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2022 Toyota Highlander Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Toyota Highlander Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: L vs LE, XLE vs XSE, Bronze vs Limited and Platinum

What 2022 Toyota Highlander Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Families seeking the perfect midsize SUV may find themselves overwhelmed by choices on the market. While some models boast luxurious features, others tout massive amounts of power and still more are sold at a lower cost - all vying to stand out among their peers. Fortunately, there is an option designed specifically for those looking for something both balanced and practical: The mid-sized SUV!

For decades, the Toyota Highlander has been a top choice for SUV seekers. Its powerful performance and impressive fuel economy are just some of its features that make it stand out from competitors in its class — not to mention an attractive exterior, spacious seating capacity up to eight passengers and cost-savings compared with other options on the market.

This vehicle launched its fourth generation in 2020. Now that it is a couple of years in, the new Highlander has really hit its stride. There is a brand-new Bronze Edition that buyers can check out in 2022, which brings the total number of trim options up to seven. There is approximately a $14,000 difference between the entry-level L and the top Platinum model.

No one wants to feel like they overspent. That is why this guide highlights the differences between the 2022 Toyota Highlander trim levels so that buyers can choose the model that has what they need without making them pay for things they do not.


Compare the Highlander L vs. LE. What is the difference?

The 2022 Highlander L uses a 3.5L V6 to get around town. It creates 295-horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission, and it comes standard with front-wheel drive. Even the entry-level L is eligible for an upgrade to all-wheel drive, however. This SUV also has selectable drive modes. The L offers Sport, Eco, Normal, and Snow modes to choose from.

The new Highlander offers drivers a surprisingly efficient ride, given its V6 engine. With front-wheel drive it boasts an impressive 21mpg in the city and 29 on highways while still managing to stay competitive with other midsize SUVs at 20/27 mpg when equipped with all-wheel drive.

With the Highlander L, you can enjoy a bevy of exciting exterior features. It rolls on stylish 18-inch alloy wheels and boasts integrated turn signals in its heated side mirrors for added convenience. The LED taillights add to the already striking look created by bold projector headlights with daytime running lights that are further complemented by an eye-catching black grille surrounded in impressive silver accents.

Families will love the thoughtful features found inside the cabin of the L. Highlights include tri-zone automatic climate control and 14 cupholders spread throughout the interior. There are a total of five USB ports and two 12-volt outlets. Eight passenger seating comes standard, and the driver's seat has an eight-way power adjustment. Both the second and third rows fold flat, and the second row will even recline.

The infotainment system for the Highlander L runs on an 8-inch touchscreen. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. There is also a six-speaker audio system to enjoy.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ comes standard for the 2022 Highlander lineup. This bundle consists of full-speed dynamic range cruise control, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and road sign assist. There is also a tire pressure monitoring system and hill start assist control.

Drivers aiming to save at the pump have found a perfect match in the LE trim level of this vehicle. At just over $2,000 more than L-level options, they get access to an efficient hybrid powertrain with 243 horsepower and stellar fuel economy rating reaching up to 36 mpg city/35mpg highway.

This trim level does add some significant exterior features, such as LED fog lights. The LE also has a height-adjustable power liftgate, along with a button to open it on the key fob. Cabin upgrades start with a leather-trimmed shifter knob and leather-wrapped steering wheel. There is also a Wi-Fi hotspot and a year subscription for remote connect features. Otherwise, the interior is the same. As for the safety features, the LE is the first trim level to add blind-spot monitoring to the Highlander.

Compare the LE vs. XLE. What is the difference?

The XLE trim level is the perfect choice for buyers looking to move up from their standard vehicle without breaking the bank. This model comes equipped with a V6 engine or you can upgrade further and select its hybrid setup - making sure your car stays ahead of market trends! Additionally, enjoy luxe exterior upgrades like a power moonroof too.

The XLE trim level of this model offers elevated sophistication with chrome door handles and a wireless charging pad. Comfort during the drive is prioritized, as both front seats are heated with 10-way power adjustment on the driver’s side and eight-way for passengers — plus an auto-dimming rearview mirror and universal garage opener built in. Seating capacity comes standard at seven but can be extended to accommodate up to eight people if desired; perfect for larger families or those who just like more room!

The first two trim levels have a 4.2-inch LCD information display. Starting with the XLE, the Highlander upgrades to a 7-inch option. This is the first trim available with Driver Easy Speak, a feature that projects the voices from the front row through the speakers in the back rows. There are no other safety or technology upgrades made by the XLE model.

Compare the XLE vs. XSE. What is the difference?

