2019 Toyota Highlander

MSRP $31,680

Ranked #2 in Suv

8.9

Overall Rating

2019 Toyota Highlander Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 20, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Toyota Highlander, also known as Toyota Kluger in some parts of the world, is the mid-size crossover SUV offered by the Japanese giant. It is the crossover counterpart to the rugged and truck-based mid-size 4Runner. Currently, it sits in its final year of the third generation, which was launched all the way back in 2013. Toyota has already unveiled the fourth-generation Highlander which will go on sale in the United States as part of the 2020 model year.

2019 Toyota Highlander Latest Updates

  • Oct' 16, 2021 : Updated 2022 Toyota Highlander Launched With A New Hybrid-Only Bronze Edition Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

Punchy and fuel-efficient V6 engine

Excellent ride quality

Standard Toyota Safety Sense

Cons

Cramped third-row

No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay compatibility!

Aging design

What's New?

Minor exterior visual changes

No other significant changes for 2019


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31680

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

115 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

163 cu.in.

horsepower

185 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 4200 rpm

transmission

6 speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

192.5 in.

width

75.8 in.

height

68.1 in.

curb weight

4134 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

144.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

83.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

payload capacity

1455 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.2 sec.

zero to 100 mph

18.4 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

7.5

standing 1/4-mile

15.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

181 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/22/24 mpg

highway range

330.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LE$31,680 onwards

LE 3.5$33,730 onwards

Colors and Styles

2019 Toyota Highlander in blizzard pearl color
blizzard pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

7.9

Fuel Economy

7.8

Interior

8.4

Exterior

9.9

Safety

9.4

Competition

9.5

8.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.9

Overall Rating


For 2019, the Highlander comes as a carryover model with some minor exterior changes. Pricing starts at $31,830 for the base model and climbs to more than $47,510 for the highest-end trim. The base trim of the Highlander is equipped with the lower-powered Inline-4 engine. It comes in a total of six trims, and all other trims come standard with a stronger V6 engine. The Highlander competes with the 2019 Honda Pilot, 2019 Ford Explorer, and the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse.


7.9/10
Engine and Performance

7.8/10
Fuel Economy

8.4/10
Interior

9.9/10
Exterior

9.4/10
Safety

9.5/10
Competition


2019 Toyota Highlander Features

Toyota is offering six trim levels with the 2019 Highlander. Trims start with the thrifty LE and LE Plus trim levels, followed by the best selling XLE and SE trim levels, and lastly come the top of the line Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels. The Limited Platinum trim level in all instances is just the Limited trim with the optional Platinum package that makes it even more luxurious.

Trim

LE

LE Plus

XLE

SE

Limited

Limited Platinum

MSRP (FWD)

$31,830 (Inline-4)

$33,800 (V6)

$36,760

$39,720

$40,940

$42,930

$46,050

MSRP (AWD)

$35,340

$38,220

$41,180

$42,400

$44,390

$47,510

Key Features

Toyota Safety Sense Suite

Adds To Le Features

Adds To Le Plus Features

Adds To Xle Features

Adds To Se Features

Front Parking Sensors

 

Lane Departure Alert With Steering Assist

Three-zone Automatic Climate Control

Standard Tilt/Slide Power Moonroof And Chromtec Roof Rails

Sport Tuned Suspension

Rear Parking Sonar

Heated Steering Wheel

 

Automatic High Beams, Pre-collision Alert With Pedestrian Detection

Leather-trimmed Steering Wheel, Softex- Trimmed Seats

8.0-inch Infotainment System With Navigation & Entune Premium Audio

Projector-beam Halogen Dark-black-accent Headlights With LED And Auto On/Off Feature

Heated And Ventilated First-row Seats With Perforated Leather

Heated Second-row Captain’s Chairs

 

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

Hd Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Leather Upholstery In Front And Second Row

Interior Ambient Lighting

Premium JBL Audio System

Panoramic Moonroof

 

60/40 Split Second & Third Row Seating

Integrated Fog Lights & Height-adjustable Power Liftgate

Heated And Powered Front Row Seats With Reclining Third-row Seats

19-inch Multi-spoke Alloy Wheels With Black Finish

19-inch Chromtec Alloy Wheels

Bird’s-eye View Camera

 

18-in. Split 5-spoke Machined Alloy Wheels

Downhill Assist Control

Multi-information Display (Mid)

 

A Blind-spot Monitor With Rear Cross-traffic Alert

Toyota Safety Connect

 

Five USB Ports, Integrated Backup Camera

 

 

 

Integrated Navigation And Entune App Suite

 

Which trim should you buy?

