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2023 Toyota Highlander Adds Turbo Power to Lower Emissions

It may not be much more efficient than the V6 it replaces, but the Highlander's new 2.4-liter turbo I4 emits far fewer pollutants.

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andrewkrok.jpg

Andrew Krok

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2023 Toyota Highlander Turbo
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The Toyota Highlander remains available with an optional hybrid powertrain, but the biggest change this model year belongs to the base gas model.     

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The old 3.5-liter V6 has been sent off into the sunset, replaced with a smaller 2.4-liter turbocharged I4.     

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Output is now pegged at 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

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While it's down 30 horsepower, torque is up by 47 pound-feet, and it's that kind of low-down grunt that makes an impact in daily driving more than top-end horsepower ever will.  

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This smaller-displacement turbo four also brings a fuel economy benefit, but not a major one.    

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Front-wheel-drive 2.4-liter Highlanders produce an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. Adding all-wheel drive shaves 1 mpg off each figure.     

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That's only a 1-mpg improvement over the V6, which isn't a lot, but moving to a smaller turbo-four did reduce overall emissions by more than 50% compared to the V6, while also boosting torque.     

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So, it's still a win-win, and it remains thriftier than V6 versions of the Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride.    

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A base Highlander L with front-wheel drive will set you back $37,755, including $1,335 for destination. Pricing tops out at $50,610 for a fully loaded Platinum FWD. Adding all-wheel drive to the lower three trims incurs a $1,600 bump, rising to $1,950 for the top three trims.

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Keep scrolling to check out even more pictures of the 2023 Toyota Highlander.

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