Toyota has announced a range of updates for its largest hybrid SUV – the Highlander.

Introduced for the 2023-year model, the new upgrades are centred around the car’s infotainment. It’s the latest Toyota vehicle to gain the firm’s Smart Connect+ system that adds a new 12.3-inch display which houses navigation and media functions. However now, cloud-based nav is included, as well as real-time alerts for information such as traffic.

This service doesn’t require a smartphone connection to access the cloud, either. The new Highlander comes with a four-year data plan so that this system can be used without a smartphone link, while over-the-air updates are included to ensure that the system is kept up to date.

However, an embedded navigation system means that instructions can be provided even if access to the cloud can’t be established. Road sign recognition, fixed speed camera location and 3D city mapping are all included too.

Drivers can now remotely control certain aspects of the car’s function as well. For instance, via a smartphone, the owner can check to see if the doors are locked or unlocked, or they can flash the hazard lights to find the car in a busy car park.

All cars come with wireless smartphone charging as standard to, while wireless Apple CarPlay is also incorporated. Android Auto is fitted as well, though this requires a wired connection.

A new 12.3-inch ‘combimeter’ has been fitted ahead of the driver, relaying key information back to the driver. In terms of styling, all new Highlander models ride on 20-inch gloss black alloys now.

The updated Toyota Highlander is due to go on sale next year, with more details about the car’s full specification and price expected to be released closer to that time.