2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid


  • Impressive fuel economy for a three-row crossover
  • Just-right size for many families
  • Added peace of mind from standard accident-avoidance tech
  • Quiet and compliant ride


  • Price premium unlikely to be made up with gas savings
  • Third-row seat isn't as roomy as those of many competitors
  • Touchscreen and other controls may require an extra-long reach

Which Highlander Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

Frankly, you should only buy the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid instead of its conventionally powered sibling because of environmental concerns. It's extremely unlikely that you'll be able to pay back the Hybrid's price premium through gas savings alone. Having said that, the XLE trim level is likely where you'll want to start, as we think most people will appreciate its extra helping of equipment, including a power liftgate, power front seats, and its leather seating and steering wheel.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

Are you hoping to get high fuel economy from a three-row crossover SUV? You can't do much better than the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It gets close to 30 mpg while still providing the high levels of comfort and utility that the regular Highlander is known for. It's a bit expensive, but worth it.

Much like the regular Highlander, the hybrid version boasts a just-right size that isn't too cumbersome to drive yet still manages a competitive amount of passenger and cargo space. For 2017, the Highlander Hybrid's appeal grows due to the addition of entry trim levels — last year you could only get the priciest trims. That opens it up to more people, but it's still quite pricey. When new, a basic Hybrid LE costs thousands more than the equivalent non-hybrid Highlander. Considering you'd likely save only a few hundred bucks every year on gas, that math really doesn't add up. But if you simply like the idea of cutting your carbon footprint but need a family-friendly vehicle, the Highlander Hybrid is a great way to go.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid configurations

The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a large three-row SUV that comes standard with eight- or seven-passenger capacities, depending on trim level. Those include LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels. The LE isn't exactly a stripper model, but the XLE has enough universally desired extras that you'll likely want to pay extra for them. The Limited and Limited Platinum slather on luxury content but in the process receive luxury brand-like price tags.

Every Highlander Hybrid comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with three electric motors. Total system output is 306 horsepower, and all-wheel drive is standard.

Starting things off is the LE, which has 18-inch wheels, a windshield wiper de-icer, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure intervention, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth, a 6.1-inch touchscreen and a six-speaker sound system.

Our favorite is the XLE. You get the LE's equipment plus a sunroof, a height-adjustable power liftgate, a flip-up rear window, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, heated power front seats, leather upholstery. second-row sunshades, upgraded interior materials, an 8.1-inch touchscreen, satellite and HD radio, and a navigation system.

If you want more, there's the Limited with 19-inch wheels, LED running lights, rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory functions, second-row captain's chairs and a 12-speaker JBL sound system. At the top of the range is the Limited Platinum with a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, front parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system and a heated steering wheel.

The XLE and Limited can be equipped with a rear entertainment system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited (3.5L V6 hybrid | CVT | AWD).  NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Highlander has received some revisions, including a new V6 engine, additional feature content and new, less expensive trim levels. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Highlander.


The Highlander Hybrid has a competent hybrid powertrain, proficient brakes and intuitive, albeit numb, steering. Additionally, good highway manners, acceptable towing capability and decent off-road credentials make it appealing.


The 2017 Highlander Hybrid's powerful V6 engine and electric motors, in combination, move it off the line quickly. It's not as quick as the regular Highlander, but acceleration is acceptable.


Despite a vague-feeling pedal, the Highlander provides sufficient emergency braking effectiveness and good fade resistance. In daily situations, pedal engagement can sometimes feel awkward.


The Highlander's steering is reassuring when cornering and provides straight-line stability on the highway. The steering of other, albeit non-hybrid, SUVs instill more confidence, however, and provide more engagement to the driver.


A confident and competent handler, right up to the relatively low limit set by the electronic stability system that really lets you know when you're asking too much of it. Again, others are sharper, but most drivers will find it to be acceptable.


This is an easy SUV to drive, even if it can feel a tad large compared to certain non-hybrid competitors. As far as hybrids go, though, the brakes aren't weird, and there aren't any strange sensations that will make you feel as if you're driving a science experiment.


There are no low-range gears, and it doesn't have a traditional all-wheel-drive system (the rear wheels are simply powered by a separate electric motor). But its 8 inches of ground clearance, hill hold and hill descent systems, and advantageous approach/departure angles are admirable.


Lexus-lite. The Highlander's seats, ride comfort and utterly silent atmosphere are nearly as good as those found in SUVs by corporate cousin Lexus.

