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Seeing Red: First Pictures of Dramatic 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Interior

Toyota Highlander gets a new trim level and first-ever red interior. How does it look to you?

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I wrote a story earlier about the upcoming 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE ride quality and driving experience people can expect. We should look for a sportier “one-with-the-road” SUV that features improved agility and handling, along with the ability to drive effortlessly through more challenging road and weather conditions.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE profile and front end 20-inch wheels

The responses from followers of my Toyotajeff YouTube channel have been very positive.

“I hope the stiffer suspension is built just like the XSE Corolla and XSE Camry because you can definitely tell a difference from an XSE to an XLE model.” said Jeff.

Dave chimed in, “So I’m excited for the XSE. We just bought a 2020 XSE Camry with the cockpit red interior with the blizzard white with the black roof.”

“I can't wait to see the design and how sporty it is. Also can't wait to drive it.” commented Dohnovan.

I think Mihaela summed it up nicely. “What a car!”

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE interior instrument panel red seats2021 Highlander XSE interior choices

There will be two interior color combinations potential buyers can choose.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE interior cabin red and black seats

Highlander XSE will come standard with a black interior. Look for black Softex-trimmed seats with black fabric inserts.
An available option will upgrade the black to a combination of red and black seating and accent pieces. Plan to see a dramatic red and black leather-trimmed two-tone seating configuration. This choice will come with red stitching accents along the interior instrument panel.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE interior red seats

This is not the first time we have seen red in popular Toyota models. You can find this polarizing interior color selection in Camry XSE, Camry TRD and Avalon TRD models.

Other 2021 Highlander XSE notes

As far as Toyota Highlander grade strategy, this new Highlander XSE is positioned between XLE and Limited trim levels.

VIDEO: Watch as I detail all 2021 Highlander XSE specs including pictures.

It will be available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with dynamic torque vectoring system. This is useful in slippery conditions, as it sends up to 50 percent of its available torque to the rear wheels, and then to individual left and right rear wheels that need it most.

Retail launch dates have not yet been announced, although Toyota has said to expect it sometime this year in fall of 2020. We will have to wait and see if current events allow 2021 Highlander XSE to keep this time frame or if it will be pushed back.

Time for your thoughts on 2021 Highlander XSE

Toyota expects about 12 percent of all Highlander purchases to be the XSE trim level. I feel this will be marketed to those people and families who need the SUV space but still really want to drive a vehicle with a sportier edge and driving feel.

What do you think of this red interior choice? Are you more of a black interior or red interior person? Also, what are you most looking forward to with this new trim level?

I will do a 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE review when it becomes available. I cannot wait.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I show pics of the newest 2021 Toyota Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra trim levels.

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Mike Ivanyshyn (not verified)    May 7, 2020 - 11:28AM

Companies have been doing this for years now , welcome to like 5 years ago . Europe has been doing this style interior for ages .