FORE IN THE HIGHLANDER
2021 Toyota Highlander XSE V6 AWD #627
By: Cathy Droz – HER Certified
I’ve owned two Toyota Highlanders over my lifetime and each time they proved to be excellent choices. I remember thinking … it wasn’t sexy enough when I first considered it along with the Land Cruiser. However, once I drove it and picked the right exterior and interior colors, I realized I was wrong to question it. The Highlander was first released in 2001 and I purchased our first one in 2006. Three rows of seating followed very soon after (a big consumer request.)
This 2021 XSE (trim) V6 AWD has awesome XSE standard equipment so let’s talk about it. Sport Grille and lower facia area is different including the lower mesh grille with no bar across. LED headlights are a bit different and fog lights are rearranged. The XSE has the black wheels and a massive 20 inches to get your attention. Side view mirrors are black as are other trim treatments. The XSE adds 3-inches in length to the Highlander, which shows off the double (side by side) exhaust pipes.
As you can see from my video, I took the Highlander golfing with the family. Take note, the cargo area held four bags and four passengers. It was so nice to have the XSE trim getting those three extra inches for trips like ours.
There is an 8-inch touch screen which you can customize for your personal needs. The front storage bin is now divided in half where you can feed your technology lines up and out of the way. The wireless charging station was in the center console. It was out of the way, that is true; but awkward when I wanted to check my battery charge status or answer the phone. The Conversation (above the moonroof buttons) was perfect to discuss our golf game while the two sitting behind me were making faces. The sound system was great and why not? It was the Premium JBL Audio set up. That option is $1,680 over the MSRP.
My golf game and that of my family needs some improvement but I can say Toyota has got it right with their Highlander no matter what the trim level.
For more on this Toyota go to www.toyota.com
AS TESTED: $47,451
20 mpg City – 27 mpg Highway