Last Updated on May 1, 2023 by Victor A

When it comes to off-road vehicles, the Toyota 4Runner and Tacoma are often the first to come to mind. However, many Toyota Highlander owners have discovered the potential of their SUVs when added off-road mods.

With a few modifications, a Toyota Highlander with an off-road build can become a formidable off-road machine for tackling rough terrains.

Off-road Toyota Highlander Lifted Mod

One of the most popular modifications for an off-road Toyota Highlander is a lift kit. A lifted Highlander provides increased ground clearance, which allows for larger tires and better approach and departure angles. 

A lifted Highlander also looks more aggressive and rugged, giving it the appearance of a true off-roader.

There are many different lift kits available for the Toyota Highlander, ranging from simple spacers that lift the vehicle a few inches, to full suspension kits that can lift the vehicle to eight inches.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that an off-road Toyota Highlander lifted mod can affect its ride quality and handling, so it’s essential to choose a reputable brand and have the lift installed by a professional.

Off-Road Tires for the Highlander

Another popular modification for off-road Toyota Highlanders is the addition of off-road tires since standard tires on a Highlander are don’t perform well when off-roading and can easily get a puncture or damage when driving over rocks, mud, or other obstacles. 

Off-road tires provide better traction in a variety of off-road conditions and are more resistant to damage.

When selecting off-road tires, it’s important to choose the right size and type for your vehicle and the terrain you’ll be driving on. Some off-road tires are better suited for mud, while others are better for rocks or sand. 

Be sure to do your research and consult with a tire specialist to determine the best tires for your off-road Toyota Highlander.

Toyota Highlander Off-Roading Skid Plates

Out of all the Toyota Highlander off-road mods, skid plates are the most important since they protect the undercarriage of the vehicle from rocks, tree stumps, and other obstacles. 

When selecting skid plates, it’s important to choose a set that fits your vehicle’s make and model. 

Some manufacturers design skid plates specifically for the Highlander, while others design them to fit a range of different vehicles.

Skid plates are typically made from heavy-duty steel or aluminum and are available for the front, rear, and underside of the vehicle.

They come in different configurations, and some are better for protecting specific components of your vehicle’s undercarriage.

For example, some skid plates protect the engine, transmission, and transfer case, while others protect the fuel tank, differential, and suspension.

Winches are important mods for the Highlander

Another modification that can be beneficial on your Highlander off-road build is the installation of a winch.

A winch is useful for pulling your Toyota Highlander out of mud, sand, or other difficult terrains, or to help pull other vehicles out of a sticky situation. 

You can mount it in the front or rear of the vehicle and can be operated with a remote control, and it’s important to choose one with the appropriate capacity for your vehicle’s weight.

Winches can be electric or hydraulic, with electric winches being the most common choice for off-road vehicles.

Electric winches are easy to install and use, and they are also more affordable than hydraulic winches.

Other Toyota Highlander Off-Road Mods

Other modifications that can improve the off-road performance of a Toyota Highlander include upgrading the suspension, installing off-road lights, and adding a snorkel. 

A suspension upgrade can provide better handling and stability, while off-road lights can improve visibility when driving in low-light conditions. 

A snorkel can allow the Highlander to drive through deeper water without damaging the engine.

While these modifications can certainly enhance the off-road capabilities of a Toyota Highlander, it’s important to keep in mind that they can also affect the vehicle’s reliability and longevity. 

The Right Mods for your Highlander Off-Road Build

Before installing off-road mods into your Toyota Highlander, be wary that any modification can potentially cause issues with the vehicle’s warranty, so it’s important to research and understand the implications of any modification before making any changes.

In addition, when you have a Highlander off-road build you need to understand the importance of maintaining it properly. 

Regular maintenance, including oil changes, tire rotations, and inspections, can help ensure that your vehicle is running at its best and can prevent issues before they become major problems.

When it comes to modifying a Toyota Highlander for off-road use, there are many different options available. 

Lift kits, off-road tires, skid plates, winches, fenders and other modifications can all enhance the vehicle’s off-road capabilities, but it’s important to choose the right modifications for your needs and install them properly.

modified 2023 toyota highlander off road
2023 Toyota Highlander

Things to consider 

Off-roading can be a thrilling and exciting activity, but it can also be dangerous. It’s important to always drive within your limits and to be aware of your surroundings. 

Never attempt to drive on terrain that is beyond your vehicle’s capabilities, and always drive with caution.

Before heading out on any off-road excursion, it’s important to make sure you prepare your vehicle. 

This means checking tire pressure, making sure all fluids are topped off, and ensuring that all modifications are installed properly and functioning correctly. 

It’s also a good idea to bring along any necessary tools and equipment, such as a shovel, recovery straps, and a first aid kit.

When driving off-road in a Toyota Highlander, it’s important to keep in mind that it is still an SUV, not a dedicated off-road vehicle. 

While modifications can certainly improve its capabilities, it still has limitations. It’s important to be aware of these limitations and to drive accordingly.



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