April 17, 2024


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2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid review: Astonishingly efficient

Like a bountiful harvest pouring forth from a horn of a good deal, you will find no lack of three-row SUVs available now. The Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride are popular choices, to title a couple, but you will find also the Mazda CX-nine, Subaru Ascent and even Volkswagen’s up-to-date 2021 Atlas. Of class, Chevrolet will also fortunately promote you a Traverse. But if compact auto-rivaling gasoline mileage is a precedence then Toyota’s produced points quick. The Japanese automaker’s Highlander Hybrid is definitely the only alternative. 

Will not Like

  • Curious placement of wireless charger
  • Uninspired infotainment program
  • Small 3rd-row seat

The most significant quantities

Just how affordable is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid? Properly, engineers produced this hottest design all over twenty% much more successful than the earlier generation, which interprets to 36 miles per gallon city and 35 mpg highway for a front-push design. Selection-topping Platinum-trim variants with all-wheel push are somewhat fewer successful, nevertheless the change is, truthfully, negligible. My evaluation unit stickers at 35 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 35 mpg blended. In true-environment use, the vacation laptop indicated 31 mpg and adjust during screening, which I got without even attempting. If you push in a much more conservative method, you may even be able to conquer individuals EPA estimates. 

How dominating is the Highlander Hybrid’s gas-overall economy performance? Properly, in comparison, a rear-push Ford Explorer Hybrid, arguably its only immediate rival, returns a claimed 27 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 28 mpg blended. Seize 4-wheel push and individuals figures are even lessen, creating this Toyota’s effectiveness scores glance all the much more remarkable.

There is a great deal of sculpting alongside the overall body sides.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Two motors, a single motor

Enabling this SUV to sip gas like when you acquire that first, tongue-scalding slurp of piping-warm espresso is a acquainted drivetrain. Powering that wide, smiling grille you may obtain a two-motor hybrid program designed all over a two.five-liter 4-cylinder motor. That gasoline-burner is matched to a pair of electric powered motor-generators that, amid other points, perform as a constantly variable transmission. Complete program output clocks in at 243 horsepower, a much more-than-enough figure, if hardly a thrilling a single.

It can be genuine, I desire the Highlander Hybrid experienced a tiny much more giddy-up. That drivetrain is mainly easy and silent, nevertheless you do know when it’s straining. Give this auto the spurs and unmistakable 4-cylinder thrum gets obvious. No, it’s not obtrusive, primarily in Minimal and Platinum types, which attribute laminated front-window glass for an even quieter cabin, but you can listen to that combustion motor churning away at selected situations.

Highlander Hybrids can tow a modest three,five hundred pounds. That must be ample for a modest boat or a couple of dirt bikes, stuff like that. Non-hybrid types are a little bit much more capable, able to drag up to five,000 pounds.

When shedding velocity, the Highlander Hybrid’s brakes are quick to modulate and the pedal feels superior below your tootsies. Regenerative braking, which puts electrons back again into the battery pack for use afterwards, is easy, and the changeover to friction braking just about seamless.

Given that it’s a hybrid, this SUV can also be pushed limited distances in electric powered-only manner — emphasis on limited. This is not a plug-in hybrid, so EV range just isn’t a true element, but the Highlander can silently motor down your block or waft into the garage without disturbing any one. 

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD

Aside from hoses and cables, you will find not considerably to see below.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The softer facet

The Highlander’s cabin is extremely well completed. Even nevertheless its dashboard is oddly asymmetrical, the elements employed and in general flexibility are great. My tester has a good deal of smooth leather-based, rendered in a hue known as Glazed Caramel. It can be abundant seeking and distinctive to the range-topping Platinum design.

Beyond all that, you will find no lack of USB ports, the storage cubbies on the dashboard are tremendous useful and the middle-console bin is borderline cavernous, with a caveat. An individual thought it was a superior notion to put the wireless-charging plate beneath the middle armrest, which slides away like the lid on a roll-major desk. Not only does this format block accessibility to that middle bin, the pad alone is as well modest to accommodate greater handsets in cases. My Iphone eight As well as will not match in the recess, nevertheless it however rates although tipped up at a slight angle. I have so lots of queries about this structure conclusion.

For the most aspect, passenger ease and comfort in the Highlander is a robust issue. Its front buckets offer La-Z-Boy amounts of cushiness and the next row ain’t as well terrible, both. Regrettably, the 3rd row is a disappointment. Practically no autos in this class will easily accommodate grownup travellers in their rear-most seats for any sizeable size of time. But this Toyota’s 3rd-row legroom is the tightest amid significant opponents. According to manufacturer-revealed figures, it has just about six less inches of legroom than a Chevy Traverse, and that is a big change.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD

The Highlander Hybrid’s cabin is nicely made and well designed.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

In keeping with the Highlander Hybrid’s polished and nicely trimmed cabin, it only normally takes you about ten seconds driving the wheel to notice how refined it is. It can be silent, easy and, in a great deal of techniques, feels like a Lexus. This vehicle’s experience excellent is supple and the steering is mild to the contact but rapid ample to make the Highlander seem to be at minimum a tiny little bit agile.

Technically speaking

An infotainment program with a 12.three-inch touchscreen is available. It can be experienced in Minimal types, nevertheless it’s conventional tools on the Highlander Platinum. Aside from built-in navigation, it also gets you an 11-speaker JBL seem program, which is loud and clear.

That screen is fairly great, equally crisp and colorful, but I’m not a fan of the software that runs on it. Toyota’s multimedia choices are likely to have out-of-date user interfaces and puzzling menus. Even though it’s not terrible, the Highlander’s infotainment array is much more of the same. I obtain it a little bit as well complex, it’s not quite quite and then you will find a bizarre smattering of mismatched actual physical buttons beneath the display screen. At minimum Amazon Alexa compatibility as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are conventional across the range, so you only have to use Toyota’s infotainment choices for as prolonged as it normally takes to plug your cell phone in.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD

This is not my favourite infotainment program around 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Shielding each Highlander proprietor, no matter their finances, Toyota Security Perception two. is conventional across all trim amounts. This includes points like automated high beams, adaptive cruise management, targeted traffic sign recognition and lane-departure warning with steering support. This previous item efficiently retains the Highlander centered in its lane of travel. It can be quite superior, nevertheless it appears to be a small little bit fewer accurate than Honda or Nissan programs these days. Keyless entry with pushbutton start out is conventional across the board, ditto LED foglights and taillamps. 

Illuminating the darkness, Platinum types occur with tremendous-shiny LED adaptive headlights. Not only are they self-leveling, they swivel as you flip the steering wheel to enable improve visibility. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are conventional as well.

Judgement rendered

The Highlander Hybrid is made available in 4 trim amounts, each of which can be experienced with both front- or all-wheel push. An entry-amount LE version, the most reasonably priced offering in the range, is priced at $39,320, like $one,one hundred twenty for vacation spot. As for my major-of-the-line Platinum design, it checks out for $fifty two,512, a considerably steeper figure.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD

You could do much even worse than the Toyota Highlander.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Right now, the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride are the shining stars in the three-row utility-auto section. They are upscale and refined, versatile and elegant, moreover they provide hundreds of tech. These corporate twins are superior at just about every thing and, in some techniques, far better than this Toyota, even without available hybrid electricity.

The 2020 Toyota Highlander is an great three-row crossover, definitely a single of the finest available now, primarily in hybrid sort, which gives unbeatable gas effectiveness.