2025 Toyota Highlander Review, Redesign and Price. I don’t pay much focus to car shades unless they’re of the customized range. Usually, this suggests a distinctive shade of loud and ridiculous. Nonetheless, on this certain day, a Toyota– indeed, a Toyota– obtained me saying, “Huh, I kinda like that.”
It needed to be a glossy cars, right? Nope, it was a crossover SUV. A 2025 Toyota Highlander, to be specific. The paint color is a dark green called Cypress. Added to the combination last year, it’s not a special paint and it doesn’t also cost added. However my examination drive took place in the autumn, in Michigan, during the height leaf-peeping week. Timing is whatever, as they state, and this evergreen Highlander fits the narrative perfectly.
Autumn foliage apart, there was extra alter in the periods than with the 2025 Highlander, which was completely redesigned in 2020. The fourth-generation household hauler has only seen small changes considering that. For 2025 Toyota terminated the entry-level L trim and added a hands-free power liftgate for mid-level trims. For Highlander Hybrid models, the Bronze version is dropped and swapped with the new Nightshade grade.
NO CHEAP SEATS IN THE 2025 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
Toyota offers the Highlander in LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels with typical front-wheel drive (FWD), yet all trims are offered with all-wheel drive (AWD). This year, 2025 Toyota Highlander costs range from the low $40,000 s to the reduced $50,000 s, including the location charge to ship the vehicle from the Princeton, Indiana, manufacturing facility that builds it to your local car dealership.
For this 2025 Highlander review, I test-drove an AWD-equipped Platinum design in the city Detroit area. It came with optional tools such as grassy flooring mats, door edge guards, running boards, a dash cam, and roofing system rail cross bars, bringing the producer’s suggested market price to $54,757, consisting of the $1,395 location fee. Toyota gave the vehicle for this Highlander review.
MINIMAL STYLING WITH PLENTY OF SUBSTANCE
Being a Toyota, there is nothing offending concerning the Highlander’s looks. There is nothing excessively exciting, either, except when that deep woodland green exterior is compared versus fallen leaves attempting their ideal impact of a gold daybreak. But I digress.
On the whole, the Highlander design features the right amount of kinks and contours to make the SUV extra shapely and less badly dressed.
Toyota outfitted my Highlander Platinum’s inside in a two-tone plan of charcoal and Deep Caramel natural leather. As the top-of-the-line version of the Highlander, my test vehicle likewise included ornamental metal details and fake wood trim. The 12.3-inch touchscreen screen is the famous interior feature, yet there remains a great variety of physical knobs, buttons, and switches. These frequent touchpoints are outlined well, are very easy to check out, and develop minimal diversion for the drive and the layout.
MIND THE VOID– OR LACK THEREOF
All Highlander designs, despite drive setup and trim, have 3 rows of seating. The LE comes standard with a second-row bench for 8 travelers. All others feature captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, but you can choice the XLE and Limited versions with a bench seat.
Nonetheless, don’t anticipate three rows of comfort, no matter head count. The 3rd row with its knees-to-chest seating setting is for just-in-case usage as opposed to everyday commutes. At the very least those based on the cramped 3rd row can get back there easily. The captain’s chairs tilt and slide ahead in a single quick movement. Likewise, the Highlander’s huge rear doors make climbing up much less of a battle (yet aren’t terrific in limited car park scenarios). To enhance comfort, you can recline the third-row seatbacks.
THE THIRD ROW FORCES A SELECTION BETWEEN CAR SEATS AND THINGS
With the 3rd row made use of, cargo room is rather limited at 16 cubic-feet. A standard carry-on luggage will fit just if placed sideways, upright, or sideways upright. If the seats are reclined to their farthest placement, hard-side travel luggage will be battling for area preeminence. The 60/40-split seats should enable Tetris-level sorting of people and points.
