2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

Used Highlander Hybrid for sale
List Price Range:$36,671 - $37,495
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid model years
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Which Highlander Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with a good amount of standard equipment in the base LE trim. But we recommend upgrading to the midlevel XLE. On top of the standard systems such as forward collision mitigation and lane departure intervention, the XLE gets blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as well as the upgraded 8.1-inch touchscreen.

Edmunds' Expert Review

  • 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
  • Third-row seat isn't as roomy as those of many competitors
  • Touchscreen and other controls may require an extra-long reach

Overall rating

The name pretty much says it all. The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is simply a more fuel-efficient version of the standard, three-row Highlander. We like the Highlander, so it's certainly a compliment.

Like the standard Highlander, the Hybrid is a relatively spacious, quiet and comfortable crossover. It also comes with a lot of standard equipment, including the latest in advanced driver safety aids. The big difference is the Hybrid's powertrain. It combines a gasoline V6 and electric motors for a total of 306 horsepower and 29 mpg combined.

Toyota continues to be the only non-luxury automaker to offer a three-row midsize hybrid crossover. If high fuel economy and utility are priorities, the Highlander Hybrid is the obvious pick. Just note that the Hybrid costs more. If you're buying one new, it's going to take you a few years to recoup the cost (compared to a regular Highlander) in fuel savings alone.

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid models

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a three-row SUV that comes standard with eight- or seven-passenger seating configurations, depending on trim level. Those include LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels. The LE isn't exactly a stripped-down 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 features but in the process receive luxury brand-like price tags.

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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 trim level choice for the Highlander Hybrid 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, power front seats with heating, leather upholstery, second-row sunshades, upgraded interior materials, a second-row 120-volt power outlet, 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, heated and ventilated front seats with perforated leather, driver-seat memory functions, second-row captain's chairs, a rear cargo cover and a 12-speaker JBL sound system. At the top of the range is the Limited Platinumwith a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, front parking sensors, a 360-degree parking camera system, heated rear outboard seats and a heated steering wheel.

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


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 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. But the steering of other, albeit non-hybrid, SUVs instills more confidence and provides more engagement to the driver.


It's 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 and 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

