2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
1-10 of 14 reviews
Test drive review

The Only SUV with AWD, 3 Row Seats, & Hybrid Power

by from Los Angeles, CA on January 9, 2012

We purchased the '12 Highlander Hybrid because we were looking for a vehicle that could haul our family with two kids comfortably around town, get decent mileage for a daily 80 mile round trip commute...
We purchased the '12 Highlander Hybrid because we were looking for a vehicle that could haul our family with two kids comfortably around town, get decent mileage for a daily 80 mile round trip commute (with traffic), have the capacity to accomodate a 3rd row of our kids' friends, and have all wheel drive for ski trips to the local mountains. There really wasn't any other vehicle that came close to fulfilling ALL of these criteria. The Highlander Hybrid is very comfortable and extremely quiet. There is very little wind or road noise at highway speed. Being able to scoot around in complete silence in all-electric mode (up to 30 mph) in a vehicle this size is impressive. We were amazed by the peaceful nature of the cabin. However, as a taller individual (6'0") I feel that the seat could have some more thigh support for long drives, but otherwise no compaints for the cabin. The hybrid powertrain is terrific. It is totally seamless between the gas and dual electric motors and we are averaging 28 MPG with everyday driving over the past 4,000 miles (as advertised). Range is approximately 400 miles between fill ups. The added bonus is that it runs on regular unleaded gas, which further reduces fuel costs. For an AWD vehicle of this size, this is quite a feat when you consider we are often transporting 4 to 6 people and their gear. We use the "ECON" mode to buffer the accelerator a bit for improved efficiency in stop and go driving. The continuously variable transmission is fine for daily driving but when sudden acceleration is needed, the engine does get quite loud and intrusive as the vehicle tries to get up to speed. Once the engine roars, there is actually impressive acceleration, but the response of the throttle is not very sporty. In addition, the regenerative brakes are somewhat soft and do not have the precise feel of standard brakes. This vehicle is clearly intended for lazily cruising around, not for fast starts and stops. As a family vehicle, however, this is not a problem. We mainly compared this to the Pilot EX-L AWD. However, the Pilot is larger and while this gives it more interior room, it was too big for my wife to handle comfortably for short errands around town and parking quickly. In addition, getting <20 MPG in the city was not appealing. The Lexus RX Hybrid will give you a similar hybrid AWD powertrain as the Highlander Hybrid, but it is smaller and there is no 3rd row seat. Overall we are extremely happy with our purchase and feel lucky to have gotten our vehicle. Due to the tsunami in Japan, production of the Highlander Hybrid was apparently shut down for several months (it is the only Highlander made in Japan) but it is now back in dealerships.
Comfort
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Value for the Money
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Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

38 out of 38 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

What a great purchase we made

by from Meridian, Idaho on June 18, 2012

We recently traded in a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid for a new 2012 Highlander Hybrid Limited. What we liked about the Highlander was the large cargo area, all the seats folded down to increase storage spa...
We recently traded in a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid for a new 2012 Highlander Hybrid Limited. What we liked about the Highlander was the large cargo area, all the seats folded down to increase storage space, the vehicle gets great gas mileage, it's a great looking vehicle and it rides like a charm. The brakes are not a problem and the steering is better then the reviews this vehicle gets. We are a small family of only two seniors, but this SUV was everything we wanted and more.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

5th Highlander Hybrid Since 2007

by from Ocala Florida on August 10, 2012

The continued refinements have impressed me even though no major body changes since 2008. The 2012 is the best so far. Just feels and drives good with excedllent gas mileage for a 4X4 SUV. Have never ...
The continued refinements have impressed me even though no major body changes since 2008. The 2012 is the best so far. Just feels and drives good with excedllent gas mileage for a 4X4 SUV. Have never had a mechanical or hardware failure on any of the five Highlanders SUV Hybrids. Averaghed over 40 K on each.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

great SUV

by from Cupertino, CA on November 29, 2012

I like the ride and mileage. Bought a used 2012 model because there were no deals on new ones. I get little more than 28mpg in city/freeway mix. Getting used to the height as I have been driving small...
I like the ride and mileage. Bought a used 2012 model because there were no deals on new ones. I get little more than 28mpg in city/freeway mix. Getting used to the height as I have been driving small cars all along. Wife wanted a minivan and I wanted a hybrid, so both are happy.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

We love this car

by from Dayton, Ohio on October 21, 2013

After searching and test driving SUV 's for months to replace my wife's 2000 Ford Explorer Sport we, by chance came across the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. We test drove the car and made an offer on one ...
After searching and test driving SUV 's for months to replace my wife's 2000 Ford Explorer Sport we, by chance came across the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. We test drove the car and made an offer on one at a Dayton, Ohio Toyota dealer. The dealer would not meet our offer and we found a new demo model in Chicago that was exactly the color we wanted at a great price. We bought the car and absolutely love it. The car rides great and we routinely get 30 to 32 mpg. Minor annoyances...the phone link system is not nearly as easy to use as my Hyundai Sonata. Voice activation is not easy. The satellite system will not allow getting new directions while driving. Other than that, this is the best car we have owned. I plan to get another one to replace my Sonata. We did not expect to buy a hybrid because we had no idea this car was available. This car gave us the mpg we wanted but didn't think we could get at a price no higher than the base Highlander. This car had 15,000 miles on it when we bought it. Love this car.
Comfort
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Crummy mileage

by from Seattle on February 3, 2013

We paid quite a premium for a hybrid billed as getting 28 mpg. We get about 22. I understand 28 is an average and not everyone will achieve that, but 22 is ridiculous. Why not just get the conventiona...
We paid quite a premium for a hybrid billed as getting 28 mpg. We get about 22. I understand 28 is an average and not everyone will achieve that, but 22 is ridiculous. Why not just get the conventional engine?
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does not recommend this car

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Great vehicle

by from Fdericksburg, VA on April 16, 2012

I love being ecofriendly and hybrids are a great start; and Toyota is the only company running while other companies are still crawling.
I love being ecofriendly and hybrids are a great start; and Toyota is the only company running while other companies are still crawling.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Happy I Bought It

by from Upland, Ca on April 23, 2012

Everything about this car is great. I am still not sure about the fuel economy that Toyota adverises.
Everything about this car is great. I am still not sure about the fuel economy that Toyota adverises.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

Love it

by from Gig harbor on June 6, 2017

Love it plenty Of room for my grandkids the dog and my luggage. It is really comfortable and the video screen is my grandkids favorite.
Love it plenty Of room for my grandkids the dog and my luggage. It is really comfortable and the video screen is my grandkids favorite.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Test drive review

This car is amazing. Very reliable.

by from Denver, CO on August 17, 2017

The car is great. It has a lot of features like wheels and a steering wheel. It also has an engine, which helps.
The car is great. It has a lot of features like wheels and a steering wheel. It also has an engine, which helps.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

0 out of 0 people found this review helpful. Did you?
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