Fold down the last row, and the freight quantity opens to an useful 48.4 cu-ft. Although the captain’s chairs do not fold flat, the bench seat does in a 60/40 split. With the second-row bench and third-row seats folded, the Highlander supplies a charitable 84.3 cu-ft of capacity.
Storage spaces and various other pockets appear throughout the interior. A significant instance is the location of the cordless mobile phone battery charger. In 2015, Toyota relocated this feature from the facility console container to the dashboard, thus increasing the location’s capability and overall feeling of room. My 18-ounce stainless-steel water bottle had adequate room inside the center console. When not in use, the billing shelf functions as a cubbyhole for non-tech things.
HIGHLANDER HIGHS AND LOWS WITH TOYOTA AUDIO MULTIMEDIA INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
A Toyota Sound Multimedia infotainment system is basic for the Highlander lineup. Relying on the trim level, it consists of an 8.0-inch or 12.3-inch touchscreen, and top trims use an 11-speaker JBL audio system. The larger screen and upgraded sound are basic for Highlander Limited and Platinum trims.
Coupling my phone was straightforward, and activating Apple CarPlay was as simple as a single tap on the setups display. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are both readily available. Switching between the indigenous Toyota system and CarPlay did come to be a headache when the CarPlay icon really did not appear, however a vehicle reboot corrected the trouble.
One product of note: The Highlander’s infotainment system doesn’t have a dedicated home screen like several of its rivals. Instead, a left-side column including 5 typical symbols for navigating, songs, phone, vehicle, and settings serves as the primary menu. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile will appear as a 6th icon at the top of this column when readily available. The main screen will certainly show details based upon the picked menu icon.
Regardless of lots of ambient noise courtesy of difficult rainfall and harsh roadways, the Highlander’s voice assistant identified all-natural speech patterns properly when navigating to addresses and responded well to vehicle setup modification demands.
EVEN MORE DISPLAYS TO MONITOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING WRONG
The 2025 Highlander provides some suitable non-entertainment tech, such as a conventional 7.0-inch details display screen for LE, XLE, and XSE trims. Upper-level Limited and Platinum versions obtain a 12.3-inch variation of the electronic scale cluster.
A backup electronic camera with a projected course attribute is basic, while Highlander Limited and Platinum add dynamic standards. A Scenic View Display that offers a 360-degree surround-view electronic camera, consisting of an aesthetic view, is typical for Highlander Platinum but readily available on Limited. The Platinum trim includes a 10.0-inch color head-up display screen and an electronic rearview mirror.
The mirror jobs an unhampered sight of what’s behind the vehicle. That is handy when the 3rd row is occupied, the headrests are up, or you have actually packed cargo to the roof covering. Allegedly, the feed is a wide-angle shot, yet I considered it reduced interpretation in image top quality. The viewpoint is likewise dramatically manipulated. When street parking, lorries behind me seemed almost bumper to bumper. Yet when making use of the 360 cam, I saw the various other cars and truck was, actually, a couple feet away.
Throughout my test drive, I saved myself unneeded anxiousness and made use of the electronic rearview mirror on an as-needed basis. Or else, it’s yet one more screen to trigger eye exhaustion.
TOYOTA SAFETY FEELING 2.5+ OFFERS A HIGH LEVEL OF ACTIVE SAFETY AS CRITERION
The checklist of Highlander progressed driving-assistance systems (ADAS) is comprehensive and is conventional on all trim levels.
Throughout my test drive, the adaptive cruise control functioned remarkably well, but I felt the lane separation and lane mapping features left much to be desired.
The adaptive cruise ship control is very easy sufficient to operate making use of the steering wheel-mounted controls for speed and adhering to range. While driving via an extensive highway construction zone with great deals of final stops and begins, the system transitioned smoothly between velocity and deceleration. There were marginal shocks when braking, and upon re-acceleration the Highlander cautiously gained back rate however was not slow down.
