PLANO, Texas (Sept. 27, 2023) – The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is making a bold statement for the 2024 model year with a new Nightshade Edition. With a blackout treatment to the wheels, grille, mirror caps and rear badging, this striking new model is available on the Highlander Hybrid LE and XLE grades, adding an extra layer of style to the Toyota Highlander’s diverse lineup. This Nightshade has captivating details inside and out, like uniquely trimmed black seats with silver accents on the XLE grade, it’s yet another way the Toyota Highlander goes above and beyond the ordinary.
The 2024 Highlander comes in six different Hybrid grades, five different gas grades and can seat up to eight. The Hybrid models come equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid engine, while the gas grades come with a 2.4L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that launched on the model in 2023. New for MY24 is the addition of the hands-free power liftgate convenience spec that now comes standard on all XLE (gas, hybrid, Nightshade) and XSE (gas) grades. Consistent with the previous model year, hands-free power liftgate continues to come standard on all Limited and Platinum (gas and hybrid) grades.
Highlander also comes in a choice of Front-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive. There are even options within AWD drivetrains of an electronic on-demand AWD for the Hybrid grades, mechanical AWD for the gas LE and XLE grades, and Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD for the gas XSE, Limited, and Platinum grades With two highly efficient powertrains and its variety of drivetrains the 2024 Highlander can earn up to a manufacturer-estimated 36 MPG combined rating on the Hybrid (LE/FWD) and up to 29 MPG on the gas model (LE/FWD).
As part of Toyota’s diverse approach to its carbon neutrality goals, the Toyota Highlander also plays a part in Toyota’s effort to reach a “Beyond Zero” future, which is Toyota’s vision to reach carbon neutrality with products, services, and operations; and find new ways to make a positive impact on the planet and society. Toyota is demonstrating its commitment to Beyond Zero by providing 16 electrified vehicles for customers to choose from, including 12 hybrid models, two plug-in hybrid models, the bZ4X battery electric vehicle, and the zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric Mirai (currently available in California). Toyota currently offers more low-and-zero emissions vehicles than any other automaker to give customers the most choice to reduce their carbon footprint.
The hallmark of the Toyota Nightshade lineup is bold style with blacked-out touches. It’s an expressive, stylish look that’s available on 10 models – including the 2024 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Adding to the Nightshade style are the exterior color choices of Cement, Wind Chill Pearl, Midnight Black Metallic, or Ruby Flare Pearl. Whichever color customers choose, they will find it sitting on black painted 18-inch five-spoke wheels. Because every detail matters, the bold style also extends to black grille trim, mirror caps, door handles, rear badging, rear spoiler, and shark fin antenna, with the Hybrid XLE Nightshade adding black roof rails.
On the inside, the LE Nightshade grade features black fabric trimmed seats with the XLE grade adding black two-toned Softex ® -trimmed seats with unique embossed fabric inserts and silver accent stitching. XLE Nightshade seating is further elevated with standard heated seats for driver and front passenger, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and captain seats for second row passengers. For entertainment the LE and XLE Nightshade both come with an 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility standard, the XLE Nightshade has the option to upgrade to a 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen. Consistent with the Hybrid XLE, the XLE Nightshade comes standard with a power tilt moonroof, hands-free power liftgate, Qi wireless smartphone charger, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® universal garage door opener, and second row sunshades.
Travel in Style in the Hybrid Grades
The 2024 Toyota Highlander offers a choice of six different Hybrid grades, including the Highlander Hybrid Nightshade. With an impressive MPG of up to a manufacturer-estimated 36 MPG combined rating, Highlander Hybrid drivers will be ready to take on the road in style mile after mile.
The Highlander Hybrid line starts with the LE grade with either front-wheel drive or Electronic On-Demand AWD system (AWD-e). The LE grade can seat up to eight and includes standard features like Fabric-trimmed front- and second-row seats with an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 7-inch color LCD Multi-Information Display (MID), in-zone automatic climate control with air filter, 8.0-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, five USB ports, a Smart Key System and more.
The Hybrid XLE adds a power tilt moonroof, SofTex-trimmed first- and second-row seats with heating for driver and passenger, and a 10-way power-adjustable for the driver feature. The XLE also adds a hands-free power liftgate, Qi wireless smartphone charger, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® universal garage door opener, and second row sunshades. For extra storage, roof rails come standard. Packages include the option to upgrade to a 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen and seating for up to eight with a second-row bench seat and 60/40 split fold seats.
