The popular three-row family hauler has been completely redesigned last year. However, that doesn’t mean that the Japanese manufacturer is done with novelties. For the second production year, we are about to see some interesting things as well, as the 2021 Toyota Highlander is about to bring a new XSE version to the table, while we may also count on updates in terms of safety features.
On the other side, the overall design will certainly remain the same. This means you may count on a good-looking and very practical crossover. It accommodates up to seven passengers and comes with loads of standard and available equipment. Things under the hood are also about to remain the same. So, base models will carry on with a well-known V6, while a new hybrid powertrain with impressive fuel economy will be in the offer as well. The 2021 Toyota Highlander is about to hit the market sometime in the second half of the year.
2021 Toyota Highlander XSE
Without any doubt, the biggest novelty for the 2021 Toyota Highlander will be the addition of the XSE model. So far, this crossover hasn’t been offered with this badge and drivers who look for a sporty-looking familiar hauler will finally get a great offer from Toyota.
This version will come with several upgrades compared to standard models. First of all, we are about to see several visual upgrades, which will make this crossover look much sportier. You may count on a new bumper design, new wheels and other body parts that will emphasize the model’s sporty character. However, those changes under the skin seem more important, as the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE is about to come with new suspension setup, bigger wheels, stabilizer bar and other chassis upgrades, which will make the ride much sportier.
Finally, count on a couple of upgrades on the inside, in terms of new upholstery, seats and similar things. Things under the hood, on the other side, will remain the same.
New Safety Features
Nice updates are coming in terms of safety as well. We are about to see updates on the pre-collision system, which will be able to support left turns at an intersection. Also, this update will bring “Curve Speed Management”, which will be an upgrade of the existing adaptive cruise control. Also, some reports claim improvements of the lane keep assist system.
All these things will be an addition to already impressive list of standard and optional equipment. Currently, all models come standard with goodies like a pre-collision warning and braking system, cyclist and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, a head-up display, and road sign recognition. In higher trim levels, you can also get goodies like rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view parking camera system, 10-inch head-up display and more.
Other than the upgrades in XSE trim level, we don’t expect to see any particular changes on the inside. That definitely isn’t a bad thing, considering that the recent redesign has brought a lot of improvements on the inside. First of all, the overall quality is at a higher level, while we also like the new dashboard design. The Highlander isn’t the biggest mid-size crossover in the class, but it offers decent amounts of space in the first two rows. On the other side, the third one works best for kids. When it comes to the cargo area, you may count on about 16 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and a total of 84.3 cubic feet with both rows folded down. These are quite decent numbers for the class.
2021 Toyota Highlander Engines
When it comes to powertrain, things will remain the same for the 2021 Toyota Highlander. This means that base models will carry on with a familiar 3.5-liter V6, which puts out around 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. These numbers ensure solid driving dynamics, while the 8-speed automatic gearbox works very well. When it comes to fuel economy, you may count on pretty solid 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
If you’re looking for some really amazing mpg ratings, you should check the new hybrid version. It is the fastest SUV around but on the other side, it’s hard to argue when you look at fuel economy ratings, which go around 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
2021 Toyota Highlander Release Date and Price
We expect to see 2021 Toyota Highlander sometime in the third quarter of the year. Bigger changes in terms of the price are not expected, so base models should go around 35.000 dollars. Key competitors are models like Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, VW Atlas etc.