I often like to refer to Toyota as a methodical giant in the automotive industry as they tend to make slow moves but those moves prove to give us some of the most reliable vehicles on the road today that serve as respected transportation appliances for a large portion of America. With that, the latest Toyota Highlander embodies a principle that hasn’t swayed far from its roots in giving families a reliable midsized crossover utility vehicle that can be had in many different flavors, including a sporty flavor in this week’s Highlander XSE AWD test vehicle.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander remains mostly unchanged for the model year except for the new XSE trim level which features a sport-tuned suspension system and a few add-ons to make it stand out a bit more than the rest of the vast trim lineup. The new Highlander XSE is a good choice for a new trim for those who enjoy being a little different – but I’m not so sure how different you can be in a Highlander considering they are still rather conservative on styling even in the sporty XSE trim level.

2021 toyota highlander xse side

Powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the new Highlander has a rather predictable power delivery making the best use of its 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. The Highlander XSE doesn’t add any additional power, but it does feature 20-inch wheels, a twin-tip exhaust, sport-tuned suspension, unique perforated leather seats with red accented colors and trim stitching throughout the cabin, and a unique sporty exterior appearance up front and out back with color-keyed rocker panels and chrome-finished lower trim. The unique differences of the Highlander XSE go the distance to make it a more attractive package for what is otherwise considered as “just another 3-row crossover” from a mainstream automaker. There’s a variety of drive modes to customize the all-wheel-drive system for challenging terrain, such as a mud/sand and rock/dirt, in addition to normal, sport, and eco drive modes, and a hill descent feature.

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By: Malcolm Hogan
Title: 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE AWD Review & Test Drive
Sourced From: www.automotiveaddicts.com/75598/2021-toyota-highlander-xse-awd-review-test-drive
Published Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2021 13:51:58 +0000

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