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Huge 2023 Toyota Highlander Engine Change – Fan Reactions Mixed

2023 Toyota Highlander adds more power, new engine, and important features. Fans are both excited and nervous.


Toyota has really been busy these past couple months. We have recently seen new vehicle reveals, new trim levels, plenty of new safety and technology, and even new colors.

One of my favorite models, Toyota Highlander, is the beneficiary of several updates and changes for 2023.

Including to the engine itself.

2023 Toyota Highlander Changes

2023 Toyota Highlander turbo engine

The biggest change coming to 2023 Highlander is with the powertrain. Gone is “old reliable”, the 3.5-liter V6 engine that Highlander fans have known and trusted for years. This produced 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. torque.

For Toyota Highlander 2023, look for a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 265 horsepower and 309 lb.-ft. torque. Toyota is billing this new engine as “higher-torque, high-efficiency”.

I will be interested to see what Toyota fans think once 2023 Highlander reaches dealerships across the country. The idea of a more powerful and “torquey” Highlander is intriguing to me.

How it drives is my next question. I hope I get to find this out sometime soon.

New 2023 Toyota Highlander Multimedia
2023 Toyota Highlander multimedia screen

Toyota Highlander is also upgrading its 2023 entry with Toyota Audio Multimedia. This is the same system 2022 Tundra and 2023 Sequoia utilize.

Plan to see faster processing speeds, more functions and capabilities, and a more conversational approach to voice commands and requests.

VIDEO YOU MAY ENJOY: I cover all changes coming to Highlander 2023

Passengers will really appreciate wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with the ability to simultaneously pair two smartphones at the same time.

Multi-information displays with improved graphics will be up to 12.3-inch in size (depending on trim level) with more information at the driver’s disposal.

Fans Comment on 2023 Highlander Engine
2023 Toyota Highlander multi-information display

As with most new technologies and powertrain decisions in the automotive industry, you can imagine that audience reactions will be all over the board.

I asked my “ToyotaJeff Reviews” YouTube channel viewers for their thoughts on the new turbocharged 2023 Highlander engine.

Their reactions were quite interesting.

“That engine is gonna make the Highlander completely different. Can’t wait to see how it performs.” Commented Toyota4Life.

User GermanCarsRule added. “Another advantage of a turbo is that they maintain power better at altitude if you live in the mountainous West.”

Madmax96 asked. “The REAL question is: will this turbo 4 run on 87 octane?”

“When will they come up with a fully electric variant of this?” Wondered CE User.

“An i4 Turbo will be less reliable than a regular V6, will it not?” Pondered Aldo.

Viewer Tundra 1050 had thoughts on 2023 Toyota Highlander. “Big Mistake Toyota by changing the V6 engine to a 4-cylinder turbo. Why change something that is proven and no increase in gas mileage?”

“I'm excited...when does the 23 come out?” Looks like SteeleBlessed is ready to roll here.

Cheryl commented. “Same mpg, smaller engine...TURBO?? nope! I'd take the hybrid.”

Lam is looking at the big picture moving forward. “Those who are complaining about the new 4-cylinder turbo replacing the legacy V6 engine, all I would say is ‘enjoy your gas engine while it lasts’. The way Toyota and other manufacturers are heading, all vehicles would be at least Hybrid, Hybrid Plug-in, or EV. It's like when we moved from film cameras to digital cameras - took several years for people to adopt and adapt to the changes.”

Time for Your Toyota Highlander Comments

Jeff Teague - I have been involved in the auto industry for 13 years. My focus is with the Toyota brand, as I’ve been a successful salesperson at a high-volume Toyota dealership this entire time. I enjoy learning and sharing the most up-to-date news and information. My other talent is creating informative and entertaining automotive videos. I’ve been building and growing my Toyota YouTube channel “Toyotajeff” for the last 5 years. I take pride in delivering informative automotive news, how-to information, and reviews. My background serves me well with my writing. I hope you enjoy the news I bring you. Follow me on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and send me news tips please.

What do you think of the upcoming changes to 2023 Toyota Highlander? Are you looking forward to the new turbo engine and the multimedia upgrades?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I discuss a potential next-gen Camry release date.