Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Here’s where it all starts to go wrong for the Toyota Highlander. You see, even the cheaper of the two trim levels (called Excel) is priced way above the most expensive hybrid versions of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento. The Peugeot 5008 is massively cheaper to buy too.
That wouldn't be such a deal-breaker if the Highlander held on to its value exceptionally well, but it's actually predicted to depreciate more quickly than its two Korean rivals. Compared with those cars – and the 5008 – the Highlander is also astronomically expensive to buy on PCP finance.
Range-topping Excel Premium trim just adds some fancier alloy wheels, a head-up display, ventilated front seats and gesture control for the tailgate, but only makes the Highlander seem even more optimistically priced.
We don’t yet have any reliability data for the Highlander (it's too new), but Toyota finished an impressive third (out of 31 brands) in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey. Even if something does go wrong, there's a five-year (100,000-mile) standard warranty to fall back on.
You get plenty of safety technology, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert to warn of approaching dangers as you reverse. Euro NCAP is yet to crash test the Highlander, though.