The 2022 Highlander XSE is designed to turn heads with its sport-tuned suspension, striking LED headlights accompanied by black accents, and bold mesh-style grille. What's more, this trim level boasts the power of a V6 engine combined with 20" wheels for an extra edge on any terrain. At roughly $2K higher than the base model XLE variant—the stylishly equipped 2022 Highlander XSE offers high performance capabilities at great value.

Previous trim levels went with silver roof rails, but the XSE goes with black ones instead. The finishing touch on the more aggressive look of this trim is the twin-tip exhaust. Inside, the XSE has the second-row captain's chairs and does not give buyers the option of going back to eight-passenger seating. There is ambient interior lighting standard and the option of adding Driver Easy Speak remains.

Buyers can opt for an upgrade to an 11-speaker JBL sound system if they choose the XSE. This will also give the Highlander integrated navigation. Safety features remain the same when comparing the XLE to the XSE.

Compare the XSE vs. Bronze Edition. What is the difference?

New for 2022 is the Bronze Edition. It costs less than $2,000 more than the XSE, and it is only available with the hybrid powertrain. This trim level loses the sport-tuned suspension but gains an EV drive mode.

The heated and power-adjustable side mirrors on the Bronze Edition have puddle lights that feature an integrated Highlander logo. These mirrors also gain memory functions. The Bronze Edition is the first option on the trim ladder that comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers. This model goes back down to 18-inch wheels, but they have an exclusive bronze finish to show off.

To add to the practicality of this Highlander, the Bronze Edition gets two 120-volt power outlets. One is located in the cargo area, while the other is located on the back of the center console. There are illuminated door sills with bronze accents to help carry on the theme of this trim level. Interestingly, the Driver Easy Speake feature is not available for the Bronze Edition.

Compare the Bronze Edition vs. Limited. What is the difference?

The Limited trim level is where the 2022 Highlander gets upscale. With the standard V6 powertrain, it costs less than $1,000 less than the Bronze Edition. The Limited trim level is also available as a hybrid. This model goes back up to 20-inch wheels that have a sophisticated chrome finish.

Toyota starts the upgrades for this model with high-output LED fog lights. While previous models had silver-painted roof rails, the Limited model gets a genuine silver finish. Inside, there are heated and ventilated front-row seats with memory settings. The steering wheel is also heated. Seven-passenger seating is still standard, but the Limited model brings back the ability to go with seating for eight instead.

The Limited trim of the Highlander offers drivers a range of features that makes it an appealing option. It boasts dynamic guidelines, giving greater visibility when reversing and is also equipped with a 360-degree camera system to provide extra awareness around your vehicle - all while adding sophisticated faux wood accents inside. You can even upgrade from an 8-inch touchscreen to 12.3 inches for increased convenience! And don't forget about Driver Easy Speak; perfect for parents wanting peace and quiet on long drives away!

The Limited has front and rear park assist with automatic braking. Otherwise, it has the same safety features as all of the rest of the Highlander lineup.

Compare the Limited vs. Platinum. What is the difference?

The Platinum model costs over $3,000 more than the Limited. If buyers want the hybrid powertrain underneath the hood, they will need to be ready to pay more than $50,000. The V6 and front-wheel drive remain standard, however.

An adaptive front lighting system helps the Highlander illuminate the road as it goes around corners. This system includes an auto-leveling feature for its headlights. The Platinum model sits on stylish 20-inch alloy wheels. A panoramic glass roof with a front power moonroof is exclusive to the top trim level.

Another feature that is exclusive to the Platinum model is a 10-inch color head-up display. It incorporates the road sign assist feature and can display a variety of useful information in the driver's line of sight. The upgraded camera system is also standard when choosing the Highlander Platinum, plus the 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. Rounding out the upgrades found here are heated second-row seats. Buyers should note that the Platinum is only available with seating for seven.


Final Thoughts

Investing in a 2022 Highlander is the ultimate combination of power, performance and safety. The entry-level L offers an impressive engine with top-notch tech features for peace of mind on the roads. But if you want to maximize your value - move up through the range and enjoy even more convenience!

The LE may not offer much in terms of extras, but the XLE is an attractive upgrade! Families will love having access to heated seats and a wireless charging pad - all without breaking their budget.

Some buyers may be attracted to the XSE for its sport-tuned suspension, but it actually does not make much of a difference during day-to-day drives. The Bronze Edition looks nice, but is only available as a hybrid and does not add many new features. Both the Limited and Platinum models are well-equipped, but neither have anything that most families will find they cannot live without.

The 2022 Toyota Highlander XLE is an efficient, practical, and fun midsized SUV that will work well for most drivers.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2021 Toyota Highlander Trime Levels