It sort of feels like Toyota simply offered its redesigned, fourth-generation Highlander application automobile, however the automaker is losing no time fleshing out the lineup. A sportier XSE fashion is about to enroll in the kinfolk. It simply debuted at the eve of the 2020 Chicago Auto Show’s first media day, and listed here are a few of its finer issues.
In comparison to an ordinary Highlander, this enhanced variant is dressed up with distinctive external styling, options an upgraded cabin or even advantages from a retuned chassis. It will have to be extra attractive to force and engaging to take a look at.
Toyota has constructed thefor roughly 20 years, however that is the primary time it is introduced an XSE fashion. Differentiating it from mainstream variants is a brand new entrance fascia together with a redesigned grille and a decrease spoiler. Altogether, this provides the family-hauler a extra planted and competitive glance. Distinctive headlight assemblies whole with black accents and striplike daytime-running lamps spherical out the automobile’s entrance finish.
Additional accentuating its seems to be is particular rocker-panel trim and machine-faced 20-inch wheels. The roof rails, replicate caps and window moldings are all completed in black, and ‘spherical again, the XSE fashion is fitted with chrome-plated dual-exhaust pointers, every other first for the Highlander.
Underneath all that styling, this SUV is fitted with stiffer springs and a starchier rear stabilizer bar. Operating along with those parts are retuned, lower-friction surprise absorbers. Profiting from those suspension adjustments, the electrically assisted energy steerage has been retuned to really feel extra attractive.
The Highlander XSE is to be had with both front-wheel force or a Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel-drive gadget. This setup can ship as much as 50 p.c of to be had torque to the rear wheels. From there, it might probably shuffle it back and forth relying on stipulations or motive force calls for to ship higher dealing with.
As with different Highlanders, this one is constructed at the TNGA platform, because of this it is strong, protected and will have to be Lexus-like in its refinement. Any other factor that hasn’t modified is the powertrain. XSE fashions characteristic a well-known three.Five-liter V6 engine matched to a responsive eight-speed computerized transmission. This engine delivers 295 horsepower and will have to dole out 263 pound-feet of torque.
Mechanical componentry apart, a couple of noteworthy improvements had been made inside of. The seats are wrapped in SofTex, a man-made leather-based, and extra gussied up with material inserts. White ambient lights units the temper whilst a carbon-fiberlike end at the tool panel provides a little bit of visible texture. For drivers that need one thing other, red-and-black leather-based is obtainable as neatly, whole with crimson distinction sewing at the dashboard. This both makes the Highlander glance tremendous sporty or like a bordello.
Making sure you are all the time hooked up, XSE fashions include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or even Amazon Alexa. Conserving the entire kinfolk’s strong of digital units crowned off with juice are 5 USB ports. An 11-speaker JBL audio gadget with 1,200 watts of energy is to be had, so cross forward, crank up that Kidz Bop celebration hits album. Sung via kids, Strikes like Jagger by no means sounded higher.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE is slated to move on sale q4. The automaker expects it to account for roughly 12 p.c of this nameplate’s total gross sales. Pricing has no longer been launched, however this fashion is meant to fit between the XLE and Restricted grades, because of this it is going to most definitely get started round $42,00zero.
Firstly printed Feb. 6.