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2019 Toyota Highlander Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The Toyota Highlander has a reputation as a “family hauler,” with three rows of seating, the Toyota Safety Sense P Suite and some of the highest ratings from safety agencies and car experts. But it has more style than, dare we make the comparison, a minivan. It also has more competition, thanks to a fleet of third-row SUVs on the market, some with longer warranties and lower prices.

2019 Toyota Highlander pricing

The lowest manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) for the 2019 Highlander is $31,530. The most expensive t trim is $11,100 more. The 2019 Highlander Hybrid, not included here, has its own trim line.

Trim LE LE Plus XLE SE Limited
MSRP $31,530 $36,460 $39,420 $40,640 $42,630


Of course you do not have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Depending on where and when you shop, the price may be lower. You could use a free, online industry guide, such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book, to see what the fair market price is in your area; you shouldn’t pay more than that.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is usually next. Potential lenders could include Toyota financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. Car dealers can raise your APR, so be sure to apply for a loan outside of the dealership. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree where you may be matched with up to five different loan offers from lenders based on your creditworthiness.

It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within the rate shopping period of generally 14 days — and some credit scoring methods may even allow you up to 45 days.

2019 Toyota Highlander safety

The 2019 Highlander achieved a five-star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a Top Safety Pick for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Toyota Safety Sense P Suite comes standard and is included in the MSRP of all Highlanders. Here are the features it includes and what they are.

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. If the car senses something or someone in front of it, it alerts the driver audibly and visually and applies the brakes if the driver does not.
  • Lane departure with steering assist. At speeds at or above 32 mph, the car will alert the driver audibly and visually if it senses that it is drifting out of the lane, and will make small steering adjustments to help stay in the lane.
  • Automatic high beams. At speeds above 25 mph, the car will automatically toggle between high and low beams accordingly to allow greater driver visibility.
  • Dynamic radar cruise control. While the driver has cruise control on, the car will automatically slow down or speed up, without cruise control deactivating, as conditions call for it due to other vehicles within range. The car can also alert the driver if more speed reduction is needed and apply the brakes.

Other safety technology you might be able to add or get with a higher trim include:

  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The car can alert the driver of another vehicle in its blind spot when the turn signal is on and of oncoming or passing rear traffic when the car is in reverse.
  • Rear parking assist sonar. This is designed to help drivers avoid potential low-speed collisions. The car can alert the driver of close objects.

2019 Toyota Highlander trim comparison

Toyota offers five trims on the Highlander. In most cases, a trim will include or improve upon all features from all the trim(s) below, if any.

Trim LE LE Plus XLE SE Limited
MSRP $31,530 $36,460 $39,420 $40,640 $42,630
Standard Features 6.1″ Touch Screen, Toyota Safety Sense, Hill Start Assist Control, Keyless Entry V6 Engine, 8″ Touch Screen, Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Heated Front Seats, Leather-Trimmed Seats, Heated Side Mirrors, Push-Button Start Sport-Tuned Suspension, LED Fog Lights, 19″ Alloy Wheels, Black Sporty Accents Leather Seats, Premium Audio, Rear Parking Assist Sonar, Wood-Grain Accents

Toyota does allow buyers to add certain packages to certain trims a la carte. For example, you could add all-wheel drive to any of the trims. However, doing this could require a big step up in price. If you want AWD on the LE trim, you’ll need to get the larger engine that comes with it, driving the MSRP up to $35,040

All-wheel drive

All-wheel drive trim comparison
Trim LE LE Plus XLE SE Limited
MSRP $35,040 $36,460 $40,880 $42,100 $44,090


Platinum package

The Limited trim is the highest trim available, but there is an additional package you could add to make it even fancier.

Platinum Package
Limited AWD Limited
MSRP $45,750 $47,210
Features Panoramic Moonroof, Heated Steering Wheel, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Bird’s Eye View Camera, 19″ Wheels, Puddle Lights, Heated 2nd Row Seats


2019 Toyota Highlander competitor comparison

If you aren’t convinced yet that the Highlander is right for you, here are some highly-rated SUV crossovers from competing automakers. It’s worth noting that not all of these offer third-row seating.

Toyota Highlander Honda Pilot Nissan Murano Mazda CX-9 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Base MSRP $31,530 $31,450 $31,270 $32,280 $31,695
Expert Scores 4.1 4.4 4.1 4 4
Standard Features 6.1″ Touch Screen, Toyota Safety Sense, Hill Start Assist Control, Keyless Entry Honda Sensing Safety and Driver Assist Suite, V6 Engine, Push-Button Start, 5″ Color Screen Automatic Emergency Braking, 8″ Touch Screen; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 7″ Touch Screen, 50/50 Split Folding 3rd Row Seats, Active Safety Features, Voice Command 7″ Touch Screen, V6 Engine, Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Fuel Economy 22 MPG 22 MPG 23 MPG 24 MPG 21 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city/highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

Toyota model comparison

If you’re loyal to the Toyota brand, but the Highlander doesn’t quite match what you’re looking for, here are some other Toyota models so you can compare.

Highlander C-HR 4Runner Tacoma
Base MSRP $31,530 $20,995 $35,110 $25,700
Expert Scores 4.1 3.9 3.3 4.0
Standard Features 6.1″ Touch Screen, Toyota Safety Sense, Hill Start Assist Control, Keyless Entry Apple CarPlay, LED Daytime Running Lights, Selectable Driving Modes, Bluetooth Star Safety System, Bluetooth. 6.1″ Touch Screen, Cruise Control, Voice Recognition Toyota Safety Sense P, Star Safety System, 6.1″ Touch Screen, 3 USB Ports
Fuel Economy 22 MPG 29 MPG 18 MPG 21 MPG

The bottom line on the 2019 Toyota Highlander

You might like it if you’re looking for a third-row SUV from an automaker with a reputation of super reliable vehicles. You might not like it if you’re looking for the largest mid-size SUV or if you would die without smartphone integration, as neither Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are available. You could also check out our list of top-rated mid-size SUVs for more options.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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