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What’s new for the 2022 Toyota Highlander? Bronze is the new black


In the Olympics the bronze medal means you got third place, but when it comes to the 2022 Toyota Highlander, it means exclusivity. That’s because for this model year, Toyota brings a special Bronze Edition exclusively to the Highlander Hybrid.

And that’s the big change for the 2022 model year, because the standard Highlander is basically unchanged. The Highlander remains one of Toyota’s best-selling vehicles with 264,128 units sold in 2021 (this number includes both the hybrid and the standard gasoline version). Previous model year Highlanders sold equally well.

So, it makes sense that coming off a successful year Toyota wouldn’t change much. But here’s a quick look at what’s new, and what stays the same, for the 2022 Toyota Highlander.

Bronze Edition

For this model year, the special Bronze Edition will arrive exclusively for the Highlander Hybrid.

The Bronze Edition is based on the popular Highlander Hybrid XLE grade. It will be available in three exterior colors: Cement (exclusive only to Bronze Edition), Wind Chill Pearl (a new color for Highlander this year) and Midnight Black Metallic. Other aesthetic uniqueness for the Bronze Edition Highlander are (as you’d expect) bronze-toned accents on the exterior and interior, along with18-inch bronze wheels, bronze interior stitching, illuminated bronze door sills and mid-century, modern-inspired SofTex-trimmed seats with fabric insert and bronze stitching.

We’ve seen similar bronze wheels on the 2022 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

Additional Bronze Edition features include:

  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Embroidered floor mats
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • 1500-watt power outlets
  • Puddle lamps with Highlander logo
  • In-dash ambient lighting
  • Driver seat memory with 10-way power seat

Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition Edition with FWD is priced at $43,880 while the AWD version is priced at $45,480.

2022 Toyota Highlander powertrain options

Filed under “not new,” the Highlander is available with a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric assist motors. Combined the Highlander Hybrid makes 243 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable transmission works with the hybrid powertrain while the gasoline V-6 has a 8-speed automatic transmission.

For those who need to tow, the gasoline version is the optimal choice as it is capable of towing 5,000-pounds and includes Trailer Sway Control (TSC) which uses the Vehicle Stability Control to help control unwanted trailer movement. Conversely, the hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

It’s fuel economy (as you’d expect) that makes the Highlander Hybrid optimal when compared to the gas version. EPA ratings for the gasoline Highlander is 21/29 for FWD and 20/27 for AWD while the EPA estimates for the FWD Hybrid is 36/35 or 35/34 for AWD.

For both gas and hybrid, the various Highlander trims include the following features for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety:

  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Trailer Sway Control (TSC)
  • Downhill Assist Control (DAC) (available on Gas AWD only)

Pricing for all models is below.

2022 Toyota Highlander

The bottom line on 2022 Toyota Highlander

I’m digging the Bronze Edition and think it’s great that Toyota offers this exclusively on the hybrid. The bronze features, especially the rims, are outstanding. The entire special edition helps keep this top-selling SUV relevant for Toyota.

What do you think of the radical look of the Bronze Edition? Is it distinctive or tacky? Check out the photo gallery, and leave us your comments below.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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