If you like a smooth ride, this may not be the car for you. In fact, US News and World Report has pointed out how loud the latest model is. So if you prefer a serene drive or at least the ability to hear the music you play clearly, you may have to look at other three-row SUVs besides the Highlander.
It’s not a silent vehicle
Unlike the 2022 and earlier models, Toyota has equipped the model with a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-turbo engine. Compared to the 2022 Highlander’s V-6, which generated 295 hp, the new model generates just 265 hp.
). However, the new engine makes more torque than the old one (309 lb-ft versus 263 lb-ft, respectively).
In addition to torque, the engine excels in one key area: noise. Noticed that when you hit the brake, there is quite a bit of sound. And since the new Highlander has a different engine, noise is a new problem for the model.
But while you’re in for a seriously thunderous ride when you hit the gas, it’s the only new issue you’ll face with the 2023 model. Engine noise may be the only thing potential buyers will have issues with.
The 2023 Toyota Highlander is otherwise excellent
Overall, US News found a lot to dislike about the 2023 Highlander. After all, Toyota hasn’t changed much from the perennially popular SUV.
It still boasts Toyota’s renowned reliability and several additional technological features for its premium trim. And it offers the same comfort, cargo space, and amenities that made the 2022 Highlander such an excellent purchase.
In addition to the turbo-four engine, the Highlander sports an eight-speed automatic transmission and FWD as standard (AWD is available). The 2023 model lags behind its rivals in cargo space. But with 16.0 cubic feet behind the third row, 48.4 with the third row down (more than the Ford Explorer for that matter), and 84.3 cubic feet with both rows down, there’s plenty of room for luggage or equipment. The Highlander also has two great storage shelves, one below the infotainment screen and another above the glove box.
The Highlander L (the base trim), LE, XLE, and XSE feature integrated navigation, an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, and a 7.0-inch instrument cluster.
However, you can upgrade the infotainment screen to 12.3in on the XLE and XSE. And on Limited and Platinum trims, you’ll get 12.3-inch infotainment and standard instrument displays.
Plus, opting for XLE trims and above gets you a power hands-free liftgate, while power fold mirrors come standard on Limited and Platinum trims.
Should you buy the 2023 Toyota Highlander?
The 2023 Highlander isn’t just feature-competitive, it’s affordable too, with an MSRP starting at $36,420. You also can’t beat the security. The 2022 model received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ distinction, while it was awarded a perfect five out of five stars.
The 2023 model comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, a suite of advanced safety features that are sure to mitigate the risk of an accident. Suite includes automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam, emergency swerve assist, hill descent assist control, hill start control and sway control of the trailer.
Overall, the 2023 Highlander is a solid, safe, and reliable vehicle that’s as worthy of consideration as any of its peers. If a three-row SUV is what you’re after, you should take a 2023 Highlander for a test drive to see if you can live with the engine noise. Because otherwise it’s a great choice.