The second-generation Highlander Hybrid gas/electric SUV was introduced in 2008. The Highlander can operate in an all-electric mode that can be used for limited distances. Five- and seven-seat models are available. Base and Limited trims are offered, and the hybrid is only available with all-wheel drive. Its competition is the Ford Escape Hybrid and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid.
New for 2010
There are no significant changes for 2010.
The Highlander Hybrid is sleek and features smooth sides. It retains the upright D-pillar of the previous generation, and a power liftgate is available. Styling differences between the gas-only Highlander and the Highlander Hybrid are minimal; the hybrid has different grille and taillight styling and unique hybrid badges.
- 17-inch wheels
- Available 19-inch wheels
- 7.3 inches of ground clearance; non-hybrid all-wheel-drive Highlanders have 8.1 inches
The Highlander Hybrid has front bucket seats and sliding and reclining second-row captain's chairs that can be configured to handle three people with Toyota's Center Stow seat. The Center Stow seat provides decent comfort, and it can be removed when it isn't needed. Seven-seat Highlanders have a two-person third-row seat that folds flat into the floor.
- Smart Start and Entry keyless access
- Available navigation system and JBL stereo with four-disc CD changer
- Available rear-seat entertainment system with a flip-down 9-inch screen
- Available leather seats
Under the Hood
The Highlander Hybrid's gas/electric powertrain has an EV mode that allows it to travel at low speeds for about five miles on battery power alone, according to Toyota.
- 3.3-liter V-6 engine and electric motors make 270 horsepower
- Continuously variable automatic transmission
- All-wheel drive
Safety features include:
- Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats
- Driver's knee airbag
- Active head restraints for front seats
- Electronic stability system
- Backup camera