While it was briefly touched on this morning by Kristen, here’s all the pricing and option breakdown for the ‘20 Highlander.
The Highlander comes in 5 trims with just one engine this time around with choices of front, AWD or a Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system. More on that in a bit. No more base I4 though. All Highlander’s get powered by a 3.5 V6 putting out 295 horses and 263 lb/ft of torque. This gets routed through an 8 speed auto.
The base Highlander trim is L. Starting at $34,600, standout standard features include:
- Power driver’s seat
- Multi terrain select on AWD models
- Smart key system
- LED headlights and DRL’s
- Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
- Toyota SafteySense 2.0
There are 6 exterior color choices. One, Blizzard Metallic, is a $425 option. There are only 2 interior color choices either Graphite or Black. Could be my eyes but both don’t look like the colors they say they are. No leather is available on this trim. Base wheels are 18” alloy wheels. There are no options or option packages. There are 31 different accessories however. But with none of those selected, a base Highlander L comes in at $35,720; $36,200 with AWD. Pretty high to be this basic.
Next trim up is the LE which should be the volume model. Starting at $36,800 it builds on the L by coming standard with:
Blind Spot Alert with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Not much difference over the L. The LE gets 8 exterior color, 3 of which are $425 options, but the same 2 interior cloth choices. With no option packages, a Highlander LE rings in at $36,800; $38,400 with AWD.
Let me take a moment to describe the Highlander’s new Torque Vectoring AWD system and Multi Terrain select system. The Torque Vectoring AWD (TV-AWD) can send up to 50% of power to the rear wheels and also send power to whichever wheel needs it most. The Multi Terrain Select system is pretty much similar to the pioneer of the tech, Land Rovers Terrain Response System. It has 4 terrain settings (Mud&Sand,Rock&Dirt,Snow&Normal) and adjusts the vehicles systems as needed. Pretty impressive for a soccer mom-mobile to have a system like this.
The next trim up is the Highlander XLE. Starting at $39,600, it builds on the LE by coming standard with:
- Wireless charging
- Heated front seats
Exterior color choices are the same. However on this trim, leatherette seating comes available. Available in 3 colors (Graphite, Black & Harvest Beige) Toyota calls this leatherette seating Softex. You finally get the availability of option packages on the XLE. There are 2. One is a no charge option of a 2nd row bench. The other is a Premium audio system with Dynamic Navigation. What makes it dynamic you ask? Well it comes with things like Amazon Alexa so that’s cool? Other than that its a moot point to try and point out any gains this system has given the existence of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But this package is $1,040. All in, a Highlander XLE rings in at $40,640; $41,200 with AWD.
The next Highlander trim is Limited. Starting at $43,650, it builds on the previous trims but coming standard with things like:
- 20” wheels
- TV-AWD on AWD models
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Premium JBL audio system
This trim has the same exterior colors as the LE and XLE while interior wise you get actual leather on this trim for no cost. You just choose the color.
There are 3 options. Well one really. The aforementioned 2nd row bench option for no charge is on this trim. The other and only one that makes a difference is a $1,050 12.” touchscreen monitor with Birds Eye View. There are 2 options for this package, with the difference being one package comes with the 2nd row bench option and the other doesn’t. With no other options or accessories, a Highlander Limited rings in at $44,700; $45,600 with AWD.
The final trim and the top of the Highlander line is the $46,850 Platinum trim. It comes standard with things like:
- 20” wheels
- Birds eye view camera
- Pano roof
- Heated 2nd row seats
- LED adaptive headlights
- Hands free power liftgate
- 12.3” touch screen
Exterior colors are the same, and interior leathers are for the most part. This trim gets one extra color called Glazed Carmel which looks nice. This thing is loaded however. With no options or packages to speak of, a Highlander Platinum rings in at $46,850;$48,800 with AWD.
While the Highlander should prove popular as always, especially in this size class for people with families, its high starting price is off putting to me. Also weirdly, its seating options are strange. Not every trim is available with the 3rd row (which from what I’ve read, is only good for kids or small adults). 8 passenger seating is standard on L & LE, optional on XLE. 7 passenger seating is standard on XLE and not offered on L or LE. XLE, Limited and Platinum all have standard 7 passenger seating. 8 passenger seating is optional on XLE and Limited, and not offered at all on Platinum. Its all just kind of too much. If you look at it on the surface its cool that all trims get standard 3 rows, but to have that much differentiation over one seat is kind of redundant. But none of that should matter as this thing will probably outsell the Camry.