The 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum
Toyota's best SUV meant for the road?
I have been spending time with the 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum. I'm going to give you a run down of what you get when you get the keys as well as my overall thoughts on this luxury Toyota offering.
What you get
The 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum I drove was powered by the same 3.5 liter V6 engine which powers the Tacoma which gives you just south of 300 horsepower. That V6 engine is matted to a 8-speed automatic transmission which puts its power down to a Toyota torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system.
This Highlander was painted in Moon Dust and featured 20 inch wheels, LED headlights which featured adaptive lighting and auto-leveling, and a full panoramic view moonroof.
On the interior, you get a great large 12.3 inch touch screen giving you access to your media, maps, and settings. Speaking of media, 11 JBL speakers are throughout the cabin and the vehicle is as with the industry norm given compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The interior also features a multi-terrain select dial (drive modes) and wireless smartphone charging with the ability to turn it off and use the space for alternative reasons, I love Toyotas for this simple addition. The front seats are heated and ventilated while the rear seats are just heated. For a full look at what you get on the interior, check out this detailed walkthrough:
I don't own a Toyota (....yet), but I am definitely a big fan of Toyota's offerings in the SUV/Truck market. The Highlander does not disappoint in that department.
Let's start with that engine. It spits out 295 horsepower and I am huge fan of saying you can't use more than 300 on the roads, but the Highlander can move. There is no "sport mode" wizardry, but you put your foot down, you actually hear and feel the engine propelling you on your way unlike many current industry offerings.
The interior in my opinion is Toyota's best SUV interior that I have driven (I guess until I get the keys to the current Land Cruiser). In the con-department, I am more a fan of the rubber grips on like the volume/tuner knobs in the RAV4 than the plastic material knobs in the Highlander, but I get it. Rubber doesn't scream luxury. Another con for me is the Mud/Sand and Rock/Dirt modes. While I am a huge fan of drive modes, I like realistic drive modes and do not believe people are off roading their Highlanders and using those two modes. (I actually want to be proven wrong and someone show me the current gen Highlander hitting some hard trails in the comments below, please make my day.)
With its overall great interior and how great the drivetrain combination is, I also would make the claim that it is Toyota's best SUV meant for the road. Before you throw me over the cliff - FOR THE ROAD.
Toyota makes some of the best off road capable vehicles - Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, Land Cruiser, RAV4 specially the TRD Pro models for the first three, but those all portray a sense of "please take me off the pavement". The Highlander lets you know you are right at home on the pavement and overall it is a great place to be.
Own a Highlander? Agree? Disagree? I miss mentioning your favorite feature? Let us know in the comments below!