Highlander Hybrid Limited and Platinum grade pile on even more to the already feature-packed Highlander. Both models have standard leather-trimmed front- and second-row seats, with heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way power-adjustability and memory function for the driver’s seat that includes power lumbar support and 8-way power-adjustability for the front passenger seat. Both grades also come with a standard 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen and 11-speaker JBL® Premium Audio system that includes a subwoofer and amplifier. Additional standard exterior touches for the Limited and Platinum Hybrid grades include 20-inch wheels, heated power outside mirror with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators, front grille in black paint with chrome plate surrounding, and more.
The Hybrid Platinum grade adds heated second-row captain’s chairs for even more rear passenger comfort, and a Panoramic Glass Moonroof with sunshade and one-touch front power tilt/slide function. The driver benefits from a Panoramic View Monitor, 10-inch color Head Up Display, and LED projector headlights with Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS) auto leveling and LED-strip Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Additional Platinum features include rear lower bumper accent piece and scuff plate, rain-sensing washer-linked wipers, illuminated front doorsill metal scuff plates, and Digital rearview mirror with HomeLink® universal garage door opener.
Exterior color choices, depending on grade, include Midnight Black Metallic, Blueprint, Cypress, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Cement, and Celestial Silver Metallic. Extra cost colors include Moon Dust, Ruby Flare Pearl, and Wind Chill Pearl.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid combines a high-efficiency 2.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with two electric motor-generators. The gas engine employs Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and VVT-i on the exhaust camshaft. A variable cooling system (electric water pump, electric thermostat) and a fully variable oil pump help to further enhance engine efficiency.
The gas engine and Motor Generator 2 (MG2) work in concert to deliver dynamic performance, while both MG1 and MG2 charge the hybrid battery. The bottom line is an eye opener for the efficient-minded: 243 total system horsepower, manufacturer-estimated up to 36 combined MPG and a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds for all hybrid grades. The Highlander Hybrid’s battery pack was developed with convenience in mind and is installed under the second-row seats, so it does not take away any cargo or passenger space.
Like all Toyota hybrid vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid simply goes about its business. For example, the system optimizes the level of electric motor assistance and gas engine speed without the engine running at high revs. Engine speed is synchronized with vehicle speed, yielding effortless and quiet acceleration. The unique AWD system for Highlander Hybrid employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. Like the hybrid powertrain itself, the AWD system is designed to work seamlessly, switching on and off and sending power to the wheels as needed.
Highlander Hybrid offers selectable NORMAL, ECO and SPORT driving modes that let the driver choose the vehicle’s performance personality. ECO mode extracts maximum efficiency from the fuel and battery, while NORMAL mode is ideal for everyday driving. SPORT mode quickens the throttle response from the hybrid system for improved acceleration control. A bonus is the EV mode, which allows electric-only driving at low speeds for short distances.
Regenerative braking captures the energy of the turning wheels as the vehicle slows, sending it to the hybrid battery. To foster greater control when driving in hilly areas, the driver can manually control regenerative braking in steps, similar to the engine braking effect of downshifting a manual transmission.
Highlander Hybrid’s Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) analyzes the driver’s daily driving habits and upcoming road and traffic conditions to optimize battery usage and charging. The more the vehicle is driven, the more data is accumulated, thereby helping to support fuel efficient driving patterns.
Turbo Powered Gas Grades
For customers looking for an efficient-yet-powerful option Highlander’s 265-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder models with 310 lb.-ft of torque are the answer. Equipped with a standard Stop and Start Engine system, the gas model equipped Highlander models allow the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop and instantly restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal. This feature is one way the Highlander can earn up to a 22 city/29 highway/25 combined manufacturer estimated rating, it’s an economical choice that’s ready to take on the next highway merge.
The engine is paired to a direct shift 8-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission (AT) with selectable drive modes that include Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow modes. The 2.4L Turbo equipped models are available in a choice of Front- or All-Wheel-Drive. AWD equipped models come with Multi-Terrain Select (MTS), allowing drivers to select Mud & Sand or Rock & Dirt modes for those times when outdoor adventure calls. AWD equipped Highlander turbo models are equipped to tow up to 5,000-pounds and include Trailer Sway Control (TSC), which uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help control unwanted trailer movement.
Highlander LE comes well equipped with fabric-trimmed seating for eight and a second-row bench seat. Drivers get an 8-way power adjustable seat and for added storing and convenience the second-row bench seats have 60/40 split, sliding, and reclining functionality. An 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen with six speakers comes standard, along with a 7-inch color LCD Multi-Information Display (MID), five total USB ports, Push Button Start, Smart Key, and Connected Service trials.
