2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 28/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

  • The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an excellent family SUV that accommodates the needs of most SUV buyers while delivering the benefits of hybrid technology.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Real-world gas mileage in the 20s, terrific acceleration, smooth ride, comfortable cabin with simple controls and solid materials.

  • Cons

    Extra weight results in so-so handling, engine can be noisy, poor access to third-row seat.

  • What's New for 2006

    New for 2006, the hybrid version of the Highlander pairs a gasoline-powered V6 with electric motors to improve fuel economy and acceleration.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found this review helpful

Inverter problems

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

This car has very expensive inverter problems. Cost to repair Hybrid inverter system as of June 21, 2011 $9325.00 + Tax Toyota does not fix this and have a class action suit against them at this time. If you are going green this green will be coming out of your billfold. The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Vehicle (Highlander HV) was Toyota’s first generation of gasoline-electric hybrid versions of the Highlander sold in the U.S. A central component of the Highlander HV is the electrical inverter assembly, which changes the DC current from the vehicles battery into AC current that powers the vehicle’s motor. The defective inverter assemblies cause the vehicles to suddenly lose engine power while the vehicles is being driven.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2006 with 92000 miles

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Bought the car with 89000 miles on it, and was wary about the battery life, but it charges up fine and runs great. You need to be careful about your focus when driving, staring at fuel economy display is riveting! The limited is equiped nicely, and the interior is layed out well. Irritating the passenger cant use the maps feature while driving. Storage is a problem relative to the seating if you are on a long trip. Took the wife and four kids to DC over Christmas, and had to invest in a car top carrier. All things considered, trip went well, and averaged aroune 23 even with the car carrier messing with aerodynamics. I would buy this car again, fun to pass up all the gas stations!!

Best car i ever owned

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought one of the very first HH's. In LA on 7/3/05. Five years later it runs and looks almost like new. 95% of my driving is surface streets in LA. I get about 24-26 mpg with a/c (always on). The mileage when I got it was 28-30 mpg, so some degradation, but no other SUV of equal size and power even comes close. I have never had a serious problem. No breakdowns. After 57,000 mi. still haven't had a brake job! Extremely comfortable w/o needing the extras of the Lexus RX400h. The build quality is amazing. Only problem I have had is a popping noise from the driver seat when reclining it. Quality is better than the '91 and '96 LS400's that I owned previously.

Great vehicle

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought this vehicle used and it looks and runs like it's brand new. Averaging 29 mpg on the highway using the air- conditioning. Around town with no air, I have achieved 34 mpg. Drove from D.C. to Philly the other night, no air, averaged 32 mpg at 70 mph. Replaced my Ford Expedition that used to average 13 mpg, and I love this car! Next I am going to replace by Ford Edge with a Prius.

2006 toyota highlander hybrid fwd

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Got this SUV 2 months back, so far no issue at all, and what amazing comfort I got with this. Very roomy, fuel efficient, now I am getting 31MPG combine. I guess I can achieve 34mpg when only driving 40M/h. I started with 28 on my first 400miles.

Perfect solution for a greeny

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

We just had our 3rd child and this has been perfect for us! I was dreading getting a bigger vehicle but I've fallen in love with this car! Such a smooth ride and we can fit an infant car seat, a 7 year old in a booster seat and a 9 year old all in the second row, but if they want more room one of the older kids can sit in the 3rd row! With the third row up it's hard to fit other things in the back, but if we wanted more room we would have gotten a mini van! It's fun watching the gas mileage and I love when the engine shuts off because we've slowed down or stopped. Love how it charges the battery going down hill! I love the look of it. It would be nice if it was a little higher off the ground.

Full 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

What's New for 2006

New for 2006, the hybrid version of the Highlander pairs a gasoline-powered V6 with electric motors to improve fuel economy and acceleration.


