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The Truth About 2020 Toyota Highlander’s Cargo Space

You may be surprised at the change in cargo space between 2019 and 2020 Highlander. We break it down for you.

It is always fascinating for me whenever a popular automobile gets redesigned or even refreshed. Feedback from current owners, previous owners, car enthusiasts or just people with a casual interest at first ranges from “Love it” to “What have they done?” This was seen with the latest generation RAV4. One year later it is the best-selling SUV in the country. It is wildly popular, thanks in part to RAV4 Hybrid models and their incredible success.

Same goes with the 2020 Toyota Highlander. It is tricky to replace a generation Highlander that people absolutely have fallen in love with. Owners are used to nice exterior and interior styling, as well as an SUV that is very smooth, quiet and comfortable. It is a great road trip vehicle. In fact, Toyota Highlander was recently named the vehicle across all brands that owners keep the longest over time.

I encourage you to visit your local dealerships to evaluate 2020 Highlander for yourself. I personally like the soft flowing lines along the profile. I am getting used to the entirely new front grille that is radically different from last year’s model. I also really enjoy the new Highlander’s interior design choices. Modern and classy and loaded with new safety and technology.

What about cargo space, though?

Cargo capacity for 2020 Highlander

Perhaps the biggest exterior dimension change from 2019 Highlander to 2020 was lengthening the vehicle by 2.36 inches. This may seem like a relatively small number, but it has a big impact on what you can store or carry in your new Highlander.

Most increased cargo space is in the second row and back.

Depending on the trim level, 2019 Highlander’s cargo capacity behind the second row ranged from 42.0 to 42.3 cubic feet. It has grown to 48.4 cubic feet for all 2020 Highlanders.

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE Cargo Capacity behind second row

Behind the third row, cargo space was 13.6 to 13.8 cubic feet. Now it is 16.0 cubic feet. People should be able to take advantage of this new-found space and can plan for even bigger trips than before. Or at the very least they can pack an extra piece of luggage or two.

2020 Toyota Highlander XLE Cargo Capacity behind third rowVIDEO REVIEW: Watch as I break down cargo capacities in the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander

Space behind the front row has not changed all that much, although it did increase. Cargo capacity ranged from 82.6 to 83.7 cubic feet for the previous third generation and now it is 84.3 cubic feet.

Time for your thoughts on 2020 Highlander

What do you think about 2020 Highlander so far? Do you have any thoughts or impressions about what you have seen with exterior or interior styling and features?

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY: Take an interior tour of 2020 Highlander Hybrid Limited in my video review for Torque News. Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube for the latest automotive news and analysis.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I address rumors of a 2021 Toyota Sienna HYBRID.

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. All of Jeff's reports can be found on Torque News Toyota coverage and at Toyota Highlander. Check back again and search for Torque News Toyota news for more Toyota news coverage.


S Allen (not verified)    January 15, 2020 - 10:00PM

Thank you for you product reviews. Any idea why Toyota designed the Limited and Platinum trim levels of the 2020 Highlander such that a factory hitch is unavailable? What’s the point of towing capacity without a hitch?

Adam Milgrub (not verified)    January 16, 2020 - 9:39AM

I have a platinum ordered and according to my dealer the hitch will be a dealer installed option in early June for the Limited and Platinum models.

Dan C (not verified)    February 6, 2020 - 10:00PM

I am ready to trade in my '14 Highlander and was excited for the new version. Until I test drove it. I am now in the process of buying a Subaru Ascent. The engine and transmission of the new Highlander are great and I generally like the exterior. BUT, the front seat was not comfortable for me, being almost as hard as in a CX-9, the front legroom is not as much as my '14 and I felt hemmed in. Also, the sloping roof to the back almost feels claustrophobic and how could they think it could be a good idea to stick the 2nd row vent right above the passenger's face? Finally, I am angry that they took away the opening rear window. If it still had the window I would buy the new Highlander despite the stuff above. I use that window so much. But without it I moved on to other options and the Ascent just feels bigger and more airy, if that's a word.

Ron Brown (not verified)    May 27, 2020 - 7:30PM

Doesn't matter how much volume it will holed if you can't get it through the lift-gate opening. The hole width in the back end is one of the most important and most ignored measurement in SUV land. For that much money I expect the rear opening to be 48 inches clear, not 47 3/8 inches. And now the lift-gate window won't open independently of the lift-gate. Not for me.