If we had to place our bets, the XLE is the best contender considering the number of features you get for the price. This also explains why XLE is the most popular Highlander trim level. Compared to the two base trim levels, it adds nifty features like a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, a powered sunroof, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, and leather upholstery with heated and powered front seats. The XLE trim has everything that an average suburban consumer might need at an affordable price tag.

2019 Toyota Highlander Engine and Performance

7.9/10

Buyers entering their local Toyota dealership will find themselves with three engine setups in the 2019 Toyota Highlander. One is the base level Naturally Aspirated 2.7L Inline four-cylinder engine. Next up is the beefier 3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 engine. And lastly, there's the Hybrid Powertrain which consists of a retuned V6 from earlier with two electric motors with a combined output of 306 hp. The Base engine is good for only 185 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. We recommend going for the V6 engine which puts out a respectable 295 hp. You might think that the smaller engine is more fuel-efficient, but that's not the case with the Highlander, so the additional cost for the V6 is definitely worth it. 

All trim levels come standard with the FWD configuration with AWD available for a few extra grand. Also standard with the four-cylinder engine is the Electronic (ECT-i) six-speed automatic transmission, which delivers a muted and controlled power delivery. Mated to the V6 is an eight-speed automatic transmission that fares far better at handling power than the six-speed automatic. When properly equipped, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds, which is pretty impressive considering the competition.

Models

2019 Toyota Highlander LE V6

2019 Honda Pilot EX 2WD

2019 Ford Explorer Base FWD

2019 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LS w/1LS

MSRP

$33,800

$34,330

$34,515

$32,900

Engine

3.5 L V6

3.5L V6

3.5L V6

3.6L V6

Drivetrain

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

FWD/AWD

Transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

Power

295 hp @ 6600 rpm

280 hp @ 6,000 RPM

290 hp @ 6,500 RPM

305 hp @ 6,800 RPM

Torque

263 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM

255 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

260 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.2

7.3

7.4

6.9

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

15.5

15.5

15.8

15.3

Top-Speed (MPH)

120

130

130

130

On the spec sheet, it is pretty clear why we recommend the 3.5L V6. The 2.7L inline four-cylinder on the Highlander is just not enough for the three-row family carrier. It would be one thing if it delivered a better fuel economy than the V6, but at 27 MPG, the 3.5L V6 comfortably outperforms the four-banger. It is an overall great performer when equipped with the V6 and is second to the Chevy Traverse both in terms of power output as well as speed. 

How well does the 2019 Toyota Highlander handle?

The Highlander, unlike its rugged cousin, the 4Runner, is a unibody construction. The TNGA-K platform has been tried and tested. Thus, it fares better on everyday roads. All trim levels on the Highlander deliver a smooth and comfortable ride with the suspension soaking in even the roughest of bumps. 

Handling-wise, it doesn’t feel the firmest or stable in the corners, and it is also not quite easy to maneuver and park in tight areas. However, the 8 inches of ground clearance helps in clearing nasty curbs. The steering however feels light, and some enthusiasts might complain, but it is nothing out of the ordinary for an SUV in this class. Overall the handling and driving dynamics of the highlander are strictly above average. 

Braking Performance

With respectable driving dynamics, the 2019 Highlander also offers adequate braking performance. All models come with 12.9-inch rotors at the front and 12.6-inch rotors at the rear. Combined, these brakes provide enough stopping power to slow this family hauler to a dead stop from 60 MPH under 120 feet. This is an impressive braking distance for a vehicle of its size and segment. 

Models

2019 Toyota Highlander LE I4

2019 Honda Pilot LX 2WD

2019 Ford Explorer Base FWD

2019 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LS w/1LS

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.9

13

12.8

12.6

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.6

12.6

12.8

12.4

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,143

4,036

4,443

4,354

60-0 MPH (feet)

119

120

124

126

Compared with the rivals, the Highlander outperforms every other mid-size crossover. This is partly due to the TNGA-K construction, which is much lighter due to its aluminum and steel alloy unibody construction. The only rival that comes close is its arch-rival, the Honda Pilot. The Chevy and the Ford are also good in the braking department, but they don’t match up to the Highlander.