On the various other end of the safety range, I could not continually tell if the systems created to maintain the Highlander in its lane, and centered there, were energetic, helping, or asleep. When the highways were clear to do so, I ‘d enable the vehicle to drift beyond its lane. Whether in the center, side, or along a contour, occasionally the vehicle fixed its trajectory, yet generally it didn’t. I located it baffling.
The plus side is that the lane-keeping systems would audibly reprimand me when veering off also quickly and commonly. None of the other Toyota ADAS used a caution beep or chime. For some, this harmony is a blessing. For me, a distinct alert is preferable if the vehicle and I are going off script, specifically when altering lanes.
2025 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER SAFETY SCORES
The National Freeway Web Traffic Safety Management (NHTSA) gives the 2025 Toyota Highlander a general safety score of 5 star, its greatest score. That relates to both FWD and AWD designs. Since magazine, the Insurance policy Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has actually not ranked the 2025 Toyota Highlander. Inspect the IIHS site for updates.
HIGHLANDER GAS MODELS SHOWCASE FUEL-EFFICIENT POWER
The gasoline-powered Highlander comes with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Toyota ceased the previously offered V6 last year. The turbo-four produces 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Although that stands for a drop of 30 horse power from the V6’s power output, torque gets a 47 lb-ft boost. All Highlander gas models include an eight-speed automatic transmission.
You can go with AWD, and Toyota uses two distinct systems. With LE and XLE trim, the AWD system can send up to half of the available power to the back wheels. A performance-oriented Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system is readily available with XSE, Limited, and Platinum designs. The updated system also adds drive settings and a rear driveline detach, which immediately turns off torque circulation to the rear wheels when taking a trip at freeway rates. With AWD, the Highlander can tow as much as 5,000 pounds (unchanged from the old V6) and consists of Trailer Sway Control.
Toyota approximates the 2025 Highlander will return 21/28/24 mpg in city/highway/combined driving with FWD. After 207 miles of combined city and freeway driving around southeastern Michigan, I averaged 23.4 mpg integrated.
2025 HIGHLANDER SHOWS CONFIDENCE AND MANEUVERABILITY
With area for approximately 8 passengers, the 2025 Highlander is not lightweight. My Platinum AWD test vehicle was the heaviest of Highlanders, tipping the range at 4,453 pounds. Although it really felt heavy, the Highlander really did not drive like a slug. On-ramp velocity and freeway merging capability were sufficient because the turbo-four’s enhanced torque offset the drop in horsepower compared to the old V6 engine.
On top of that, I was happily stunned by the amount of guiding feel the Highlander offers. The responsiveness was, risk I say it, sporty– even in the Regular drive mode. Sport setting changes the powertrain responsiveness, but I really did not discover a substantial adjustment to the steering effort level.
Select Eco setting, however, and the Highlander suddenly displays a dull rate of interest in throttle reaction and acceleration. However when intending to profit performance during city driving, ho-hum performance isn’t a surprise.
The Highlander’s experience top quality is comfortable thanks to a suspension that gladly absorbs Michigan’s all-season road bumps and bulges. On a details stretch of united state Freeway 23, the freeway surface features tar-filled lines that usually develop an irritating undulating sensation when I drive over them.
In other vehicles, rigid suspensions have actually normally implied relentless jumping and rattling. That was not the case with the Highlander, which delicately took a trip on via, and with very little road sound to boot.
THE TOYOTA HIGHLANDER IS SVELTE, SPORTY, AND SEATS AS MUCH AS 8
The 2025 Toyota Highlander is a surprise since it excels in the unanticipated however falls short in the normal. There are three rows, yet you have to compromise cargo area for a seat or two. It has fun-to-drive mannerisms for a day-to-day crossover, also in Typical setting. The price factor is in the $50,000 s wherefore amounts to a basic family hauler with an attractive design, in and out. The Toyota Highlander is hit-or-miss in some places, however ultimately, I still discovered its peculiarities cute instead of questionable.