Heated steering wheels are increasing in popularity for modern car buyers, especially those living in the colder regions. The Toyota Highlander is one of the most popular mid-size crossover SUVs on the market, and you may be wondering if it offers this comfort feature. Look no further, because you came to the right place.
As of May 2022, Toyota USA offers the heated steering wheel feature in the Highlander models of the Limited and Platinum trims. Meanwhile, Toyota Canada offers this feature as standard on the Highlander models of the lower XLE and XSE grades as well.
If you are considering the Toyota Highlander for your next car, then you might be interested to know more about its features and benefits. Continue reading, and we will do our best to give you a better insight into this matter.
Do All Toyota Highlanders Have Heated Steering Wheels?
Not all Toyota Highlander models have heated steering wheels. As of this article's writing, Toyota USA offers this feature only on the eight models of the Limited and Platinum trims.
- Limited FWD
- Limited AWD
- Hybrid Limited FWD
- Hybrid Limited AWD
- Platinum FWD
- Platinum AWD
- Hybrid Platinum FWD
- Hybrid Platinum AWD
In turn, Toyota Canada announced in late 2021 that this feature is also standard for more models of their model year 2022 Highlander. Except for their lowest LE trim, all models come equipped with heated steering wheels.
Why Do I Need A Heated Steering Wheel?
As early as the 1960s, an inventor named Richard D. Miller already recognized the discomfort of grasping the steering wheel first thing in the morning during winter seasons. In 1965, the United States Patent Office granted Miller's patent application for the heated steering wheel.
Some car owners believe that heated steering wheels are unnecessary because the driver can simply use gloves or wait for the car's heater to warm everything in the cabin up. This sentiment may still be true for people who only experience temperate or moderately cold climates.
Nowadays, however, a shorter travel time is very important. More drivers would appreciate it if they could hop in their cars and drive off immediately. During winter mornings, however, a car heater may need several minutes to warm up an ice-cold steering wheel.
This is where the benefits of heated steering wheels shine.
- The steering wheel's heating element only needs several seconds to a few minutes to warm the steering wheel up.
- If your hands are freezing and trembling from the cold, then you can grasp your heated steering wheel to relieve your hands.
- It is easier to grip a heated steering wheel with bare hands rather than to grip a cold steering wheel with thermal gloves or mittens.
To sum the benefits up, heated steering wheels allow drivers to use the steering wheel properly and comfortably, even during cold weather. By using both hands on the steering wheel, a car owner can drive more safely.
How Does A Heated Steering Wheel Work?
Heated steering wheels use the same principle as electric blankets. A heating element between the steering wheel rim's base material and exterior wrapping is responsible for this function. The heating element is usually made of electrically resistant alloy strips or coils.
When electricity passes through the resistant alloy, the electrical energy is converted into heat. This heat then radiates through the steering wheel rim's outer wrapping, thus making the steering wheel warm to the driver's touch.
How Do You Turn On The Heated Steering Wheel On A Toyota Highlander?
The 2022 Highlander's heated steering wheel function activates with a push of a button on the left side of the steering wheel column. The button has an illustration of a small steering wheel with some wavy vertical arrows pointing upwards.
The button lights up to indicate that the heating function is active. If you want to turn the function off, then you only need to push the same button again.
According to the 2022 Highlander's manual, the heated steering wheel has a timer function. This means that the heating will automatically turn off after a certain period. However, the manual does not specify the following information:
- How long until the heated steering wheel function automatically turns off
- How warm the steering wheel's rim will get
Can You Add A Heated Steering Wheel To A Toyota Highlander?
As of May 2022, Toyota USA does not offer the heated steering wheel as an optional add-on to the Highlander. This means that if you wish to have this feature, then you will need to purchase Highlander models from the Limited or Platinum grades.
There are some aftermarket steering wheels that offer a heating function. However, if you wish to replace your steering wheel, then it will not be an easy job. Modern steering wheels have many integrated electronics that need proper configuration.
If you wish to have a heated steering wheel in your Highlander, then your best aftermarket option is a heated steering wheel cover. For reference, the 2014-2022 Toyota Highlander steering wheels have a 15-inch diameter and a 4.5-inch grip circumference.
Does Toyota Highlander Have Heated Seats?
