Based upon the Lexus RX 300 platform, the Highlander by Toyota was introduced in 2001, offering a feature-rich and classy, roomy and powerful, V6-powered SUV with plenty of addable options and one well-appointed trim level. Following its release, model-years 2002-2003 saw no significant changes. For the 2004 Highlander, a larger 3.3-liter V6 engine was introduced, upping the hp to 230. Other updates for this model year included: flat-folding third-row seating, electronic stability control, tire-pressure warning system, side curtain airbags, optional second-row seating and a restyled exterior and interior.
In 2005, new standard features were added that included a roof rack with cross bars, remote entry and a cargo cover. No big changes were in store for 2006, with front-seat side airbags and two-row side curtain airbags being made standard for 2007. The 2008 Highlander was redesigned, offering more room, a standard V6 engine and a bigger third-row seat. The only change for 2009 was the addition of a four-cylinder, two-door highlander. Basic changes and updates to standard equipment and optional packages were the only news for model years 2010-2013.
Receiving package updates, the 2013 Toyota Highlander is a mid-size SUV available with two different engine options; a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine (187 hp) and an optional 3.5-liter V6 engine (270 hp).