The 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 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 found in 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, and 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 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. Some others offer more space behind the third row, notably 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 8-inch screen (an upgrade) 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 Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
So far so good! My favorite car I've owned
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This is easily my favorite car I've ever owned. I've just begun breaking the car in, but it has been great thus far. The Highlander Hybrid is the only non-luxury hybrid crossover that offers three rows. Depending on discounts you can get you will be paying a little bit more for the hybrid compared to an identical non-hybrid Highlander. The dealer tried to convince me to buy a non-hybrid because it will take you a long time to make up the price difference in gas mileage, but for me the additional power, over 300 HP, was the reason to get this car. I've been averaging 23 mpg, but I'm sure that will go up as I break-in the engine. Update on gas mileage, the hybrid gets much better mileage in warmer weather. The hybrid system is much more likely to run in all electric mode at lower speeds, and when the engine is warm. The CVT doesn't have great feel, but I understand why it is a better option for the hybrid powertrain. The interior is very comfortable, the 2nd row buckets are nearly as comfortable as the front seats, the third row is not very roomy, but it will work well if it is just for short trips. The technology of this car is tremendous as all trim levels come with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and all the other important safety features. The JBL sound system in the upper trim levels is tremendous. The HVAC system works really well. The car lacks Apple Carplay/Android Auto and HID headlights, but other than that I can't think of a single feature that is missing here.
5 out of 5 stars
Great SUV
Joe Hoesch,10/16/2018
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I’m very impressed with my new Highlander XLE. Strengths - Powerful engine performance and smooth CVT transmission. Excellent quality of materials, fit and finish inside and out, calm and comfortable ride, minimal interior cabin road noise, comfortable front seats, excellent gas mileage, cargo space, heated seats, safety features, hill hold, steering, braking, handling and a powerful V6 engine. Weakness - Nothing really stands out. Minor to moderate gas engine noise during aggressive acceleration, 3rd row seating would be tight for adults and some of the controls require reaching. Terrific gas mileage for a 309 horsepower SUV. It has been getting 28 to 31 MPG in ECO Mode which is supposed to trim back engine performance and the air conditioning to improve gas mileage. I’ve tried both regular and ECO Mode and don’t see much of a difference in performance. I think I get better gas mileage by paying attention to the energy gauge that’s to the left of the speedometer. Feathering the gas pedal in low speed situations and avoiding heavy acceleration keeps the SUV running on the traction battery for longer periods of time. The gas engine rarely runs in many areas where I drive around town and in my neighborhood. I would buy the Highlander again. Update-I’ve owned the 2018 Highlander Hybrid for two years and it now has exactly 30,000 on the odometer. I have not had any repairs performed in that time period. I’ve had 3 oil changes at 10,000 mile intervals and a check up at 5000 mile intervals. That’s it. The original equipment tires are worn and will be replaced soon. Reliability = Five Stars plus. Update 2 - I replaced the original equipment Michelin tires with Pirelli Scorpion Verde All Season Plus II at 36,000 miles. There was some tread depth remaining in the Michelins but I began to feel a lot of hydroplaning at highway speeds during heavy rains. The Pirellis rank at the top of www.tirerack.com customer survey list for comfort for tires specifically made for SUVs and very quiet and smooth riding tires. At 36000 miles, still no repairs required or performed. Some information about hybrid brakes: The electric motors do the majority of slowing and stopping. The standard brake pads are activated at speeds below 17 MPH and at high speed panic braking. The computers decide which braking activity will be used. This light stopping duty means the pads can last for 100,000 miles or more.
5 out of 5 stars
Best SUV ever!
Juan Carlos,06/21/2018
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
We bought the XLE Limited Hybrid and are very happy with it. Using the eco mode, we hit the 27 gallons per mile mark. Also, we are using B15 aka 88 gas which tends to be cheaper than unleaded (87). The front and second set of seats are roomy. However, the third row is very small. Also, hybrids will give great city mileage. However, no fuel savings in the Highway. This model gives the same 27 gallons per mile as the non hybrids. Only downside was the financing at the Maplewood Toyota dealership in Minnesota. Our credit score was 840 (excellent), and they got me a 72 month loan with a Bank at a 5.5 interest rate. I refinanced quickly within a few days with my credit union for the same period of time a 3.2 interest rate. Even if you don’t have a good credit, my advise is to get prequalified for the loan before you walk into the dealership.
5 out of 5 stars
Great travel car AND daily driver!
Bruce F,09/24/2018
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Birds eye view for parking, radar cruise control, blind spot indicators, collision control - this car is a dream to drive. Quiet at highway speeds, temperature comfort for each seat, thigh and lumbar support for driver, window shades for mid seat passengers, lots of room and easy access for trips. Much less driving fatigue than any other car I have driven in 40 years! My wife uses this as her daily driver, can take half the office to lunch in it, shorter turn radius for this size vehicle makes parking easy. She loves the shelf under the dash, and, most important for her: the center console is big enough to stash her purse easily (and she has a big purse!), instead of putting it on the floor when she has a passenger, or on the passenger seat with a long reach to it. This convenience is BIG BENEFIT to a woman. Subtle touches throughout the vehicle that you never knew you needed. 2 wishes for improvement: Use the seat memory function tied to a key fob like on the Lexus; Offer the comfort and luxury feel of a wood steering wheel like on the Lexus. Come on, Toyota, you know how to make this vehicle perfect. We will likely keep this vehicle 20 years, long into retirement.


Our experts like the Highlander Hybrid models:

Forward Collision Warning with Auto-Brake
Detects other cars and pedestrians in front of you and automatically brakes to prevent collisions. 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

5 out of 5 stars
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
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Overview

The Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Highlander Hybrid SUV. Available styles include LE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Pre-owned Toyota Highlander Hybrid models are available with a 3.5 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 306 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 2 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum is priced between $36,995 and$37,495 with odometer readings between 56587 and60879 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE is priced between $36,671 and$36,671 with odometer readings between 42313 and42313 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 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) 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2018 Highlander Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $36,671 and mileage as low as 42313 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,992.

Find a used Toyota for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,830.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota Highlander Hybrid for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $9,765.

Find a used certified pre-owned Toyota for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $23,977.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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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