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It’s no secret that Japanese automaker Toyota produces some of the best SUV models on planet Earth. The brand makes great, long-lasting SUVs that have stood the test of time. Plenty of Toyota SUV nameplates have survived for decades and are aging like a fine wine. There’s plenty of innovation in the segment as well. Plenty of hybrid and plug-in hybrid Toyota SUVs are beginning to pickup up steam. The brand produces one of the most popular midsize SUVs from a sales perspective, and it isn’t the Toyota 4Runner.

The Toyota Highlander still has a place in the industry after all these years

A white 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

We’ve reached a clear crossroads in the automotive industry where the way consumers look at vehicles has completely evolved. Some drivers don’t even classify certain midsize SUV models as SUVs because they aren’t truck-like. Some pickup truck fans see the tiny Ford Maverick as blasphemy. The introduction of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains is changing everything.

Still, some Toyota SUV nameplates remain consistently popular, no matter how much the industry changes. The Toyota Highlander may not be the most affordable or the most fuel-efficient midsize SUV, but it still outsells many rivals.

The Toyota Highlander is near the top of a list of bestselling midsize SUVs for 2022 compiled by GoodCarBadCar is an auto sales data website. The Toyota Highlander outsold popular models like the Kia Telluride, despite the Telluride getting higher overall ratings from critics and automotive publications. The site claims that the Jeep Grand Cherokee was the only midsize SUV to outsell the Toyota Highlander.

According to GoodCarBadCar, Toyota sold 222,805 Highlander models in 2022. That’s more than Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot sales combined. There’s clearly still a huge demand for the Toyota Highlander, but why?

Why do people love the Toyota Highlander so much?

A gray 2023 Toyota Highlander midsize SUV is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The Toyota Highlander has been in production for 23 years thus far. The nameplate is on its fourth generation. Toyota has redesigned several nameplates recently, and the Highlander could be next.

People love the Toyota Highlander because it offers the same longevity and reliability as other Toyota SUVs like the 4Runner, but it’s better suited for families. The Highlander is, in many ways, the perfect family SUV. It lasts considerably longer than rivals and typically has low costs of ownership as far as maintenance.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander starts at $36,420. It comes in six different trim levels. The Highlander uses a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to make 265 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. It offers decent power for its size. The midsize SUV gets 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway. Its fuel economy is average for its segment, but hybrid midsize SUVs have opened up a new world of possibilities for family SUVs.

Should you get a Toyota Highlander?

A red 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid midsize hybrid SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

1 Potential Drawback to the 2023 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a great midsize SUV option that outsells most rivals for a reason. Car and Driver praises the midsize SUV’s standard tech features, upper trim interiors, and the fuel economy of the Highlander Hybrid.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets amazing driving range compared to the gas-powered version. The Highlander can travel for about 456 miles on a full tank of gas. The Highlander Hybrid gets 615 miles of driving range thanks to its stellar fuel economy. That’s 159 more miles of driving range per full tank of gas than the internal combustion engine version.

If you’re looking for the best midsize SUV on the market, the Highlander is one of the best options. If you want more fuel economy out of your family SUV, the Highlander Hybrid is the better choice for the money.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid starts at $40,220. It comes standard with a blind-spot monitor, hill-start assist control, and Toyota’s suite of safety features, Toyota Safety Sense. If you’re interested in the Highlander, the hybrid version is worth looking into as well.