2023 Toyota Highlander Buyer’s Guide

April 14th, 2023 by

A popular Toyota Highlander for sale near Tuckahoe, VA, a silver 2023 Toyota Highlander XSE, is shown in a parking garage.

The Toyota Highlander is the ideal SUV for exploring the vast and gorgeous terrain surrounding Greater Richmond. The Highlander’s spacious three-row design is perfect for those with a young family, and its rugged abilities and solid fuel economy make it ready for most road trips you have planned. With a starting MSRP of just over $36,000, the Toyota Highlander delivers tremendous value. If you’ve been looking for a Toyota Highlander for sale near Tuckahoe, VA, we hope you’ll visit us at Haley Toyota of Richmond. We know this great three-row SUV exceptionally well, including the perks of each of its trims.

If you aren’t familiar with the Highlander, we’d love to give you an overview of what this vehicle has to offer. Toyota put a lot of care into making the 2023 Toyota Highlander better than ever. You’ll love its intuitive features, how safe it is, how spacious the inside is, and how many thoughtful surprises there are throughout its cabin. Here’s a look at the 2023 Toyota Highlander.

What’s Standard

The 2023 Highlander has a sporty 2.4L four-cylinder turbo gas engine beneath the hood. There is a Highlander hybrid, but today we’re just looking at the gas-powered model. This engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, giving you lots of “small steps” between gears, making it great at retaining power when you shift. It’s also got three drive modes: Eco for fuel efficiency, Sport for more responsive acceleration, and Normal, for a nice combination of fuel efficiency and performance handling. The 2023 gas Highlander gets an EPA-estimated 22 MPG in the city and 29 on the highway, making it equally good for everyday driving and long-distance driving for anyone trying to save at the pump.

You’ll enjoy three rows of seating, accommodating up to eight people if you opt for bench row seats instead of captain’s chairs in the second row. This makes the Highlander an excellent people hauler and ideal for large families, but that’s not all, as it can also tow up to a generous 5,000 lbs. This makes it ready for weekend excursions when you need to tow a small camper or boat. You can opt for front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and you’ll get the Multi-Terrain Select system on all models of the latter ilk. This system has mud/sand, rock/dirt, snow, and normal modes. Choosing any one of these will instantly kick the vehicle’s internal systems into analysis mode, checking for slippage and facilitating wheelspin where needed.

Between its multi-terrain system, three drive modes, and all-wheel or front-wheel drive options, the Highlander is certainly a versatile SUV that is ready for a variety of climates and terrains. In addition to all that, however, the Highlander comes with something extra: the intangible Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ driver assistance suite, standard across the trim lineup. These sensor-based tools and features will act as your second set of eyes and ears on the road. Features include Pre-Collision System With Pedestrian Detection to prevent run-ins with other vehicles and people. It also includes Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to maintain your preferred speed without accelerating or decelerating manually.

Lane Departure Alert With Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist are also part of this package. The former will warn you when you’re drifting from your lane, and the latter will sense the markers of your lane to help you stay in it. One particularly cool feature is the Road Sign Assist, which can actually detect road signs like speed limits, stop signs, and more, and it will notify you when they’re coming up; in low-light and foggy conditions, this is a big perk. Finally, you’ll get Automatic High Beams, wherein your high beams may automatically activate in low-light settings to improve your visibility.

One final perk that comes standard across the trim lineup is the ToyotaCare complimentary two-year maintenance plan. This will cover regular factory-recommended routine maintenance for the first two years, or 25,000 miles—whichever comes first. It will also provide 24-hour roadside assistance for the first two years for unlimited mileage.

A close up shows the chrome rim on a blue 2023 Toyota Highlander Limited.

Detailing the Trims

The 2023 Toyota Highlander has a total of six trims for its original gas-powered model. Below, we’ll highlight the standout features of each one.

The L

The base L has plenty of great standard features. As we move up the trim line, upper trims have what the L has, plus more. So, starting with the L, you’ll get an 8.0-inch touchscreen to see your navigation, smartphone apps, and more, as well as five USB ports throughout the vehicle for device charging. You’ll also find LED headlights on this trim, as well as a push-button start and a power-adjustable driver seat to get that perfect driving position. Lastly, the L has three-zone automatic climate control to enable the driver and passengers to set their desired temperatures.

The LE

The LE has all that the L has, with the addition of limited luxury features. These include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. You’ll find a height-adjustable hands-free power liftgate with jam protection. This liftgate lets you open the trunk with just a swift motion beneath it for those times when your hands are full. If it senses an object in the way when closing, the jam protection will kick in.


Moving up to the XLE, you’ll find even more convenient and luxury features, including heated outdoor mirrors that will quickly melt away view-impairing frost on cold days. This trim will also have a power tilt moonroof with a sunshade—great for creating the ideal environment as much for sightseeing as for napping. The front seat passenger gets power seat adjustment on this trim, too.


The XSE is the sport trim of the 2023 Highlander. As such, it boasts sport-tuned suspension for more exciting acceleration and precise handling.
It also has attractive chrome details and 20-inch machined face black alloy wheels. On this trim, you have the option to add 11 JBL speakers.

The Limited

On the Limited, there’s a newly available luxury feature in the panoramic view monitor with a backup camera to give you a full view of what’s happening around your vehicle. Additionally, the 11 JBL speaker system that was available on the XSE becomes standard here.

The Platinum

Finally, we arrive at the Platinum trim; here, the panoramic view monitor with a backup camera becomes standard. You’ll also get the addition of rain-sensing windshield wipers and plush leather seats.

A red 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum is shown through a window on a city street.

Check Out the 2023 Toyota Highlander Today

We know that the 2023 Highlander is a really fun and dynamic vehicle. It’s loaded with features that help you remain in command on several road types and in diverse circumstances, so we recommend it to anyone who plans to take many road trips or traverse unpaved terrain. We also recommend it to families because of its rich suite of standard safety features and comfortable interior. Toyota really delivers in these departments, and you will feel confident transporting your precious cargo with their active driver assistance features at your side.

The trim lineup is wonderfully eclectic. Toyota did an excellent job of spreading the luxury and high-tech features throughout these trims, so those looking for just a few upgrades—as well as those wanting a true luxury vehicle—can get just what they want. The fact that the first two years of maintenance and roadside assistance are covered, too, leaves you with no reason to not check out the 2023 Toyota Highlander.