2023 Toyota Highlander Revs Up Driving with New Turbocharged Engine

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The 2023 Toyota Highlander. PHOTO Toyota

The Toyota Highlander has been the No. 1 retail midsize SUV in Canada since 2020, no easy feat in one of the most intensely competitive segments.

Now, for 2023, Highlander is giving buyers even more reasons to choose this hands-down winner, starting with an all-new engine for the gas modelsand also including larger multimedia screens and other amenities for greater value across all grades and powertrains.

For 2023, the Highlander gas models receive a big and helpful change with a new, higher-torque, high-efficiency turbocharged engine. The 265-horsepower, 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which uses balance shafts for super-smooth performance, delivers 310 lb-ft of torque. This is a significant 17% increase over the previous 3.5-litre V6 engine’s 263 lb-ft. The driver will feel this gain in everyday driving situations, especially when taking advantage of the Highlander’s 7- or 8-person seating and generous cargo capacity.

Just as important, fuel efficiency remains the same as the V6 for this higher-torque engine with a manufacturer-estimated 9.8 L/100 km combined fuel consumption. The new engine, standard across all gas grades, is also more environmentally friendly, with more than a 50% reduction in NOxand NMOGas well as an improvement in CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing V6 engine.

The new Highlander turbo models are equipped to tow up to 5,000-pounds and include Trailer Sway Control (TSC), which uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help control unwanted trailer movement. To help reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the standard Stop and Start Engine System allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and instantly restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal.


The Highlander Hybrid, with its remarkable 6.7 L/100km combined manufacturer estimated fuel consumption rating, accounts for more than a quarter of Highlander sales in Canada, a testament to its innovation, quality and value.

The 2023 Highlander Hybrid AWD combines a high-efficiency 2.5-litre DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motor-generators. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump, electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump help to further enhance engine efficiency.

Safety features

Highlander is a repeat IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ recipient. This is the organization’s highest rating, and one that acknowledges the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system that includes:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/ PD)
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/ SA)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on all grades. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is available on Limited and Platinum. A Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan is standard on Platinum and provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.

Other upgrades

  • New Toyota Multimedia standard on all grades
  • New dual 12.3-inch screens for Limited and Platinum Models
  • Power-folding mirrors add convenience to Limited and Platinum
  • Hands-free power liftgate available on additional grades



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