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Before the 2020 Toyota Highlander is Released, Consider the Advantages of 2019 Model

Learn key advantages for buying a 2019 model before the redesigned 2020 Highlander reaches dealerships this month.


There is almost always excitement in the air when a manufacturer releases a refreshed or completely redesigned new version of our favorite models. In this case, there is considerable anticipation and buzz surrounding the launch of the 2020 Toyota Highlander.

Complete with all-new exterior and interior styling, plus more safety and technology improvements than I can count, 2020 Highlander is ready to hit dealerships within just a few short weeks. I recently wrote Torque News stories highlighting both key standard features across the board and comparing trim level features. Reader feedback has shown me people are really looking forward to seeing this new model in person.

This is certainly an exciting time.

However, if you are in the market for a new midsize SUV, there may be a slightly different option worth considering. Several key factors might make buying a 2019 Highlander the best option for you and your crew.

2019 Toyota Highlander Pricing – the elephant in the room

One of the most compelling reasons to consider a third-generation 2019 Highlander instead of the incoming 2020 Highlander is pricing and the deals you may be able to get. Exact pricing for 2020 Toyota Highlander has not been revealed yet. However, I expect pricing for each trim level to be only a small amount more than its equivalent grade level (for example, 2019 Highlander XLE vs 2020 Highlander XLE). I will write a story comparing pricing for each level as soon as it is available.

People in search of great deals for a Highlander may just be in luck with a 2019 model year – right now. A couple factors support this theory.

2019 Toyota Highlander LE Ooh la la rouge exterior

First, since 2020 models are nearly here, your local dealerships may be motivated to provide additional incentives for a 2019 beyond those given by the manufacturer.

Also, the end of the calendar year is nearly here. This means many dealerships all across the country are working hard to sell as many cars, trucks and SUVs as they can before the end of the year. If you are in the market and actively searching for a Highlander, this could be the ideal time to purchase.

2020 Highlander will not have a 4-cylinder engine

When the 2020 Toyota Highlander arrives at dealerships, it will be have just one gasoline engine option. Granted, this is a highly-efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. torque. You can also select the 2020 Highlander Hybrid that will combine a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors that produces 240 total system horsepower. But no longer will a gasoline-powered 4-cylinder be available.

2019 Toyota Highlander LE Interior

This is another reason to jump on a 2019 Highlander. A 2.7-liter engine can be found as an option on the 2019 Highlander LE model. It generates 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. torque. This would be a wise choice for someone who definitely wants a Highlander but budget is a main priority. This 2019 LE 4-cylinder has a factory MSRP of $31,830, while the V6 LE starts at $33,880. It is a great way to save $2,000.

Some do not require Highlander technology advances

Toyota has many useful technological features available in the 2020 Highlander, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 12.3-inch multimedia touch screen, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a digital picture rear view mirror and even a head-up display. These additions plus many more helpful upgrades will solidify Toyota as a technology leader in the automotive world.

There are many people who have no need or interest in these new updates, though. In fact, some would prefer having a simpler vehicle without so many buttons, controls and systems.

2019 Toyota Highlander LE Ooh La La Rouge profile view

If this is the case, then the 2019 might be a better choice than the 2020 Highlander.

Time for your thoughts on Toyota Highlander

Regardless of whether you choose a 2019 or 2020, you will have an SUV that is smooth, quiet and comfortable for up to 8 passengers. Highlander is also incredibly dependable and reliable.

Do you think you would prefer the all-new fourth-generation 2020 Highlander or do you find the 2019 model to be a better fit for you and your family?

YOU MAY ENJOY: See a full walkaround of the all-new 2020 Highlander Hybrid Limited in my video review. Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story to see what 2020 Toyota 4Runner trim levels come with built-in remote engine start -- and learn how to use it.

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. Please subscribe to Jeff’s “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel for Toyota news, reviews and how-to videos. Follow Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Find him on Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories.


Don Mahoney (not verified)    December 14, 2019 - 8:47AM

We got a 2019 Highlander almost a year ago. It's been a dependable over performer the entire time. Rides as smooth and is as quiet as our friends Lexus RX350, with the identical powertrain... 3.5 liter V6 AWD and 8 speed auto. On the highway, we get 27-28 mpg traveling around 75mph. Around town expect 18-20mpg. All mileage is actual real calculations … not the computer display.
Unless you live in a warm flat area, I would not recommend the 4 cylinder
As competing models get wider and longer to appeal to the large families that don't want to drive a mini-van, the 2019 has retained easy to live with dimensions. It was great during a recent family move, and can actually fix into the average garage. If you have noticed, the new home builders are going in the opposite direction on garage sizes … so check the dimensions. The 2019 Honda Pilot would not work for us.