The standard gas-powered Toyota Highlander has long enjoyed a reputation as an excellent midsize crossover with carlike drivability, SUV convenience and reasonable fuel consumption. The Highlander Hybrid model boasts the same credentials, but on top of that it also provides more power and even greater fuel economy. In many ways, it has been a segment leader since day one. It was the first hybrid SUV to offer all-wheel drive, seating for seven and more horsepower than its conventional gasoline variant.
Toyota has offered a hybrid version for every generation of the Highlander. Now in its third generation, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is larger, roomier and more upscale than ever before. But no matter which generation you're looking at, you can expect high levels of versatility, comfort, fuel economy and safety. It's an excellent option for car shoppers with an aversion to thirsty SUVs.
Current Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Debuting for 2014, the redesigned, third-generation Toyota Highlander Hybrid features more aggressive styling and a nicer interior design. A three-passenger third-row seat bumps maximum passenger capacity to seven, as the second row has a pair of captain's chairs. Its hybrid components are largely unchanged from the previous generation, however.
Power is provided by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which along with three electric motors and a battery pack, produces a combined 280 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel mileage is very impressive for a three-row crossover at an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.
Trim levels consist of Limited and Limited Platinum. Highlights of the Limited include a sunroof, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a back-up camera, Bluetooth, smartphone app integration and a premium audio system with satellite radio and an iPod/USB interface. The Limited Platinum adds a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, Toyota's Safety Connect telematics, adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision mitigation system (with automatic braking) and a lane departure warning system.
In reviews, the newest Toyota Highlander Hybrid has earned high marks for its high fuel economy and upscale interior that's roomy enough for larger families. This three-row crossover also feels composed around turns, and the ride quality on the highway is smooth and very quiet. Although the 280-hp hybrid system is pretty punchy, there is a brief hesitation when you step on it, which makes the hybrid Highlander feel less responsive than the conventional Toyota Highlander. Price could also be a concern, as the hybrid is considerably more expensive than the regular Highlander. But if you can comfortably afford the Highlander Hybrid, it's an admirable all-around crossover that's bound to please.
Read the most recent 2016 Toyota Highlander Hybrid review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Toyota Highlander Hybrid page.