The Toyota Highlander SUV will soon receive a minor update consisting of on-board tech upgrades and additions.
These are the first revisions made to the seven-seat Highlander since it first went on sale in early 2021, as Toyota tries to keep its biggest SUV competitive with the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
The most notable change is the revised infotainment system on the centre of the dashboard. The old eight-inch multimedia console, equipped with Toyota’s navigation software and compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, will be replaced by a newer 12-inch system installed with several upgrades that also featured in the recent Toyota RAV4 update.
This infotainment is equipped with a voice control function, which can respond to a range of spoken requests such as to adjust the climate control, choose or adjust the volume of music tracks and other media, make a phone call, or open and close the windows.
The navigation software uses the brand’s online cloud network to provide live traffic and road incident updates, as well as speed camera locations, and this feature is accessible without the need to pair your smartphone.
On the topic of smartphones, Apple CarPlay will be wireless, but if you use an Android smartphone then you’ll still need to plug it in to use the Android Auto feature. Toyota also says that all Highlander models will come with a wireless smartphone charging tray as standard too.
Toyota can install more features from afar at its discretion, as this infotainment is compatible with over-the-air updates, which allows the car to automatically download updates from the internet while sitting on your driveway.
Other than the infotainment, the digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel has been revised and widened to 12 inches, and a head-up display which projects driving information onto the windscreen is also shown in the promotional material, but it is not known if this feature is included as standard.
The update does include one additional exterior styling option – 20-inch gloss black alloy wheels will soon be available. Toyota says that it will announce UK pricing for the updated Highlander later in the year.
The Toyota Highlander has already received praise for its impressive standard equipment levels and high-quality fit and finish. That said, this update is rather unlikely to affect its current Expert Rating of 63% by any large margin, as the most common criticisms of the SUV refer to its dull exterior styling and its expensive pricing.