2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review
Edmunds expert review
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.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
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.
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.
Noise & vibration5.0
Ease of use3.5
Getting in/getting out3.5
Audio & navigation
Edmunds expert 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.