers reworked. And it proves to be the systematic process for success.


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