By on April 9, 2019

Image: Toyota

Not content with releasing a high contrast, nearly blacked-out photo or rendering of its upcoming fourth-generation Highlander, Toyota decided to go all artsy-fartsy. In place of a single image, Toyota commissioned an artist to create a 3D art installation made up of 200 individual panels.

Buyers, however, will be more interested in the actual, physical vehicle, which makes its debut on April 17th at the New York Auto Show. A sales stud, Toyota’s three-row midsizer promises a new platform and slightly sexier flanks.

It’s certainly not hard to make the Highlander sexier. Toyota’s boring-but-safe styling kept buyers in an emotional Goldilocks Zone for years — just what the automaker needed to reap major sales.

Last revamped for the 2014 model year, the Highlander is the midsizer to beat in a market consumed with lust for the bodystyle. U.S. sales rose from a recession-era low of 83,118 vehicles in 2009 to 244,511 in 2018. Despite its advancing age, the Highlander continues to sell in great numbers, even in a first quarter that saw overall Toyota sales drop 5 percent and the industry as a whole cool off significantly. Highlander volume fell just 0.5 percent over the first three months of 2019.

For 2020, the Highlander smoothes out the creases, adding some muscularity via fender bulges. Added style comes from a beltline that swings upward to meet the D-pillar. Beneath the crossover, Toyota’s K platform disappears, replaced by the stiffer TNGA architecture popping up throughout the brand’s unibody stable.

As Toyota didn’t have additional details to share of its midsize moneymaker, we’ll have to wait until the New York show to find out more.

[Images: Toyota]

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