The new, fourth generation of the popular mid-size crossover has been launched last year and the new version has introduced a full load of novelties. The new model looks better and rides better. However, that doesn’t mean that the Japanese manufacturer is done with changes. The next year is about to bring novelties as well, as we are about to see a new version in the offer, under the XSE badge. This will be a sportier iteration of the 2021 Toyota Highlander, which will come with various upgrades over standard models.
While the base models are about to carry on in the same way, this model will feature various upgrades. This version will bring much more than just cosmetical upgrades. Count on a new suspension setup, which will provide a much sportier driving experience. On the other side, the engine lineup will remain the same. We expect to see the new model later in the year.
2021 Toyota Highlander Design
When it comes to base design characteristics, things will definitely remain the same. This model has been presented just recently, so it’s still early for bigger changes. On the other side, there is a new XSE version to come, which will bring various upgrades. This will be a sporty version of the family SUV. In terms of aesthetics, you may count on a lot of interesting details. For example, the front end has been upgraded with things like e new grille and bumper. Also, headlights have been slightly revised. You can easily notice that this version comes with loads of blacked detail, including new, 20-inch wheels, roof rails, mirror caps and window moldings. On the rear end, you can notice dual-exhaust tips.
Besides aesthetical modifications, this version will also come with several mechanical upgrades. Some of the first things that come to mind is a stiffer suspension. New dampers, shocks and rear stabilized bar are some of the notable upgrades.
The recent redesign has brought numerous improvements, including a completely new interior. The new XSE may feature a couple of unique details, but the cabin will generally remain the same. Therefore, you may count on the same, well-designed cabin, which is full of quality materials. Although not exactly at the same level as Mazda CX-9, the overall cabin design is one of the nicest in the class.
The thing that many drivers like about the new model is that Toyota didn’t go too far with enlargement. While most manufacturers offer too long mid-size crossovers, with three spacious rows of seats, the Highlander is well-balanced and seems far more maneuverable compared to most competitors. Of course, the price you pay is a little bit tighter third row.
When it comes to the standard equipment, the new 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE may come with a couple of exclusive features. However, most of the things will remain the same. Base models will come equipped with things like an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, five USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, six-speaker stereo etc. On the other side, higher trims will be available with various upgrades, including goodies like a 12.3-inch touch screen, an 11-speaker JBL premium stereo, Qi-compatible wireless device charging, HD Radio etc.
Safety has always been Toyota’s strongest point, so base models will come equipped with goodies like 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. Additionally, you can get things like rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view parking camera system, and a 10-inch head-up display.
2021 Toyota Highlander Engines
When it comes to the powertrain, count on two familiar options. Of course, there is a familiar 3.5-liter V6, which is good for about 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It comes in pair with a new, smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox. The ride quality is pretty good and we particularly like the fact that you can count on good driving dynamics while having above-average fuel economy. You may count on about 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
On the other side, there is a new hybrid powertrain. This time based on a four-cylinder engine, the system is all about fuel economy. You may not get impressive driving dynamics, as the max output goes around 240 horsepower but it’s hard to complain when you look at fuel economy figures. This crossover returns pretty impressive 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
2021 Toyota Highlander Release Date and Price
The 2021 Toyota Highlander should hit the market this fall. When it comes to the price, base models should go around 35.000 dollars. On the other side, the new XSE model should go around 42.000 dollars.