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10 Biggest News Stories of the Month: Toyota Highlander Hybrid Runs Higher Than Mazda CX-5

toyota highlander hybrid platinum 2023 01 exterior dynamic profile scaled jpg 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

For the 2023 model year, the Toyota Highlander and its hybrid variant received some mid-generation updates since its 2020 redesign. Revisions that apply to the Highlander Hybrid — a new multimedia system, in particular — were generally well done and left Cars.com reviewers impressed, as did important considerations like efficiency, interior and seating comfort. But not everything with the Highlander Hybrid is hunky-dory, as you’ll learn in the rapid-fire rundown of the mid-size three-row SUV’s pros and cons that ranks as one of our most popular news articles of the past month.

Related: 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review: Long on Efficiency, Short on Space

Scoring high with our expert reviewers were the Highlander Hybrid’s excellent 36 mpg combined fuel economy figure; natural-feeling regenerative braking setup; nice-looking, easy-to-use new infotainment system with an upsized 12.3-inch touchscreen; spacious accommodations for occupants of the first two rows and thoughtful storage solutions; and a generously stocked suite of advanced safety features. Lowering the Highlander Hybrid in our editors’ esteem, on the other hand, are its cramped (even for kids), hard-to-get-to third row and stingy cargo space when that third row is in use; unrefined engine noise from the hybrid four-cylinder setup that serves as a trade-off for that sweet gas mileage; and an electric-only option among its four driving modes that really doesn’t seem to want you to actually use it.

For more on what we like and what we loathe about the 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, follow the link below to the No. 3 news story of the past month.

Unable to reach the same heights as the Highlander Hybrid on our monthly countdown of most read stories, the 2024 Mazda CX-5 still had a showing befitting of the automaker’s bestselling vehicle in the U.S. Taking the fifth-place position among August articles was our report on pricing for the compact SUV’s 2024 incarnation. Regardless of which trim suits your fancy and finances, the new model year guarantees you all-wheel drive, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, blind spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure steering assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection — all of which now come standard. Starting under $31,000 for the base model (the 2.5 S Select) and rising through the eight available trim levels to nearly $42,000 for the range-topping 2.5 Turbo Signature model, the CX-5 also boasts an all-new-for-2024 2.5 Carbon Turbo trim that starts at $38,375 (including a $1,375 destination charge).

For full pricing details — including a trim-by-trim breakdown — of the 2024 Mazda CX-5, follow the link below to the No. 5 news story of the month.

Beyond that, we’ve got headlines on the Subaru Crosstrek and Impreza, Nissan Titan, Lincoln Corsair, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Land Cruiser, Cadillac Escalade and much more — so don’t stop reading till the digits double. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past month:

1. Cars.com’s 2023 Car Seat Fit Report Card

2. Subaru Recalls 35,000-Plus Crosstreks, Imprezas for Short-Circuit Risk

3. Is the 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid a Good SUV? 5 Pros, 3 Cons

4. Nissan Titan Offers Incentives Ahead of Imminent Demise

5. 2024 Mazda CX-5 Gets Improved Fuel Economy, Starts at $30,675

6. Which 3-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?

7. Is the 2023 Lincoln Corsair a Good SUV? 4 Pros and 3 Cons

8. Up Close With the 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe: A Radical but Promising Departure

9. Comparing Toyota’s Off-Roaders: How Does the 2024 Land Cruiser Stack Up?

10. 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ Up Close: More Lyriq XL Than Escalade EV

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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