• All-new look for 4th-generation Highlander
  • Rides on new TNGA platform
  • V6 or hybrid powertrains offered
  • Three-row SUV promises up to 34 mpg combined
  • Safety Sense 2.0 standard in all models
  • Price estimated from low-$30,000 range


Toyota has taken the wraps off the next-generation of its mainstay 3-row SUV, the Highlander. The all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander features a new look, based on a new architecture that provides a roomy interior, better dynamics and improved fuel economy. The new Highlander competes with the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Volkswagen Atlas, and the Ford Explorer

The Highlander boasts up to 8-passenger seating and two new powertrains, one of which is a hybrid offering class-leading fuel economy. The new version is slightly larger than the previous model, measuring 2.36 inches longer at 194.9 inches overall, with virtually all of that added to the wheelbase. As a result of the roomier cabin, the middle row seats have 1.2 inches more travel, allowing for great flexibility and comfort for both second- and third-row passengers.

Five trims to choose from

Slated to go on sale at dealers in December (the Hybrid goes on sale next February), the 2020 Highlander sports new sophisticated exterior styling with chiseled lines and a muscular stance. Offered in L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum trims, the exterior look of the new Highlander varies with grade level. L, LE and XLE models have a black grille with silver trim, while the Limited and Platinum benefit from chrome accents around the black grille as well as a chrome-plated rear fascia and a distinctive projector-beam headlamp treatment to go along with the first-ever 20-inch wheel package on a Highlander.

Class of 2020: The New, Redesigned Cars, Trucks and SUVs

Seating configurations also vary by trim. L and LE models are available with a second-row bench allowing up to eight passengers (two in front and three in the third row), while the XLE and Limited feature 7-passenger seating with second-row captain’s chairs. All three rows benefit from the tri-zone climate control system. The new Highlander offers 16.1 cu ft of cargo space behind the back row, which expands to 40.6 when that 60/40 split seat is down and 73.3 cu ft with the two rear rows folded flat.

The new Toyota New Generation Architecture-K underpinning the Highlander makes extensive use of high strength steel provide a stiffer unibody structure. Vehicle dynamics are improved as a result of this robust platform, which employs an independent strut front and multi-link rear suspension.

Two drivetrains

Standard models are equipped with front drive and are fitted with a 295-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Torque is rated at 263 lb-ft, which enables a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when the vehicle is equipped with the optional tow package. Two all-wheel-drive systems are available on the V6. The first, offered on L, LE and XLE models, is an on-demand system that can send up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear axle. Limited and Platinum models can be equipped with a more sophisticated setup that includes dynamic torque vectoring, different drive modes and a driveline disconnect for enhanced fuel economy. The drive modes include multi-terrain selections for inclement weather, mud and sand, and rock and dirt for greater off-road capability.

Hybrid model details

Topping the range is the hybrid powertrain which will offer greater output and fuel economy than the previous Highlander Hybrid. The 2020 version is equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors. It provides a combined output of 240 horsepower, good for an EPA-estimated 34 combined mpg, up from the previous model’s 28 mpg. Also new for 2020: The Highlander Hybrid can be had with either front or all-wheel drive. The AWD versions uses a rear-mounted electric motor to drive the rear axle. The hybrid model is also equipped with three drive modes -- Normal, Sport and Eco.

Another new feature for the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a Predictive Efficient Drive system that analyzes daily driving habits and adjusts the regen charging and discharge of the battery taking advantage of how the vehicle is being driven. The more miles covered, the more data is accumulated, allowing the system to adapt itself to scenarios including driving on mountain roads or in daily commuter traffic.

Infotainment options

The 2020 Highlander comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Alexa In-Car compatibility. Other features offered include Waze, Sirius XM satellite radio and Wi-Fi connectivity through AT&T. All models come with Toyota Safety Connect with a free one-year subscription. XLE and Limited grades have available dynamic navigation, which is standard on Platinum models where it also comes with a larger 12.3-inch center screen. JBL Premium audio is standard on Limited and Platinum models with 1,200 watts of power and 11 speakers.

What’s included with Toyota Safety Sense?

Equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (the second generation of the system), all 2020 Highlander models have a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-range radar-based smart cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist and road sign assist. LE-and-higher models come with blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and available rear cross traffic braking. A 360-degree view camera is available on Limited models and standard with Platinum versions.


Models and Equipment

2020 Toyota Highlander L

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0

18-inch alloy wheels

3-zone automatic climate control

4.2-inch Multi-information Display (MID) in instrument panel

8-way power driver’s seat

Auto up/down for all power windows

Multimedia with 8-inch touchscreen display

Front seat reading lights and cargo area light

LED headlamps and taillamps

Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and liftgate windows

Smart Key entry on front doors and back door

2020 Toyota Highlander LE

Adds over L:

Power liftgate

Blind Spot Monitor

Additional multimedia capability

LED fog lamps

Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE

Adds over LE:

10-way power driver’s seat

Second-row sun shades

4-way power front passenger seat

7-inch Multi-information display

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror with garage door opener

Auto LED headlamps with Auto High Beam

Plated interior door handle

Heated front seats

LED fog lamps

Machined-face alloy wheels

Captain’s Chairs second row (standard)

Power tilt and slide moon roof

Roof rails

SofTex-trimmed seats and door trim

2020 Highlander Limited

Adds over XLE:

120V second-row power outlet

20-inch Limited-style alloy wheels

Ambient interior lighting

Cargo area cover

Driver’s seat memory

Hands-free power liftgate

Heated and ventilated front seats

“Highlander” puddle lamp

Perforated leather trimmed seats in beige, gray or black

Metal door scuff plates

Projector beam headlamp with chrome bezels and separate, stylized DRLs

Wood interior trim

JBL Audio System as standard

Embedded navigation system

2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum

Adds over Limited:

12.3-inch Multimedia head unit

20-inch Platinum style wheels

Adaptive, self-leveling headlamps

Additional leather seating color choice: Glazed Caramel

Digital display rear view mirror

Embossed, perforated leather trimmed seats

Head-up display

Heated second-row seats

Illuminated door scuff plates

Panoramic moonroof

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Bird’s-eye camera


Warranty and maintenance

The 2020 Toyota Highlander is covered by a 36-month/36,000-mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty. Hybrid models have an additional 8-year, 100,000-mile coverage for hybrid components, while all models benefit from two years’ free maintenance and road side assistance under ToyotaCare.

What is the price of the 2020 Toyota Highlander?

While pricing hasn’t been announced, we expect the 2020 Toyota Highlander MSRP to start somewhere near the current 2019 model, which starts at $31,350 and ranges up to $48,830 for the Hybrid Limited Platinum.

Can't wait until the end of 2019 for the all-new Highlander? Chances are you'll get a good deal on the outgoing 2019 models. See what's available now near you!

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