Seat comfort

Heated leather front seats (XLE and above) are as comfy as furniture and offer tons of adjustment, including extendable thigh support. The second row is firmer but slides and reclines in a wide range. The third row is merely acceptable; some other crossovers have roomier third-row seating.

Ride comfort

One of the Highlander's best qualities is its ride comfort: The suspension easily absorbs bumps and ruts without feeling like a floating barge. Very few, if any, road irregularities intrude.

Noise & vibration

It's one of the quietest SUVs we've ever measured. An occasional wisp of wind noise is evident on a gusty highway pass. At full throttle, the engine's drone does find its way into the cabin.


This is a very competitive segment, and although the Highlander Hybrid is quite good in each of these areas, it also doesn't have a clear advantage over more recently redesigned competitors.

Ease of use

Some controls, specifically those for the audio system, are located too far away. Otherwise, Toyota's typical array of controls are easy to use.

Getting in/getting out

It can be difficult to reach the third row because the second row (be it the captain's chairs or bench) doesn't get out of the way enough to provide the sort of access provided by certain competitors. The doors are large, though, and the seats are of a reasonable height.

Driving position

Abundant seat adjustments, including power thigh support (a rare feature) on most trim levels. Sufficient seat and telescoping-wheel travel for taller drivers.


As in its competitors, the first and second rows provide copious room for most occupants. The third row is squishier than those in some rival models despite have three seat belts — only small kids are likely to fit three abreast back there.


The quality of materials is among the class best, and during the course of our one-year long-term test of a Highlander, everything in the cabin remained nicely screwed together. Impressive.


Overall cargo capacity is average for this segment, which means that most families should have abundant room. Small item storage is very good.

Small-item storage

There's a unique built-in shelf on the dashboard that serves as a resting place for phones or other personal items, though it can be hard to get your hand in there. A vast amount of space is found under the sliding armrest cover — it's big enough to store a laptop or a sizable purse.

Cargo space

The Highlander offers an average amount of cargo capacity for the segment regardless of how many rows are in place — nothing significantly outdoes it. Others are better behind the third row, however, specifically the Ford Explorer.


A properly equipped Highlander Hybrid Limited can tow up to 3,500 pounds, compared to 5,000 pounds for the conventional gasoline Highlander and most competitors.


The Highlander's standard suite of accident avoidance tech is a big reason to consider this family crossover, especially if you don't have the money for a range-topping model. Infotainment tech is pleasantly easy to use.

Audio & navigation

Toyota's touchscreen infotainment interfaces aren't the flashiest or feature-packed, but they are easy to use. The Highlander's upgrade 8-inch screen is notably quick to respond to inputs and features large, easily pressed icons.

