The most popular mid-size SUV in North America has been redesigned last year but that doesn’t mean that the next one will leave us without novelties. It’s time to see a sporty side of this crossover, which makes some pretty impressive sales numbers. For the first time, we are about to see the XSE version of Toyota’s three-row SUV. For this occasion, the Japanese manufacturer has prepared a full load of novelties and upgrades. The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE will come with various exclusive styling details. Still, it will be much more than just an appearance package.

First of all, it will come with numerous mechanical upgrades, including a new suspension setup and many other things. Also, the interior will get special treatment and feature pretty exclusive color combinations and materials. On the other side, the engine will remain the same, as well as the output. The new version had a premiere in Chicago and we expect that the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE release date will be scheduled for the second half of the year.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Design

The first thing that comes to mind with this model is a full load of upgrades. Still, the overall design will remain pretty much the same, which includes 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE dimensions as well. You may count on the same level of interior space, but also on tons of novelties.

When it comes to the styling, the first thing you’ll notice is that there are numerous blacked details, around headlights, on the front fascia, roof, doors and more. Simply, black color is one of the best ways to accentuate the model’s sporty character, so it’s no wonder that Highlander does the same. Also, headlights have been slightly revised, while you can also notice a new exhaust system on the other end of the vehicle.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE rear

Mechanics

When it comes to 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE specs, the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that the engine has remained the same.  However, there are numerous chassis and suspension upgrades that make the ride much sportier compared to standard models. First of all, there is a new suspension setup, which is stiffer compared to the rest of the lineup. Of course, there are bigger wheels, with lower-profile tires that don’t just make this crossover look better, but also have a big impact on handling. Speaking of handling, we should also mention that the steering has been re-calibrated and that it is more direct in this case.

All in all, the list of mechanical upgrades includes things like 20-inch wheels, stiffer springs, a new rear stabilizer bar, re-tuned dampers, and a reworked electric steering rack. It’s not a particularly long list, but definitely has a highly positive impact on the ride quality. With all these upgrades, the new version should be one of the most fun mid-size crossovers to drive. Will it be able to compete with Mazda CX-9 in this aspect, it’s hard to tell at this point.

Interior

In terms of interior design, the first thing you will notice is the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE colors combination. This version comes with a sporty combination of Red and Black interior, while the list of upgrades also includes a little bit of carbon fiber trim and other typical sporty upgrades. Also, we count on a long list of standard equipment, as this trim should be some kind of a mid-range version, probably positioned between XLE and Limited models. This means you may count on a full load of tech and safety goodies. Of course, the list of standard equipment will include an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the 7-inch digital screen on the instrument cluster and other tech goodies.

2021 toyota highlander xse interior

Still, the overall cabin layout will remain largely the same. This means you may count on a relatively spacious cabin, with excellent interior quality. All materials are nice and hi-quality, while the first two rows are pretty spacious. On the other side, the third row is best to be left for kids. When it comes to the cargo area, you may count on 16 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and a total of 84.3 cubic feet. There are quite typical ratings for the class.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Engine

As we already mentioned, the engine department will remain the same. Therefore, you may count on a familiar 3.5-liter V6, which delivers around 295 horsepower and comes in pair with 8-speed automatic transmission. The overall driving dynamics are pretty fine, while the fuel economy is at a high level as well. The current model returns around 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. These are above-average numbers for the class. All in all, the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE specs, won’t be much different compared to the rest of the lineup.

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Release Date and Price

We expect to see this model on the market in the second half of the year. The exact details about the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE price are still unknown. Still, we presume it will go around 42.000 dollars, roughly.

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