This midsize Toyota brings a wide variety of accessories and is easy to operate.
The 2020 Highlander Platinum we tested seduced us from the start. Its handling is smooth and its style is impeccable. It is silent and its interior is spacious and luxurious.
It’s a fresh take on the classic model, a ‘midzise’ that falls between the RAV 4 and Sequoia in size and costs 54,000 from $ 35,000 for the base model.
Passenger entry to the third row is easy because the second row seats are independent and additionally fold; they also come with USB connection ports and power outlets, as well as side door shutters and separate climate control.
It has a drone-style camera that shows the entire car, in addition to others that reveal its sensitive points during reversing and a very practical but not very large rear space to place packages without having to lower the back of the third row of seats.
Up front, the central module comes with a plate for charging the cell phone located above a generous storage cellar and another front tray under the command screen that accommodates small items that are always lost in the ‘parallel universe’ that seems to exist under the car seats, plus a large compartment for lenses with a curious wide-angle mirror.
Its infotainment screen is not very large but the control unit is bulky and allows determining the climate and heating or cooling the seats with the use of easy-to-find and operate buttons, although its overall appearance needs another update in our opinion.
The system alerts you if a kid is left by mistake (as has sadly happened in the past) like several three-row seat vehicles where a quick check is difficult.
It has an option for handling in snow and mud, as well as selectors for regular or sport driving modes that regulate a 3.5-liter V6 engine with enough force and bite when accelerating, an 8-speed automatic transmission and 4-wheel drive .
The Highlander also comes with a collision prevention system, blind spot monitor, lane assist, pedestrian detection system and automatic lights, among others.
The manufacturer reports an average fuel consumption of 23 miles per gallon that goes up to 27 on the highway, making it a reasonable car when it comes to daily spending.
The model we tested came with a panoramic moonroof, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and 11 JBL speakers.
In general, the utility showed us an unequal balance of power, space and accessories that we rate as recommendable, in addition to a very pleasant driving experience.