How many seats does a Toyota Highlander have?
Looking for a mid-size SUV with as much cabin space as possible, you won’t be able to miss out on checking Toyota Highlander. It’s been one of the most spacious SUVs in the size category for years, and for a good reason – it offers three seating rows.
With the second and third seating rows folded, you get a total of 141 cubic feet of passenger space, but not all the trims offer the same seating capacity. So, there’s one logical question when considering how many seats does Toyota Highlander have? Toyota Highlander has seven or eight seats, depending on the trim of the car. We’ll guide you through the differences in seating capacity based on the trim to help you decide on whether to buy this SUV.
About the Toyota Highlander seating rows
Toyota Highlander was the company’s best-selling SUV ever since the start of its production back in the 2000s. It was eventually surpassed in sales numbers by the smaller cousin, Rav4, but it remains one of the best bargains for the cabin space and seating capacity in the category.
The first model came with five seats initially, just to be revised in 2004 with the possibility of choosing a 7-seat model. Ever since then, the Highlander represented a great compromise of price and comfort, since it offered enough seats for the whole family.
The third row went through some changes over the years, and the 2022 model comes with a factory-set third row in all trims. If you already own a Toyota Highlander, you might wonder – what is the trim of my car? Well, this is a key factor in determining the number of seats, so if you don’t own this SUV, but plan on buying it, you should be familiar with how the seating changes with trims.
Highlander trims with seven seats
While it’s a great addition that you can pick a version of the Toyota Highlander with eight seats, seven-seat trims are a bit more luxurious. They come with a second row which has two captain’s seats instead of a seating row for three persons.
This adds up to the luxury of the cabin and the comfort for passengers in the first two seating rows. While they only fit four people, you get more space on the seats from the second row. It’s a perfect option for those that often drive with three passengers along, with the possibility of driving children in the back seat.
Here are the Highlander trims that offer seven seats as a standard seating capacity:
- Toyota Highlander XLE
- Toyota Highlander XSE
- Toyota Highlander Limited
- Toyota Highlander Platinum
The XLE model offers 39.4 inches of headroom for the second seating row and 36.1 inches of headroom for the third row. Headroom space is the same for all the seven-seat standard trims, and legroom is no different. You get 41 inches of legroom on the second-row seats and 27.7 inches of legroom on the third-row seats.
Highlander trims with eight seats
There are also Toyota Highlander trims with eight seats, while it’s also optional to get a three-seat row instead of the captain’s seats in the second seating row on XLE. You won’t have to pay additionally for this adjustment.
When it comes to trims that come with eight seats as a standard, these include the “L” and the “LE” trims. Regardless of the trim, headroom and legroom stay the same. That’s perhaps the biggest complaint on this model since even the eight-seat trim offers 27.7 inches of third-row legroom.
The main difference among the Toyota Highlander trims for the 2022 model besides the seating options are trim features. These range from LED projector headlights, whether it’s a front-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive car, and other features like navigation and alloy wheels.
When it comes to seating, the only major difference is that trim levels from the “XSE” come with SofTex or leather-trimmed seats in the front and second rows. This adds up to that difference in the luxurious driving feeling we mentioned as a benefit of seven-seat trims vs eight-set trims.
How usable is the third seating row of the Toyota Highlander?
Now that we’ve cleared all doubts about the trim levels and number of seats they come with, it’s time to say the truth about this model. Customers often inquire about the usability of the third row of this SUV, since the legroom of 27.7 inches isn’t exactly the most comfortable option you’ll find.
For instance, Chevrolet Traverse offers 33.4 inches of third-row seat legroom, so many drivers think that the third seat of the Highlander is only applicable to children. The truth is – it’s more than suitable for grown-ups as well.
It might have slightly less legroom space than some models, but the headroom is fairly similar to that of the Chevrolet Traverse and other similar models. On top of that, the seats are designed in a way that allows the most comfort possible.
This generation got second-row sliding seats that slide two inches further than in the previous generation of the Highlander. So, that means more space for passengers in the back. Third-row seats are also equipped with two cupholders on each side, and air conditioning and heating vents that can be adjusted individually.
Drawing the line – how many passengers can seat in Toyota Highlander?
Whether you pick a seven-seat or an eight-seat trim of the Highlander, all the seats stay usable and give you a decent amount of space between the seat up front. It’s not like in some mid-size SUVs where the third-row seat is completely unusable.
The space is tight if there are three people in the back, but the passengers still have enough space between the next row and each other, to prevent squeezing in. Driving comfort is enhanced by premium materials used for the third-row seats, and the chance to slide the second row two inches further results in even more space.
So, the XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum trims of Toyota Highlander successfully fit seven passengers with the second seat offering ultimate comfort with captain’s chairs. On the other hand, you can also optionally select an eight-seat version of the XSE trim, or pick L and LE trims with eight seats coming as a standard setting.
Ultimately, Toyota Highlander makes a perfect option for a mid-size SUV with high seating capacity. If you’ve been wondering about one of the main questions about the Toyota Highlander – how many seats does it offer, now you know the answer.
You can therefore choose the trim accordingly, and get the seating capacity tailored to the needs of your family. The increased sliding range of the second row, as well as third-seat row features, make the Highlander capable of supporting up to eight passengers easily.
Is Highlander a 7-seater or 8-seater?
Toyota Highlander is both a 7-seater and an 8-seater, and you can decide the seating capacity yourself by picking a suitable trim. The L and LE trim come with eight seats as the standard setting, while the XSE trim originally comes with seven seats, but it can be adjusted so that you get a full second seat instead of two captain’s chairs.
Does Highlander come with 8 seats?
Highlander comes with 8 seats in specific trims like the L and LE trim, so it’s up to you to decide if you’ll go for a 7-seater or an 8-seater.
Do Highlanders have 3rd-row seating?
Yes, all Highlanders have 3rd-row seating, the only difference is the number of seats which depends on the vehicle trim.