The XLE includes all LE grade features and adds a power tilt moonroof, SofTex-trimmed first- and second-row seats with heating for driver and passenger, and 10-way power-adjustable for the driver, with seating for seven standard and eight optional. The XLE also adds a hands-free power liftgate, Qi wireless smartphone charger, auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink universal garage door opener, and second row sunshades. For extra storage roof rails come standard. Packages include the option to upgrade to a 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen and seating for up to eight with a second-row bench seat and 60/40 split fold seats.
The Highlander XSE is available with either front-wheel drive or Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive. The 2024 Highlander XSE rolls on all-black 20-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/55R20 all-season tires. A specially tuned suspension with high-rate springs, rear stabilizer bar, and low-friction shock absorbers works in concert with tuned electric power steering to give the XSE a distinctly sporty feel. XSE-exclusive styling applies to the front fascia, grille, lower spoiler and headlamps. Unique rocker panels add an edgy accent to the Highlander XSE’s sculpted lines. Black roof rails, mirror caps and window moldings dial up the subtle cool factor, finished off by a twin exhaust tip.
Inside, the Highlander XSE cradles passengers in black SofTex-trimmed seats with fabric inserts, while ambient lighting and carbon-fiber style finish on the instrument panel adds a sporty vibe. A striking two-tone red and black leather-trimmed interior with red-stitched instrument panel is also available. The 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen with six-speaker sound system comes standard, with an option to upgrade to a 12.3-inch touchscreen and 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio system with subwoofer and amplifier.
Just like the Hybrid models, the 2.4L Turbo is available in Limited and Platinum grades. Both grades come equipped with premium features like leather-trimmed seating that’s heated and ventilated for driver and passenger, height adjustable hands-free power liftgate, and 12.3-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen and 11-speaker JBL Premium sound system. High end details like wood door and ornamental dash trim, high output LED fog lights, and puddle lights with integrated Highlander logo also come standard. The Premium grade adds even more features including 20-inch alloy wheels, power Panoramic Glass Moonroof with sunshade and front power tilt/slide function, an eight-way power adjustable passenger seat, and panoramic view monitor, just to name a few.
The Highlander gas powered models come in all of the same great colors as the Hybrid grade except Cement. Availability varies by grade, with Ruby Flare Pearl, Moon Dust, and Wind Chill Pearl as extra cost colors.
Available All-Wheel Drive
The 2024 Highlander turbo models get a grip on just about any road with a choice of FWD or two different available AWD systems. For the Highlander gas LE and XLE models, the optional mechanical AWD system can send up to 50% of available torque to the rear wheels to help counter wheel slip when necessary. The Highlander XSE, Limited and Platinum turbo models step up to a more performance-minded system, Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect. In addition to governing torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, this advanced system uses special couplings to actively manage torque distribution between the left and right rear wheels.
For even more control for the gas Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD iteration, Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is also available. When AWD is not needed, such as in steady highway cruising, Rear Driveline Disconnect automatically disengages drive to the rear wheels and stops the propeller shaft’s rotation, helping to reduce fuel consumption. The system seamlessly re-engages when AWD is needed to handle road conditions.
Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD doesn’t simply react to wheel slippage. Rather, a sophisticated AWD Integrated Management (AIM) system manages Electric Power Steering (EPS), throttle control, transmission shift control and drive torque distribution to continually help optimize handling. Using the Multi-Terrain Select control dial on the console, the driver can maximize traction for prevailing conditions. Mud & Sand mode works well for beach driving, while Rock & Dirt mode optimizes AWD traction for trails. The driver can monitor, in real time, torque allocation and slip control on the Multi-Information Display (MID).
Comfort and Versatility Across the Board
The 2024 Highlander offers plush accommodations across all grades. Taking inspiration from luxury-crafted interiors to create a premium ambience, details include soft-padded surfaces and a tailored look with stitching that extends from the door trim to the instrument panel. Inset steering wheel controls are a modern luxury touch on all grades.
Highlanders have long been renowned for a quiet ride, and, with the high-strength TNGA-K platform, Toyota raised the bar even higher. Sound-dampening and soundproofing materials are optimized throughout the vehicle, focusing particularly on minimizing noise in the frequencies that interfere with conversation. As an example, Limited and Platinum grades have acoustic glass on the front side windows to further isolate the driver from outside noise.
The Highlander LE grade comes standard with second-row bench for seating up to eight, while the XLE and Limited grades go with a standard Captain’s Chair second row for seven-seat capability. Buyers can choose a second-row bench for the XLE Gas, XLE Hybrid and Limited Gas grades.
