By Jennifer Geiger on September 14, 2012
Toyota's midsize crossover gets more features and a new trim level for 2013. The midlevel Highlander Plus joins the roster, and many versions get more standard features.
The three-row crossover is again available with four-cylinder and V-6 power, and with front- and all-wheel drive (V-6 only). The V-6 can again tow up to 5,000 pounds with a towing package; the four-cylinder tow package has been discontinued this year.
The 2013 Highlander is available in base Highlander, Highlander Plus, SE and Limited trims. The Highlander Hybrid also returns. The Highlander Plus replaces the Tech Package available last year. Newly standard on hybrid models is a navigation system and Toyota’s Entune multimedia system.
Base Highlanders get a standard 3.5-inch multi-information display with audio functionality, including a USB port and Bluetooth. In Highlander Plus and SE grades, the system includes the backup camera.
The Highlander Plus gets easy-clean fabric on the first- and second-row seats, and the driver's seat has power lumbar adjustment. The new trim wears black roof rails and fog lamps and gets a lift-up glass hatch. Inside, there are two cargo-area levers for one-touch second-row seat folding, cargo cover and metallic accents in the cabin.
The Limited trim adds JBL audio, automatic climate control for the second row and available leather seats. The 2013 Toyota Highlander is just starting to arrive at dealerships.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer