Toyota announced a major upgrade to its Highlander series for 2023 with Toyota Multimedia and other amenities, as well as enhancements to the Highlander gas models with a new turbo engine that delivers more torque while reducing emissions.
“Refined and elevated, the Toyota Highlander series is a beautiful blend of design, performance, and technology. It’s the premium SUV that helps Canadians enjoy the rewards of a life well lived,” said Cyril Dimitris, vice-president, Toyota Canada. “For 2023, we’ve fitted a new engine to gas models that makes Highlander even more fun to drive, and upgraded all models with our powerful yet intuitive Toyota Multimedia system. Then we’ve rounded out the improvements with new amenities on every trim level – making the Highlander series the perfect partners for shaping and celebrating all the best moments in our lives.”
The 2023 Highlander lineup introduces a new, higher-torque, high-efficiency turbocharged engine to gas models. This 265-peak horsepower, 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder delivers 309 lb-ft of torque – a 17 per cent boost over the 3.5-litre V6 engine it replaces. At the same time, this engine – which features stop and start technology – reduces NOx and NMOG emissions by more than 50 per cent, and improves CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing V6.
Highlander Hybrid models are built around Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, featuring a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, two electric motor-generators, and an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. This combination delivers 243 total system horsepower, a remarkable fuel efficiency rating of just 6.7L/100 km (city/highway combined), and a 1,588 kg (3,500 lb) towing rating.
All models will come with Toyota all-wheel-drive. Highlander LE and XLE trim levels feature a Dynamic Torque All-Wheel-Drive system, while Highlander XSE, Limited, and Platinum grades step up to a more performance-minded, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect. All Toyota Highlander Hybrid models feature AWD-I technology employing a separate, rear-mounted electric motor to power the back axle when required.
Inside, the Highlander’s interior will be characterized by soft-padded surfaces and a tailored look. Eight-person models feature a 60/40 split folding second row seat that accommodates three people. For extra comfort, seven-person models replace this with a pair of captain’s seats. All models feature a third-row 60/40 flat folding bench. With all second and third row seats stowed, Highlander owners can fill the back with up to 2,387 litres (84.3 cubic feet) of gear.
New this year, every Highlander and Highlander Hybrid will feature a technology package, upgraded with the Toyota Multimedia system. This system integrates wirelessly with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and features Toyota’s newest interface, which improves interaction between people and vehicle through sight, touch, and voice. Many functions may be controlled via the touch screen via the same gestures used on mobile phone screens.