How To Build a Custom Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander has six different trims to choose from along with various upgrades.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
The Toyota Highlander is available in six different trims and has optional all-wheel drive and hybrid upgrades. It’s easy to customize a new Highlander to be exactly what you need it to be.
If you’re looking to buy a top-of-the-line SUV for your family, then the 2022
Toyota Highlander
is likely quite high on your wishlist. It’s the most popular three-row SUV out there, and its technology and reliability are on the cutting edge.
That being said, the long list of trims and available options for a custom Highlander can be considerably daunting if you’re not quite familiar with all of the jargon. To help you out, here's our Toyota Highlander customization guide.
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2022 Toyota Highlander customization options

The Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV that is wildly popular with families and has one of the best reputations in the industry when it comes to reliability, safety, and infotainment technology.
The 2022 Highlander comes in six different trims: L, LE, XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum. The base L model starts at $35,205, and the fancy Platinum trim starts at $47,560. All trims come standard with the highlander’s smooth 3.5-liter V6 engine, but all trims except the L and the sportier XSE are also available with a powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder/2 electric motor Hybrid engine.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid will still deliver as a highly capable SUV and will save more money on fuel than most comparable large hybrid SUVs. As far as upgrades are concerned, if you’re okay forfeiting the feel and extra bit of strength of a V6 engine, the hybrid engine is one of the best Highlander upgrades.
The Highlander’s eight-speed automatic transmission is versatile and smooth, and it comes standard on all models. FWD is standard for all models as well, but AWD is also available.
Regardless of which Toyota Highlander trim you choose, you’ll be grabbing yourself an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ with a five-star overall NHTSA safety rating, achieved in part due to the brilliant Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite.

2022 Toyota Highlander trims compared

Here’s a full rundown of all the pros and cons of the various trims and the customizations available for the Toyota Highlander trims.

Highlander L

Toyota loves making a lot of their coolest features standard for all trims and boosting the starting price a bit, and the Highlander isn’t really an exception to this rule. The Highlander L can only take the
V6 engine
and comes with four drive modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, and Snow), 18-inch alloy wheels, the standard infotainment system with an eight-inch screen, and the standard safety tech package with driver assistance.
The biggest downside to the L is that it cannot carry the hybrid engine. However, it is available, like all the other trims, with all-wheel drive as well as Multi-Terrain Select additions including Mud/Sand and Dirt/Rock. The standard infotainment screen is smaller than that of the top trims.
All-wheel drive will add about $1,600 to the price of any Highlander Trim.

Highlander LE

is the first trim that is available with a hybrid powertrain. Standard with this trim are upgrades like a powered rear liftgate, LED fog lights, heated side mirrors with blind-spot indicators, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
The hybrid powertrain will add about $1,500 to your price, but if a powerful hybrid SUV is what you’re looking for, it’s probably worth the investment.

Highlander XLE

introduces more luxurious leather to the interior, an improved seating setup with middle-row captain’s chairs, and a sunroof to name a few notable features.
The Highlander XLE also comes available as a Hybrid, and has a fantastic available Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation system, upgrading your sound system and adding in-dash navigation to your infotainment system.

Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition

New for 2022, the Bronze Edition Hybrid sports a stylized interior and, most prominently, stand-out bronze-colored wheels. Neat! Also added to the Bronze edition are a digital rearview mirror, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a hands-free power liftgate.

Highlander XSE

Highlander XSE
goes for sporty performance and styling like a mesh grille and twin-tip exhaust. It also features beefy, upgraded 20-inch wheels and leather seating (with red leather as a fun option!). And finally, an XSE is going to have a more sport-tuned chassis with stiffer suspension and firmer steering.
The most distinct downside to the XSE is that it is not available with the hybrid powertrain, but if that’s not a deal-breaker, this could be a great pick if you’re looking for something that’s extra fun to drive.

Highlander Limited

By the time you’ve hit the
Highlander Limited
—which has a starting price of $6,800 higher than the L—you can expect a vehicle that feels nothing short of luxury with all its added bells and whistles. It’s got things like 20-inch chrome wheels, leather seats, an extremely high-tech and comfortable driver seat, and the same hands-free power liftgate from the Hybrid Bronze Edition.
The only real downside to this trim is its higher price, but if you’re this far down the list you might as well see the next one, which features some fantastic custom options for your Toyota Highlander.

Highlander Platinum Limited

The Platinum trim Highlander sports a 12.3-inch upgraded infotainment touchscreen, a birds-eye 360 camera system for parking, heated second-row seating, and a panoramic moonroof.

How to customize your Toyota Highlander to save money

The most obvious upgrade that is going to save you an astonishing amount of money in the long run, especially as gas prices just keep soaring beyond our control, is the hybrid powertrain. Compared to the V6’s EPA city/highway fuel economy of 20/27 mpg, the Hybrid’s 36/35mpg is absolutely nothing to sneeze at. This will save you significant money on gas and will lower your carbon footprint.

How to find affordable car insurance for your Toyota Highlander

Finding affordable
car insurance
for your custom Toyota Highlander doesn’t have to be as much of a confusing struggle as figuring out which of these fantastic trim options is right for you—all you have to do is just download the
Jerry is your very own pocket-sized insurance broker and
trustworthy super app
for cars who doesn’t come with all the annoying hangups of a traditional insurance broker and is designed to provide you with the best prices for insurance quotes. Just like your Highlander, your quotes will be customized to your specifications.
Jerry will never sell your information or make you waste time with paperwork or annoying calls from mumbling agents. Our clearly-speaking agents will only call you if you ask us to! 
Jerry users see an annual average of $887 in savings on their car insurance premiums, so maybe you can spring for that extra big infotainment screen after all!
“I thought my previous insurance rate was the best I could get, since I have a luxury SUV. After
found me quotes, I ended up paying only $80 a month for the same exact coverage. I’ll be shopping for auto insurance through Jerry from now on!” —Petra S.
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