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  5. 2022 Toyota Highlander: Everything You Need to Know

Exterior view of the Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is one of the top 10 best-selling vehicles in America, and it's easy for us to see why that is thanks to its versatility, stylishness and innovative safety features. 

Currently in its fourth generation, the Highlander continues to stand out with awesome special edition models as well as its ever-improving Toyota Safety Sense suite, which is standard across all trim levels. 

The 2022 model year brings about quite a few exciting improvements to the popular Highlander, so keep reading to view all of the best highlights.


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2022 Toyota Highlander Trims

Exterior view of the Toyota Highlander

When shopping for a 2022 Toyota Highlander, the first decision is to choose between a traditional gasoline powertrain or a hybrid configuration. Based on this choice, you'll have access to the following trim lines:

2022 Toyota Highlander (gas):

  • LLE
  • XLE
  • XSE
  • Limited
  • Platinum

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid:Hybrid LE

  • Hybrid XLE
  • Bronze Edition
  • Hybrid Limited
  • Hybrid Platinum

New for the 2022 model year is the Bronze Edition trim, which is exclusive to the Highlander Hybrid. Available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, this special model really stands out from the crowd thanks to -- like the name says -- bronze styling elements in addition to a sophisticated Cement paint color, which can only be had as part of the Bronze Edition. 

You'll also find bronze 18-inch wheels, bronze interior stitching, and illuminated bronze door sills for a very bespoke feel both inside and out. The Bronze Edition utilizes the Highlander Hybrid XLE trim as its foundation, so you'll enjoy standard features like a hands-free power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, and more. 

Another notable addition for the 2022 model year is the inclusion of standard 8-way power passenger seats for Highlander trims starting from XLE and higher.


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2022 Toyota Highlander Exterior

Exterior view of the Toyota Highlander

The 4th-generation Toyota Highlander takes on a bolder and more distinguishable design than its predecessors, thanks to the athletic build of the L, LE and XLE grades. But the recently introduced XSE grade goes one notch further with its unique front fascia, additional exterior detailing, and exclusive machined-faced 20-inch wheels with black accents. 

It's a modern expression of sportiness plus luxury, featuring a front-to-back design upgrade. The grille, lower spoiler, headlamps, the first-ever twin-tip exhaust system and more help the XSE stand out amongst all of the available Highlander trims.

Just like its cool body stylings, the 2022 Highlander offers nine exciting exterior paint colors, depending on the trim:

  • Wind Chill Pearl (new for 2022)
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Celestial Silver Metallic
  • Moon Dust
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Opulent Amber
  • Blueprint
  • Cement (exclusive to Bronze Edition)

Additional exterior highlights include an available hands-free power rear liftgate with foot sensor, optional running boards, optional roof rack cross bars, and six different wheel designs based on trim selection.

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2022 Toyota Highlander Interior

Interior view of the Toyota Highlander

The passenger space of the Highlander really is like a home away from home, taking cues from luxury lounges to deliver a comfortable and peaceful environment. Most surfaces feature softer padding, while contrast stitching and eye-catching interior colorways -- like the red and black two-tone leather-trimmed seats in the XSE -- add a premium feeling to the overall ambience. 

In terms of technology and connectivity, the 2022 Highlander features available Qi wireless smartphone charging, and the USB ports have been updated for all passengers, now featuring more Type-C ports for faster charging. 

Infotainment screen of the Toyota Highlander

All Highlander models come standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility, but the real star of the show is an available 12.3-inch multimedia screen that can be found on the Limited or Platinum trims. This beautiful display is seamlessly integrated into the dashboard for a futuristic look, and is your command center for all things entertainment. You can access music, navigation, phone functions, or even turn the Highlander into a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot.

The quietness inside the cabin has also been improved thanks to its new design platform as well as the use of sound-dampening and soundproofing materials. Toyota has specifically targeted the minimization of noises in the frequency range that interferes with conversations. For example, the Limited and Platinum grades utilize acoustic glass, while an available Driver Easy Speak system allows the broadcasting of the driver's voice through the vehicle's speakers. 

Other notable interior highlights include adjustable LED ambient lighting, an 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio System, a panoramic moonroof, and heated and ventilated front seats.


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2022 Toyota Highlander Performance

Gauge cluster of the Toyota Highlander

Power and efficiency for the 2022 Highlander comes in two forms: a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and a hybrid system that features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors. 

The V6 powertrain combines Toyota's signature fuel injection technology with dual variable valve timing to help optimize fuel efficiency, power delivery, and emissions for all scenarios. Plus, the standard 8-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission means you get quick acceleration and response as well as a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The Stop and Start Engine System is also standard on all Highlanders, further reducing fuel usage and emissions when you're stopped at a traffic light. 

For the hybrid system, you'll enjoy 243 total system horsepower, up to an EPA-estimated 36 combined MPG, and a 3,500 pound towing capacity. There's a lot at work behind the scenes in terms of engineering design so that the hybrid system can be smaller, lighter, and more efficient at charging and recovering energy for the hybrid battery.

Center console of the Toyota Highlander

Both the gasoline and hybrid Highlander models can be paired with an intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD) system for added off-road capabilities. Essentially an on-demand AWD system, the Highlander functions in front-wheel drive (FWD) mode under cruising conditions, and can send up to 50% of available torque to the rear wheels to assist with traction or optimize overall handling. On select models, this system is even capable of balancing the torque between left and right rear wheels for added agility. 

On Highlander Hybrid, the AWD system actually features a separate rear-mounted electric motor that engages the rear wheels when the need arises. With no physical connection to the transmission, this electric motor works independently and seamlessly to distribute force to the rear wheels for better acceleration, cornering, and grip. 

Fuel economy for the 2022 Highlander (gas) is an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway, and for the Highlander Hybrid, it's an EPA-estimated 36 mpg city/35 mpg highway.


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2022 Toyota Highlander Safety

Steering wheel of the Toyota Highlander

The updated Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) suite of driver assistance technologies comes standard on all 2022 Highlanders, and includes the following advanced active safety systems:

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Road sign assist
  • Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist
  • Lane tracing assist
  • Sway warning system
  • Automatic high beams

For LE models and above, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard equipment, while Rear Cross Traffic Braking is optional on Limited models and above. 

And one of my favorite safety features is the available Digital Rearview Mirror which uses a high-mounted camera to provide a wide-angle video feed of your rear surroundings. Add to this the available Bird's Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan and you'll never need a spotter to help you squeeze into or out of tight spaces.


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2022 Toyota Highlander Overall

Steering wheel of the Toyota Highlander

If you're looking for a fun and safe transportation experience for the entire family, the 2022 Toyota Highlander is more than ready for this important task. 

With the most advanced connectivity technology, confident all-wheel drive performance, and one of the most comprehensive standard safety suites, Highlander is truly equipped for all of your lifestyle needs. 

Visit your local AutoNation Toyota dealership for a closer look at the 2022 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid.


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Andrew Chen | Nov 24, 2021 

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