Toyota Highlander review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid
Available colours:
Toyota Highlander 2021 infotainment
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  • Toyota Highlander 2021 dashboard
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 rear seats
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 infotainment
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 front left tracking
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 front left static
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  • Toyota Highlander 2021 rear static
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 front seats
  • Toyota Highlander 2021 boot open
RRP from£50,610

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

You couldn't call the Toyota Highlander cheap, but it undercuts key rivals such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Volvo XC90. The VW Touareg is a bit cheaper to buy outright, but then that’s not available with seven seats.

The Highlander also looks competitive on PCP finance compared with the aforementioned rivals. However, if you can do without a premium badge, a Kia Sorento is even cheaper.

Official CO2 emissions are significantly lower than most rivals, although the Highlander is still in one of the higher benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax brackets. Yes, its lower P11D value will help drive down monthly payments, but a plug-in hybrid will still work out much cheaper per month for company car users. In our experience, more than 35mpg is easily achievable from the Highlander.

We’d stick with entry-level Excel trim; it really has every feature you could need, and more besides, including three-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, an electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and all the other goodies we’ve already mentioned.

Excel Premium trim adds some fancier alloy wheels, a head-up display, ventilated front seats and gesture control for the tailgate. If you do like your luxuries, it’s a small jump up in price, but we wouldn’t bother with it.

We don’t have any reliability data for the Highlander, but Toyota is regularly near the top of our What Car? Reliability Survey – coming an impressive third place out of 31 manufacturers. The five-year 100,000 mile warranty should give you additional peace of mind.

You get plenty of safety kit including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane keep assist, blindspot monitoring, and a rear cross traffic alert to warn of approaching dangers as you reverse. Euro NCAP is yet to crash test the Highlander.

Toyota Highlander 2021 infotainment

Overview

The Toyota Highlander is an exceptionally sensible choice in the luxury SUV class. All trim levels are exceptionally well-equipped, it’s comfortable, and the brand's excellent reliability record means you and your family are unlikely to get stranded. Okay, those in a hurry will find many faster rivals, and it isn’t as luxurious as an Audi Q7 or BMW X5, but we’d certainly give the Highlander a long hard look. If the badge on the nose isn’t important to you, though, we’d definitely consider the cheaper Kia Sorento.

  • Very well-equipped
  • Spacious
  • Comfortable ride
  • Slower than most rivals
  • Interior not particularly sumptuous
  • Poor infotainment

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