Toyota has retained the naturally ambitious V6s compared to many automakers for its mainstream products, but it seems to be coming to an end. The 2023 Toyota Highlander will lose its V6 for a turbocharged four-cylinder. It gets some more minor updates like a new infotainment system.
The new engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four, and it produces 265 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. It produces a 3.5-liter V6 with a 46-pound-foot twist, but less by 30 horsepower. The four-cylinder also gets the same 24 mpg as the V6, although Toyota claims less NOx and NMOG (Non-methane Biogas) Emissions. Towing capacity remains the same at 5,000 pounds and the engine can be mated to the same eight-speed automatic and front-or all-wheel drive. The hybrid powertrain is available as a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system for XSE, Limited and Platinum models with turbo engines.
The other major changes in the Highlander are related to the screen and infotainment. All Highlanders now get the touchscreen infotainment system that debuted on the Lexus NX. It features natural language recognition and over-the-air updates, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The standard size infotainment screen is 8 inches, but a 12.3-inch screen is available as a standard option for some trims and others. The instrument panel has also been updated with the big screen. The L and LE trims have moved up to a 7-inch display in their instrument cluster instead of the 4.2-inch from last year. On higher trims, a full-digital instrument panel measuring 12.3 inches is available instead of the previously featured 7-inch screen and body dials.
A few more small tweezers are scattered across the range. Highlanders now have a center stack charger for easy access, including wireless phone charging. The XLE and XSE trims now have foot-activated power liftgates, and the Limited and Platinum trims receive standard power-folding mirrors. Models of the sporty XSE and hybrid bronze versions continue to be available, and a few new colors are available for the interior and exterior.
The exact time and price for the 2023 Highlander have not been announced, but it should be sold sometime this year. During this time, if you want the 2022 Highlander V6, hit while the iron is hot.