The Toyota Highlander has an excellent pedigree, dominating road presence, and a reputation for being a big mid-size crossover with plenty of torque. However, the Highlander also has a softer, greener underbelly that’s kinder to both the planet and your wallet. The Hybrid version has taken the Highlander to a new audience who previously wouldn’t have looked at the standard model because of its carbon footprint. The Highlander Hybrid has a daintier imprint and as such has become a very popular choice for customers who want all the advantages of a decent-sized crossover, but don’t want to damage the planet by driving a standard petrol or diesel model.
A Powertrain driving force
The Highlander Hybrid is powered by Toyota’s innovative Powertrain system and has the advantage of having the latest generation of this system under the bonnet. Featuring a 2.5-Litre Atkinson-cycle in-line four-cylinder petrol engine and a sequence of three electric motors front and rear to give it all-wheel drive, it’s punchy, quick, and economical. The nickel-hydride batteries live underneath the second row of seats, so they don’t impinge on the boot space so there’s more room in the back for your weekend luggage.
The powertrain delivers both performance and economy, providing around 20 kmpl for city/highway driving. Compared to other medium-large crossovers, that’s quite impressive and gives the Highlander plenty of range between petrol stops. City driving is made even more economical thanks to the powerful electric engines which are constantly topped up by the regenerative braking system.
A McPherson linkage and upgraded suspension mean the ride is smooth and bump-free, with very little body-roll that normally plagues larger crossovers. It feels planted, stable and grippy, delivering excellent cornering and handling through the mountain twisties.
The driver experience – a dash full of dials
Toyota hasn’t cut corners in the cabin, either. Inside you’ll find a host of driver-friendly buttons and dials, all designed to make the experience better and more interesting. The infotainment is accessed through a 12.3” touch display with an intuitive interface and at-a-glance icons. Connected Services adds extra features such as remote access to the vehicle via a smartphone app, so that should keep the passengers happy as well.
The cabin is spacious and has plenty of that all-important legroom for both front and rear passengers. The front seats have both heating and ventilation, which is particularly useful on those long, hot, summer drives. Overall, the cabin is comfortable, verging on the luxurious, but with practicality in mind. This is a family-friendly car, so it’s easy to valet and keep clean, with plenty of stash pockets and storage.
A big car with a green heart
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes in at a shade under 5m in length, giving it real road presence and taking it out of the mid-range bracket and into the full-size crossover, putting it alongside many other SUVs. However, that Hybrid Powertrain set-up means that its carbon footprint is considerably smaller than many others, making it a planet-friendly option as well as a family-friendly one.
The Highlander has a heritage stretching back over 20 years, and the Hybrid version is bound to keep this iconic crossover on our streets for a while to come. It’s a favourite with our customers, and once you drive this responsive, nimble and slightly quirky crossover, it’s easy to see why.
Book your Toyota Highlander online today!
Note: Images and description are for illustrative purposes only. Specs may vary on rented vehicle based on selection.