When Toyota introduced the first Highlander 20 years ago, it had virtually no competition. Today, that’s clearly not the case, as every major automaker offers a mid-size crossover suv to American families seeking a compelling blend of space, utility, and adventuring capability.
Hyundai actually bookends the Highlander with the smaller five-passenger Santa Fe and larger eight-passenger Palisade. A new model in 2020, the Palisade is Hyundai’s third attempt at building a popular family-size SUV, and it appears the automaker has gotten the recipe right this time around. Toyota, however, isn’t sitting still. Last year, it redesigned the Highlander and made its hybrid version much more fuel-efficient. Are Toyota’s changes compelling enough to ward off the competition from Hyundai? Here’s our in-depth look at the 2021 Toyota Highlander vs. the 2021 Hyundai Palisade.