The Highlander XLE Nightshade, XSE, Hybrid Limited and Platinum grades come standard with seven-passenger seating with second-row Captain’s Chairs. Large rear doors provide easy access, while versatile seat folding features allow passengers to easily access the third row. Standard three-zone climate control ensures ample flow of warmed or cooled air to all aboard.
The Highlander LE grade offers comfortable woven cloth seat surfaces in Graphite or Black; the XLE offers SofTex®-trimmed seats in Harvest Beige, Graphite or Black, while the Limited offers those colors in perforated leather trim. The XSE grade sticks to its sporty nature thanks to black SofTex®-trimmed seats with fabric inserts or a striking red and black leather-trimmed option. The Platinum grade, the most luxurious Highlander, exclusively features embossed, perforated leather-trim in those three colors (Harvest Beige, Graphite and Black) plus a luxuriously delicious brown called Glazed Caramel. On XSE, Limited and Platinum grades, standard ambient LED cabin lighting sets a relaxing mood.
There’s plenty of space for carrying stuff, too. With all seat rows in use, Highlander offers 16.0 cu. ft. of space behind the third row. Folding the 60/40 split fold-flat third-row seatbacks expands the space to 48.4 cu. ft., and then folding the second row raises that to 84.3 cu. ft. The versatile cargo area makes the most of the additional length with side surfaces and pockets shaped for maximum space utilization.
The 2024 Highlander comes standard with an 8-inch, and available 12.3-inch, Toyota Audio Multimedia system designed and engineered by Toyota’s Texas-based Connected Technologies team. Highlander drivers can enjoy a wide range of enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including being Over-the-Air (OTA) updatable. Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls.
With the available Connected Service Drive Connect*, drivers and passengers have access to Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation and Destination Assist. With Intelligent Assistant, simple phrases like “Hey Toyota” awaken the system for voice activated commands to search for directions, find Points of Interest (POI), adjust audio controls, change the cabin temperatures and more. Cloud Navigation, the available onboard navigation solution, utilizes the cloud to download the latest available map, traffic and routing information. To ensure users have the most up-to-date search capabilities, POI search is provided by Google Points-of-Interest data. Destination Assist also gives access to 24/7 live agent assistance to locate the next destination.
The new Toyota Audio Multimedia allows for dual Bluetooth® phone connectivity, with support for standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. With further connectivity, the Highlander has an available Wi-Fi Connect* subscription that offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices – turning the Highlander into an AT&T Hotspot. Adding to the already robust offering of audio playback ability with HD Radio®, USB data and a SiriusXM® Platinum Plan 3-month trial subscription, Wi-Fi Connect also enables the new Integrated Streaming feature, providing customers the ability to link their separate Apple Music® and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle for onboard control.
For those looking for an enhanced audio experience, the Highlander offers a JBL® Premium Audio system boasting 1,200 watts of power playing through 11 speakers in nine locations creating a mobile concert from any music genre. With the use of Clari-Fi® technology, the system is also able to breathe life into compressed digital music formats enhancing the audio experience. This system is available on XSE grades, while the Limited and Platinum grades include it as standard.
Each Highlander offers a host of additional available Connected Services. Safety Connect* includes an Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification and Stolen Vehicle Locator with up to a 10-year trial. Service Connect* gives drivers the capability to receive Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts and reminders, also with up to a 10-year trial.
With the Toyota app, users can stay connected to their Highlander with a 1-year trial of Remote Connect service available on select grades. Users can activate headlights, lock/unlock the doors and remotely start the vehicle. Users can also check vehicle status, receive reminder notifications and set Guest Driver Alerts.
Being ready to handle all your device charging needs, the Highlander is equipped with five USB ports in the cabin. Up front, two Type-C USB ports plus one Type-A port are located at the bottom of the center stack. For second-row passengers, two Type-C USB ports are located at the bottom rear of the center console.
Convenience features are aplenty for Highlander, too. Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking is available on Limited and Platinum. A Panoramic View Monitor with Perimeter Scan is available on Limited and standard on Platinum and provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.
*Subscription required after trial period. 4G network dependent.
Toyota Safety Sense Standard
Highlander comes with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system standard that includes:
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on the LE grade and above. The 2023 Highlander is equipped with eight airbags, including side curtain airbags for all three rows. It also includes Toyota’s Star Safety System which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
The Hybrid models employ Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which provides integrated control of the ABS, Brake Assist, TRAC, VSC, Hill-Start Assist control and electric power steering (EPS) systems. The system helps to maintain vehicle stability when swerving on slippery road surfaces by controlling the brakes, hybrid system output and steering assist.