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2020 Toyota Highlander Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Toyota Highlander Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: L vs LE vs XLE, Limited & Platinum

What 2020 Toyota Highlander Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Ready for more action than ever before, the 2020 Toyota Highlander seems intent on doing everything better. There are improvements in capability, spaciousness, and technology. Highlanders are certainly challenging competitors on all fronts.

If you compare the 2019 model to this year, you’ll notice that the 2020 Toyota Highlander has a bold new design. The handsome body has many high-tech secrets and favorite amenities to please the modern family.

Enhanced driving refinement is complements of a new TNGA-K platform. The new design allows for greater aerodynamic efficiency. This also improves stability and reduces wind noise, helping to keep the cabin quiet.

Toyota engineers stretched the new Highlander. Offering flexibility for people and cargo, the second-row track now allows for an extra 1.2 inches of travel. The cargo volume has increased to serve big families better.

All Highlanders have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. New features this year include a Road Sign Assist to keep drivers aware of changes in speed. A new Lane Tracing Assist helps the wheels stay within the lines when taking a curve. Cyclist detection is added to the warning system.

Shoppers may already be familiar with the other elements of this class-leading driver assistance. Warnings about pedestrians or forward collision dangers are backed up by emergency automatic braking. A lane departure alert is backed up by a steering assist. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control handles speeding and slowing while in highway traffic.


2020 Toyota Highlander V6 vs Hybrid

The Highlander V6 is offered at all trim levels. The hybrid trims start with the LE. In case you are wondering, the hybrid cargo and passenger space are identical to the regular Highlander.

Capable of competitive highway sprints, the V6 delivers 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. A Direct Shift eight-speed automatic controls the action. Reducing wear and tear while improving safety, this system has Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control, and Downhill Assist.

With a towing package, the Highlander V6 can pull 5,000 pounds. A stop-start system helps this model reduce city fuel use.The V6 earns 27 miles per gallon on the highway. The combined rate is 23 miles per gallon.

On the other hand, the hybrid is rated for 34 combined miles per gallon. That’s an improvement over the 2019 hybrid’s 28 combined miles per gallon. For families on a budget, that will mean quite a savings over the vehicle’s lifetime.

Toyota has combined a high-efficiency four-cylinder engine with dual electric motors that are mounted coaxially. A multi-function gear replaces the planetary ring gear, parking gear and counter-drive gear. This compact system doesn’t need as much room or add as much weight. It's also the reason that the hybrid edition has the same space as the regular one.

The V6 editions come with front-wheel drive. However, they can be paired with one of two all-wheel drive models. The basic system can move 50 percent of the available torque to the back when needed. Ready for serious adventures, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD has a Driveline Disconnect and Multi-Terrain Select.

Unique to the hybrid, a new all-wheel drive system utilizes a rear electric motor that can suppress front-wheel slip and keep torque where it can do the most good. Thanks to this system, the Highlander Hybrid can travel when surfaces are slippery or rough.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Highlander L vs LE Trim Levels: What’s the Difference?

Seating 8 on three rows, the L offers many reasons to shop at the entry level. A more spacious interior welcomes the family. Designers have taken care to soften the interior with padded surface and a tailored look. The 8-way power driver’s seat will make the driver happy.

There’s a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument panel. A tri-zone automatic climate system allows the back rows to set a desired temperature that’s different from the front two positions. A Smart Key provides quick entry on all doors and allows for push button start.

A big 8-inch touch screen is now standard even on the L. Entune provides apps for fast interface. Bluetooth permits hands-free phone and hands-free text messaging. To find navigational tools, you can utilize functions via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Waze is already on the menu. Alexa in-car compatibility allows you to access the car from home and vice versa.

Wi-Fi connectivity is available from AT&T. For a big family, that’s a valuable tool for keeping everyone busy on their smart devices. You can stream to laptops, pads, and smartphones as if you were at home.

Privacy glass stops prying eyes from seeing what’s in your cargo hold. The hold measures 16.0 cubic feet. Folding the third row, the area stretches to 48.4 cubic feet. With the second row folded, the area measures 84.3 cubic feet. Engineers shaped the side surfaces and pockets to make the most of the additional length.

Eight airbags provide a blanket of safety for your family. Two kneebags try to protect front-seat occupants from the worst. Whiplash-related injury-lessening seats are a Toyota exclusive.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is a remarkable value. Highlander L models have radar-based cruise control, automatic braking, forward collision warnings, and cyclist detection. Improved for 2020, pedestrian detection works even in dim light.

The new Lane Tracing Assist is an excellent partner to the Lane Departure Assistance. Automatic high beams raise and lower as needed for safety.

To the long list of L features, the 2020 Toyota Highlander LE adds a power liftgate. Safety is enhanced by LED fog lamps and additional driver assistance features. A blind spot monitor can keep tabs on side traffic. This feature also monitors rear cross traffic when the Highlander LE is in reverse.

LE interiors come in graphite or black woven cloth, also standard on the L. To that, Toyota adds a leather-trimmed steering wheel and more multimedia capability.

The L only offers the V6 and a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. However, the LE offers those choices plus an upgrade to the hybrid powertrain with electric all-wheel drive.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Highlander LE vs XLE Trims: What’s the Difference?

