2021 Toyota Highlander XSE and Special 4Runner, Tacoma, Tundra Distinguish Themselves

Toyota-highlander-2021-1-exterior--profile--silver.jpg 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE | photo by Christian Lantry

Toyota didn’t have a brand-new model to show off at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, but it didn’t arrive empty-handed, either. First on the docket is an all-new, sportier XSE version of its redesigned Highlander SUV, as well as new special editions of its pickup trucks and 4Runner and Sequoia SUVs.

Related: More 2020 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

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2021 Highlander XSE

Toyota has sportified its family-friendly Highlander SUV for the 2021 model year, giving it things like more aggressive styling up front and along the rocker panels, trim-exclusive 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and retuned electric power steering. Inside, a two-tone red-and-black leather interior with red stitching on the dash is available to drive home the point that you’re not a regular mom … you’re a cool mom.

Toyota says it expects about one-eighth of Highlander buyers to opt for the XSE version when it goes on sale in the fall.

Trail Edition 4Runner, Tacoma and Tundra

The newest additions to Toyota’s special-edition vehicle roster are the Trail Edition versions of the automaker’s most off-road-oriented models, the 2021 Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks and the 4Runner SUV. The two pickups get lockable bed storage boxes, one of which is insulated for use as a cooler, as well as special wheels. The Tacoma Trail Edition wears the grille from the Tacoma Limited, while the Tundra gets the 1794 Edition’s grille. The 4Runner, lacking a bed, does not get bed storage boxes but does get a special removable and lockable cooler that can be secured to the cargo floor. All Trail Edition models are available in Army Green, Midnight Black, Super White or Cement paint (and the 4Runner’s cooler will be color matched to Army Green and Cement exterior paint; black and white versions will get a Cement-colored cooler). Trail Edition vehicles will go on sale in the summer.

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More Nightshade Editions

Also repping Toyota in Chicago are Nightshade Edition versions of the 2021 Tundra, Tacoma and Sequoia, which get darker chrome grilles, black mirror caps and black door handles. Unlike other Nightshade Edition Toyotas, which are based on SE trim levels, the trucks and Sequoia will be based on Limited trims, so all three have black leather interiors. Toyota is only planning to build 5,000 each of the Nightshade Edition Tacomas and Tundras, and 2,500 of the Sequoia, and all three will be available by the end of summer.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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