The all-new 4th gen 2020 Highlander drivetrain makes this one heck of a 7/8-passenger SUV! Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 20, 2019 2020 Toyota Highlander Arriving in Toyota dealerships next February 2020, an all-new 4th gen 2020 Highlander is constructed on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform. More importantly, the Highlander Hybrid is expected to achieve a class leading 34 mpgUS combined rating. On the safety front, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 comes standard on all models and includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) Automatic High Beam (AHB) (New) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) (New) Road Sign Assist (RSA) The 2020 Highlander will be available in LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum trims. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Exterior The 2020 Highlander LE and XLE features a black front grille with silver trim, while the Limited and Platinum trims include a black grille with chrome trim and chrome-plated lower rear fascia, premium projector headlamps and 20-inch alloys. The Platinum includes a silver painted front bumper and rear fascia and a unique 20-inch wheel. The 4th gen is 2.36 inches (60mm) longer than before, all in the cargo area to add even greater cargo volume. The second row can be slid an extra 1.2-in. further up to increase distance between the second and third rows as well. A lower aerodynamic drag design reduces wind noise while enhancing vehicle stability. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Interior The LE comes standard with a second-row bench for eight, while the XLE and Limited trims are setup with Captain’s Chairs with seating for seven and the option of a second-row bench for eight. The Platinum will come standard with a Captain’s Chair only. Standard three-zone climate control ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air to the back. With all 3 rows of seats up, the Highlander offers a smaller than expected 16.1 cu. ft. of cargo volume behind the third row. Where it gets big is folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks provides 40.6 cu. ft., and then folding the second row increases that to 73.3 cu. ft. The 2020 Highlander offers Qi wireless charging to plenty of storage spaces and USB charging ports. On Limited and Platinum grades, new ambient LED lighting sets a relaxing mood. Sound-damping and soundproofing materials minimize noise in the frequencies that interfere with conversation. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Drivetrain The new-generation Toyota Hybrid System in the 2020 Highlander Hybrid combines a heavily atkinsonized 2.5L I4 with two electric motors that’s more compact, and more efficient than ever before. Together they produce 240 hp while offering up a preliminary 34 mpgUS combined rating. Expect to see 35 or 36 mpg by the time it rolls into dealership showrooms. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump, electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump also help. The Hybrid transaxle’s reduction gear is now a parallel shaft gear, rather than a planetary, and a new multi-function gear integrates the power-split planetary ring gear, parking gear, and counter-drive gear. New computer integration and a smaller, lighter power stack installed directly above the transaxle reduce energy transmission losses. The battery pack is small enough to be installed under the rear seats, so it does not take up any cargo or passenger space. The hybrid is also now available in either 2WD or AWD using separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when necessary. The system also enhances cornering by reducing understeer. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Safety The 2020 Highlander is equipped with the second-generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0). Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on all hybrid models. Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) is available with clearance sonar on Limited and above. The standard backup camera features projected path. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, available on Limited and standard on Platinum, provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle. The 2020 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side-curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST). 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Infotainment All 2020 Highlanders will arrive with Apple Car Play and a Toyota first, ANDROID AUTO – about damn time and yessss!!!!, Alexa In-Car compatibility, Waze, SiriusXM, and Wi-Fi connectivity through AT&T. All hybrids include Service and Remote Connectivity. A move up to XLE or Limited can be equipped with optional Dynamic Navigation. A move up to Platinum grade offers standard Dynamic Navigation and the 12.3-inch screen. Once you begin to use Android Auto with Google Maps, poorly designed embedded navigation systems like the Toyota system will be all but abandoned in place. The JBL Premium Audio System is standard for Limited and Platinum includes 1,200 watts of power playing through 11 speakers in nine locations. Clari-Fi attempts to recreate the lower and upper frequencies lost to compression. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Trim Walk The 2020 Highlander Hybrid in LE trim includes the following standard equipment. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 18-in. alloys 3-zone auto climate 4.2-in. Multi-information Display (MID) driver instrument panel 8-way power driver’s seat Auto up/down power windows 8-inch central touchscreen display Front seat reading lights and cargo area light. LED headlamps and taillamps Privacy glass on rear side, quarter and liftgate windows Proximity Key on front door and back hatch Power liftgate Blind Spot Monitor LED fog lamps Leather-trimmed wheel and shift knob XLE adds the following to the LE: 10-way power driver’s seat 2nd-row sun shades 4-way power front passenger seat 7-in. Multi-information display Auto dimming rear-view mirror with garage door opener Auto LED headlamps with Auto High Beam Plated interior door handle Heated front seats LED fog lamps Machined-face alloy wheels Captain’s Chairs second row (standard) Power tilt and slide moon roof Roof rails SofTex-leather sim trimmed seats and door trim Limited adds the following to the XLE: 120V 2nd-row power outlet 20-in. Limited alloys Ambient interior lighting Cargo area cover Driver’s seat memory Hands-free power liftgate Heated and ventilated front seats “Highlander” puddle lamp Perforated leather trimmed seats in Beige, Gray or Black Metal door scuff plates Projector beam headlamp with chrome bezels and separate, stylized DRLs Wood interior trim JBL Audio System as standard Embedded navigation system Platinum adds the following to the Limited: 12.3-in. Multimedia head unit 20-in Platinum alloys Adaptive, self-leveling headlamps Additional leather seating color choice: Glazed Caramel Digital display rear view mirror Embossed, perforated leather trimmed seats Head-up display Heated 2nd-row seats Illuminated door scuff plates Panoramic moonroof Rain-sensing windshield wipers Birds eye camera 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Warranty Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against perforation from corrosion for 60 months with no mileage limitation. Hybrid-related components that require repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. The 2020 Highlander also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and 2 years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage. Big time room with the seats stowed. 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Early Conclusions? Another crowd pleaser from the Toyota brand. While the front end is a bit polarizing, the equipment, safety, and efficiency is top notch. I hope the initial MSRP release is reasonable as well. 7-passenger ride share anyone? Toyota has an efficient answer for that.