Toyota has many things very well, but one of the things it does is midsize. Highlander has long been with excellent quality construction, excellent reliability and a reasonable price tag. That seems to be all around for the 2020 Highlander, which debuts at the New York Auto Show this week. But Toyota has also cast lots of tech in Highlander – something very necessary.
Most of Highlander's great new tech is possible because Toyota is moving the SUV on its TNGA-K platform. Iflooks like a familiar set of letters to you, perhaps because Toyota has spent the last few years moving of unibody cars in a taste it or something else.
For 2020, the new Highlander will offer two powertrains. The first is a fairly standard 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine that produces 295 horsepower and 263 foot-pounds of torque. This machine uses the D4 dual fuel injection system of Toyota that uses both direct fuel injection and multiport fuel injection (and we first saw in Scion FR-S at twins). This engine, bolted to standard eight auto speeds is good for 22 miles per gallon.née
Where things really are interesting are the optional hybrid drivetrain. Toyota remains unmistakableand really flexs the muscles in the new Highlander. Instead of Hybrid Synergy Drive we all use, Toyota is debuting a next-generation system called Predictive Efficient Drive.
Predictive Efficient Drive is a smart hybrid system that tracks it and learns the driving habits and compares with GPS data for upcoming roads to decide when to use the most efficient part of the drivetrain for to maximum efficiency. It's pretty cool, but what's cool is that Toyota claims that the Highlander hybrid offers its owners 34 miles per gallon combined.
Outside, the new Highlander grows a bit (2.36 inches long, to be accurate) but manages to look slimer than the car it replaces. It is almost down to the new, more aggressive style, which we want. We also want Toyota to work to make the new design functional, tuning the side mirrors and even the taillights to reduce the noise of the air at speed. For 2020, Highlander can now have his first 20-inch wheel. There is also a unique set available only as a top-level Platinum level trim option.
Highlander did not give any land in the interior room category either. There is still enough cave to catch all your kids and their crap around or swallow the whole ikea-shopping trip worth of flat-pack furniture without complaints.
Highlander's L and LE trim levels feature a standard second-row bench seat which means that, in total, it will seat eight people. The XLE and Limited trim have the captain's seats in the second row for the total capacity of seven people, although you can exchange them for a bank. The top-level Platinum trim comes with the chair of the captain in the row of two, and you can not move those for a bank because of luxury.
No matter where the trim level you choose, though, if your value is safety tech. All Highlander models of 2020 usually have the Toyota SafetySense 2.0 ADAS suite. SafetySense 2.0 includes features such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane removal assistance with steering assist, automatic high beams, road-assisted assistance and assist road assistance. Other safety features that are not part of SafetySense are optional depending on your desired trim level, and this includes blind tracking, parking sonar, and something called parking braking support.
Inside, things are still better. The Platinum trim level gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen in its center console – one of the largest in the segment – and all other models are getting an 8-inch unit. The latest version of Toyota's infotainment platform also supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa as standard. It's about the time of Toyota.
Toyota does not provide us with any information about expected pricing or a potential sale date, but we are assuming that the former is fairly reasonable and the latter is sometime later this year.