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Functionality & Economy: 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Crossover

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is available in LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels. The Toyota hybrid impresses with its outstanding power and efficiency. The Highlander Hybrid offers room for up to eight and is designed to be the ideal family vehicle. Power is generated by the Hybrid Synergy Drive system which pairs the new Direct-Injection 3.5L V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator. All Highlander Hybrid models come equipped with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD-i system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.

Control hardware is enhanced by the Highlander Hybrid’s stiff body structure, combined with finely tuned MacPherson strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension.
Inside the passenger cabin, quietness sets the stage for the premium feel throughout the interior. High quality materials and extensive standard equipment underscore the renowned Toyota value. A soft-touch instrument panel and silver-painted, satin, and chrome-plated accents throughout the interior convey a near-luxury feel.

The second row offers bench seating for three, or two captain’s chairs featuring a collapsible side tray with cup holders. Entering the third-row is easy using a one-step second-row sliding seat function on both driver and passenger sides. Third-row passengers get a standard recline function. But should those in the “way-back” need some occasional corrective instruction, there’s no need to shout from the front. Standard Driver Easy Speak works like a high-tech bullhorn, using a microphone to carry the driver’s or co-pilot’s voice through the audio system’s rear speakers.

The Highlander Hybrid’s design turns heads, but not at the expense of function. There’s excellent visibility in all directions, from all three rows. And it’s a hushed cabin, too, thanks to acoustic-type glass used for the windshield that helps keep outside noise where it belongs – outside. The most insulation coverage ever applied in a Highlander ensures a serene ride for all. Three hydraulic engine mounts, expanded coverage of the dash silencer and enhanced body sealing all help to dampen vibration. The available panoramic moonroof was designed to reduce wind noise, even when it’s open.

Dimensions & specifications
Wheelbase: 109.8; overall length: 192.5; width: 75.8; height: 68.1
All vehicle measurements are in inches.

Engine: 3.5L V6 – 231 hp at 5,800 rpm and 215 lbs-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm, Motor Generator 2 (MG2) (front wheel drive) – 167 hp/247 lbs-ft of torque, Motor Generator Rear (MGR) (rear wheel drive) – 68 hp/103 lbs-ft of torque, and Hybrid Battery Pack – sealed nickel metal hydride Ni-MH – 288V/45kW.
Transmission: electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission.
EPA Fuel Economy: 30 city/28 hwy. (LE); 29 city/27 hwy. (XLE/Limited/Limited Platinum)
Cargo capacity: 83.7 cubic feet
Payload capacity: 1,305 lbs.
Towing capacity: 3,500 lbs.

Safety features
Dual front airbags, front seat mounted side-impact airbags, driver’s knee airbag, front passenger seat cushion airbag, dual all-row roll sensing side curtain airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, vehicle dynamics integrated management system, electronically controlled braking, enhanced vehicle stability control, traction control, smart stop technology, hill start assist control, anti-theft alarm, engine immobilizer, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic headlights, automatic high beams, dynamic cruise control, integrated backup camera, Bluetooth hands free phone system, Smart Key System, remote keyless entry, automatic power door locks, push-button engine start, Safety Connect, and tire pressure monitoring system. XLE adds integrated fog lights, in-vehicle navigation, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert. Limited adds rear parking assist sonar. Limited Platinum adds rain sensing windshield wipers, Bird’s Eye View Camera, and front parking assist sonar.

Basic: 3-year/36,000 mile Comprehensive
Powertrain: 5-year/60,000 mile
Hybrid components: 8-year/100,000 mile
Corrosion: 5-year/unlimited

The base Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid crossover starts from $36,870 for the LE upto $48,480 for the Limited Platinum. Destination charges add $1,045.

About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.® is a woman's guide to car shopping.
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