Saturday, May 15, 2021
News 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Adds Flair and Sportiness

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Adds Flair and Sportiness

According to Toyota, the Highlander XSE is for parents who miss driving sport sedans.


  • 2021 Toyota Highlander to add sportier XSE trim level
  • XSE is equipped with 295-horsepower, 3.5-litre V6 and standard AWD with torque vectoring in Canada
  • More aggressive exterior appearance, retuned suspension for sharper handling characteristics

The 2020 Toyota Highlander is just arriving in dealerships, and already the Japanese automaker is talking about its 2021 lineup. At the Chicago Auto Show, it just unveiled the Highlander XSE, a more dynamic take on the midsize, three-row SUV.

In Toyota’s world, SE means a slightly sportier design, while XSE means more driver-focused ride and handling characteristics. However, it likely won’t rival more powerful, performance-oriented rides like the Ford Explorer ST and the Dodge Durango R/T.

2020 Toyota Highlander First Drive Review

The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE receives the 3.5-litre V6 that develops 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with rear-wheel torque vectoring in Canada—although the U.S. market will get a front-wheel-drive variant. The company cites increased agility thanks to higher-rate springs and rear stabilizer bar along with retuned shock absorbers.

Visually, the XSE can easily be spotted by its black-accented 20-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressive front fascia, headlight clusters with black accenting, rocker panels, a redesigned rear bumper and dual exhaust tips. In addition, the roof rails, window surrounds and mirror caps are all black.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE’s cockpit gets Softex (read: man-made leather) upholstery with cloth accenting, ambient lighting and faux-carbon-fibre trim. Buyers can also choose black and red full leather seating that’s on the options list.

Positioned between the XLE and Limited trims in the Highlander lineup, the XSE should also feature three-zone automatic climate control, heated and power-adjustable front seats, a power sunroof, a power liftgate as well as an infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. An 11-speaker, 1,200-watt JBL sound system is available.

The manufacturer boldly claims the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE is “designed for people who need SUV practicality but really miss driving sport sedans.” Pricing will be announced closer to this new SUV’s on-sale date—scheduled for later this year—while the just-introduced 2020 model ranges from $37,300 to $57,260 in Canada and from $34,600 to $50,200 in the United States.

Trending Now

Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 North American Premiere Set For May 24th

The Ioniq 5 will be a key player in Hyundai’s EV plans. It is the first member of Hyundai’s new Ioniq family of...

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Range Rated At 247 miles

GM had estimated it at 250 miles. The 2022 Bolt’s range is rated at 259 miles. The all-new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV’s arrival is...

Nissan Posts $1.6B Loss, Expects Break-Even This Year

Record loss for 2020 aggravated by ongoing microchip shortages Company expects return to break-even this year Nissan has reported record losses for 2020, impacted...

Audi A6 e-tron May Get A Wagon Variant

The A6 e-tron Sportback was revealed at last month’s Shanghai auto show. This e-tron is built on the PPE platform. We have to hand...

GM Thinks It Should Once More Be Eligible For EV Tax Credit

The Federal $7,500 tax credit was removed for GM vehicles as they attained 200,000 sales. GM CEO Mary Barra thinks that GM shouldn’t...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.