6 min read
04 Mar

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is the latest addition to the Highlander family from Toyota. The Highlander has remained one of the best-selling SUVs not just in Nigeria, but also in the global midsize SUV market for years. So, what’s new with the Toyota Highlander for the 2023 model year? 

The Highlander has seven new offerings for 2023. Firstly, Toyota introduced a new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with the new 2023 Highlander to replace the V6. Secondly, the Highlander now gets an available 12.3-inch infotainment screen on the lower XLE and XSE trim levels. Thirdly, the Limited and Platinum trim levels now feature power-folding mirrors. Fourthly, the Limited and Platinum trims now get the 12.3-inch infotainment displays as a standard feature. Fifthly, the Highlander L and LE trims got a standard 7-inch instrument cluster. Sixthly, Toyota has now introduced a hands-free power liftgate with the Highlander XLE and XSE trims. And lastly, the wireless charger now comes positioned on the instrument panel shelf for additional convenience. 

These revisions will surely thrill Highlander's loyal fan base around the world. The SUV offers a spacious and comfortable interior, a refined driving experience, and a plethora of advanced safety features. It’s perfect for families looking for a reliable and safe vehicle versatile enough to meet their diverse motoring needs. This latest iteration of the Highlander shows off a sleek and modern exterior design to satisfy the longings of Nigerian drivers who want a car that announces their presence without honking. Toyota complemented this with numerous advanced technology features that make driving safer and more convenient. Let’s check it out. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Exterior Design

2023 Toyota Highlander review Via Toyota.

You can use adjectives like ‘smart,’ ‘casual,’ ‘elegant,’ ‘sporty,’, and ‘tough’ to describe the looks of the 2023 Highlander, and you’d be absolutely correct on all counts. The 2023 Toyota Highlander has a sleek and modern exterior design that is sure to turn heads on the road. The front fascia features a bold and aggressive grille complemented by sharp LED headlights. 

The Highlander’s body got sculpted with sharp lines and curves that give it a sporty and aerodynamic look. The 2023 Highlander model comes with a new set of 20-inch alloy wheels that add to the SUV's overall aesthetics. Additionally, no doubt Nigerian drivers will appreciate those skid plates both aft and vanward of the undercarriage. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Interior Design

2023 Toyota Highlander interior Via Toyota.

The interior of the 2023 Toyota Highlander is spacious and comfortable. It has enough room to seat up to eight passengers comfortably. With 141.8 cubic feet of interior volume, the Highlander 2023 admittedly does not match the cabin space of some rivals, especially the first- and third-row legroom of competitors like the Ford Explorer and Kia Telluride. 

The same is the case with the Highlander’s trunk volume. It offers 16 cubic feet of room behind the third row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 84.3 cubic feet with both rear rows folded down, amounting to an average cargo volume in the midsize SUV segment. In any case, the 2023 Highlander’s cabin is well-appointed with high-quality materials and finishes, including soft-touch surfaces, leather upholstery, and wood-grain accents. 

2023 Toyota Highlander front cabin Via Toyota.

The front seats are heated and ventilated, while the second-row seats are adjustable and can slide forward and backward to provide more legroom or cargo space. The third-row seats are also spacious enough to accommodate adults comfortably, making this SUV an excellent choice for families. Additionally, the 2023 Highlander owners will certainly love the new interior feature comprising a pair of shelves positioned along the dashboard. 

You'd find one of the shelves under the vents below the infotainment display, while the second shelf is located just above the passenger-side glove compartment. Those shelves would come in handy to quickly stash all kinds of stuff you buy at the traffic jams along Oshodi or Upper Iweka. Notably, the shelf under the dash comes with a wireless charging dock for your mobile devices on higher trims of the 2023 Toyota Highlander. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Technology

2023 Toyota Highlander technology Via Toyota.

The Highlander always comes with a host of advanced technology features that make driving safer and more convenient. For the 2023 model year, Toyota updated the infotainment system. The top-of-the-line Limited and Platinum trim levels now rock a 12.3-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument display with four appearance modes, displaying vital vehicle info such as fuel level, speed, and navigation directions. 

The automaker named the appearance modes Casual, Smart, Tough, and Sporty – just the adjectives you’d use to describe the Highlander’s design. We note that Toyota also offers the 12.3-inch touchscreen as an available infotainment display on the mid-trim XLE and XSE trim levels, which comes with a standard 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and 7-inch digital instrument cluster display. In any case, the infotainment system is easy to use and navigate. 

