Rumors are mentioning the first redesign of the mid-size SUV. But, it is not likely to see the facelift on the 2022 Toyota Highlander. After only three seasons, where one was devastated by the virus, it is too early for a new model to get around. But, some changes will update the lineup. Besides the fresh look, the latest generation of Highlander introduced a new hybrid configuration. In 2022, the PHEV could join the squad. Is it going to be the Highlander Prime?
In the next few years, there won’t be big moves for the mid-size SUV. Toyota plans a new generation for 2025. Meanwhile, the priorities are the new Tundra truck, 4Runner, and Land Cruiser. Also, there are some changes on the way in the luxury Lexus lineup, where the full-size LX is getting a replacement. So, it seems like the 2022 Toyota Highlander is coming unchanged, with all the trim levels we already can get.
V6 Engine Specs
The main source of power for the 2022 Highlander will be a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It is the most capable powerplant and the perfect fit for an SUV of its size. Most rivals are using similar configurations. The Highlander will produce 295 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The towing capacity is 5,000 pounds. We can hear rumors that SUV could get a new drive system that will send power to the rear axle. But, this is just speculation for now. The front-wheel drive is still there by default, with the option to upgrade it to the AWD. Fuel economy is not so bad for the segment. The 2022 Toyota Highlander will be able to return 24 mpg combined (FWD).
A four-cylinder engine is one of the things we could see as the base option next season. Still, such a setup is not going to be the best fit for the mid-size SUV, unless it comes with turbochargers. A new I-Force Max is also on the way, but it won’t feature on the upcoming Highlander, but only larger SUVs.
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and PHEV
For a long time, this SUV was the only mid-size model with three rows of seats that had a hybrid engine as a powertrain. But, the situation has changed, and more carmakers are exploring this market. This made Toyota making some radical moves.
A V6 used to be the mains source of power, and the hybrid version could return 310 hp. The Japanese carmaker sacrificed power by replacing a V6 with a four-cylinder unit. That reduced outputs to 243 horsepower, but the SUV gained a huge boost in the fuel economy segment. Now, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will return 36/35 mpg. There are no too many compact crossovers that can offer such gas mileage. And the Highlander is larger and more powerful. A 2.5-liter displacement is the main source of power and the hybrid model will also offer FWD and AWD.
The next step is the plug-in version. Many experts suggest that the 2022 Toyota Highlander should be the next model to get such a setup after Rav4. The compact crossover can make 300 horsepower and solely electric range is 42 miles. Of course, Highlander Prime is going to be bigger and heavier. On the other hand, larger batteries could provide extra power and range. If Toyota is up to this move, we will know more about early next season.
2022 Toyota Highlander Models
The base version of the 2022 Toyota Highlander will still be the L trim. This model is now upgraded with the Safety Sense 2.5 system. It is really a difference compared to the previous editions. Also, Toyota finally included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its Entune entertaining. Tri-zone climate control and an 8-inch touchscreen are also standard. You can upgrade the ride with the power tailgate and blind-spot monitors. The LE package will offer these features both for standard and hybrid versions. Plus, a leather steering wheel and fog lights are added.
The XLE expands the leather to the entire upholstery. Driver’s bucket gets 10-way adjustable positions, while the overall layout converts to a six-seater with captain’s chairs in the middle row. A power moonroof and heated front seats are some upscale options the XLE SUV is going to offer. The 2022 Toyota Highlander XSE is not available with a hybrid engine. It makes a ride sportier with refined suspension and steering. Also, the look is more aggressive. There are 20-inch wheels and twin exhaust tips.
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The top of the lineup versions are Limited and Platinum. The first one uses high-quality leather for the cabin, premium audio by JBL, and a hands-free tailgate. There are no too many features left for the Highlander Platinum. But, a 12-inch infotainment screen and HUD display will do the job. Plus, buyers will find a panoramic moonroof and fully digital rearview mirror.
The price of the 2022 Toyota Highlander will remain the same. The base MSRP starts at $36,000 with the destination fee. The LE will add more than $2,000 and AWD costs $1,500-2,000. A heavily loaded Platinum package with a hybrid unit will be over $50k.