Toyota does a lot of things very well, but one of the things it does best is midsize family SUVs. The Highlander has long been a leader in the segment with excellent build quality, great reliability and a reasonable price tag. That all seems to be sticking around for the 2020 Highlander, which debuts at the New York Auto Show this week. But Toyota is also throwing a bunch of tech at the Highlander — something it sorely needed. Most of the Highlander’s fancy new tech is possible because Toyota is moving the SUV to its TNGA-K platform. If TNGA is looking like a familiar set of letters to you, that’s probably because Toyota has spent the last few years transitioning nearly its entire lineup of unibody vehicles to one flavor of it or another. For 2020, the new Highlander will offer two powertrains. The first is a relatively standard 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine that makes 295 horsepower and 263 foot-pounds of torque. This engine uses Toyota’s D4 dual fuel injection system which utilizes both direct fuel injection and multiport fuel injection (and which we first saw on the Toyota 86 née Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins). This engine, bolted to the standard eight-speed auto is good for 22 miles per gallon. Where things get really interesting is with the optional hybrid drivetrain. Toyota remains the undisputed king of hybrid tech, and it’s really flexing its muscles there with the new Highlander. Rather than the Hybrid Synergy Drive that we’re all used to, Toyota is debuting… [Read full story]
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