TOYOTA

TOYOTA HIGHLANDER ESTATE 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid Excel 5dr CVT

Fuel

FuelPetrol/Electric Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph8.3s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2160 g/km

A mid-sized 7-seat SUV is nothing new but one with a proper full-Hybrid engine that you don't have to plug-in very definitely is. That's what's on offer from Toyota's Highlander Hybrid. Does any car in this class make more sense than this one?

HI SOCIETY

Toyota's Highlander Hybrid offers something new in the mid-sized 7-seat SUV segment. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

A mid-sized 7-seat SUV is nothing new but one with a proper full-Hybrid engine that you don't have to plug-in very definitely is. That's what's on offer from Toyota's Highlander Hybrid. Does any car in this class make more sense than this one?

Background

The Highlander is a newcomer here but North American, Japanese and Australian markets have already had three previous generation models, the first of which launched back in 2000. This MK4 design was introduced at the 2019 New York Auto Show and the growth in European sales of mid-sized 7-seat SUVs has convinced Toyota to offer it on this continent, including in our market. The Highlander sits in Toyota's range between the RAV4 and the Land Cruiser and its size and 7-seat format puts it up against similarly orientated SUV rivals like Skoda's Kodiaq, Peugeot's 3008, SEAT's Tarraco, Volkswagen's Tiguan Allspace, Hyundai's Santa Fe and Kia's Sorrento. There are various types of hybrid technology featuring this sector, but the Highlander's alone in offering a full-Hybrid engine and self charging tech.

Driving Experience

Basically all the engineering here is borrowed from a Toyota Camry, including the TNGA-K Global Architecture platform and the 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle full-Hybrid petrol engine, which features electric motors mounted on both axles. The rear motor operates the variable 4WD system, though you shouldn't consider this a really capable off-roader - choose a Land Cruiser if you want that. Light tracks are well within the Highlander's remit though - indeed, there's a selectable 'Trail' function amongst the driving modes. In addition, there's an electric-only 'EV' mode, which won't take you very far - only just over a mile - but it does differentiate this Toyota's full-Hybrid powerplant from mild hybrid units that can never run independently on electric power. Full-Hybrid tech isn't about zero emissions range - buy Toyota's RAV4 PHEV if you want that. Instead, it's about the electrified elements constantly chipping in to help the petrol powerplant, which happens to such a large extent that for large chunks of time in urban driving, as in a Prius, you won't be consuming any fuel at all. The four-cylinder engine develops 241hp and works via a CVT auto gearbox. There's a capable 2-tonne towing capacity.

Design and Build

The Highlander might share its GA-K platform with a RAV4 but it's quite a lot bigger, 4950mm long, 1,730mm tall and 1,930mm wide. It rides on big 20-inch wheels and there are the usual roof rails and chunky wheel arches common to cars in this segment. Inside, many of the fixtures and fittings are, predictably, recognisable from a Camry but the leather-upholstered cabin still manages to feel reasonably premium. There are lots of storage compartments, as you'd want in a family Crossover, and USB ports are provided for both front and 2nd row seated occupants. Ah yes, the 2nd row. It can slide over 180mm to improve legroom either for 2nd or 3rd row occupants. The 3rd row is really only suitable for children, as is typical in this class, but a couple of uncomplaining adults could be accommodated over short-to-medium length journeys, provided they're not too tall. Out back, a kick sensor that operates the powered tailgate provides access to a 658-litre boot (when the 3rd row is not in use), extendable to as much as 1,909-litres when the 2nd row is folded. That's pretty good for a full-Hybrid SUV. There's also an underfloor storage area.

Market and Model

Pricing starts at just over £50,000 and two variants are available, the 'Excel' and, for just under £2,000 more, the 'Excel Premium'. The 'Excel' specification includes 20-inch alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, three-zone air conditioning, a panoramic roof and a JBL Premium Sound set-up. Other equipment features include a multimedia system, satellite navigation, wireless phone charging, smartphone connection via Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto and a digital rear-view mirror that provides a wide image unobscured by rear passengers or headrests. The 'Excel Premium' model adds a head-up display, a power tailgate with hands-free operation, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 360-degree camera and a different 20-inch alloy wheel design. The Highlander is also equipped with the latest Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assistance systems. These include a Pre-Collision System with active steer assist, to provide further collision avoidance support. The PCS set-up can also detect pedestrians in the vehicle's path by both and day and night - and bicycle riders in daylight. Other features include full-range Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert and Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.

