A reader named Stephanie recently asked about the forthcoming availability and pricing of the 2016 Toyota Highlander:
My husband and I are shopping for a Highlander. We have been looking at the 2015 model, but debating if we should wait for the 2016. Any good insight that you’ve read about regarding the pricing and release dates for the 2016 model?
Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t released any info, and I don’t have any special insights. As always, however, I’m more than happy to speculate! 🙂
As you may recall, the 2015 Highlander was released in August of 2014. The turnaround on that one was quite short, with the 2014 not having been rolled until January 2014. This time around, I’d expect a more typical 12 month turnaround with the 2016 being released August-ish.
Update: It’s now looking like the 2016 Highlander will be released in the “late fall” of 2015 — and very little will change in terms of features.
As for pricing, the 2015 came with a $200 increase in base price and a $30 increase in the delivery fee. As for 2016? Nobody knows for sure, but I would expect a similarly small price increase.
Why? Well… That brings us to the final point: features.
Toyota typically updates their vehicles on a six year cycle. The current generation was rolled out in 2014 and, if history is any indication, that same general design should be in play through the 2019 model year.
That being said, most automakers (Toyota included) “refresh” their designs with a few updates in the middle of that six year cycle. In most cases, that happens between years 3 and 4, so I would expect a mid-generation refresh for the 2017 model year.
In other words, if I was a betting man, I’d expect the 2016 to hit showrooms toward the end of this summer, and I wouldn’t expect much of a change in terms of pricing or features.