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2020 Toyota Highlander will haul the family starting at $35,720

Step into a Highlander Hybrid for $39,320.

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The 2020 Highlander is a value play, but man, it can get expensive quickly.

Toyota

As automakers tackle the SUV segment with an all-out push, the 2020 Toyota Highlander will be a key vehicle for the automaker. On Friday, Toyota shared its pricing strategy for the large SUV, and one could argue the automaker is going for a value play.

The 2020 Highlander will start at $35,720 after a $1,120 destination charge. Comparing it to the outgoing 2019 Highlander sitting at dealerships now, that's a $2,770 price increase. However, the standard equipment covers a lot of the bases. Starting at the Highlander L trim, the base model sports an 8-inch touchscreen unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 bundle of active safety equipment, 18-inch wheels, smart keyless entry, LED headlights and taillights and tri-zone climate control.

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Highlander, reporting for family-hauling duty.

Steven Pham/Roadshow

For hauling the family around, that's a pretty healthy standard-equipment list. The price also reflect a front-wheel drive model. Toyota will offer all-wheel drive on every single trim, however. For the base L model, it's a $1,600 option, bringing the price to $37,320.

Moving up the trim ladder lands us at the LE trim. Starting at $37,920, it adds a power liftgate, leather-wrapped steering wheel and blind-spot monitors among a few other minor upgrades. AWD is still a $1,600 option. The Highlander XLE packs may more comforts starting at $40,720. Here, buyers will find heated front seats, a 7-inch display in the gauge cluster, second-row captain's chairs and more. Keep climbing and you'll be looking at a Highlander Limited and its $44,770 starting price with more luxurious touches and amenities.

A second-row power outlet, ventilated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, perforated leather upholstery, premium JBL audio and factory navigation are all included on the Limited trim. Sounds like the top-end model, right? Wrong. There's also the Highlander Platinum which costs a cool $47,970. The display piece is a 12.3-inch unit for all your infotainment needs. There's also auto-leveling headlights, a digital rearview mirror and fancier embossed leather. AWD for both the Limited and Platinum models is an extra $1,950, rather than $1,600.

The $350 premium for AWD on the range-topping Highlanders is simply because of an advanced system that can disconnect from the driveline as needed. A dial gives drivers the ability to select other modes, and there's even torque vectoring packed in.

2020 Toyota Highlander

The big screen is only for the Platinum model.

Steven Pham/Roadshow

No matter which Highlander, there's a 3.5-liter V6 reporting for duty with 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic shuffles power to the front or all wheels. For towers, the towing package will let the big SUV haul up to 5,000 pounds behind it.

Don't worry, frugal-minded. There's also the Highlander Hybrid, which will cost $39,320 in its least expensive form. The hybrid powertrain (a 2.5-liter inline-four married to two electric motors) is available on every trim save for the base L model and equipment mirrors the gas-powered variant. AWD is optional with a hybrid-specific system that also mirrors the cost of gas-only powered Highlanders.

Moving up the trim hierarchy with hybrid models shows a $42,120 price for the XLE, $46,170 for the Limited and $49,370 for the Platinum. Look for an estimated 36 miles per gallon combined from the electrified Highlander.

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