Toyota's Highlander Hybrid is a ruthlessly efficient SUV that offers plenty to the average American SUV buyer. We lived with one for a year and found plenty to like about it, but now, Toyota wants to make it a more stylish ride for 2022, and it's doing so with a new trim called the Bronze Edition, which it announced on Wednesday.
The Bronze Edition slots in right in the middle of the Highlander Hybrid's trim stack, below the top-tier Platinum (thankfully, the hierarchy of metals makes sense here), and offers some excellent standard luxury equipment as well as a pair of new colors, one of which -- Cement -- is exclusive to the Bronze Edition. It also includes unique 18-inch bronze-colored wheels,
Bronze Edition takes the standard equipment of the XLE trim level and adds a hands-free power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, digital rearview mirror, 10-way-adjustable power driver's seat and a 1,500-watt power inverter. There are also several bronze-colored accents, including the door sills, the seat stitching and on the floor and cargo mats.
The Bronze Edition also gives a sneak peek at some of the features coming to the 2022 Highlander Hybrid, specifically a tilt and height-adjustable passenger seat. That change alone would rectify one of the biggest annoyances in the Highlander's cabin. Those seats get covered in what Toyota calls Sof-Tex rather than leather.
The Bronze Edition will be available as either a front-wheel drive model or an all-wheel drive model. The all-wheel drive system, in case you forgot, uses a separate electric motor to drive the rear wheels while the front axle uses Toyota's tried-and-true naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine and electric motor hybrid combo. It's a decent setup, if not the most exciting thing on four wheels.
Toyota isn't giving an exact time frame for the Bronze Edition to hit dealers, but it will happen sometime later in 2021, with pricing expected to sit somewhere between the Highlander Hybrid XLE and the Hybrid Limited.
Meet Roadshow's long-term 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid