Thanks to its roomy cabin and sporty capabilities, the pre-owned Toyota Highlander lends itself to fun-loving families. Better yet, it’s loaded with goodies—from optional heated seats to automatic emergency braking—to help you navigate modern roadways in style. Before you start shopping for your pre-owned Highlander, let our used buying guide give you a proper tour of this full-size SUV in all its renditions.
Fourth Generation: 2020-Current Model Year
Best reasons to choose the fourth-generation pre-owned Toyota Highlander:
- Family-friendly seating
- Smooth, quiet ride
- Strong, fuel-efficient performance
- Lots of tech and safety features
For those in search of a great deal on a full-size SUV, the pre-owned Highlander is a great choice. Besides its used price tags, though, the Highlander is also noteworthy for its fuel-efficient performance, especially compared to segment competitors.
And you can load up the entire family for a comfortable, quiet road trip, compliments of the Highlander cabin’s roomy, supportive seating and excellent noise control. And every trim model comes standard with the latest infotainment gear, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. You’ll also appreciate the Safety Sense suite of safety aids, standard equipment that includes accident-avoidance features like automatic emergency braking and lane-tracing assist.
How have these midsize SUVs changed from year to year? For 2021, the Highlander rolled out a sporty new XSE trim model. Check it out for an increasingly thrilling ride, compliments of a sport-tuned suspension and exclusive exterior styling cues.
Third Generation: 2014-2019
Best reasons to choose the third-generation pre-owned Toyota Highlander:
- Generous high-tech safety features
- Strong, fuel-efficient V6 performance
- Family-friendly passenger space and comfortable ride
As you may have noticed, the reasons to buy a third-generation pre-owned Toyota Highlander are very similar to the reasons to purchase fourth-generation models, and that means that you can potentially score many of the same great features at a lower price.
How have these midsize SUVs changed from year to year? To keep the Highlander current, Toyota made a few updates to these models as they continued to roll off the line. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about affected model years:
- 2017: A new 3.5-liter V6 engine became standard for all but the base LE trim level, striking a balance between a powerful ride (185 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque) and efficiency ( up to 29 mpg combined).
- 2016: These Highlanders introduced a standard towing package for those models with the V6 engine.
- 2014: Compared to previous Highlanders, the first model of the new generation introduced optional eight-passenger seating, a height-adjustable power liftgate, and a new six-speed automatic transmission for the 3.5 V6 engine (270 horses, 248 pound-feet).
Second Generation: 2008-2013
Best reasons to choose the second-generation pre-owned Toyota Highlander:
- Powerful, yet efficient drive
- Three rows of roomy seating
- Easy to handle in a tight spot
These Highlanders are notable for their combination of family-friend space and city-friendly agility. If you’ve got people to transport and downtown streets to explore, this generation gives you the best of both worlds.
Note that while later model years offered room for up to eight passengers, this generation of Highlanders only has seats for up to seven.
How have these midsize SUVs changed from year to year? As with other generations, you’ll see a few alterations as this era wore on. Here’s what to look for:
- 2013: The Highlander adds a new Plus trim model. One step up from the base model, the Plus adds utility with foglights, roof rails, and a lift-up rear window.
- 2011: A mid-cycle refresh offers big changes, including a redesigned exterior and new interior features. Rear-seat climate controls and a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat became standard equipment.
- 2010: Base models became available with an optional sunroof. A new rearview camera became optional for Highlanders with the V6.
- 2009: Base trim models with two-wheel drive introduce a newly standard four-cylinder engine (other trims retain the V6 engine).
- 2008: Compared to first-generation pre-owned Toyota Highlanders, these models roll out a standard V6 engine and a roomier third-row bench seat.