2021 Toyota Highlander

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2021 Toyota Highlander
2021 Toyota Highlander

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

194.9” x 68.1”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Smooth-revving V-6
  • Interior quality
  • Cabin storage
  • 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity (V-6)
  • Hybrid’s estimated gas mileage

The bad:

  • Automatic transmission kickdown response
  • Cargo space
  • Third-row comfort
  • Brake pedal feel (hybrid)

6 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2021 Toyota Highlander trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2023

Notable features

  • New XSE trim level available
  • Three-row SUV
  • Seating for seven or eight
  • V-6 or hybrid drivetrain
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Automatic emergency braking standard

2021 Toyota Highlander review: Our expert's take

What Is the 2021 Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV with room for seven or eight, depending on seating configuration. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available, and powertrain choices include a 295-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine or a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain rated at 243 total hp. Competitors include the Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Palisade

What’s New on the 2021 Toyota Highlander?

A new sporty XSE trim level joins the Highlander lineup featuring a revised suspension, retuned steering, machined 20-inch wheels with black accents, and updated exterior and interior design cues. All Highlander trims get added safety features, including the ability to detect and react to oncoming traffic when making a left turn, as well as steering assistance to help keep the vehicle in its lane during emergency maneuvers. LED headlights are now standard, too. 

What Features in the 2021 Toyota Highlander Are Most Important?

    • Standard tri-zone automatic climate control 
    • Available second-row captain’s chairs 
    • 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard; 12.3-inch touchscreen available
    • Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity 
    • Available wireless device charging
    • Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, and automatic high-beam headlights standard
    • Blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert available 
    • 360-degree camera system available

Should I Buy the 2021 Toyota Highlander?

With seating for up to eight and plenty of standard safety features, the Toyota Highlander is a good choice for families. A variety of trims range from basic to upscale, accommodating different needs and budgets. The hybrid variant has very good estimated fuel economy for a three-row SUV. 

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.7
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 4.9

Most recent consumer reviews



Hybrid model. Lots of air and tire noise no matter the type of road surface even with regular touring tread tires. 2 different dealers and terrible service. Rock hole in invertor radiator and area is COMPLETELY ENCLOSED? $1000+ replacement Technicians and service manager all heard the air sound but when factory rep showed up none of them knew anything about it even though we had a video that said the opposite. Also exhaust leak that they couldn't find at same time. Service left wife at stealership when they were to give her a ride to work and then didn't pick her up later. Had to jump the car when it was 2 weeks old. Dealer said nothing wrong. Radio has trouble picking up FM stations 20 miles away even in open country. Factory tires didn't last 24,000 miles. Middle seat shoulder belts rattle. I got 38 MPG on interstate. Hybrid is waste of money. Battery life with engine shut off is only 20 minutes according to dealer and if it goes dead you can't start it without a jump. Front end is so low u can't drive up on ramps without changing approach angle. DID I MENTION VERY NOISY INSIDE? Sounds like window is partially down at 50MPH and up. I'm sure the wife could tell more as she drives it everyday. Steering is also squirrely. Not meant for highway speeds. Second Toyota and there won't be a third. Camry should have taught me a lesson


Avoid this highlander, look for Japan made toyota

I got the car brand new and I experienced vibration when braking on high speeds which got worse later on that the vibration can be felt when braking at low speeds. I took it to out local dealership, Capitol toyota here in San jose bay area, more often than the recommended maintenance guide states because of the issue. The dealership did not look into the issue and just shrug it off stating that the brakes are new, rotors are new, no problem on visual inspection, it’s a toyota, lets see if it will still be there on the next service. Then came 32000k, now that it is out of warranty, the dealership said its a worn rotor pads, and that it is not covered under warranty anymore and also because it is something that is part of wear and tear. BS! The service advisor initially told me on the last service that the rotor was not surfaced properly or not surfaced at all before installation. I was charged 450$ for that repair. I called toyota and sided on the explanation of the dealership. I told them it will be my last toyota and it should be for anybody unless it’s a toyota made from Japan, I’ve had japan made toyota cars before with no problems. On the good side, I love the looks of this SUV, not too aggressive but still looks mean and stylish. The transmission is like butter on higher rpms but experienced some lags when in low speeds. Its front seats and middle seat are both comfortable but the rear seats are reserved for very short adults(<5 feet tall) or young kids.


Rented this car for a week and loved it!

My mother recently rented this car for a family vacation to West Virginia and it was amazing! Excellent mileage for an SUV its size. Great performance. Tons of safety features (which is a VERY GOOD thing). Beautiful acceleration. The only problem we had was with the fact that the car will adjust the speed depending on the cars around it (or something like that), but it only happened when cruise control was on. It was overall a very nice car and we are actually planning on purchasing one soon.

See all 99 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Toyota
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
24 months/25,000 miles
Roadside assistance
24 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
7 years/less than 85,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12, 000 miles
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
160- or 174-point inspections
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

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