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Owners Say They Miss This One Feature from Previous Highlander Generations.

Did you grow up with a station wagon in your driveway? If you now own a 2022 Toyota Highlander, then you’ll definitely miss this one nifty feature.

The brand new 2022 Toyota Highlander has been a very successful full-sized SUV for its class. With reliability and efficiency being its main high achieving factors. Three rows of seating and expendable trunk space. On older generations, you could pop the back trunk window open to stick things like 2x4s out or maybe you needed to bring some long PVC pipe. Unfortunately, Toyota did not carry this on to its latest generation and it has some owners saying they miss it.

Owners Say They Miss This One Feature from Previous Highlander Generations.

What this feature did was essentially let you carry something long without having your trunk open or having to tie it to the roof. This was a very convenient feature because it just added to the Highlander’s multiple attributes of accessibility. No longer did you need to tie pipes and 2x4s to the roof of your SUV. However, this changed with the release of the latest generation of Highlander. The 2022 Toyota Highlander did not come with this feature which left a lot of owners discussing how they wished it was still apart of the Highlander.

On Facebook’s Toyota Highlander Owner’s Club, Daniel Butler posted a picture of his older Toyota Highlander with the trunk door ajar showing a piece of 2x4 sticking out. The comments were filled with owners expressing how they missed this old feature on the newer models and how they wished Toyota would bring it back. Surprisingly, there were also some arguments saying that they indeed didn’t like that feature. Let’s take a look and see what these owners said.

Shelly Karschner said, “I miss that feature as well in my 2022. I had that window in my 2015. It was great when we stopped somewhere with the dogs. I could pop that window open and put their leashes on before getting them out of the car.” If you take a look at the other forums, a lot of dos owners loved this feature because it was just so convenient for dog owners.

Erin McCurry said, “One of my favorite features! No more groceries falling out when opening the hatch.” I have had this happen to me countless times in my 2012 Toyota Prius. After a nice grocery haul my very ripe and juicy watermelon would always find a way to fall out of my trunk when I opened the door. Suddenly the succulent sweet watermelon I was looking forward to became a mess I had to clean up.

I think that in the essence of being more modern, Toyota thought it was a good idea to get rid of this feature however I think that Toyota needs to know that owners like capability. I would rather have more capability in my family SUV than say have a more modern look.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.


Bruce (not verified)    April 30, 2023 - 2:44PM

Highlander needs an electric roll down rear window just like the 4-Runner. Great feature, everybody would love it.

Rich Kreisher (not verified)    July 12, 2023 - 5:52PM

My 2011 had the rear lift window but my 2023 doesn’t. This came in handy when traveling and fully packed. We could place our overnight items in the back and remove without lifting the tailgate and having those items fall on the ground. Miss that feature.

Charmaine Kendrick (not verified)    August 3, 2023 - 8:46PM

We have had 5 Highlanders and my children have had 5 between them over the years. One feature we all loved was the opening back glass window. It allowed us to put things in and get things out of the back without opening the door and more importantly it allowed us to secure our dogs and our car while still giving them ventilation. We have a purpose made crate in the car and the back door closes close to it and the car can be locked while leaving the back glass open. Wonderful feature. We are now wondering what to do as we would like to upgrade our 2018 but nothing newer has the opening glass.

Ken Deitrick (not verified)    September 21, 2023 - 10:25PM

I have owned two Highlanders…. a 2009 and a 2018. I love the opening of the back glass for all the same reasons other owners have noted. The Highlander is an SUV …the operative word for me is “ Utility”. I believe Toyota was overly influenced by owners that did not appreciate the utility aspect. When I replace my current Highlander, I will search for an SUV that does have this feature….I hope it is a Toyota offering, but will go elsewhere if I find Toyota lacking.