In May 2020, Toyota launched the Highlander for the European market where it is currently the brand’s largest SUV model. It is now entering the 2023 model year on the Old continent, which brings new engines for select markets, new technologies and new customization options. The Highlander 2023 is now available for order in the region with first deliveries expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
Just like the US-spec Highlander 2023, the European model gets a new 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that replaces the outdated 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine. Toyota says the new factory produces 269 horsepower (198 kilowatts), 4 hp (3 kW) more than the US model, and we think peak torque should be around 309 pound-feet (419 Newton-meters). While these numbers are slightly down compared to the outgoing 3.5 V6, the automaker promises “high acceleration response and torque delivery.”
European buyers probably won’t be happy to hear the new 2.4-liter powertrain is only available in Eastern Europe. In the western continent, the Highlander 2023 is sold with a hybrid system using a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle petrol engine supported by front and rear electric motors. System output is rated at 248 hp (182 kW) with corresponding CO2 emissions of 146 grams per kilometer. Toyota says these numbers represent the best power-to-CO2 balance in the segment.
Another notable update for the Highlander 2023 in Europe is the introduction of a large 12.3-inch display for the infotainment system. This technology now comes with additional functionality such as cloud-based navigation with real-time traffic data, over-the-air software updates, 3D city mapping, fixed speed camera location information and more. Also new for the 2023 model year is the digital instrument cluster, which now comes with a new design. The new look creates a three-dimensional effect and can be adapted to four different design themes.
All 2023 Highlander models in Europe come as standard with a wireless charging pad. Apple CarPlay is wireless, while Android Auto connectivity is possible via cable. You can also lock and unlock the car and activate the hazard lights remotely.