The new Highlander XSE model marks the first time Toyota's three-row crossover has been given an in-house sporty makeover.
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A new sporty trim level for the next-generation Toyota Kluger — known in US as the Highlander — has been unveiled at the 2020 Chicago motor show.

It's not known if Toyota will bring a Kluger with similar enhancements to the Australian market.

Like sporty trims used on other models, the new-to-Highlander XSE grade has a new front bumper with more aggressively styled air intakes and lip spoiler, and a lightly redone lower rear bumper.

Perhaps more crucially, the XSE trim inverts the shape of the grille found on other Highlander models, which you can see at the bottom of this article.

Other distinguishing elements include 20-inch alloy wheels with black accents and two chromed exhaust tips, as well as black roof rails, wing mirror caps and window trim.

Inside the cabin there's ambient lighting, carbon-fibre trim for the dashboard, and seats are wrapped in fabric and black synthetic leather. Black and red leather trim, and a stitched instrument panel are available as an optional extra.

In the US, the sports-themed model is available only with the 220kW 3.5-litre V6, and an eight-speed automatic. It can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive.

To go along with its sportier looks, the XSE also has retuned electric power steering, springs and rear stabiliser bar, as well as lower friction shock absorbers.

Toyota says these changes improve handling while retaining the car's "renowned ride comfort".

Australia

"The Kluger will launch first in the US (where it’s known as Highlander). It’s not unusual for a global roll-out to start with sales in the country of manufacture," a company spokesperson said.

"We will announce details of the Australian introduction later this year. Further details on spec and grade will also be made available closer to launch."


Next-generation Toyota Kluger