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Toyota Shows Off All-New 2020 Highlander SUV

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2020 Highlander at 2019 NYIAS
Photo: Toyota

The next-generation, 2020 Toyota Highlander has made its world debut at the New York International Auto Show, complete with a bold new design, significant fuel economy improvements, new high-tech features and a hybrid powertrain.

Like most of the other vehicles in the Toyota lineup, the Highlander has completed the transition to the company’s TNGA platform, enabling it to receive even more upgrades than we might have expected. For 2020, the new SUV will offer two powertrains: a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 295 horsepower and an optional hybrid that marks the launch of Toyota’s new Predictive Efficient Drive system.

Replacing the Hybrid Synergy Drive, this new system compares GPS data with driver habits to anticipate upcoming roads and optimize when to use the electric motor. As a result, Toyota is claiming that the Highlander will offer 34 miles per gallon combined, a 17 percent improvement over the previous model and a massively impressive figure for a three-row SUVs.

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Though the new Highlander is longer than the outgoing model, it manages to look slimmer thanks to more aggressive styling, though this has fortunately not compromised interior space for the eight potential occupants. For the first time it is available with 20-inch wheels including a unique set of rims for the top-level Platinum trim.

The Platinum also gets captain’s chairs for the second row and a segment-leading 12.3-inch infotainment system, while all other trims get an 8-inch units as well as the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety technologies, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane tracing assist and various other nifty features.

The gas-powered 2020 Toyota Highlander will arrive at dealerships this winter, while customers seeking the hybrid model will need to wait till February 2020.

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