2020 Toyota Highlander

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Gecko, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Motorsnwheels
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    This maybe evolutionary but it is very nice. I liked the previous gen and this one just freshens it nicely. Interior is much improved in my opinion. Will be interesting to see what it looks like with the 8 inch screen on non Platinum models.
     
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  2. Gecko
    Gecko Staff Member Administrator
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    Great piece from Autoblog that answers some of the questions we've been asking here:

    The 2020 Toyota Highlander has debuted at the New York Auto Show, and we've had our first look at what is largely an evolution of this highly successful mid-size, three-row crossover. Although checking it out in person answered some of our questions, we got a chance to interview the Highlander's chief engineer Yoshikazu Saeki about the rest.

    Here are five questions we asked and had answered here in New York about the all-new Highlander.

    Question: The new 2020 Highlander is only a bit bigger than the outgoing model, and remains one of the smallest three-row mid-size crossovers. Why hasn't it followed the size trend of most rivals?

    Answer: According to Saeki, he had a choice of two directions with the new Highlander. He could have indeed made it bigger, matching many of its competitors, especially in terms of third-row and cargo space. Or, he could have maintained the smaller-than-average size it currently was. He obviously chose the latter. First, it was the size customers had come to expect. Would they be put off by something bigger? If customer loyalty has remained strong, it seems safe to deduce that the current size is right for many. Second, by maintaining that smaller-than-average size, the Highlander also maintains a point of differentiation with its competitors. After all, Saeki-san points out, the goal is to create vehicles that stand out and are different from everything else.

    Question: Yoshikazu Saeki was chief engineer for both the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the new Highlander, which utilize the same TNGA-K platform. Besides their obvious size differences, how are the two fundamentally different?

    Answer: Saeki says that the goal of the RAV4 was also to create something different than the segment norm. However, in that case, it went in a completely new direction than the previous RAV4 to achieve it. He says he "deconstructed" the RAV4, moving from a more car-like direction to one that's sportier and/or more SUV-like. We go into that more in our 2019 Toyota RAV4 first drive.

    By contrast, the new Highlander continues to have a strong emphasis on comfort, reduced NVH and a creating a premium feel. The goal was to instill a sense of safety and assurance with customers, 48 percent of which are female who mostly likely have family members riding with them. Something sportier and SUV-like are therefore not priorities. In that way, the new Highlander is indeed consistent with the segment norm, which certainly seems smart. Again, that smaller size is where the differentiation comes come.

    Question: Unlike most new Toyotas, there are no sporty SE or XSE trim levels. Why?

    Answer: Saeki thinks that the tuning of the Highlander is pretty much up to an SE trim level already. That largely comes from the TNGA-K platform. Just by using it, handling and the general fun-to-drive factor have inherently been improved, just as it has been in every Toyota that has utilized it. According to Saeki, it comes from a more linear throttle response (the current Highlander's is annoyingly delayed), as well as substantially improved structural and suspension stiffness. Steering tuning has also been improved, while a new Sport driving mode increases effort slightly as it does in the Avalon.

    Honestly, the previous Highlander SE (pictured above) was about as mild of a sport trim level as you could get. It was almost just an appearance package. That Toyota chose not to offer a version for 2020 isn't surprising, but Saeki says that if the market starts to demand sportier entries in the segment, it would certainly be possible to do.

    One should note that there isn't a RAV4 SE, either. There is an XSE Hybrid, but as Saeki explained to us during the RAV4 launch, that model was as much intended to help change the perception of hybrids. The RAV4 Hybrid is also the most powerful version, which is at least in keeping with a sporty entry. By contrast, the Highlander Hybrid has less power (240 horsepower) than the V6 version (295 hp).

    Question: There's a RAV4 Adventure (pictured above). Will we see a Toyota Highlander Adventure?

    Answer: Never say never, but for Saeki, the off-road-oriented Adventure trim was the ultimate expression of an overall attempt to make the RAV4 more SUV-like. Since that wasn't the goal with Highlander, it just didn't make sense to do so. We should also note that Toyota sells the 4Runner for pretty much the same people who might be interested in a more off-road-oriented mid-size SUV.

    Question: It was announced that the Highlander Hybrid will achieve 34 mpg combined, versus the outgoing version's 28 or 29 mpg combined. Does that estimate apply to every 2020 Highlander Hybrid?

    Answer: The 34 mpg combined estimate is for the front-wheel-drive Hybrid LE trim level. With all-wheel drive it goes down to 33 mpg combined. Upper trim levels will also lower it, but Saeki says not by much. We'd suspect a 1 mpg drop as was the case previously.

    https://www.autoblog.com/2019/04/17/5-questions-2020-toyota-highlander/
     
  3. maiaramdan
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    Honestly I agree with him that profile wise it maybe catastrophic to complete alienation for all the lineup agree that the RAV4 shall get thet offroader sports DNA, Highlander shall get the comfort luxury, now we are missing the inroad sports lux. which I believe we shall see it with the international version of the next generation Harrier, if they didn't sell the Harrier internationally
     
  4. Motor
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  5. Joaquin Ruhi
    Joaquin Ruhi Staff Member Moderator
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    Ha ha, you beat me at posting this. I saw it earlier and meant to post it here, but had to go run some errands first.

