Standard accident-avoidance tech; strong and efficient engine; a just-right size in terms of interior space and exterior maneuverability; excellent reliability reputation
Small third-row seat for the segment; unresponsive accelerator pedal; no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto; slow and inefficient base engine
The SE trim level gets an abundance of extra black trim for 2019. The top two trims gain LED foglamps.
It's a hefty $5,000 jump up to the LE Plus trim level, but its myriad upgrades should be well worth it for your family. The XLE's extras may also be worth considering, especially given its leather, heated seats and kid-friendly sunshades, but we don't think it's worth going much higher than that.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander is offered in six trim levels: LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, Limited and Limited Platinum. With the exception of the top and bottom trim levels, FWD is standard and AWD is optional.
The Highlander LE ($31,330) starts with the 4-cylinder engine, FWD, 18-in alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a backup camera, rear privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic headlights and high beams, a height-adjustable driver's seat, 8-passenger seating (with a 60/40-split folding, reclining and sliding second-row seat), rear air conditioning, a 6.1-in touchscreen, five USB ports and a 6-speaker sound system. Adding the V6 engine raises the LE's base price to $33,380. AWD can also be added with the V6.
The LE Plus ($36,260) comes standard with the V6 and adds foglights, a height-adjustable power liftgate with a flip-up window, tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, upholstery consisting of fabric and SofTex vinyl, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-in touchscreen and an upgraded audio package with satellite and HD radios.
The XLE ($39,220) adds roof rails, a sunroof, passive entry and keyless start, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning systems, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 4-way power passenger's seat, second-row sunshades, a navigation system and Driver Easy Speak (broadcasts the driver's voice to the kids in the back). Optional on XLE are second-row captain's chairs that result in 7-passenger seating.
The SE ($40,440) is essentially an XLE with sportier styling that includes an abundance of black exterior trim and special LED exterior lighting, plus 19-in wheels and sportier suspension tuning.
The Limited ($42,430) adds to the XLE content its own 19-in alloy wheels and LED running lights, plus rear parking sensors, LED foglights, the second-row captain's chairs, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory settings and a 12-speaker JBL premium audio.
The Limited Platinum ($45,550) tops things off with a panoramic sunroof, a 360-degree parking camera, front parking sensors, automatic wipers, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats and Safety Connect emergency communications. AWD is standard.
The top two trims can be equipped with a second-row bench if you need 8-passenger capacity. All but the LE and the LE Plus can also be had with a rear-seat entertainment system.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
2019 Honda Pilot -- The Honda Pilot goes toe to toe with the Highlander in all key areas, including interior quality, fuel economy and pricing. It has a more spacious interior, though, without sacrificing maneuverability.
2019 Subaru Ascent -- The Ascent is all-new this year and can best be described as a Honda Pilot built using Subaru Outback parts. The two are very similar in overall packaging and even appearance. Its standard AWD and turbo engine make it stand out.
2019 Mazda CX-9 -- The CX-9 is the athlete of the segment with a sharper driving experience that helps you forget you're driving a three-row family vehicle. It also boasts a snazzy interior, ample feature content and the most efficient engine in the segment.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas -- The Atlas possesses a huge cabin with adult-friendly space in every row. A solid, decidedly German driving feel is another advantage, along with an industry-best 6-year warranty. Read Volkswagen Atlas vs Toyota Highlander: Which is Better?
Used Acura MDX -- If you'd rather have a three-row crossover from a premium brand, consider the MDX, which boasts a lot of technology and one of the most spacious interiors among luxury models. Pricing is high, though, so you may have to consider a used model.