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What’s new on the 2023 Toyota Highlander?

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The Toyota Highlander has been a successful vehicle for the brand, which only got more successful with its 2020 redesign. While the three-row SUV isn’t quite ready for a redesign after 3 years on the market, it does get a few big changes for the 2023 model year.

Here are some of biggest things that are new for the 2023 Toyota Highlander.

New engine

This is probably biggest change as Toyota works toward a much more fuel-efficient lineup. The new engine is a 265-horsepower, 2.4-liter turbo that delivers 309 pound-feet of torque. While this is a decrease of 30 horsepower over the former V-6 engine, it is a 46 pound-feet increase in torque. Thus, the max towing capacity of 5,000 remains the same.

One of the big benefits of this new engine: efficiency. Toyota estimates 2.4-liter turbo will average 24 MPG as well as reduce NOx and NOMG by 50%.

To be clear this engine is a replacement for the V-6.

Bigger digital screens

Toyota is making its lineup more tech savvy with larger screens. The Limited and Platinum trims will now have two 12.3-inch screens, one behind the steering wheel and the other for infotainment. What’s more, the gauge cluster has visual customization modes, including Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty.

The XLE and XSE trims will have the option to upgrade to the 12.3-inch infotainment screen, but it will retain the prior 7-inch gauge display. The Hybrid Bronze Edition will also have this 12.3-inch screen as an option.

Though you can’t get the bigger infotainment screen on the L and LE trims – standard screen size is 8 inches – these two models do upgrade to the 7-inch gauge display.

2023 Toyota Highlander

More convenience

Outside of the engine and screens, there are a few convenience features that have either changed or been added to more trims. So, here’s a quick bulleted round-up of the bigger changes:

  • Limited and Platinum come standard with power-folding side mirrors.
  • The available wireless charger has moved from the center console to the instrument panel shelf on the center stack.
  • XLE and XSE get a hands-free power liftgate.
  • On the 12.3-inch screen, Toyota has done away with the forced split screen, and content can now occupy the full space.

The bottom line on the 2023 Toyota Highlander

The biggest change to the 2023 Toyota Highlander is going to be the engine, and we’ll have to wait until we drive it to see what the turbo does to acceleration feel. But we like the extra efficiency. Plus, the little convenience changes will likely make a big difference in the functionality of the vehicle.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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