With the XLE, the Highlander starts moving into premium territory. There’s a richer look and feel with SofTex-trimmed seats and SofTex-trimmed doors. Plated door handles provide another dash of quality. A moonroof lets in natural light and air upon request.

Parents will be pleased with the 10-way power driver’s seat and 4-way power passenger seat. Both positions have a power-heat capability. The XLE touch screen adds more entertainment with HD radio. A one-year trial introduces you to the benefits of Remote Connect.

It is important to note that seating for 7 is standard and seating for 8 is optional at this level. The LE second-row bench is exchanged for second-row Captain’s chairs. Second-row XLE sunshades make it easier to shield babies and toddlers from glare.

Drivers will find things easier with the auto-dimming rear-view mirror. A garage door opener keeps life simple. The multi-information display is bigger and easier to see.
Enhanced LED headlights have automatic high beams to increase and decrease light as traffic dictates.

Both models offer the V6 with a choice of front-wheel drive or basic all-wheel drive. They are also offered with the hybrid powertrain and its electric all-wheel drivetrain.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE Vs Limited Trim Levels: What’s the Difference?

Limited models add beauty inside and out. The 18-inch alloys are updated to a special 20-inch style. The projector beam headlamps wear chrome bezels. Separate, stylized DRLs add to the light signature. A “Highlander” puddle lamp invites you inside.

The Limited interior offers beige, gray or black perforated leather seating, replacing the SofTex on the XLE. Cabin trim elements include real wood dash elements and metal door scuff plates. The front seats can be individually heated and ventilated. Memory is added to the driver’s seat. On both, there’s standard seating for 7 with the option of the second-row bench and seating for 8.

Ambient lighting reduces stress during nighttime drives. The navigation system is embedded with the touch screen. A JBL audio system improves the sound of your music. The cabin has 11 speakers including an amplifier and subwoofer.

On the Limited, a hands-free function is added to the power liftgate. That’s especially nice when carrying a sleeping child.

Additional safety features include automated braking with front and rear parking sensors. This takes even more of the guesswork out of parking a large vehicle. Drivers can feel more secure as they pull into or out of a space.

At the Limited level, the shopper can choose the hybrid with all-wheel drive or the V6 with front-wheel drive. Additionally, gas-only models can be equipped with Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD. This makes them ready for off-road duties.

Multi-Terrain Select has mud/sand, rock/dirt, and normal settings. Drive modes include Eco, normal and sport. With so much customization, the Highlander Limited driver can have some fun behind the wheel.

Compare the 2020 Toyota Highlander Limited Vs Platinum Trims: What’s the Difference?

With this edition, the 2020 Highlander turns into a luxury liner. The exterior wears adaptive, self-leveling headlamps that show more of the road. The wheels are 20-inch trim-specific alloys. At night, the door scuff plates are illuminated.

A panoramic moonroof adds an overhead view. It’s natural entertainment for passengers. Embossed seats wear perforated leather in shades of gray, black or beige as it does in the Limited. However, you can also get a rich Glazed Caramel leather.

Power-heated second-row Captain’s chairs promise more comfort. Unlike the Limited, there’s no second-row bench option for the Platinum. This trim is strictly a seven-seat edition.

A 12.3 multimedia unit rocks the dashboard and provides the most entertainment and information sources. Dynamic navigation shows you the best route. It’s worth a test drive just to see this system in action.

Drivers will appreciate the assistance of rain-sensing wipers and three advanced safety devices. A head-up display keeps the driver informed about critical data. Working with Road Sign Assist, it lets you know about important signs and speed limit changes.

A bird's eye camera watches the large SUV’s surroundings. When you consider the rear cross traffic alert and the automatic rear braking system, the Platinum driver shouldn’t have any trouble parking this family hauler.

At fast speeds, the digital display rear view mirror provides a tool for watching the traffic behind you. This is in addition to the blind spot monitor, and it is a live feed that shows you a wider arc than the mirror alone. Furthermore, the view isn’t blocked by people’s heads or seats.

Dynamic Torque Vectoring is available on both models. Of course, you can get all-wheel drive if you choose the hybrid.

2020 Toyota Highlander: Which Trim to Choose?


Well, it’s hard to resist the hybrid. That fuel economy is likely to be a return on your investment. This means that the best choice may be the LE. You can get the hybrid at the least expensive price.

On the other hand, the adventure-minded may choose the Limited or Platinum to gain access to the advanced four-wheel drive system. Drivers can take their Highlanders down muddy roads to favorite picnic spots. Since these are also luxury lover’s choices, it sure is a win-win.

The XLE may be all the luxury anyone needs. It has Toyota’s famous SofTex upholstery. Shoppers will find it has the most value-rich package for the money.

On the other hand, the perforated leathers on the Limited or Platinum will tempt some shoppers to consider the top tiers. The parking assistance on these two models is so helpful that it is a persuasive reason to bypass the XLE and go straight for the Limited or Platinum.

When all is said and done, the 2020 Toyota Highlander exudes quality even at the entry level. The L may be all that a family needs for a better three-row ride.

Save Money on a 2020 Toyota Highlander:
Previous Toyota Highlander Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2019 Toyota Highlander Trim Levels