2023 Highlander LE vs XLE @ $5000

We have three kids and are a taller family. We’ll be buying a 2023 Highlander and have been stuck on the difference between the XLE and LE. We’re getting a quote for a LE at $44k and an XLE at $49k. These are both going to be the Turbo 4 cylinder. We are moving to Europe and this will be an American spec vehicle but they do not offer the Hybrid model there. Right now, I’m leaning towards the FWD LE.

The XLE in this case offers the AWD and leather, but that’s essentially the main differences that I can understand.

\- The AWD is a plus for sure, but it comes with a minor hit to the gas mileage 22/29 vs 21/28.

\- The XLE might have better resale, but at $5k I’m not sure on the ROI.

\- We do a lot of roadtrips so the Rav4 is a non-option and we are upgrading from a Camry Hybrid now that we have a third kiddo.

I suppose we’re looking for any other opinions on which might be a better choice that I’m not considering. The seat arrangements seem different as well in the second row. The leather seems like an easy choice for small kids, but again at $5k of bump.

Anything else? Thanks in advance!

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3 thoughts on “2023 Highlander LE vs XLE @ $5000

  • Personally I would go with the XLE to get the pleather for easy kid clean-up.

    I don’t see anything with the 2.4T engine on the German Toyota site, but they do have the hybrid RAV4 and the hybrid Highlander, both of which have the same 2.5L engine, so I would probably go with the hybrid so you could service it more easily, have less trouble finding stuff like air filters, oil filters, etc. without having to import it.

  • I’m gonna hit on your road trip comment. With a lot of road tripping I’d lean towards the FWD LE simply for the better fuel economy and better tire wear. AWD is a plus for snowy areas, but FWD isn’t all that much worse tbh. To that point, it leaves me at “is leather seats worth an extra $5k”, and I just don’t think so.


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