Toyota Highlander is what I affectionately refer to as “the ultimate family road trip vehicle.” Highlander drives smooth and comfortable and quiet, both on city streets and at higher highway cruising speeds.
It also provides plenty of space for either seven or eight passengers, depending on what grade you pick.
Speaking of which, 2020 Highlander offers a variety of trim levels designed to satisfy people with varying budget requirements and different needs for features and options.
Let’s talk about features. I recently had the opportunity to evaluate a 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum AWD. I came away from this evaluation impressed with all the incredible gadgets designed to give owners more safety, more technology and definitely more convenience.
Sounds like it might just be time for a “Top 17” list. Here are my favorite gadgets you will probably find beneficial in a Toyota Highlander Platinum all-wheel drive.
Backup camera washer – Can you believe we are at the point where we need a washer for our vehicle cameras? I remember thinking as a kid how cool a golf ball washer was. Next level stuff.
When I first saw this backup camera washer, I asked myself if it is really necessary. Guess what – it is. We all drive on dirty, dusty, rainy or snowy roads. The camera lens does get dirty and it could impede our view while in reverse. Great feature.
Hands-free power liftgate – If you have ever had your hands full, but still needed to open your vehicle back hatch, you know how important this feature can be. Simply stand a foot or so behind your back bumper and pretend you are ready to kick a kickball. It works!
Qi wireless charging – No need for cables. Works for most new smartphones. Plus it charges your phone quickly.
Multi-terrain select – An easy-to-use system that gives drivers the most traction based on the terrain or ground Highlander is working with. Choose from normal, rock and dirt, and mud and sand. You can switch easily between modes with very little distraction.
Heated and cooled seats – I live in North Carolina where it feels hot and muggy six months out of the year (at least). Three different settings for both heated seats and ventilated (cooled seats) work quickly and are certainly welcome additions to a 2020 Toyota Highlander.
12.3-inch screen – Very large multimedia touch screen is easy to use and provides simple screens and directions for performing most functions you will need for your Highlander. This is standard on Highlander Platinum and optional for Highlander Limited.
The one thing I could not figure out is how to make my navigation screen expand to fill up the entire 12 inches of screen. It got two-thirds of the way across but I need to find out how to make it fit the whole screen.
Lots of plug-ins – Five different USB ports and two 12V ports make it easy to charge and stay connected, especially on road trips. Also comes with a grounded outlet for plugging in gaming systems, iPads and other devices. My only suggestion is to add a USB port for the third row.
Panoramic moonroof – Allows light from outside to brighten both front and middle rows of your 2020 Highlander. The glass only opens for the front row. You can also close the giant sunshade electronically if you do not want it open.
VIDEO: See these Highlander Gadgets in action in my video review.
JBL sound system – 11 speakers. 1200-watt amplifier. Subwoofer. Clari-fi. Very clear sound that extends through all three rows of seating.
Smart storage shelves – Great place under the multimedia screen and passenger side to store phones, keys, wallets, etc. You can even run cables through a built-in cutout so your cables do not get in your way as much.
Bird’s eye camera – This came in handy several times when backing up in parking lots. You can see cars on either side of you, sign posts you are getting too close to, and any other potential obstacles.
A nifty throw-in is that you can see on your screen what is in front of you at lower speeds up to 6 or 7mpg.
Digital rearview mirror – Your rearview mirror works with a camera located on your back tailgate so you can see everything behind you. The most optimal times this is useful are when you have tall backseat passengers or your cargo area is filled to the top and you cannot see behind you.
Road sign assist – Alerts you on your multi-information display when there are Stop, Yield and Do Not Enter signs approaching. It also detects and displays speed limit signs so you see what the speed limit is for the road you are on. You know, in case you were distracted and missed the sign as you drove by it.
Dynamic torque vectoring – This is cutting edge technology and is part of your all-wheel drive system. It can send up to 50 percent of available vehicle torque to your rear wheels when it senses loss of traction. It can also divert power to the left and right wheels when additional traction is needed.
Brake hold – Perfect for when you need to stretch your feet and legs during a road trip. This can keep your 2020 Highlander stopped in place, similar to a parked position, for up to three minutes. Great for when you are stopped at a long red light.
You must have your driver’s side seatbelt fastened and your driver door closed for this to work.
Head-up display – This system displays important information on your windshield with lighter, non-distracting colors while you are driving. The benefit here is that you can see info, like your current speed, without taking your eyes off the road.
Sunshades – Built into the rear windows, you can put them up on sunny days so your kids will not be as annoyed by the sun getting in their eyes.
Time for your thoughts on 2020 Toyota Highlander
Which of these features do you think would be most beneficial to you and your family?
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I reveal all the standard features for 2021 Toyota Venza LE.
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