Trucks & SUVs

The Toyota Highlander XLE is Overpriced

The 2020 Toyota Highlander comes with nine different trim options! Holy moly, that’s a lot to choose from. There are so many options because there is a hybrid version of each 2020 Highlander model. But which trim option is the best? Let’s check out the 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE as the middle option. It may combine affordability, luxury, and comfort as the best trim option. 

Is the Toyota Highlander XLE trim worth buying? 

The 2020 Toyota Highlander already starts around $34k, making it one of the more expensive options, even though it can seat up to 7 or 8 passengers. The Toyota Highlander XLE starts around $39k, so hopefully, it packs in $5k worth of upgrades. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum
2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum | Toyota

If you do decide to upgrade, you will get a slightly better interior. The Toyota Highlander XLE comes with SofTex trimmed seats in the front row and second row, instead of regular cloth seats. The front seats are also heated and include lumbar support. 

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However, you’ll have to pay more for leather seats and heated seats in the second row. You also get a leather-wrapped shifting knob. But that’s about it. So, the interior is only slightly upgraded. 

On a cool note, the Toyota Highlander XLE trim has the option of including a microphone in the center console to broadcast messages over the speakers. But of course, that raises the price tag even more. 

Toyota Highlander XLE features 

The Toyota Highlander XLE trim comes with the same 3.5-liter V6 engine that the base model has. It’s the only powertrain option unless you go hybrid. We expected a V8 option, but the V6 still provides 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. 

Both the base model and XLE trim come with trailer sway control, can tow up to 5,000 lb, and come with six cargo tie-downs. However, neither of them comes with all-wheel-drive. To add AWD to the Toyota Highlander XLE, it will cost an extra $2k. The base model and XLE trim also have the same independent MacPherson front suspension.

Toyota Highlander XLE tech 

The Toyota Highlander XLE may come with enough extra tech features to make upgrading worth it. With this trim, you get a 7″ cluster display instead of a 4″ one and a wireless phone charger built into the center console. But you don’t get the head’s up display, bird’s eye view camera, or 120-Volt outlet. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving on road in the sun
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

Also, the Toyota Highlander XLE trim doesn’t come with very many extra safety features. It does come with cruise control, which is a nice extra, but not worth an additional $5k. The base model and XLE trim have blind-spot collision warnings, lane departure alert, pre-collision warning, and more. 

The base model of the Toyota Highlander seems like a much better deal. If you want more comfort and tech, the XLE doesn’t provide much. You’ll have to spend more to select an even higher trim option. Otherwise, all the Toyota Highlander XLE has is slightly enhanced comfort.