Toyota Highlander 2021
- FUEL TYPEPetrol
- MILEAGE36 MPG City / 35 MPG Highway
- ENGINE3456 cc
- CAR TYPESUV
Three-row SUVs are the modern-day equivalent of the old-school family station wagon, and the 2021 Toyota Highlander dutifully gets the job done—and then some. Buyers can choose from the standard V-6 engine or go with the fuel-sipping hybrid option; both powertrains are available with all-wheel drive. Inside, there are three rows of seats—although the rearmost perches are sized for kids or young adults. The nicely-equipped cabin is packed with infotainment features and thoughtful storage cubbies. Toyota also equips every Highlander with an extensive suite of standard driver-assistance features to provide an additional layer of safety. The Highlander's ride is placid and its acceleration performance is adequate, but an apathetic driving demeanor places it just behind top contenders—such as the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade—in the mid-size SUV class.
What's New for 2021?
The sporty-looking XSE trim level joins the Highlander lineup for 2021. It punches up the looks with more aggressive exterior styling, unique 20-inch wheels, black exterior accents, and a sportier calibration for the suspension. Elsewhere, LED projection headlamps are now a standard feature and all models receive additional driver-assistance features, including semi-automated emergency steering technology that's designed to help a driver avoid collisions.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- L - $36,620
- LE - $38,820
- Hybrid LE - $40,270
- XLE - $41,820
- Hybrid XLE - $43,270
- XSE - $43,415
- Hybrid XLE Bronze Edition - $45,295
- Limited - $45,775
- Hybrid Limited - $47,225
- Platinum - $48,975
Hybrid Platinum - $50,425
In our view, the mid-range XLE is the pick of the litter. It has heated front seats, a wireless smartphone-charging pad, and a power sunroof, among other niceties. We'd also spring for the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation package, which brings in-dash navigation and an upgraded stereo system. All-wheel drive will add $1600 to the bottom line. And opting for the hybrid powertrain over the standard V-6 will cost an extra $1400.
Features & Options
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA) ★★★★★
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Highlander a five-star safety rating; the Highlander was also named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). As is the Toyota way, the 2021 Highlander offers a standard suite of driver-assistance features. The package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and automatic high-beam headlamps. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
Toyota's warranty coverage adheres to the norm of the segment; however, buyers get two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, which is a nice perk that most rivals don't offer. The electrified Highlander comes with a separate hybrid-component warranty that provides eight years or 100,000 miles of coverage.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Hybrid-component warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 25,000 miles