    Great, informative piece is right. For me, the biggest surprise is that a U.S.-centric product such as Highlander has a Japanese chief engineer and not one of the trio of Americans that have achieved that lofty rank within Toyota: Mike Sweers, Randy Stephens and Greg Bernas. Bernas (chief engineer for the Venza) would've been a natural, since Sweers is probably tied up dealing with the next Tundra and Stephens just launched the latest Avalon last year. Then again, another strongly U.S.-centric Toyota, the Sienna minivan, has always had Japanese chief engineers.
     
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  6. maiaramdan
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    wow
    That red one, I can really 100% take it over the RX anyday, unless finally the RX become more perfect than this amazing car
     
  7. Bluesuprarcf52
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    I bet the next gen sienna gets this four cylinder hybrid engine. I’m still disappointed that continue with the Gr v6. Was expecting a new engine.
     
  8. ssun30
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    So they decided the Highlander should be smaller than the competition, does that mean they have something bigger in the works? After all you will never have too many SUVs in the lineup these days...maybe this time they will finally take the Sequoia more seriously.
     
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  9. MKIVCrybaby
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    Looks like a diluted Rav4. Much easier on the eyes. Toyota's design language has been totally confusing
     
  10. Gecko
    Gecko Staff Member Administrator
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    I figured out what that swooping character line on the side reminds me of:

    [​IMG]
    In some ways, Gen 4 highlander is a good mix of Gen 2 and Gen 3.
     
  11. mikeavelli
    mikeavelli Staff Member Moderator
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    I was wondering about the SE. Big mistake, people love buying a SE/Sport appearance package no matter how the car drives. They need to add it and a TRD model.
     
  12. Gecko
    Gecko Staff Member Administrator
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    Regardless of what they think, I believe SE, XSE and Adventure models could all be great additions to the Highlander lineup. TRD Sport also.

    Hell, Camry XSE in testing has shown no real tangible improvement over the other trims, and yet it's wildly popular.

    Toyota is selling themselves short here, IMO. Especially with a next gen 4Runner some 3.5 years away...
     
  13. spwolf
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    There is Sequia in the US...

    And this also means Highlander is going to more markets worldwide.
     
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  14. spwolf
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    hah... so here is the thing, in usual TMC fashion, pics don't give it justice.. it looks good in these high quality videos.

    I hope they eventually do SE because more aggressive grille would make it even nicer (and remove that Subaru mustache).
     
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  15. maiaramdan
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    Now we are waiting either Venza/Harrier type of mid sporty SUV or we are waiting for the next generation Sienna, either will be fine
     
  16. Gecko
    Gecko Staff Member Administrator
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    I wish we had a timeline for that. I will be car shopping at the end of the year, and this vehicle sounds appealing in theory.
     
  17. Motor
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    7 Things to Know About the 2020 Toyota Highlander
    https://www.motortrend.com/news/2020-toyota-highlander-facts-things-know/
    If the upcoming RX mid-cycle refresh isn't to my liking, I just may replace my first gen RX with this.
     
  18. maiaramdan
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    ^^^
    2019' Avalon Vs 2019' ES
    Choose your taste
     
  19. Joaquin Ruhi
    Joaquin Ruhi Staff Member Moderator
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    How would you feel if the Venza successor or North American Harrier weren't a Toyota per se, but a rebadged Mazda in the vein of the North American Yaris? The initial and followup news releases on the upcoming Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A. assembly plant in Huntsville, Alabama cites a "Mazda crossover model that will be newly introduced to the North American market" starting in 2021.

    A WardsAuto article or two suggests that this will mark the return of the Mazda CX-7 as a crossover filling the size and price gap between CX-5 and CX-9. More importantly, both of those articles insist that there will be a Toyota-badged version of this as well. Those articles describe it as "an urban-oriented midsize CUV off the next-generation Mazda CX-7 platform to go into production in 2022 and be sold in Toyota showrooms alongside the midsize RAV4 CUV, whose fifth generation has a more rugged, traditional SUV-like appearance". Might this be the vehicle destined to use the trademarked-for-USA Harrier badge?

    I had been fervently hoping that Mazda's 2019 New York Auto Show press conference would unveil a near-production concept predictor for this revived CX-7. Instead, all we got is the near-pointless Mazda CX-5 Diesel. Nonetheless, I'm expecting such a concept CX-7 to appear at one of the fall 2019 or 2020 auto shows.
     
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  20. maiaramdan
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    @Joaquin Ruhi, Amazing
    My heart start beating from now

    That's exactly the only way I can have CUV