After teasing the upcoming 2020 Highlander earlier this month with a brief video clip of the model presented as an art piece, Toyota has now debuted the real deal at the New York International Auto Show.
For the 2020 model year, Toyota transitioned the Highlander onto the TNGA-K Platform, a new foundation that's shared with several other recent models in the company's portfolio. This stronger basis makes the body stiffer, allows the vehicle to make tighter turns, and reduces model noise production inside and out. Generally speaking, this platform makes the ride far smoother and safer than the previous generation Highlander.
To further aid in passenger safety, the SUV can be equipped with a handful of driver-assistant tech like Toyota Safety Sense (standard in all models), a Blind Spot Monitor, and a Bird's Eye View Camera.
In terms of entertainment and media-oriented technology, all Highlander trims come standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa In-Car compatibility, Waze, SiriusXM, and Wi-Fi connectivity. If you opt for a higher tier grade, your Highlander could come with Dynamic Navigation, a 12.3-inch screen, and a JBL Premium Audio System.
Two powertrain options are available for the Highlander: a V6 engine offering 22 MPG combined fuel economy or a hybrid engine offering 34 MPG combined fuel economy. Additionally, owners can select from five different trims that will add different types of wheels, drive systems, multimedia technologies, and interior finishes among other features.
The gas-powered 2020 Toyota Highlander will be available in December 2019, and the hybrid iteration will hit the market in February 2020. The hybrid model uses a Predictive Efficient Drive feature that "analyzes the driver's daily driving habits and upcoming road and traffic conditions to more efficiently charge and discharge the hybrid battery accordingly alongside actual driving." The more you drive, the smarter the Highlander will function.
Toyota has not yet announced the pricing for the model or the release date, but it's likely that it will hit the market later this year.