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Are the Captain’s Seats in Toyota Highlander Heated? What about the Third Row Bench?

Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a great all-around SUV that has the potential to haul the whole family in good comfort. A very roomy interior and modern cabin comforts make the Highlander a real winner. So do its many options to create the ideal interior for your comfort.

Few things affect cabin comfort more than the seats. With the Highlander XLE, you have some options for up to three rows of seating. You could opt for the traditional 60/40 split-bench that seats up to three in front. But there is a more comfortable option.

Captain’s chairs are a very popular option that envelops the driver and front passenger in pure comfort. Toyota also gives you the option of choosing heated and ventilated captain’s chairs in the Highlander XLE, XSE, Limited, and Platinum trim levels. And that could really make the driving experience truly awesome.

Why Choose Captain’s Chairs  

When you have captain’s chairs in the front of your Highlander, you get a much more personal driving experience. Captain’s chairs are different than bench seats or bucket seats. They have very tall backs and arm supports.

The arm supports usually are hinged so that you can swing them up and out of the way to enter the seat. The backs are very tall and with a slight curve to envelop your back and sides. And a saddle-shaped seat gives you exceptional comfort.

Volkswagen Multivan with foldable table and swivel captain's chairs in the second row.

Captain’s chairs limit front seating to just two people. But the seats are wider and more comfortable than a bench or even bucket seats. And you will not have to worry about anyone pressing up against you.

Captain’s chairs generally have a wide variety of adjustments that enable you to dial in your perfect seating position. And they make it easier to adjust the legroom for extremely tall people who might feel more cramped with a split-bench or even bucket seats.

Why Get Heated Captain’s Chairs

The option for heated captain’s chairs mostly depends on the climate where you live. If you live in a locale that gets very cold and has long winters, then heated captain’s chairs are an ideal solution when climbing into a cold Highlander.

You might think you are fine with just letting the Highlander warm up on a cold winter’s day. Once the engine is hot enough, the heating system will provide plenty of warm air flowing throughout the Highlander. But that is not necessarily the case with seats.

Any seat is thick and holds the cold temperatures inside longer than the rest of the items in the cabin. Even iced-over windows might thaw before a seat does. And captain’s chairs are especially thick to help deliver greater comfort and support.

When you live in a cold climate, the optional heated captain’s chairs are a great option to choose. You can turn them on and let them warm up along with the engine. When you are ready to leave, your bottom and the undersides of your legs have a comfortably warm seat helping to make the ride much better.

What about the Second Row?

The Highlander offers second-row seating and a third row, too. But whether or not you choose captain’s chairs for the second row or stick with a bench seat often depends on the size of your family. The bigger it is, the more seats you want in the second row.

Captain’s chairs are a great option for the second row when you do not have more than two kids. If you have no kids and rarely take more than a couple of other adults along for rides to wherever you are going, then captain’s chairs work great in the second row.

But if you have a big family or often take additional passengers, a bench is the best option for the second row of seating. A bench seat gives you more room for passengers and makes it easier for the kids to get in and out of one side of the vehicle. And if you have one or more small children, a captain’s chair will not work with a child safety seat. You need a bench seat for that.

Car seat with a teddy bear sitting on it.

You could choose heated captain’s chairs or a heated bench seat for the second row. The same factors that could make heated seats a good idea for the front seats apply to the second row. Local climate and weather determine whether or not heated seats are a good idea.

Rear Bench Options

You could choose the third row of seating for your Highlander regardless of its trim level. But a folding bench seat is the only option. It also is removable, so choosing a third-row bench seat could be a good option if you have a large family or take a lot of passengers with relative frequency.

You want the third row to be removable so that you can have more cargo space. And folding the seat flat helps to give you more cargo room. If you choose a folding bench for the second row of seating, the Highlander could carry a significant amount of cargo.

Heated captain’s chairs are a great option for the front row. But the farther back you go in the SUV, the less sense it makes to choose the optional captain’s chairs. And heating the seats just depends on your local climate.