Over the last decade, the midsize, three-row SUV has staked its claim as the go-to vehicle for family drivers, replacing minivans and full-size and midsize sedans. These roomy vehicles provide space for up to 8 passengers while providing exceptional performance in inclement weather. One of the top models is the 2022 Toyota Highlander, which has been one of the best-selling vehicles in this class since its introduction during the 2001 model year.
The 2022 Highlander represents an incremental advance in the fourth generation of Toyota’s flagship midsize SUV, which began in 2020. It has six trim levels, ranging from the base model L, with an MSRP of $35,205, to the top trim Platinum, which earns its name with extensive luxury features and finishes.[a]
Toyota has added a Bronze Edition, but this is only for the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid model. The only other changes to last year’s Highlander are a height-adjustable power seat on the XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum, which will make it easier for front-seat passengers to get more comfortable when driving or riding shotgun.
Toyota has equipped each Highlander with a version of its Toyota Audio infotainment system. The L trim gets the standard Audio, while the LE, XLE, and XSE get the Audio Plus system, each with an 8-inch touchscreen. The Limited and the Platinum models feature the Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and an 11-speaker JBL sound system. The Platinum trim has a 12.3-inch touchscreen that is available as an option on the Highlander Limited.
Toyota has equipped each 2022 Highlander with a 3.5-liter Dual Overhead Cam V6 gas engine. This 24-valve engine is Atkinson-cycle capable and utilizes dual variable valve timing and stop/start technology to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while also improving overall performance. Toyota has gone with a direct fuel ignition system on this V6 engine, making it capable of 295 horsepower and 263 ft-lb of torque. The 2022 Toyota Highlander has an 8-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. This is a direct shift, so you have greater control over engine performance on your Highlander.
The standard drivetrain on all models of the 2022 Toyota Highlander is front-wheel drive. This will give you optimal fuel economy. The L, LE, and XLE models have available all-wheel drive to improve on-road traction, particularly in inclement weather. The XSE, Limited, and Platinum trims offer a Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel drivetrain, which provides ideal traction. All models of the 2022 Highlander offer different drive modes, including Sport for improved acceleration, Eco for better fuel economy, Normal, and Snow for improved traction. The all-wheel drive models add MUD & SAND and ROCK & DIRT to assist with off-road performance.
Despite its size, the 2022 Toyota Highlander provides exceptional fuel economy, especially if you choose to drive one with front-wheel drive. This model of the Highlander will give you an estimated 21 miles per gallon in city driving, 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 24 miles per gallon combined. Choosing a 2022 Highlander with either of the all-wheel drivetrains will reduce fuel economy slightly to an estimated 20 miles per gallon in the city, 27 miles per gallon on the highway, and 23 miles per gallon combined.
The 2022 Toyota Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds. This can come in handy if you plan to use your Highlander to tow a boat, trailer, or RV.
Toyota has designed most models of the Highlander to provide a comfortable, passenger-friendly ride. This is the result of using an independent MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar paired with a multilink rear suspension also utilizing a stabilizer bar. The XSE has been given a sport-tuned suspension in keeping with the performance styling of this model. As a result, it will have a tighter feel than the other models.
The Highlander has a 112.2-inch wheelbase, making it easy to corner for most drivers. The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering does a good job of holding the road. The Highlander has an 18.7-foot turning radius, making it maneuverable even in tight spaces. The 8 inches of ground clearance on this SUV will also come in handy, especially if you choose a model with all-wheel drive for off-roading purposes.
The engineers at Toyota have given the 2022 Highlander a very peppy V6 engine. This SUV can go from 0 to 60 in just 67 seconds, with a top speed of 114 miles per hour. In addition, the Highlander can complete the quarter-mile in only 15.3 seconds at 93 miles per hour.
One of the big advantages of buying a three-row, midsize SUV like the 2022 Toyota Highlander is all the passenger and cargo space afforded in the vehicle. The engineers at Toyota have designed the 2022 Highlander to maximize interior space, providing comfort for you and your passengers, as well as extra room in the trunk for all of your personal belongings.
The 2022 Highlander has up to 141.3 cubic feet of passenger space in its interior, depending on whether the model you choose has a moonroof. Toyota has carefully apportioned this space between the Highlander’s three rows so that all of the passengers will feel comfortable. As a result, the L, LE, XLE, and Limited models can all seat up to eight passengers, while the RSE and Platinum can seat seven total passengers among the three rows.
No matter which model you choose, your passengers will have enough room to stretch out and feel comfortable, even on the longest road trips. Unlike many other three-row SUVs of the Highlander’s size, this vehicle has a truly usable third row that can fit most passengers. For example, the front row provides up to 41.2 inches of headroom, while the second-row passengers will enjoy up to 39.4 inches and those in the third row have 36.1 inches. Similarly, the Highlander affords front-row passengers 42 inches of legroom, with second-row passengers getting 41 inches, and third row passengers 27.7 inches.
Most midsize SUVs represent a compromise between passenger space and cargo volume. Some favor the former, while others give more room to the latter. Fortunately, this is not the case with the 2022 Toyota Highlander. The liftgate on the rear of the Highlander opens to provide a full 16 cubic feet of space for your belongings. This should be plenty of room for all of your luggage if you decide to take your Highlander on a road trip.
If you need more space, like for groceries or moving your belongings to a new home, the third row of seats easily folds down to provide a total of 48.4 cubic feet of cargo space. If you need even more room, simply fold down the second row of seats to give you a very spacious 84.3 cubic feet of room for your belongings. This allows you to use your Highlander for home improvement projects, as this will accommodate most lengths of lumber, sheetrock, and other supplies.
Toyota has made safety a key priority in all of its vehicles, and the 2022 Toyota Highlander is no exception. This is shown by the fact that every 2022 Highlander comes with standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ features. As a result, the 2022 Highlander has gotten high marks from the two major safety agencies. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) named the 2022 Toyota Highlander a Top Safety Pick+ for the midsize SUV vehicle class. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) gave the 2022 Highlander 5 Stars for overall safety rating.
A big reason why the IIHS and NHTSA rated the Highlander so highly is because of its standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ safety features. These driver assistance technologies will help keep your Highlander on the straight and narrow. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection will alert you if a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian in the path of your SUV is imminent. If this occurs, the system will also engage the emergency brakes, slowing your Highlander so you can avoid a crash or minimize the effects of its impact.
This system also has features to help you stay in lane. A major cause of highway collisions is drivers losing focus and drifting out of their lane. If you begin to drift, Lane Tracing Assist will work to keep you in line. Similarly, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist will sound when your car starts drifting and then give you slight steering adjustments to get you back into your lane.
The 2022 Highlander also has Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Simply set the maximum speed you wish to travel, and this feature will help maintain your speed, slowing down to adjust to slower vehicles in front of you and then accelerating back to your desired speed when the lane in front clears. Road Sign Assist will work with the cruise control to make sure you slow down if the speed limit changes during your drive.
There are also standard Automatic High Beams. Instead of having to constantly turn your high beam headlights on and off at night, the system will detect an area of low light before turning them on. Once the lighting improves, the high beams will automatically turn off. In addition, if the system detects another vehicle, it will also turn them off before turning them on after you pass the other vehicle.