Toyota was on fire at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show. The Japanese manufacturer introduces special editions for Tacoma and Tundra trucks and 4Runner SUV. However, the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE stole the show. It came as a huge surprise to see a family three-row SUV getting a sporty version.
XSE stands for “Extreme Sport Edition” so you can expect a lot of sportiness. Moreover, Toyota will deliver a more aggressive look with plenty of changes. This trim level will use Highlander’s optional V6 engine as standard and the sales will start this fall.
2021 Highlander XSE to Add Aggressiveness
Visual changes on the 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE are obvious. As every sporty trim level, XSE will also add black trim around the headlamps and front fascia. Moreover, side-mirror caps, roof rails, grille, and window trim are also blacked-out. Moreover, the same exterior features are redesigned or reshaped. Whole exterior design now looks more exclusive and more aggressive.
The front fascia also hosts a larger lower intake and a chin spoiler. The headlights are very unique and the rear end adds chrome exhaust tip. However, this is more of a visual refreshment. Sport package always adds unique wheels and Highlander XSE is no different. This SUV will definitely look sharper and it takes a more athletic stance.
Interior Gets Sporty Vibe
The interior of the all-new 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE also delivers plenty of refreshments. However, unlike the exterior, the cabin will host less dramatic changes. The Japanese manufacturer will introduce a new color scheme with red leather upholstery and contrast stitching. Like the base model, the XSE trim level also offers three rows of seats.
The standard interior layout includes seven seats while the eight-seat configuration is optional. Moreover, this trim level will offer more standard equipment than the entry-level model. That includes an 8-inch display, keyless entry, three-zone climate control and more driver-assistance features. The interior will also get numerous black trims and the overall look of the cabin is very upright.
Engine Specs and Mechanical Upgrades
The XSE version isn’t just an appearance upgrade. New 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE will use a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This unit is optional on the base trim level. Moreover, the Japanese manufacturer will add new suspension and electric power steering. New stiffer springs and dampers have also been installed.
These updates will provide sporty feeling during the ride, so XSE is definitely more than an appearance package. Its V6 will produce 295 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Three-row SUV will deploy an 8-speed automatic transmission and a standard FWD system. An AWD setup will be optional.
2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Price and Release Date
Toyota didn’t say anything about the starting price. New 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE will slot between the XLE and Limited models. Thanks to that, we can expect a price that starts at around $37,500.
Clearly, the Japanese automaker is adding more sportiness to its lineup of SUVs. Moreover, if the XSE’s sales jump, maybe we could see the famous TRD trim level as well. This family three-row SUV will go on sale this fall as a model for 2021.