Toyota gave the Highlander a comprehensive redesign for the 2020 model year. There's a bolder new look outside, a more stylish cabin inside, and a host of technical and equipment revisions to ensure the Highlander's place as a strong pick. The 2020 model also builds on its long-running appeal for families. There's a bit more cargo space, though still less than the biggest of its rivals. But the Highlander has always been prized for its about-right size, and it's unlikely buyers will need more passenger or cargo space. And this year the Highlander finally gets Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone connectivity on all trims along with a Toyota Safety Sense™ suite of driver aids.
The previous base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is no more, and all gas-powered Highlanders get the desirable 3.5-liter V6 with 295 hp. It's a smooth engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is offered as an option. Its EPA-estimated fuel economy is good, too, though not as impressive as the numbers for the all-wheel-drive Hybrid model, which uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to electric motors. We'd stick with the conventional power and one of the midtier trims like the LE, which comes with everything you could possibly want, as well as a few desirable extras like a power tailgate and blind-spot monitoring. All-new, and all good, the 2020 Toyota Highlander is even easier to recommend against its competition.