The 2019 Toyota Highlander is a midsize SUV that offers premium amenities and superb performance.

Available in eight models, including three hybrid editions, this vehicle has up to eight seats. From the Safety Sense P suite to the Entune infotainment, the Highlander boasts Toyota’s latest signature technology.

Trim Levels

Starting at $31,500, the 2019 Highlander LE is a base trim that offers entry-level amenities. The AWD, V6 engine with eight-speed transmission increase the starting price to slightly more than $35,000. Next on the lineup is the LE Plus, which is priced at just under $36,500. Having an MSRP of more than $39,000, the XLE edition has mid-level features. You’ll need to spend more than $40,000 to drive the SE or Limited.

The Hybrid LE starts at over $37,000 and the Hybrid XLE is priced at about $42,500. Offering luxury and efficiency, the Hybrid Limited has an MSRP that exceeds $45,000. Adding the Platinum Package increases the models’ price to about $49,000. This package includes a panoramic moon roof, 19-inch wheels with the Dark Chromtec finish and other premium features. The Nightshade Special Edition Package adds a black finish to the rear spoiler, lug nuts, trunk garnish, and other exterior installations.

Some of the high-level Highlander trims have the SofTex upholstery on the seats. This premium material is much easier to clean than traditional cloth or fabric. Leather trimming with perforations is available for the 12-way power driver’s seat. A three-zone automatic climate control system also gives the 2019 Highlander high scores in convenience and comfort. Ventilation and heating are optional for the car’s leather-trimmed front seats.

Gas Mileage

Standard in the 2019 Highlander base trim, the 2.7L gasoline engine block has a fuel economy of 24 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city. Also running on gas, the 3.5L engine has a fuel economy of 27 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. The valvetrain in each engine has the Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology, while a stop-and-start system is available for the six-cylinder powertrain.

Having the Atkinson Cycle label, the V6 gas engine partially powers the hybrid models. Two electric motors are paired with this muscular engine block, which includes the VVT-iW technology. Having a sealed design, the Nickel-Metal-Hydride battery pack is an important component in the hybrid system, which runs on the ECO, EV, and Power settings.

When equipped with the highly dynamic ECVT system, the hybrid Highlander trims get up to 29 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. These efficient models also have a zero score for the Evaporative Emission Certification. Additionally, the hybrid editions earn the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle label.


Measuring just more than six inches, the Entune infotainment system is standard in the 2019 Highlander base model. Siri Eyes Free, USB 2.0 ports, and Bluetooth are also included in this entry-level multimedia system. An 8-inch touchscreen comes with the Entune Audio Plus and Entune Premium Audio systems. Both infotainment platforms offer SiriusXM Satellite Radio and HD Radio. Designed to deliver superb acoustics, up to 12 speakers by JBL GreenEdge are optional in this SUV.

The navigation system in the Entune console includes the Predictive Traffic technology that helps you avoid traffic congestion. You may also use the GPS Scout app to navigate highways with ease. Additionally, the Doppler Weather Overlay delivers real-time updates on local weather.

Optional in the SE and above trims, the rear entertainment system comes with a nine-inch monitor. This high-resolution display flips out from the overhead console in the second row. Passengers can watch content from DVDs, Blu-rays, and other multimedia that’s compatible with RCA jacks. Two wireless headphones for the entertainment system eliminate disorganization in the second row.


The Toyota Safety Sense P is a standard in the 2019 Highlander. By closely monitoring traffic movement ahead of you, the Pre-Collision System lowers the likelihood of an accident with other vehicles. Plus, pedestrian-detecting sensors are included in this automatic braking function. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control allows you to manually select the distance between the Highlander’s front bumper and the rear bumper of another car ahead.

The TSS-P suite also includes several features that help you safely navigate lanes on a busy road. When the car moves faster than 32 mph, the Lane Departure Alert monitors unintentional drift into another lane. The power steering system will be controlled by the Steering Assist technology if you try to change lanes without using the proper turn signals. When this Toyota travels faster than 25 mph, the Automatic High Beams scan your projected path for any oncoming traffic. If this function is active, you won’t have to manually toggle the switches for the high and low beams.

The 2019 Highlander has other accident-mitigation amenities that aren’t officially powered by the TSS-P suite. For example, the Blind Spot Monitor provides additional lane-changing assistance. Using sonar sensors, the Rear Parking Assist makes sure that the perimeter is clear for backing up. Other helpful cues are provided by the Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Part of the Platinum Package, the Bird’s Eye View Camera sends overhead videos to the Entune display.

Based on rigorous crash tests and other criteria, the IIHS gave the 2019 Highlander the Top Safety Pick classification. It received a “Superior” rating in the crash avoidance and mitigation categories. Additionally, the car received multiple “Good” scores in the crashworthiness category. Energy-absorbing crumple zones surely contribute to the vehicle’s robust exterior design.

Final Thoughts

The 2019 Toyota Highlander is highly rated in performance, safety, and efficiency.

Available with up to eight seats, this mid-size SUV is one of the most spacious and comfortable in its class. In fact, Kelley Blue Book highly recommends this model for families seeking three rows of seating.

From entry-level technology to luxurious features, the Highlander offers plenty of great amenities at a wide price range that meets the budgets of average American families. The hybrid powertrain is another feature that sets this versatile model apart from the competition.