Cost of Ownership

Let's get to the WLTP figures. Toyota quotes 42.8mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 emissions reading of 146g/km - returns that look very strong compared to rivals in this segment. Insurance is group 24E. Unlike earlier Toyota hybrid models, there's no extended warranty for the hybrid components; early Prius's were covered for up to eight years. However, after this car's standard five year warranty expires, you can renew it at extra cost for a further year or 10,000 miles - and do so every twelve months up to the 15th anniversary of the car's initial registration, provided a 'Hybrid Electric Service' is regularly carried out at a main dealer 'Toyota Hybrid Electric Specialist'. As standard, Highlander customers get five years of pan-European roadside breakdown assistance, a three year paint warranty and twelve years of anti-perforation cover. As for looking after your car, well routine maintenance is needed every 10,000 miles or 12 months, depending on which comes round soonest; that may be a little frustrating if you're a higher mileage driver. Hybrid models are subject to extra service checks, but Toyota doesn't charge any more to do it. There's a dedicated 'My Toyota' website that allows you to book a service online and Toyota has a 'Fixed Price Servicing' plan, so you'll know in advance exactly how much any work will cost before you check into a dealer. You could also take advantage of the optional pre-paid 'Service Plan' that that dealer will offer at point of purchase, this enabling Highlander owners to cover the cost of routine maintenance with monthly or one-off payments in advance.

Summary

We can see why you might be attracted to a Highlander. Prior to its arrival, if you didn't want smoky diesel fuel in the mid-sized 7-seat SUV segment, your only choices were either mild hybrid petrol engines (only marginally more efficient than their conventional counterparts). Or pricey plug-in hybrid models (that give you extra weight and all the hassle of plugging in). This Highlander's self charging full-Hybrid powertrain offers the perfect compromise between these two extremes - or so Toyota hopes anyway. For too long, Toyota's SUV range was limited to the RAV4 and the Land Cruiser. The Highlander sits roughly between these two cars and with the lower end of this Japanese maker's Crossover line-up also developed with the Yaris Cross and the CH-R, the brand now looks properly placed in the SUV market. With the Highlander being possibly the most sensible option the company offers.

  • Front and rear power windows
  • Windscreen wiper de-icer
  • Rear window wiper
  • Automatic wipers
  • Auto up and down function on all power windows
  • Anti-jam protection on power windows
  • Noise reduction layer on windshield
  • Rear window defogger
  • UV-filter on driver and passenger windows
  • UV-filter on rear windows
  • Rear tailgate with fixed window
  • Noise reduction layer on front windows
  • Heated washer nozzle on windscreen
  • Variable intermittent windscreen wipers

  • Rear ventilated disc brakes
  • Emergency brake light signal (EBS)
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Active Traction Control (TRC)
  • Front ventilated disc brakes
  • Brake assist function
  • HAC-Hill-start Assist Control

  • McPherson strut front suspension
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

  • Wireless Mobile Phone Charger
  • Voice recognition
  • Smartphone integration compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Lane trace assist
  • Emergency steering assist
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Electric power steering
  • Dynamic guide lines on reversing camera
  • Reversing camera with washer function
  • Intelligent front parking sensors with clearance sonar and automatic braking
  • Intelligent rear parking sensors with clearance sonar and automatic braking
  • Intelligent adaptive cruise control
  • Adjustable speed limiter switch on steering wheel
  • Lane departure alert with steering control
  • Multimedia switches on steering wheel
  • Telephone switch on steering wheel
  • Voice recognition switch on steering wheel

  • Tailgate release with push button
  • Remote boot door release on key
  • Remote boot door release in cabin
  • Power boot
  • Smart entry and push button start

  • Intersection turn assist
  • eCall emergency call system
  • Trip computer
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Washer fluid level warning
  • 7" Multi information display screen
  • Reversing camera display in audio screen
  • Key reminder warning

  • Indicators integrated on door mirrors
  • Auto folding heated mirrors with puddle lights
  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Auto dimming electrochrome rear view mirror
  • Power adjustable door mirrors

  • DAB digital audio broadcast
  • Toyota touch 2 with go navigation system
  • Toyota touch 2 multimedia system with 8" display
  • Audio switch on steering wheel
  • USB connector x3
  • JBL Premium sound system with 11 speakers
  • Mic with (array mic)
  • Rear passenger USB connectors x 2
  • Aux-in connector

  • Lower front grille shape
  • Black painted upper front grille
  • Chrome insert on upper front grille
  • Chrome surround on upper front grille
  • Glossy black front pillar
  • Body colured rear spoiler
  • Chrome door belt moulding
  • Fitting correspondence
  • Chrome roof rails
  • Body coloured roof
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Silver rear under-run
  • Toyota skyview opening panoramic sunroof
  • Body coloured door handles
  • Shark fin antenna

  • LED rear combination lights
  • LED front fog lights
  • Automatic high beam - AHB
  • Headlight cleaners
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Manual headlight levelling
  • Projector Dual beam LED Lights
  • Clear headlights design
  • RHD aiming
  • LED front light guide
  • LED rear brake lights
  • LED High mounted stop light

