Inside the redesigned Toyota Highlander

The 2020 Highlander is a completely redesigned, fourth-generation offering but what does the new interior have to offer?

The 2020 Toyota Highlander hit the market with a new design, including an interior gaining more upscale details, significantly better comfort, and of course, more tech features in the cabin.

Going strong since 2001, the Highlander is the reigning mid-size SUV champ in North America since 2016, in terms of units sold. So Toyota knew this fourth-generation redesign needed to nail it, especially with strong SUV competitors like the Kia Telluride and new Ford Explorer nipping at the best-seller’s heels.

While the family hauler’s rounded corners and flared arches serve to break up its bulk on the outside, let’s take a closer look at the cabin. For our full 2020 Highlander review and pictures, check out our feature here.

Our interior impressions of the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid interior
2020 Toyota Highlander Interior. Photo: Amee Reehal

Inside, Toyota has succeeded in its goal of enhancing the Highlander’s premium credentials with this new model. The upscale cabin, at least on our high-end Limited model, has convincing woodgrain trim, comfortable leather seats, an 8in infotainment screen and rock-solid build quality.

The newcomer has standard Apple CarPlayAndroid Auto and Amazon Alexa connectivity.

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There’s all the space you’ll need, too, particularly for passengers in the first and second rows, with a moon roof to enhance the cabin’s airy feel. Access to the third row is easier than average but adults still won’t want to spend long periods back there, even with the second row sliding a useful 180mm – 30mm more than the previous model – to give your knees some breathing space. Folding the third row flat frees up generous trunk space.

2020 Toyota Highlander Interior from the second row
2020 Toyota Highlander Interior. Photo: Amee Reehal

Our only minor niggles in this area were a second-row seat (the one-third split of the bench) that rattled over bumps when unoccupied, noisy rear air-con vents and doors that required a strong pull to close fully, as if the mechanism was over-damped.

Highlander’s seating capacity and options

Once Toyota decided to add a 3rd-row many years ago, that’s when Highlander sales took off. Here’s how shoppers can configure their 2020 SUV, per trim level:

Trim levelStandard seatsOptional seats
2020 Toyota Highlander Interior rear cargo behind the 3rd row
2020 Toyota Highlander Interior. Photo: Amee Reehal

Standard features across all Highlander trim levels

Here’s a look at the standard features across all 2020 Highlanders. Of course, higher trims like Limited (seen in these photos) and Platinum, for instance, find better features replacing the standards found in the entry-level models. But here, we’re just pointing out interior features all Highlanders will receive, no matter the price point.

Power Windows with Auto Up/Down in
All Positions and Jam Protection

Power Door Locks with Shift-Linked

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Automatic Lock/Unlock Feature

8 Cup Holders and 4 Bottle Holders

Four USB Ports and Two 12V Outlets

Front and Second-Row Seat Reading

Driver Easy Speak – Utilizes Microphone in Overhead Console to Amplify the Driver’s Voice and Broadcast it Through Rear

Rear Passenger Seatbelt Reminder

Front and Rear Energy-Absorbing Crumple Zones and Side-Impact Door

Three-Zone Automatic Climate Control
with Air Filter, Separate Second-Sow

Soft-Touch Roll-Top Center Console (15L)
with Removable Utility Tray

Dual Sun Visors with Sliding Function and
Illuminated Vanity Mirrors

Six Tie-Down Cargo Hooks

Digital Clock

Driver and Front Passenger WhiplashInjury-Lessening (WIL) Seats

Adjustable Front Seatbelt Shoulder
Anchors and Driver and Front Passenger Seatbelt Pretensioners with Force Limiters

Energy-Dissipating Interior Trim

Control Panel, Individual Temperature

Settings for Driver, Front Passenger and
Rear-Seat Passengers and Second- and
Third-Row Vents

Soft-Touch In-Dash Split Level Shelf

Overhead Console with Conversation
Mirror, Sunglasses Storage, and Maplights

Child-Protector Rear Door Locks

Driver and Front Passenger Seatbelt

Collapsible Steering Column

Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS)
(individual tires)

Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)

2020 Toyota Highlander Pictures:

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Bringing the latest news including release dates, pricing announcements, product updates. With some glossy concepts and special edition rides in the mix.