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How to Get Bench Seat and Captain’s Chairs in 2020 Toyota Highlander

The 2020 Toyota Highlander is nearly here. Learn how you can get second row bench seat and captain’s chairs.

Potential buyers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the redesigned 2020 Highlander, which should start shipping to dealerships later this month. This newest generation offering has the potential to make a gigantic splash in a crowded midsize SUV field. Highlander features bold new styling, both inside and out. Drivers and passengers will also benefit from and enjoy a plentiful assortment of new safety and technology features.

MY RECENT TORQUE NEWS STORY: Standard features across-the-board for 2020 Highlander.

I’ll take “7 versus 8” for $200 please Alex

All households come with different family sizes. With each varying family dynamic comes the need for more or less seats in a vehicle. The 2020 Toyota Highlander offers the flexibility for families to have seating for up to 7 or 8 people, depending on the second row seating choice they pick. They can choose between a second row bench and second row captain’s chairs.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited second row seats

Just like in previous years, all 2020 Highlanders come with three rows of seating. However, this model year was engineered to be 2.36 inches longer than its predecessor, which will add additional cargo volume. More room was created for third row passengers as well, as the second row will slide 1.2-inches more to allow for more space between the two back rows.

2020 Highlander bench versus captain’s chairs

Trim level, or grade, configurations for the 2020 Toyota Highlander have been simplified to make it easier to choose the best one for your family. Select from L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum. This grade strategy is easy to learn and understand, and it follows similar plans as popular models Camry, RAV4 and even Prius.

A second row bench seat is standard on the L and the LE trim levels for 2020 Highlander. Second row captain’s chairs are standard with the XLE, Limited and Platinum grades.

WATCH: my video review where I highlight key features on the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Buyers can also choose to override a bench seat and go with captain’s chairs on XLE and Limited models. This will be made available as a no-cost option.

Time for your thoughts on 2020 Highlander

I personally think this new fourth-generation redesign will be extremely popular with potential buyers. Exterior styling is sophistical and sleek, while the interior appears roomy and modern and loaded with technology.

What grade level do you think is optimal for you and your family? Do you think that a second row bench seat or captain’s chairs is a better fit for how you would use a 2020 Highlander?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Compare all 2020 Toyota 4Runner trim levels - everything you need to know.

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Dan (not verified)    December 12, 2019 - 8:42PM

I think you mean you can override the captains chairs on the higher trims where they are standard correct? I'd like a nicer trim but the second row bench seat allows more flexibility if you usually don't have the third row up. Thanks for the info!

HW (not verified)    December 13, 2019 - 9:38AM

No, if it is like present Highlanders. If you have 8-seater, it can be changed to 7-seater because the middle is just an insert. If you have 7-seater, the middle is taken up by a console/tray and no middle seat insert is provided or can be added without modifications.

Don Mahoney (not verified)    December 14, 2019 - 8:16AM

Anyone with a dog as a passenger will want the 2nd row bench seats. Forget those commercials with dogs riding in the back of an SUV. It's not safe.

We have owned 3 Highlanders over the past 20 years. Before switching to leasing, our 2001 ran for 15 years trouble free. Hopefully Toyota keeps the focus on quality and durability. Cars today are just way too expensive.

Ken (not verified)    January 21, 2021 - 11:10AM

After looking at the 2021 Highlander, our dilemma has come down to not being able to get a Platinum with a bench seat. The wife loves a bench seat. Sometimes on trips, she would prefer to sit in the middle of a 2nd row like in our Odyssey van. When approaching or going over the $50k or over on a vehicle, you may like to get what you desire even that much more.

Laurie D’Alessandri (not verified)    February 1, 2021 - 8:52AM

As a dog owner the captain chairs are really not a great fit. In October of 2021 our five year finance is paid and we will be trading in our 2016 limited Highlander. We live the two top trims the most but don’t want bucket seats. And sadly we have been looking at other makes of vehicles to accommodate this.

Jeff Danforth (not verified)    September 25, 2021 - 8:35AM

Thinking about replacing my 2017 Highlander LE 2nd row bench seat with captain’s chairs. I wonder if the floor hardware/rails is/are similar for both and therefore interchangeable.

Jeff Danforth (not verified)    September 25, 2021 - 8:36AM

Thinking about replacing my 2017 Highlander LE 2nd row bench seat with captain’s chairs. I wonder if the floor hardware/rails is/are similar for both and therefore interchangeable.

Nada (not verified)    October 7, 2022 - 9:50AM

Did you do it? I want to get captain chairs and I'm really confused the 2016 model seems to have the same seats that I have in my 2017 highlander xle. Did you find out if they are the same or different. Can you please let me know. Thanks.