As the Highlander just went through a redesign for the 2020 model year, we anticipate that the 2021 model will be a carryover. However, we could still see some minor changes made within the year. That being said, Toyota has already announced that the popular XSE trim will make its way to the SUV next year.
The new look for the 2020 Highlander brought an overall more aggressive design. From more angled headlights to the sharp body line spanning the length of the vehicle, the new style resembles anything but an everyday people hauler. On the inside, the SUV sports a large dash mounted touch screen, automatic climate control, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Expect the 2021 Highlander to carry on with these looks and features.
The XSE trim adds a larger bottom grille, black roof rails and mirror caps, and a chrome dual-tip exhaust on the outside, while the interior sees two-toned black and red accents, and a carbon-fiber finished instrument panel. The XSE will be slotted between the XLE and Limited trims.
No changes are expected under the hood meaning the 2021 Highlander will continue on with a 3.5-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This motor is good for 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. It will be available with standard front-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive option
In terms of safety, we expect the 2021 Highlander to continue on with the automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams available on the 2020 model. Although neither have undergone IIHS testing, will the available equipment, the 2021 Highlander will likely be a Top Safety Pick.