2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD – Sophisticated Family SUV. 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD – Drive, Interior (Harvest Beige) and Exterior. Color: Moon Dust.
Looking sporty does not come at the expense of practicality in the 2020 Highlander. The L and LE grades come standard with a second-row bench for seating for eight, while the XLE and Limited grade come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven and the option of a second-row bench for seating for eight. Finally, the Platinum grade will come standard with a Captain’s Chair second row with seating for seven. Either way, the large rear doors provide easy access, while versatile seat folding features make it easy to enter the third row. And, passengers in the third row stay comfortable thanks to standard three-zone climate control that ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air.
With all seat rows in use, Highlander offers 16.0 cu. ft. of carrying space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks opens the space to 48.4 cu. ft., and then folding the second row raises that to 84.3 cu. ft. The versatile cargo area makes the most of its additional length with side surfaces and pockets shaped for maximum space usage.
Power and efficiency are a whole lot sexier when wrapped in Highlander’s striking design. The 2020 Highlander offers a choice between two advanced powertrains, a gas V6 or a new version of the Toyota Hybrid System.
The 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is the epitome of smoothness. Its Toyota-innovated D-4S Injection system combines direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors to optimize efficiency, power and emissions in all conditions. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) likewise ensures ideal response and efficiency at all engine speeds.
That translates into 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque, which further translates into exemplary everyday performance and generous towing capability. The Direct Shift 8-speed automatic transmission maximizes Highlander’s acceleration and highway merging capability while operating seamlessly and transparently.
On V6 models, the available towing package enables a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The package includes a heavy-duty radiator with engine oil cooler and improved fan performance. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) uses the Vehicle Stability Control to help control unwanted trailer movement.
The 2020 Highlander gets a grip on any road with a choice of front-wheel drive or three different available all-wheel drive systems — two for the V6 models and a unique AWD system for the Highlander Hybrid. For the Highlander Gas L, LE and XLE models, the optional AWD system can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels to counter wheel slip when necessary.
Sounding like something from a high-end sports car, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect is available for the Highlander Limited and Platinum for even greater agility and capability. In addition to governing torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, this advanced system uses special couplings to actively manage torque distribution between the left and right rear wheels.
Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD doesn’t need wheel slippage before springing into action. Rather, a sophisticated AWD Integrated Management (AIM) system manages Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle control, transmission shift control and drive torque distribution to continually optimize handling.
Using the Multi-Terrain Select control dial on the console, the driver can maximize traction when driving through inclement weather or road conditions. Mud & Sand mode works well for beach driving, while Rock & Dirt mode optimizes AWD traction for trails. The driver can monitor, in real time, torque allocation and slip control on the Multi-Information Display (MID).
The new TNGA-K platform forms the foundation for exemplary collision protection in the 2020 Toyota Highlander, while a suite of standard driver-assist technologies is designed to help prevent collisions, or to mitigate their impacts.
The 2020 Highlander is equipped with the second-generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0). Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are standard on LE grade and above. Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) is available with clearance sonar on Limited and above.
The standard backup camera features projected path. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, available on Limited and standard on Platinum, provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
The 2020 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side curtain airbags for all three rows. Toyota’s Star Safety System includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).