The 2022 Toyota Highlander offers heated seats on models from the XLE trim and higher. Moreover, on some variants, the seats are heated and ventilated. Finally, in the range-topping Platinum grade, even the 2nd-row captain seats are heated.
- XLE grade (all V6 and Hybrid variants) - Heated Softex front seats
- XSE grade - Heated Softex front seats with the option to upgrade to leather-trimmed seats
- Hybrid Bronze Edition - Heated Softex front seats
- Limited grade (all V6 and Hybrid variants) - Heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats
- Platinum grade (all V6 and Hybrid variants) - Heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front seats plus heated leather-trimmed 2nd-row captain's chairs
What Engines Do The Toyota Highlanders Have?
The 2022 Highlander has two engine options. Because this SUV needs to carry a lot of loads, both engines are very potent.
- The gasoline option is a 3.5-liter, V6 powerplant that produces 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. This engine pairs with Toyota's 8-speed Electronically-Controlled Automatic Transmission (ECT).
- The hybrid Highlanders use a 2.5-liter 16-valve I4 DOHC gasoline engine and two electric motors. Combined, the engine and motors produce 243 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. Hybrid Highlanders use Toyota's Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT).
The petrol and hybrid options can be used for both FWD or AWD variants.
How Much Weight Can I Put In My Toyota Highlander?
The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a payload capacity between 1,405 and 1,685 lbs, depending on the variant.
As a rule of thumb, AWD models have less payload capacity than FWD models of the same trim levels. Moreover, higher trims have more features and accessories that decrease their payload capacities in relation to lower grades.
Below are three Highlander variants with their corresponding payload capacities.
- Base L grade, FWD - 1,685 lbs
- Mid XLE grade, AWD - 1,565 lbs
- Top Hybrid Platinum grade, AWD - 1,405 lbs
Is The Toyota Highlander A Safe Car?
The Highlander shines in terms of safety. As proof of this claim, the 2022 Highlander earned five out of five stars in the overall safety rating of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also picked the Toyota Highlander as one of its Top Safety Pick+ Awardees for 2022.
Is The Toyota Highlander A Reliable Car?
Many Toyota owners attest to the brand's reputation for quality, durability, and reliability. In this regard, many people tend to ride the bandwagon and give all Toyota vehicles the same stamp of approval even before they drive or own one.
However, we know that not all Toyotas are built the same way. It is still best to get the ratings from actual Highlander owners.
Based on J.D. Power's Consumer Rating for 2022, the Highlander ranks second in the "Upper Midsize SUV" category. With an overall score of 83 points out of 100, the 2022 Toyota Highlander scored "Great" in J.D. Power terms.
The Highlander's scores in the different categories of this rating are as follows:
- 82/100 points - quality and reliability - "Great"
- 80/100 points - driving experience - "Average"
- 91/100 points - resale value - "Best"
- 79/100 points - dealership experience - "Average"
How Much Should I Pay For A 2022 Toyota Highlander?
Below are the starting prices of the different variants of the 2022 Toyota Highlander in the U.S. These prices were taken from Toyota USA's website on 04 May 2022.
- L grade V6 FWD - $35,855
- L grade V6 AWD - $37,455
- LE grade V6 FWD - $38,055
- LE grade V6 AWD - $39,655
- Hybrid LE grade FWD - $39,555
- Hybrid LE grade AWD - $41,155
- XLE grade V6 FWD - $41,055
- XLE grade V6 AWD - $42,655
- Hybrid XLE grade FWD - $42,555
- Hybrid XLE grade AWD - $44,155
- XSE grade V6 FWD - $42,650
- XSE grade V6 AWD - $44,600
- Hybrid Bronze Edition FWD - $44,580
- Hybrid Bronze Edition AWD - $46,180
- Limited V6 FWD - $45,010
- Limited V6 AWD - $46,960
- Hybrid Limited FWD - $46,510
- Hybrid Limited AWD - $48,460
- Platinum V6 FWD - $48,010
- Platinum V6 AWD - $49,960
- Hybrid Platinum FWD - $49,510
- Hybrid Platinum AWD - $51,460
The 2022 Highlander's Limited and Platinum-grade models come with heated steering wheels. This feature is useful for the driving comfort and safety of Highlander owners, especially during cold seasons.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope that we were able to help you understand more about the Toyota Highlander's heated steering wheel option and other comfort features.
If you would like to read more about heated steering wheels and other automotive topics, then check out these great articles.