The Toyota Highlander is an amazing mid-size SUV with room for eight people, an available hybrid powertrain and plenty of standard features. The 2024 highlander is the perfect Jack of All Trades as it delivers on the basics flawlessly.

Compared to other high striving three-row family SUVs, this vehicle may feel average, anonymous, and styled generically. And some may not like its tight third row, and how it is short on cargo space after the last row.

However, the Toyota Highlander more than makes up for some of the few things it lacks with its abundant standard safety tech, fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain option, and quiet cabin with notable outward visibility. Simply put, if you're looking for substance over style, then this is the perfect mid-sized SUV vehicle for you.


In the past, the Toyota Highlander has suffered the sin of trying to please everyone with its shotgun approach to the mid-size SUV segment by offering various trims, hybrid and standard powertrains and variants of front-or all-wheel drive to capture the widest number of buyers. However, in 2024, with the arrival of their larger Grand Highlander that offers more third row and cargo room, the regular Highlander is now free to focus on its core mid-sized mission.

It does so by dropping the base L trim from its crowded lineup which, as per the extent of its 2024 changes, the vehicle has stuck to its promise of delivering smooth rides and handling characteristic of a family-focused SUV.

The interior favors useful utility over all else, the infotainment is intuitive, there's a host of driver-assistance features, and there's a decent fuel economy return on both the turbocharged four-cylinder and hybrid powertrains.

Where This Vehicle Ranks

When it comes to the best Mid-size SUVs, the 2024 Toyota Highlander comes at a comfortable ranking of #17. Though this may not seem impressive at first glance, it perfectly befits a car that is known for eschewing glitz and glamor by focusing instead of staying true to being dependable.

After all, the Highlander is all about delivering what you set out for, and in fact, if you simply go higher up the charts, you will see that snug at #2 is the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander, which is the vehicle you want if you are looking for the glam, as it was designed with that in mind. The regular Highlander is more for people who want a family car they can rely on for years to come.

What's New for 2024?

Aside from the base L trim being discontinued, there's not a lot to be said about the updates for 2024. Other discontinuations come in the form of the Bronze editions of the Hybrid and Hybrid XLE, which have been replaced by the LE Nightshade and the XLE Nightshade trims of the Hybrid Model.

Moreover, the XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum trims now come equipped with a standard hands-free power liftgate. Lastly, Toyota has replaced the V-6 with a newer turbocharged four-cylinder for the 2024 model year.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The pricing of the 2024 Toyota Highlander ranges from $40,665 to $52,820 from their highest and lowest model. Here are the price options in ascending order:

  • LE - $40,665
  • Hybrid LE - $42,365
  • LE Nightshade - $43,115
  • XLE - $43,815
  • XSE - $45,410
  • Hybrid XLE - $45,515
  • XLE Nightshade - $46,265
  • Limited - $47,920
  • Hybrid Limited - $49,620
  • Platinum - $51,120
  • Hybrid Platinum - $52,820

Among these models, the XLE is the most appealing one because of its heated front seats, second-row captain's chairs, sunshades, a wireless smartphone charging pad, as well as a power sunroof.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The first thing to note about the 2024 Toyota Highlander is that it offers prospective buyers a choice between traditional gasoline or hybrid powertrain. The gasoline version uses a 265-hp turbocharged 2.4 liter four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid version has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors for a combined horsepower of 243, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Both also offer a choice between front- and all-wheel drive. If one chooses the former, the all-wheel drive version can get them from zero to sixty mph in 7.2 seconds, and that too unhurried, while the Hybrid is considerably fuel-efficient, and only trailing the gas version by one-tenth of a second in the 0-60 mph run.

Despite their differences, both versions provide a stable and predictable ride and handling, perfect for family chauffeur duty. Lastly, though the Highlander Hybrid has a host of competitors now like the Ford Explorer Hybrid, Mazda CX-90 PHEV, Kia Sorento Hybrid, and more, it still ranks highest in terms of fuel economy.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

When it comes to the Toyota Highlander, their gasoline version's EPA estimates 25 mpg combined, 21 mpg city, and 29 mpg highway, though their all-wheel drive version subtracts 1 mpg in each of the aforementioned metric.

The hybrid version on the other hand returns 36 mpg combined, 36 mpg city, and 35 mpg highway, making it significantly more efficient, but possessing a slight similarity in that their all-wheel-drive models also register 1 mpg less in combined and city ratings.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

When it comes to the interior, the base LE model can seat up to eight passengers, but the second-row captain's chairs are available only on XLE and above models, which reduces the head count to seven. 

Behind the Highlander's third row, there is a cargo room with four carry-on suitcases fitting neatly. Still, materials throughout the cabin have been improved over previous-generation models, and while the design is basic, it is still very functional. 

If you want the most creature comforts with leather upholstery, a larger infotainment screen, ventilated seats and all the bells and whistles then the Upscale Limited and Platinum models would be much preferred.

Infotainment and Connectivity

As for infotainment, the LE and XLE models feature an 8.0-inch screen, but the latter has an option for a 12.3-inch setup which in turn is the norm on Limited and Platinum. The Platinum also comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, while the rest uses traditional analog gauges with a small 7-inch information screen.

The standard audio system is a six-speaker, but the XSE can equip an 11-speaker JBL audio system which, again, is the standard for Limited and Platinum. Each of the models get SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and Amazon Alexa integration.

Lastly, an integrated wireless smartphone charging pad is customary on XLE and above, while navigation is available on XSE and standard for the two top-most trims.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Since Toyota is known for equipping their entire lineup with a host of driver-assistance features, it should come as no surprise that the Highlander is chock full of them as well. Their standard safety suite includes:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane-keeping Assist
  • Automated Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Traffic Sign Recognition
  • Automatic High-Beam Headlamps

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Toyota's warranty coverage is industry standard but they also include two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, which is a nice perk that most of its rivals don't offer. Overall:

  • Limited Warranty: Covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain Warranty: Covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Hybrid-component Warranty: Covers eight years of 100,000 miles
  • Complimentary Maintenance: Covers for two years or 25,000 miles

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