  • Triple zone automatic air conditioning
  • Rear passenger air conditioning control panel
  • Rear passenger air vents
  • Rear passenger footwell heating vents
  • Clean air filter
  • Rear passenger air conditioning

  • Rear cup holders
  • 2nd row rear passenger window manual sunshades
  • HIGHLANDER door scuff plates
  • Leather gear shift
  • Leather like front door armrests and door trim
  • Assist grips front
  • Assist grips rear
  • Paddle shifts
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Leather upholstery
  • Rear door pockets
  • Rear armrest
  • Central armrest
  • Grey stitching on steering wheel
  • Grey roof lining
  • Manual tilt adjustable steering wheel
  • Front 2x12V power socket
  • Resin speaker grille
  • Chrome insert on front cup holders
  • Manual telescopic steering wheel

  • Rear passenger personal lights
  • LED centre room light
  • Door courtesy light
  • Light blue lighting on dashboard
  • Light blue ambient lighting on open tray
  • LED boot light
  • Front footwell lights
  • Driver and front passenger personal LED lights
  • Boot underfloor storage
  • 2nd row rear passenger room LED light
  • 3rd row rear passenger room LED light

  • Rear seatbelt reminder
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags - 7 airbags including driver, front passenger, curtain, side and knee airbags
  • Front seatbelt reminder
  • Passenger airbag on/off switch
  • ISOFIX child restraint system
  • Pre-tensioners and force limiters

  • Adjustable rear headrests
  • Power reclining driver seat
  • Power reclining front passenger seat
  • Power sliding driver seat
  • Power sliding front passenger seat
  • Power height adjustable driver seat
  • Power adjustable lumbar support on driver seat
  • 60/40 split folding 2nd row rear seat
  • Reclining 2nd row rear seats
  • Reclining 3rd row rear seats
  • Heated driver and front passenger seats
  • Driver and front passenger Whiplash Injury Lessening seats
  • Sliding 2nd Row rear seats
  • Height adjustable front head restraints
  • 5 rear headrests
  • 60/40 split folding 3rd row rear seat
  • Toyota easy flat system
  • Ticket holder on driver sun visor
  • Manually adjustable lumbar support on front passenger seat
  • Memory function for driver seat
  • 3rd row 2-seat rear bench

  • Anti tamper alarm
  • Immobiliser
  • Power door locks
  • Tilt detection sensors
  • Child safety door lock
  • Speed detecting automatic door lock

  • Trailer Sway Control

  • Mirror on driver sun visor
  • Mirror on passenger sun visor
  • Light on driver sun visor
  • Light on passenger sun visor

  • 20" 5 triple spoke alloy wheels

  • Temporary spare wheel

  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 164
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 141
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 182
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 160
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Min: 164
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - Max: 168
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Min: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - Max: 147
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Min: 141
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - Max: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Min: 182
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - Max: 185
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 163
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 160
  • Noise Level dB(A): 68
  • CO: 0.216
  • HC: 0.018
  • NOx: 0.007
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6

  • Engine Code: A25A-FXS
  • CC: 2487
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 87.5
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 103.5
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Compression Ratio: 14.0:1
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 34.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Min: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - Max: 38.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Min: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - Max: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Min: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - Max: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Min: 34.9
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - Max: 34.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 39.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 39.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Min: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - Max: 7.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Min: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - Max: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Min: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - Max: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Min: 8.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - Max: 8.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 7.2

  • Generation Mark: 4
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 40P
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Badge Power: 248
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: Excel
  • Coin Description: VVT-i Hybrid

  • Engine Power - KW: 182
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4300
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 176
  • Engine Torque - NM: 239
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 4500
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.3
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Engine Power - BHP: 248
  • Engine Power - PS: False
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 24.4

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2

  • Tyre Size Spare: SPACE SAVER
  • Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: 5 TRIPLE SPOKE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: True

  • Height: 1755
  • Length: 4966
  • Width: 1930
  • Wheelbase: 2850

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2050
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2720
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 65
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 700
  • Max. Loading Weight: 670
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 631
  • No. of Seats: 7

  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Pearlescent paint: £925
  • Black side steps with stainless steel anti-slip: £549

  • Essential Protection pack - Highlander: £249

  • Metallic - Obsidian blue: £0
  • Metallic - Silver: £0
  • Metallic - Galaxy black: £0
  • Metallic - Decuma Grey: £0

  • Pearl - White pearl: £925
  • Pearl - Tokyo Red: £925
  • Pearl - Moondust: £925

  • Towing solutions - Detachable - 7 pin+13 pin: £729

  • Leather - Black with red stitching: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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