Coming Soon: The Powerful & Revitalized 2023 Highlander

May 25th, 2022 by

The Toyota Highlander has been deemed the best midsize SUV in Canada since 2020, no easy feat in one of the most intensely competitive segments. Now, for 2023, Highlander is giving buyers even more reasons to choose this hands-down winner, starting with an all-new engine for the gas models and also including larger multimedia screens and other amenities for greater value across all grades and powertrains.
For 2023, the Highlander gas models receive a big and helpful change with a new, higher-torque, high-efficiency turbocharged engine. The 265-horsepower, 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which uses balance shafts for super-smooth performance, delivers 310 lb-ft of torque. This is a significant 17% increase over the previous 3.5-litre V6 engine’s 263 lb-ft. The driver will feel this gain in everyday driving situations, especially when taking advantage of the Highlander’s 7- or 8-person seating and generous cargo capacity.
Just as important, fuel efficiency remains the same as the V6 for this higher-torque engine with a manufacturer-estimated 9.8 L/100 km combined fuel consumption. The new engine, standard across all gas grades, is also more environmentally friendly, with a significant decrease in CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing V6 engine.
The new Highlander turbo models are equipped to tow up to 5,000-pounds and include Trailer Sway Control (TSC), which uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help control unwanted trailer movement. To help reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the standard Stop and Start Engine System allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and instantly restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal.
2023 Highlander Updates
Updates for Highlander go beyond as Toyota is also turning the spotlight on value for the 2023 SUV. Buyers want larger, more versatile multimedia screens, and the Highlander delivers. In addition to the JBL® Premium Audio System with 11 speakers as carryover from 2022), the Limited and Platinum grades now have two 12.3-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) screens as standard. Just as important to users, content can now occupy the full 12.3-inch, glare-reducing optically bonded screen. On both grades, a second new 12.3” Full Digital Instrument Cluster screen replaces the former 7-inch TFT, now with four different visual modes for a personalized touch: Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty mode. So now, these premium Highlander grades provide the most screen area than previous generation Highlander models.
An 8-inch centre touch screen will be standard for the XLE and sporty XSE grades. These two grades continue to use the 7-inch TFT gauge cluster screen. On the LE grade, this same 7-inch TFT replaces the 4.2-inch TFT for enhanced usability. The 8-inch touchscreen is also now standard for the Hybrid Bronze Edition.
For added convenience and value, the Limited and Platinum grades (both gas and hybrid) now come standard with power folding exterior mirrors for 2023, a real help for entering and exiting home garages. And, inside the 2023 Highlander, the available wireless charging feature just got better for front-seat passengers. In an effort to be more accessible, Toyota moved the Qi-compatible charger from the centre console box to a more convenient location on the instrument panel shelf.
The XLE and XSE grades join the Limited and Platinum in featuring the convenience of a hands-free power liftgate. A kick of a foot under the bumper opens or closes the liftgate. As icing on the proverbial cake, the 2023 Highlander adds an elegant new available Cypress exterior colour, and the Harvest Beige and Glazed Caramel interiors now feature Black as the accent colour, replacing Noble Brown.
Stylish and Functional: Hybrid Bronze Edition and XSE
Those looking for revved up style in the super-practical and comfortable Highlander will find it in two compelling choices for 2023, one each for hybrid and one for gas. The Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition launched last year, making a striking design statement. Available in Cement (exclusive to Bronze Edition) and Wind Chill Pearl exterior colours, the Bronze Edition features bronze-coloured accents, starting with 18-inch bronze wheels.
Mid-century modern-inspired SofTex®-trimmed seats with fabric inserts and bronze-coloured stitching seem like something from a concept car, an effect amplified by the Captain’s Chair’s layout. Illuminated bronze door sills and unique floor and cargo mats embroidered with a special bronze-stitched logo complete the designer look. Tech features only enhance the Bronze Edition – thanks to two interiors 120V/1,500-watt outlets, a hands-free power liftgate and rain sensing wipers, to name a few.
On the gas side, for 2023, the Highlander XSE will now roll on exclusive all-black 20-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/55R20 all-season tires. A specially-tuned suspension with high-rate springs and rear stabilizer bar and low-friction shock absorbers work in concert with tuned electric power steering to give the XSE a distinctly sporty feel.
XSE-exclusive styling applies to the front fascia, grille, lower spoiler and headlamps. Unique rocker panels add an edgy accent to the Highlander XSE’s sculpted lines. Black roof rails, mirror caps and window moldings dial up the subtle cool factor, finished off by a twin exhaust tip.
Inside, the Highlander XSE rocks black SofTex®-trimmed seats with fabric inserts, while ambient lighting and carbon-fibre style finish on the instrument panel sets the sportier mood. A striking two-tone red and black leather-trimmed interior with red-stitched instrument panel is available at no additional cost.
Versatility Abounds Inside
The Highlander LE and XLE grades come standard with second-row bench for seating for eight. The Hybrid Bronze Edition, XSE, Limited and Platinum (gas and hybrid) grades come standard with seven-passenger seating with second-row Captain’s Chairs. Large rear doors provide easy access, while versatile seat folding features allow passengers to easily access the third row. Standard three-zone climate control ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air to all aboard.
There’s plenty of space for carrying stuff, too. With all seat rows in use, Highlander offers 453 L (16.0 cu. ft.) of space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks expands the space to 1,370 L (48.4 cu. ft.), and then folding the second row raises that to 2,387 L (84.3 cu. ft.). The versatile cargo area makes the most of the additional length with side surfaces and pockets shaped for maximum space utilization.
Safety Comes Standard
The 2023 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
Hybrid models employ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which provides integrated control of the ABS, Brake Assist, TRAC, VSC, Hill-Start Assist control and electric power steering (EPS) systems. The system helps to maintain vehicle stability when swerving on slippery road surfaces by controlling the brakes, hybrid system output and steering assist.
We couldn’t be more excited to be receiving the revitalized 2023 Highlander! Pricing will be announced later this summer and models will be available at Toyota dealerships later this year.

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