2020 Toyota Highlander

Frank Washington | 6/23/2020, 10:07 p.m.
We had a three-row 2020 Toyota Highlander. So, we started by climbing into the third row. It was relatively easy ...

We had a three-row 2020 Toyota Highlander. So, we started by climbing into the third row.

It was relatively easy to access. Just pull a lever on the side of the second-row seat; it slid forward, and the seat back flipped forward as well. It was an easy maneuver and climbing back there was relatively easy to the spry if not the young.

There was surprisingly plenty of headroom, leg room was sufficient but totally dependent on moving the second-row seat forward and straightening the seat back, if necessary. And the floor level was higher, thus our knees were higher than our hip point. Plus, the third-row seats bordered on being outright hard.

One drawback was getting out when there is no one to activate second row seat forward motion. We did it but it was not easy. While back there we noticed that this Toyota Highlander had manual sunscreens for the second-row windows.

The second-row seats were much better. They were captain’s chairs and they were heated. There were climate controls at the back of the center console. The Highlander had two USB charging jacks, and a 120V plug with ground.

Those captain’s chairs were soft and perforated. Legroom was abundant and headroom was too, considering they were right at the end of the panoramic roof. We could get a much better look at the beige and brown motif of the interior.

We got in the driver’s seat and it felt like the command center. Early on we noticed that there were two more USB charging stations and a 12V plug under the control panel.

In front the center console flowed into the armrest. That console had the switches for the ride modes: sport, eco and normal. There was also a dial that could put the Highlander in gear for mud & sand or rock & dirt. And there too was a button that shifted it into the right configuration for plain old snow.

That took us back to the armrest, which was pretty slick. It slid open much like a roll-top desk. The first thing we saw was the pad for wireless charging. It didn’t lift out, but it could be pulled up into a 90-degree angle and we were looking down at a shelf. That could be lifted out and it revealed a deep storage area.

We noticed that the driver’s seat was comfortable. It felt like it had been custom made. There was plenty of lower back support, of course they were power, but the front passenger seat didn’t have a power lumbar supporter.

In front of us was an elaborate lay out of instruments. Toyota interior designers opted to give the Highlander analogue instruments. The odometer and speedometer had raised frames and the numerals were real as in they didn’t fade away when we turned the crossover off. One had the temperature gauge inside of it while the other held the fuel gauge.

There was a huge TFT screen between the two. It told us that we averaged 18.8 mpg on one trip. We toggled through and found the tire pressure monitoring, the compass and the satellite radio station that was playing. That was just some of the information it provided.