Amy Plemons is the Executive Producer of CarProUSA and an experienced car reviewer.
If there's a Toyota Highlander that will make you stand out in the carpool lane - or any lane for that matter - it's the new for 2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition, only available on the hybrid model. It makes this super family-friendly SUV look even more stylish in the driveway. It builds off the hybrid XLE grade and adds bronze-colored accents on the interior and exterior along with other unique features.
The fourth-generation Highlander was redesigned in 2020. The Bronze Edition comes in a few color options, but I like the exclusive-to-the-Bronze Edition Cement hue my test vehicle is wearing. It looks great set against 18-inch bronze-colored alloy wheels.
It's outfitted with LED head lights, tail lights and fog lights along with front and rear mudguards. It also features heated power outdoor mirrors with puddle lamps and a rear spoiler. A blue Toyota emblem on the front black-painted grille and tail end signify its hybrid status. On top you'll find silver painted roof rails.
The Highlander hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors paired to an Electronic Continuous Variable Transmission. The system delivers a total of 243-horsepower - and while acceleration is ok in city and highway driving, this vehicle feels heavy and you know me, I'd love a little more power. (The gas model offers 295-hp). My model is all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is available. Fuel economy is great as you'd expect, 35 mpg across the board.
The Highlander's cabin is user-friendly and well-designed with soft-touch materials. The soft-touch split-level dash incorporates a shelf to place items.
The Bronze Edition's upholstery isn't at all what I initially expected but it looks great. The Sof-Tex trimmed seats have uniquely patterned fabric inserts and bronze stitching. A standard 10-way power driver’s seat offers power lumbar and memory. Aside from the seats, you'll find a bit of bronze stitching in the cabin, along with illuminated bronze door sills and unique floor and cargo mats embroidered with a special bronze logo.
A leather-trimmed tilt and telescopic steering wheel places controls for the 8-inch LED digital driver display at your fingertips. The display is colorful and easy to read.
The Bronze Edition comes with a bright 8-inch multimedia touchscreen and Toyota's 6-speaker Audio Plus system that's compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth and SiriusXM. It's also well-angled extending out of center dash, with minimal sun glare, unlike some other Toyota models I've driven. The multimedia screen houses a backup camera.
The wide center console is well-designed with easy access to the leather-trimmed gear shift knob and drive mode controls for the Eco, Normal and Sport, as well as buttons for the EV mode, electric parking brake, auto brake hold and trail mode. In the large console bin, you'll find an available wireless charger and ample storage space.
The Bronze Edition seats seven, thanks to its middle row captain's chairs with armrests. Manual second-row sunshades help keep things cool in the summer.
New for 2022, Toyota's updated the USB port situation. You'll find two Type-C USB ports + 1 Type A port in the front. Back seat passengers have access to two Type-C USBs. It's also equipped with two 12 volts.
Standard features also include a digital rearview mirror, moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, in-dash color ambient lighting, three-zone climate, the 10-way power driver's seat with memory, a hands-free power liftgate and 1500 W power outlets.
Notable missing features on the Bronze Edition include the Driver Easy Speak PA system, a birds-eye view camera, head-up display and an option to upgrade to a premium audio system.
The Bronze Edition offers utility for families on the go. You can easily tilt and slide the second row seats with the touch of a button. They offer a 60/40 fold-down split. The Highlander is impressively roomy until you get to the third row -- which is really suited just for kids.
While the 3rd-row seats do recline, they don't power fold. The available power liftgate opens and closes at a nice rate of speed. You'll find extra storage space underneath the cargo mat as well as a temporary spare.
Ride and Drive
The Highlander's ride is smooth, comfortable and, to me, the Highlander is one of Toyota's quieter vehicles in terms of cabin noise. It delivers a more truck-like than car-like ride to me, providing a different feel than the Lexus RX350. It's enjoyable to drive and easy to get around in with confident braking. Though again, I'd always love more horsepower for a quicker acceleration from a stop. Especially given that is a heavy vehicle - weighing in at 4,515 pounds.
2022 Highlanders come equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ which includes Pre-Collision with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Road Sign Assist. Rear seat reminder and rear seat seatbelt reminder are also standard. It's also equipped with available Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic alert.
What You'll Pay
There are no options on this model. It MSRP's for $46,695 including destination, making the Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition AWD currently the third priciest Highlander Hybrid in the entire lineup.
The 2022 Toyota Highlander proves once again it's a terrific family SUV and the Bronze Edition AWD is a great value in my mind considering all the style, tech and comfort features you find within its enjoyable interior. Drawbacks include the small third-row and lack of optional premium audio if those items are important to you.
- What I liked most: Its style, interior and out plus the overall interior comfort.
- What I would change: Upgrade to Premium Audio, Dynamic Navigation.
- MSRP: Base price: $45,480. As equipped: $46,495.
- Fuel Economy: 35 mpg city/highway/combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 5,938 miles.
- Weight: 4,515 pounds
- Spare Tire: Temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 197.4"long/76.0” wide /68.1” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.1 gallons with fuel tank on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Cement (exclusive to this model).
- Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds.
- 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition: A great, stylish addition to the Highlander lineup for those who want to stand out from the SUV crowd.
- Warranty: 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty, 60-month/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, 60-month/unlimited mileage corrosion warranty, 8-years/100,000 mile hybrid component warranty, 10 years/150,000 miles battery warranty. 2 years roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Princeton, Indiana.
- Manufacturer's website: Toyota