Hybrids are certainly not new -- the first Honda Insights and Toyota Priuses rolled into dealerships over five years ago. But the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the one that will put the term "hybrid" on the lips of average Americans. As revolutionary as cars like the Insight were, many people need more than two or even five seats. And that's where the Highlander comes in.

As the first seven-passenger hybrid vehicle Toyota's alternative-powered SUV is revolutionary in its own quiet kind of way. Automakers have finally figured out that the key to mass hybrid sales is not necessarily stellar fuel economy. Given the price premium paid for most hybrids, vehicles like the Lexus RX 400h and Honda Accord Hybrid offer more luxury features and extra power. And the Toyota Highlander is no different. The "conserving resources" aspect of the Highlander Hybrid intentionally plays second banana to more important features like extra power and standard third-row seating.

Does the Toyota Highlander Hybrid get better fuel economy than your average V6-powered SUV? Sure, it's rated 31 mpg/27 mpg highway. But it's the added snap of 268 hp that really get this Highlander recognized. The gas-electric Highlander also offers a few extra touches such as standard LED taillights and unique 17-inch wheels. Foglights, a rear roof spoiler and a JBL stereo are options. The Limited version is even more luxurious, as it's loaded up with every possible feature save for an optional DVD-based navigation system. But with that touchscreen nav system, you'll also have the added entertainment of a power flow chart and fuel economy meter like that found in the Prius.

Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions are available, though the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is intended for pavement duty. Toyota calls the all-wheel-drive system 4WD-i. It is an on-demand system that improves traction on wet and dry pavement and is capable of regenerating power from all four wheels. The system is unique in that it uses a rear-mounted motor/generator to power the rear wheels when wheel slip is detected in the front. The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is remarkable in that it doesn't force you to make uncomfortable compromises to stand up for the planet. Thanks, in part, to its conservative styling and simple, comfortable interior, this hybrid should make the move into the high-tech age painless for the typical family car buyer.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is offered in base and Limited trim levels. The base model is nicely equipped with seven-passenger seating, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, ABS, stability control, a six-speaker CD stereo and 17-inch alloy wheels. The lone option package for the base model includes a sunroof, an upgraded JBL stereo with a CD changer and foglights. The Limited comes with all of the above, as well as leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, automatic climate control and a power front-passenger seat. A navigation system is the only option on the Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

To make the hybrid version, Toyota started with the 3.3-liter V6 in the standard Highlander, recalibrated it for duty in a hybrid and installed two electric motors. One of the motors is responsible for starting the gas engine and recharging the 288-volt battery pack. The other teams up with the V6 to drive the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. All-wheel-drive models get a third motor that can juice the rear wheels when extra power or traction is needed; Toyota calls this setup 4WD-i. The gas-electric power plant makes a combined 268 horsepower. Fuel economy is 33 mpg city/28 mpg highway on front-drive (2WD) models and 31/27 on all-wheel-drive models. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.


Front-seat side airbags and first- and second-row head curtain airbags are standard on all Toyota Highlander Hybrid models. Also standard are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, ABS with BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, traction control, stability control. These safety systems are part of Toyota's new integrated safety system that coordinates all the vehicle's safety features to assure maximum accident avoidance capability and protection should an accident occur.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is essentially identical to that of the gasoline-only version. A thoughtful cabin design puts all the controls and storage areas within easy reach. Comfortable seating in the first and second rows and a total of 10 cupholders make the Highlander Hybrid a natural for family transportation. The second-row seat's lack of a flip-and-fold mechanism makes the third row tougher to access than most, but this is still the only hybrid that seats seven.

Driving Impressions

The standard Toyota Highlander has a light and somewhat "tossable" nature but the added weight of the hybrid version gives it a more cumbersome feel around tight turns. It's still easy to maneuver in the city, though, and as smooth as they come on the highway. Acceleration is excellent at any speed, thanks to the electric motor assist.

Talk About The 2006 Highlander Hybrid

Read more about the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Gas Mileage


  • 28
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific