The new 2023 Toyota Highlander replaces its V6 engine with a more powerful four-cylinder turbo engine.
The outgoing 3.5-liter V6 gas engine was rated at 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, but now a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will gallop with 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, a 17% increase in torque. Although it gives up 30 horsepower, the full 310 lb-ft of torque is available at a low 1700 rpm, whereas the old V6 could only reach full throttle at a relatively high 4700 rpm. /min. That means better low-end response and better towing around town.
The 2.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid four-cylinder engine is still available (175 horsepower with 175 lb-ft of torque) and delivers an efficient 36 mpg. The new turbo engine doesn’t catch up, but it’s better than previous petrol models: 25 mpg combined from 24 mpg. Toyota claims the new engine (in all its gas options) has lower emissions, up to 50% less nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic gases than the V6.
The new turbo can tow up to 5,000 pounds and offers front-wheel-drive or a choice of all-wheel-drive options. The first is Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD on higher trims (XSE, Limited and Platinum), which, in addition to sending torque to and from the rear as needed, can actively manage torque distribution between the left rear wheels. and straight. An axle disconnect feature helps save fuel, but disconnects the rear driveshaft when not in use. All-wheel drive on lower trim levels (L, LE and XLE) can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels.
The Highlander Hybrid is a popular option with its automatic optimization system between gasoline engine and electric motors. The 2.5L DOHC four-cylinder engine has two electric motor-generators and uses a variable cooling system with an electric water pump and thermostat.
The optional all-wheel drive on the hybrid uses a rear electric motor to power the rear wheels as needed. The battery sits under the second-row seats, so the option doesn’t take away from trunk or seat space compared to the gas-powered version.
Toyota said its hybrid accounts for more than 25% of Highlander sales. It is one of the few three-row SUVs with a hybrid option available.
It’s more than a new engine.
Inside, the Limited and Platinum trims offer a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen as standard instead of optional as before. In the higher 2022 models, the screen was overly reflective with a glossy black bezel that made it difficult to see the screen in sunlight. Toyota claims the new screen reduces glare. The Hybrid Bronze Edition also has the largest screen as standard. An 8-inch screen comes standard for other trim levels.
Wireless charging has moved forward near the center console across the range and there’s dual Bluetooth phone connectivity for simultaneous connection for driver and passenger.
There is also a new Cypress Green color option as shown at the top of the post.
The sportiest model is back as an XSE with FWD or AWD featuring 20-inch all-black wheels with exclusive styling to the front, grille, spoiler and headlights. It has a black finish and black trimmed seats. There is also a two-tone red and black leather interior option with red stitching on the dashboard. Fiery.
When will the new Highlander be available? How much will it cost?
The 2023 Highlander will arrive in dealerships in October. The turbo engine starts at $36,420 while the hybrid front-wheel drive starts at $40,220. Both are up slightly from 2022 model year starting prices.