Driver aids

Every Highlander comes standard with forward collision warning and automatic braking (includes pedestrian detection), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and steering assist. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great SUV, but hybrid may not be worth it
The Highlander Hybrid is comfortable and looks great inside and out. The "hybrid" part so far is a big disappointment in terms of performance and gas mileage. On long drives, we have simply decided to forego Eco Mode and avoid what feels like a battle between car and driver otherwise. Our gas mileage so far has been 25.5mpg at best and 19mpg at worst during a long trip between northern and southern California. Eco mode on the long trip only improved this by 2mpg. So, unless you need to cross the 6,000gvwr for business reasons, I don't see any advantage to the hybrid. UPDATE: After an ECU flash at the dealer, the hybrid part has been great. My best on a tank is just over 30mpg and I rarely get under 26mpg.
Great Fuel Ecenomy
We ordered a 2017 Highlander Hybrid XLE in November 2016 and received it in early December 2016. We immediately took off on a 1000 mi trip to Oregon. Overall we are very happy with the purchase. Dealership service was good, the SUV drives well and we got 26.5 MPG for the 2000 miles round trip through interstate 5 during winter blizzards going and coming back. Our previous SUV was an Acura MDX which on the same trip averaged only about 19 MPG so we are please with the gas mileage. Since then in overall Southern Cal driving in mixed city and freeway trips, we averaged over 30 MPG. During our trip through the California/Oregon mountains during winter blizzards we found out that the Safety Features stopped working when the sensors were covered by snows and mud. So at the time we needed them, they stopped working unless we cleaned the snows/mud off the sensors. Otherwise all the safety features worked as advertised. Only other problem is the Toyota lane assist worked but the design was stupid: It behaved like a "drunken sailer" bouncing from one side to the other if we did not correct the drifting off the center of the lane and relied on the lane assist. Overall we give it a 5 star SUV.
If you prefer a comfortable ride
The Toyota Highlander expert reviews are spot on. The car is quiet and comfortable. However I am and old grandpa and drive like one my kids say ... slow, steady and easy going. I drive 65 mph on the freeways and the posted speed limits in town. I do not, 'Jack rabbit start' only to race to the next stop sign/red light to slam on my brakes. I get an typical 25 mpg per tank full of gasoline. I do regular servicing. The 2017 caught my attention with increased hosepower, better fuel economy and better safety features (I really like the 360 dregree camera view). UPDATE: 12/8/2017 I really like this SUV. It is a quiet and comfortable ride. Plenty of cargo space for my service dog with 2nd row seats up for passangers. I have been getting 23-24 mpg with the A/C, or heater on, and 25-27 with both off. This is roughly 50-50 city-highway. The electric motor truly takes a gentle foot to stay engaged, and really is quite limited in being engaged ... maybe a mile if lucky. Learning to use it does add to the fuel economy. The ECO function is suppose to improve fuel economy in town with start ups. I used it the first 2500 miles and did not use it the last 2500 miles. I notice no difference in fuel economy and it is essentialy the same type of mileage. I notice a little more acceleration with the 2017 over the 2016, but it might be more to the slight noise increase I can hear. The hybrid is spunky on acceleration if you need it. For me, a disabled veteran, the biggest plus has been the sensors and safety features. There are 4 levels to the robotic car industry, where level 4 is fully computer managed automobile. The 2017 Highlander is level 2. It has lane monitoring and automatic correction. I have only used the auto correction feature a few times. It does take having lane lines on both sides, but it has worked for me. I'm not sure I'm ready to close my eye though. The sensor alert when I drift over a lane line is useful to me though. Since I am blind in my left eye, the safety sensors really help. I get alerts not only if autos are on my left side, but at intersections if people are in the cross walk. The alert also works for people walking behind, or on the side of my SUV. A nice safety feature in parking lots for sure. Everything has worked nicely and I have no complaints about the Toyota Highlander Hybrid at the time. Update 6/2018 I'm liking this SUV more and more all the time. It takes time to learn and develop the muscle responses to best use the hybrid system. I can now effectively use the ECO and EV systems to improve my gasoline mpg. I can pretty much count on 25 mpg all around combined average (24 in Winter with heat/air, 26 in Summer with no heat/air). The camera views are a blessing for close spaces and parking. I now have 9200 miles on the vehicle, and consider it the best drive I ever bought.
Excellent family-hauler with a few flaws
Lots going for the Highlander Hybrid: unmatched fuel economy (in class), AWD, comfortable interior, and great reliability. Ride is soft, smooth and quiet. Handling is numb; not for 'spirited' driving. Active Safety Sense features (standard) seem to work well and are non-obtrusive, though I haven't really experienced the pre-collision system. Toyota's Entune+Navigation system seems quite dated; wish they would just support Apple Carplay / Android Auto. (At least Bluetooth works well.) Also considered the Honda Pilot EX-L (AWD), but I got the Hybrid XLE for almost the same price, and have no regrets!
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Features & Specs

29 city / 27 hwy
Seats 7
Continuously variable-speed automatic
29 city / 27 hwy
Seats 7
Continuously variable-speed automatic
29 city / 27 hwy
Seats 8
Continuously variable-speed automatic
30 city / 28 hwy
Seats 8
Continuously variable-speed automatic
See all 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Highlander Hybrid safety features:

Forward Collision Warning with Auto-Brake
Detects and automatically brakes to prevent hitting other cars and pedestrians in front of you. It's a standard feature this year.
Lane Departure Alert and Steering Assist
Warns you if you're about to deviate from your lane and can even help steer. It's also standard this year.
Driver Knee & Passenger Cushion Airbags
Additional airbag protection. Not every competitor has these extra airbags for front occupants.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

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More about the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Overview

The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Highlander Hybrid SUV. Available styles include Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and LE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What do people think of the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Highlander Hybrid 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Highlander Hybrid.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Highlander Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall5.0 / 5


5.0 / 5

Seat comfort5.0 / 5
Ride comfort5.0 / 5
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5


4.0 / 5

Ease of use3.5 / 5
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5
Roominess3.5 / 5
Quality5.0 / 5


3.5 / 5

Small-item storage4.0 / 5
Cargo space3.5 / 5
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Can't find a new 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,267.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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