2019 Toyota Highlander Fuel Economy

7.8/10

The base trim level of the 2019 Toyota Highlander engine has two fewer cylinders than some of its rivals. This should translate to excellent fuel economy, however, the 2.7L engine is old and clunky. The V6 actually fares better than the base inline four-cylinder. The following table shows the efficiency figures delivered by the V6 powered Highlander. The combined efficiency of 23 mpg is super good for a vehicle of its size. The Highlander can also travel a long distance with a larger capacity fuel tank. 

Models

2019 Toyota Highlander LE I4

2019 Honda Pilot LX 2WD

2019 Ford Explorer Base FWD

2019 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LS w/1LS

MPG (City)

20

19

17

18

MPG (Highway)

27

27

24

27

MPG (Combined)

23

22

20

21

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

19.2

19.5

18.6

19.4

Range (City/Highway/Combined; miles)

384/518/441

371/527/429

316/446/372

349/524/407

The V6 engine outperforms the four-banger of the Highlander. However, when compared with the rivals, it performs better than the Pilot which has 22 MPG of fuel efficiency on combined city and highway driving. The Ford and the Chevy come with even lower fuel economy figures. The Highlander, although marginally smaller than some rivals, boasts a pretty large 19.2-gallon fuel tank, which makes it a perfect automobile for long journeys with the whole family.

2019 Toyota Highlander Interior

8.4/10

Inside the 2019 Toyota Highlander, you will find the first two rows of seating to be ultra-spacious and comfortable, however, the third row of passengers aren't as lucky. The first row in the Highlander is the most spacious in this class with over 44 inches of legroom. The Highlander, due to its narrow body, lacks shoulder room across all three rows of seating, which makes the interior feel smaller than its competitors. The interior materials heavily depend upon the trim level that you choose. The thrifty trim levels come with cheaper plastics, and higher trim levels come with plush soft-touch materials and leather upholstery. 

All Highlander trims, however, do feature front and rear climate controls. Three-zone automatic climate control is standard on LE Plus trims and up. Buyers will appreciate the availability of second-row captain's chairs that make climbing into the third row dead easy. The interior layout including the dashboard, frankly, is coming of age. And with the 2020 generational update, the Highlander is bound to get a fresh and modern interior cabin.

Models

2019 Toyota Highlander LE I4

2019 Honda Pilot LX 2WD

2019 Ford Explorer Base FWD

2019 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LS w/1LS

Seating Capacity

8

8

7

8

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

40.7/59.3/44.2

40.1/62/40.9

41.4/61.5/42.9

41.3/62.1/41

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

39.9/59.6/38.4

40.2/62/38.4

40.6/61/39.5

40/62.2/38.4

Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

35.9/55/27.7

38.9/57.6/31.9

37.8/50.8/32

38.2/57.5/33.5

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

13.8

17.5

21

23

On the spec sheet, the cramped third-row seats of the Highlander are pretty noticeable. The Highlander sits at the absolute bottom when it comes to third-row comfort. It also offers the smallest boot capacity out of all the mid-size crossovers in this class. If you cannot live without the third row, it is best to wait for the 2020 Highlander, which will be larger and more practical. Otherwise, the Ford Explorer would be a great choice as it comes with a usable third row. The following are some of the most important interior features of the 2019 Highlander-

  • Leather-trimmed front- and second-row seats
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat including power thigh and lumbar support
  • 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
  • Second-row captain’s chairs with side table
  • Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel with metallic accents

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The standard infotainment system on the base trim of the 2019 Toyota Highlander consists of a 6.1-inch touchscreen that runs on an outdated Entune system. Higher trim levels come with a larger and updated unit spanning 8.0 inches. Stepping up to the LE Plus trim adds SiriusXM Satellite Radio and GPS Link. The XLE and above trims get the integrated navigation and access to a series of apps with limited internet connectivity.

