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2023 Toyota Highlander

2023 Toyota Highlander Adds a Turbocharged Four-Cylinder and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

Turbo-four has less power, more torque and the same fuel economy numbers

  • Minor changes to the Highlander lineup
  • Part of the fourth Highlander generation introduced for 2020

What is the Highlander?

For 2023, Toyota's ultra-popular three-row Highlander SUV gets a new turbocharged engine to replace the V6 that has powered the Highlander since 2008. The 2023 Toyota Highlander will use the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder that drives the Lexus NX 350; it delivers strong acceleration in the Lexus, and we expect it to feel similarly stout under the hood of the Highlander. But the powertrain isn't the only new addition for the 2023 Highlander; a host of newly available features and tech upgrades are sprinkled throughout the lineup. Here's everything in store for the refreshed Highlander.

What's under the Highlander's hood?

The new turbocharged 2.4-liter engine produces 265 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Compare this against the old V6's 295 hp and 263 lb-ft, and you'll see that the turbo-four makes less horsepower but more torque. While Toyota hasn't quoted acceleration times yet, we expect that the 2023 Highlander's 0-60 mph time won't be too far off the previous model's 7.5-second run.

2023 Toyota Highlander

Don't expect fuel economy to be significantly different either — Toyota estimates the new powertrain will earn the Highlander a 24 mpg combined fuel economy estimate once it's certified by the EPA. That's the same number that the current front-wheel-drive Highlander achieves. Toyota says that the four-cylinder's NOx and CO2 emissions are reduced versus the old V6, but based on output and estimated fuel economy numbers, we struggle to see how beneficial the new engine really is. We'll have to wait until we get behind the wheel before making a definitive conclusion.

How's the Highlander's interior?

Changes to the 2023 Highlander aren't limited to just the powertrain, however. The digital information display on Limited and Platinum models grows from 7 inches to 12.3 inches, matching the size of the central touchscreen on those trims. The 12.3-inch touchscreen is now optional on the XLE and XSE, allowing price-conscious shoppers to still receive the benefits of the upgraded infotainment system. Those models also get the hands-free liftgate that used to come standard on more expensive levels. Limited and Platinum trims get new power-folding mirrors, and the wireless charging pad moves from underneath the center armrest to below the center stack. Finally, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto finally come to the Highlander and are included as standard equipment.

Since the Highlander hasn't changed dimensionally, the 2023 Highlander should have as much passenger and cargo space as last year's model. That means plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and second rows for adults of most sizes. However, the Highlander's third row is really only suitable for kids. Rivals like the Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade and Volkswagen Atlas are far more spacious in both the third row and the cargo area.

Edmunds says

Changes might be minimal for the 2023 Toyota Highlander, which means that if you see a good price on a 2022 model, you won't miss out on much. Head to our review and inventory page to see what's in stock near you.