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The Toyota Highlander has a well-earned reputation as an excellent SUV for families. With standard 3-row seating, excellent safety scores, and a rock-solid reputation for reliability, it’s not hard to see why. Families can’t go wrong with any spec of the Highlander, but it’s worth examining the whole model range to find the right 2023 Toyota Highlander trim for you.

A blue 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is parked.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

What trims are available for the Toyota Highlander?

The base L trim ($36,620) is the most affordable, but we wouldn’t call it the best value. It has the basics you want from a new family SUV, like 3-zone climate control, LED headlights, and a nice suite of safety tech features.

However, moving up to the LE trim ($39,020) adds blind-spot monitoring, a power driver’s seat, LED fog lights, a power liftgate, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel while keeping the starting MSRP below $40k.

The mid-range XLE trim ($42,020) is one of the most popular. It adds 18-inch alloy wheels, SofTex faux leather seats (which are heated in front), a power front passenger seat, a power sunroof, wireless charging, and a universal garage door opener. A 12.3-inch infotainment system is optional on this trim, which is easy to recommend if it fits your budget.

The XSE trim ($43,615) has many of the same features as the XLE model but has a sport-tuned suspension system and a sporty appearance package with black wheels.

The Limited trim ($46,275) is where the Highlander becomes more of a luxury SUV. The 12.3-inch infotainment system comes standard, plus a JBL 11-speaker audio system, 20-inch chrome wheels, leather seats, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and front/rear parking sensors. 

A 360-degree camera is optional with the Limited model, but it’s standard on the top Platinum trim ($49,475). The loaded Highlander Platinum also adds a panoramic glass roof, a 10-inch color head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats, an adaptive front lighting system, rain-sensing wipers, and a hands-free power liftgate.

There’s also a Bronze Edition ($46,380) available exclusively for the Highlander Hybrid. This is essentially the XLE model plus an appearance package with bronze accents and a standard 12.3-inch infotainment system.

Which 2023 Toyota Highlander trim is best for families?

Looking at the vast array of trims available for the Toyota Highlander, the one that offers the best bang for the buck to families is the Hybrid XLE model. Pricing starts at $43,620 and offers a lot of features for the money.

The hybrid powertrain has the benefit of 36 combined mpg. According to EPA estimates, the hybrid has an annual fuel cost of $600 lower than the most efficient non-hybrid Highlander. Since its starting price is only $1,600 higher than the non-hybrid XLE, the fuel savings can make up the price difference in less than three years.

In addition to saving money at the fuel pump, the Highlander Hybrid has many family-friendly features. Your passengers will appreciate the sunroof giving it an open and airy cabin. Additionally, standard second-row captain’s chairs make the second row more comfortable and the third row more accessible. Second-row sunshades further enhance passenger comfort. If you need eight seats, a bench second-row seat is a no-cost option.

This is also the cheapest way to get the optional 12.3-inch infotainment system in the Highlander Hybrid. It’s a $735 option, adding a bigger, more vibrant screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Mom and dad will appreciate some nice comfort and convenience features, including heated, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a wireless charging pad.

Again, families can’t go wrong with any 2023 Toyota Highlander trim. However, the Hybrid XLE model is the best buy in the model range for most families.


Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander Worth Buying?