With the higher trims, you can also access a 12 Speaker JBL premium sound system, an in-car intercom system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-Ray Player and a 9-inch screen. All of this is nice, however, buyers will be disappointed when they find out that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not offered with the Highlander at all. This is a complete letdown considering almost everyone nowadays offers both or at least one. Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • 6.1-inch touch screen/8.0 Inch touch screen
  • Five USB ports
  • 6-speaker stereo
  • Bluetooth
  • Auxiliary Jack
  • CD Player

2019 Toyota Highlander Exterior

9.9/10

This third-gen Highlander has largely stayed the same since its debut in 2013. It did receive a mid-cycle refresh in 2016, but in 2019, the age is definitely visible. The 2019 Model Year did bring in some cosmetic upgrades on the outside which lightened up the looks quite a bit. The 2019 Highlander is a sleek-looking machine with a nice blend of aerodynamics as well as ruggedness. 

These changes include black body-side molding for the lower trims and Chrome-ringed LED fog lamps for the top trims. The mid-level SE trim also got some visual upgrades in the form of a dark theme with Blacked-out Headlamps, Taillamps, Wheels, and Fog Lamp Surrounds. The wheel options include 18 and 19-inch ones according to the trim chosen. 

Models

2019 Toyota Highlander LE I4

2019 Honda Pilot LX 2WD

2019 Ford Explorer Base FWD

2019 Chevrolet Traverse FWD LS w/1LS

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,143

4,036

4,443

4,354

Length (inches)

192.5

196.5

198.3

204.3

Width (inches)

75.8

78.9

78.9

78.6

Height (inches)

68.1

70.6

70

70.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.0

7.0

7.8

7.6

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

111

112.8

120.9

None of the mid-size crossovers really looks especially beautiful, and styling is pretty much subjective in this class. Perhaps, the Honda Pilot has the edge with its swooping and curvy design. However, we are pretty sure that the 2019 Highlander isn’t the prettiest mid-size crossover out there. The Ford Explorer is the sportiest among these SUVs, whereas the Toyota looks a bit old. The following are some of the standout exterior features-

  • 19-in. 5-spoke Chromtec alloy wheels and black center cap
  • UV reduction glass on all windows
  • Dark-painted roof rails
  • Rear bumper chrome garnish 
  • Black front and rear mudguards
  • High Solar Energy-Absorbing (HSEA) glass on the front and rear side windows

2019 Toyota Highlander Safety

9.4/10

The Highlander with its TNGA-K architecture is both a five-star award winner at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests and also earned the Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As standard, Toyota offers Toyota’s Safety Sense package which includes some very useful active safety features. Standard advanced safety features on the 2019 Toyota Highlander are as follows:

  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking with Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic High Beam Headlights
  • Blind-spot monitoring system
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

2019 Toyota Highlander Competition

9.5/10

2019 Toyota Highlander vs 2019 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is the toughest competitor to the Highlander. The Pilot has a lot of things going for it. The Pilot is way roomier and also boasts a way nicer cabin than the Highlander. The Pilot also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The only thing Highlander has got going is its predicted reliability rating along with higher fuel efficiency. However, the Pilot is the obvious better choice. 

2019 Toyota Highlander vs 2019 Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is also quite comparable to the Highlander. Both of them are aging and are in the final stage of their generations. Both are going to receive a generational update in 2020. The Explorer does not fare well when you consider safety and crash test ratings. The interior is slightly roomier in the third row than the Highlander, but it feels way cheaper compared to the Toyota. The Explorer does have a punchy engine, however, it comes at the cost of fuel economy.

2019 Toyota Highlander vs 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevy Traverse is substantially bigger than the Highlander. Due to which it boasts an interior cabin that dwarfs the Highlander. However, the Chevrolet is not better in terms of standard technology and interior convenience features compared to the Toyota. The Traverse has the largest boot when all the three rows are in place. However, Toyota is much safer and offers better safety systems, and will definitely be more reliable over the long run.

2019 Toyota Highlander Final Verdict

You should consider it, but we would recommend waiting for a few months for the 2020 Highlander to roll out. There are some serious flaws with the 2019 Toyota Highlander like the incredibly cramped third row and lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These flaws will be ironed out with the generational update in 2020. Keeping these cons apart, the Highlander still comes with a powerful engine and great fuel efficiency, making it a good choice. 

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