2023 Toyota Highlander infotainment system Via Toyota.

It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your smartphone with the vehicle's multimedia system. The base L and LE Highlander trims also feature a standard 8-inch infotainment display and a 7-inch instrument cluster screen. The Apple and Android smartphone integration, along with Amazon Alexa, WiFi, and Bluetooth are standard equipment on all 2023 Highlander trim levels. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Safety Features

2023 Toyota Highlander safety sense 2.5 features Via Toyota.

Toyota has always been known for its commitment to safety, and the 2023 Highlander is no exception. The SUV comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a suite of advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian detection. 

The Highlander also comes with a rearview camera and blind-spot monitoring, both of which make driving safer and easier. Notably, the new Toyota Highlander earned the IIHS (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)'s coveted Top Safety Pick+ badge while the US NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gave the SUV a perfect 5-star overall rating for crashworthiness, including four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests, and five stars in the side crash test. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Engine And Performance

2023 Toyota Highlander engine and performance Via Toyota.

As mentioned in the intro, Toyota has replaced the Highlander's naturally aspirated V6 with a turbocharged 2.4-liter straight-4. Under the hood of the 2022 Toyota Highlander is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. This outgoing engine married an 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth and responsive performance. 

New for the 2023 model year, the Toyota Highlander now rocks a 2.4-liter turbocharged unit capable of making 265 horses and 309 lb-ft of torque, making it goodly 30 horses less powerful than the previous model. Also, the turbocharged inline-4 is the 2023 Highlander's sole powerplant, mated to a sole 8-speed automatic gearbox across all the Highlander gas-powered models. 

2023 Toyota Highlander overview Via Toyota.

The drivetrain remains unchanged from the previous year, which means the 2023 Toyota Highlander also comes with a standard front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an available option. The SUV offers a comfortable and refined driving experience, thanks to a suspension system that absorbs bumps and road imperfections with ease. The steering is responsive and well-weighted, making it easy to maneuver the vehicle in both city and highway driving conditions. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Fuel Economy

2023 Toyota Highlander fuel economy Via Toyota.

Toyota estimates the 2023 Highlander will return 24 mpg in combined city and highway driving, which is uniform with what the 2022 FWD Highlander delivered. The previous 2022 Toyota Highlander has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive models have an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. 

These fuel economy ratings are impressive for an SUV of this size and power, making the Highlander a great choice for families who want a practical and fuel-efficient vehicle. The Hybrid model offers the best efficiency, with the ability to deliver 36 miles on the gallon in a combined city and highway driving. Note that you can get the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Hybrid with two e-motors mated to either FWD or all-wheel drivetrain to deliver up to 243 horsepower. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Cargo Space

2023 Toyota Highlander cargo volume Via Toyota.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander offers ample cargo space, with 16 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, and a maximum of 84.3 cubic feet of space with both the second and third-row seats folded down. This makes the Highlander a great choice for cross-country or intercity trips as well as family voyages to the Village or wherever you need to go that requires hauling large items. 

2023 Toyota Highlander Price In Nigeria

2023 Toyota Highlander price in Nigeria Via Toyota.

According to Kelly Blue Books, the 2023 Toyota Highlander starts at $36,420 (roughly ₦17 million) for the base LE trim, while the top-of-the-line Platinum trim starts at around $49,075 (around ₦23 million). Take note that these are based on official currency conversion rates, so you can expect to spend considerably more than the list price should you source your funds via the popular black market. 

Furthermore, the 2023 Highlander AWD option will set you back an extra $1,600 (₦738,400) if you choose the AWD drivetrain for L, LE, and XLE trim levels. The upper-trims XSE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels will ask for a substantial $1,950 (₦899,925) to add the all-wheel-drive (AWD) option. Overall, the Highlander’s price point is competitive with other midsize SUVs in its class, making it a great value for families who want a reliable and safe vehicle that is also relatively affordable. 

Final Word On The 2023 Toyota Highlander

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is a great choice for individuals and families that want a practical, reliable, and safe SUV that can handle all their transportation needs. With its spacious and comfortable interior, advanced technology features, and impressive safety ratings, the Highlander is one of the best midsize SUVs on the market. 

The 2023 Highlander’s fuel-efficient engine, ample cargo space, and competitive price make it an excellent value for, well, successful families looking for a high-quality vehicle that won't leave a big dent in their bank accounts. Overall, the 2023 Toyota Highlander is definitely worth considering, even if you have to wait a few years down the line until it is available on the used car market at a much friendlier price.  

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