The 2023 Toyota Highlander Adds a Turbo, Drops the V6

2023 toyota highlander
The 2023 Toyota Highlander Drops the V6Toyota
  • Toyota replaces the outgoing V6 with a 2.4-liter turbocharged I4 that makes 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

  • This new engine makes 30 fewer horsepower than the outgoing V6 but makes 47 lb-ft more torque.

  • Toyota says you can expect to see the 2023 Highlander at dealers later this month.

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation in 2019 with a radical redesign. Powering this fourth-gen Highlander was either a hybrid powertrain or a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6. For the 2023 model year, the Highlander is swapping the V6 for a turbocharged 2.4-liter I4 and a new base price.

The 2.4-liter turbocharged I4 in this combustion-only 2023 Highlander makes 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. If you’re holding the spec sheet for the 2022 Highlander, you’ll notice the alarming 30-hp dip with this new engine. On the upside, the turbocharged four-cylinder makes 47 lb-ft more torque. Toyota also notes the Highlander sees a slight uptick in fuel economy, eking out one more mpg combined compared to the V6, bringing the total to 25 mpg combined. Sending that power to the front wheels, or the all-wheel-drive system, is an eight-speed automatic transmission.


If you’re a Highlander Hybrid fan, there’s good news: nothing has changed. The hybrid still uses the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder that works with electric motors to make 243 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. More important than the power, the hybrid maintains its fuel economy rating of 36 mpg combined.

Joining the 2023 Highlanders is a larger, 12.3-inch media screen as standard on Platinum and Limited grades. This screen flanks a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster on these two models. The lower-cost XLE and XSE models will have this 12.3-inch screen available to replace the standard 8.0-inch screen.

Even though the Highlander lost two cylinders, the price went up. The new base price for Toyota’s Highlander is $37,755 for the turbocharged L model. This is up from the 2022 model’s $37,190 base price. The price delta grows larger when you start climbing toward the model’s top Limited and Platinum trims. Though, we’re going to see if this has any impact on the demand when the 2023 Highlander hits dealers later this month.

Do you think dropping the V6 makes sense? Tell us your thoughts below.