For the 2024 model year, it’s the Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s turn to get the Nightshade treatment. This is the latest in a long lineup of Nightshade models that includes the mid-size Camry sedan, compact Corolla and Corolla Cross Hybrid small SUV.
The Nightshade treatment is largely a cosmetic upgrade and replaces 2023’s Bronze Edition which, as the name not-so-subtly implies, featured bronze interior and exterior accents. Offered on two Highlander Hybrid trims, the LE and XLE, the Nightshade includes black side mirrors, door handles, grille, exterior badging, shark fin antenna and rear spoiler. Opting for the XLE adds black roof rails. Exterior color choices for the Nightshade include Cement, Wind Chill Pearl, Ruby Flare Pearl and Midnight Black Metallic. Gone are the bronze alloy wheels; in their place, the Nightshade rolls on black-painted 18-inch five-spoke alloys.
Inside, the LE Nightshade comes with black cloth seats, while the XLE Nightshade upgrades the interior with synthetic leather upholstery with silver stitching and embossed fabric inserts. The XLE Nightshade also comes with desirable extras like heated front seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, wireless device charging, a hands-free power liftgate, a power moonroof and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A second-row bench seat is fitted to the eight-passenger LE trim, whereas the XLE is equipped with second-row captain’s chairs.
An 8-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard in either trim, though the XLE Nightshade is available with an optional 12.3-inch screen, which we’ve found to be simple to navigate thanks to its clear menus and crisp graphics. Each system comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, five USB ports and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Powertrain Specs and MPG
Anything mechanical remains the same as what’s found in other Highlander Hybrids; under the hood is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to two electric motors for a total of 243 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard, and both the LE and XLE Nightshade can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined in FWD models and 35 mpg combined if AWD is optioned. Those impressive figures compare favorably to rivals like the Ford Explorer Hybrid, Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid and Kia Sorento Hybrid.
Pricing for the 2024 Highlander Hybrid Nightshade Edition LE begins at $43,115, and the Nightshade XLE trim costs $46,265 (both prices include a $1,395 destination charge). AWD adds $1,600.
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