2023 Toyota Highlander Ditches the V-6, Adds Tech, Raises Prices

Competes with: Ford Explorer, Honda Passport, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Volkswagen Atlas

Looks like: The 2022 Highlander, only now available in a nice green

Drivetrains: New turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 265 horsepower, 310 pounds-feet of torque (gas versions); 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor-generators making 243 system hp (Hybrid); front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Later October

The 2023 Toyota Highlander will hit the streets without one of its defining features for over a decade, replacing its 3.5-liter gas V-6 with a new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s now standard for every non-hybrid Highlander. Toyota says the turbo four will give the Highlander similar capabilities to its V-6 predecessor while significantly reducing emissions. The automaker is also upgrading both standard and available interior tech for various trims, bringing the Highlander’s interior more in line with what we’ve seen from other recent Toyota vehicles. The 2023 Highlander will cost anywhere from $565 to $2,065 more than the 2022 model, depending on trim level.

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What isn’t changing for 2023, is the Highlander’s exterior design. There is, however, a lovely new Cypress green exterior paint option, seen in these photos. The Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition and gas Highlander XSE both return for 2023, as well. Seating in the three-row SUV remains at either eight passengers with a second-row bench seat or seven with second-row captain’s chairs, which are standard on higher trims.

New Turbo Engine, Same Capabilities

The Highlander’s new turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine – now the only choice for the non-hybrid — produces 265 horsepower and 310 pounds-feet of torque. While that horsepower figure is down 30 from the departed V-6, torque increases by 47 pounds-feet. The Highlander isn’t the kind of vehicle judged by its 0-60-mph time, but Toyota is suggesting that the added torque should be noticeable in “everyday driving situations.”

Towing capacity for the gas-only Highlander remains 5,000 pounds with the turbo engine, and all versions of the Highlander (including the Hybrid) come standard with Trailer Sway Control.

Toyota says the turbo powerplant will be EPA-rated at up to 25 mpg combined, which would be a slight improvement over the V-6’s maximum of 24 mpg combined. Most importantly, the automaker says the new engine will reduce emissions of nitrous oxide and non-methane organic gasses by up to 50% compared to the V-6, and its carbon dioxide emissions are also reduced.

The 2023 Highlander Hybrid retains its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and dual electric motor-generators, producing a system total of 243 hp and rated at 36 mpg combined. Towing capacity for the Highlander Hybrid tops out 3,500 pounds.

Every version of the Highlander is available with front- or all-wheel drive. Gas-powered Highlander L, LE and XLE trims get a less-advanced AWD system, while the XSE, Limited and Platinums get a more advanced system with additional torque-vectoring capabilities and driveline disconnect to improve fuel consumption.

Bigger Displays for All

The other major upgrade for the 2023 Highlander comes inside, where a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is now standard on the Limited and Platinum, flanking another 12.3-inch touchscreen display that Toyota says now uses the full-screen real estate to display content. The digital instrument panel has four different views, which Toyota is choosing to name Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen is also standard on the Hybrid Bronze Edition and available on the XLE and XSE — the latter two come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen. Both touchscreens include standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Trims below the Limited and Platinum now come standard with a 7-inch instrument panel display between physical gauges — a carryover from 2022 for the XLE and XSE, but an upgrade over the 4.2-inch display in the 2022 L and LE.

Pricing and Release Date

Toyota says the 2023 Highlander will go on sale later this month. AWD remains a $1,600 option for 2023 models. Full pricing, including destination, is below:


  • L: $37,755 ($565 increase)
  • LE: $40,155 ($765 increase)
  • XLE: $43,155 ($765 increase)
  • XSE: $44,750 ($765 increase)
  • Limited: $47,410 ($2,065 increase)
  • Platinum: $50,410 ($1,065 increase)


  • LE: $41,555 ($665 increase)
  • XLE: $44,555 ($665 increase)
  • Bronze Edition: $47,115 ($1,900 increase)
  • Limited: $48,810 ($965 increase)
  • Platinum: $51,810 ($965 increase)

Pricing for the 2023 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are competitive with the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, which have quickly become the gold standard of three-row SUVs.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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