Toyota Highlander Reviews
August 13, 2013

Used Highlander Hybrid Near Me

By Andrea

Nearly every mass-market cast has at atomic one three-row SUV. afresh compared seven of them in our 2020 3-Row SUV Challenge, for which I served as one of three judges. The all-new Hyundai Palisade came out on top, but Toyota couldn’t accouter a redesigned 2020 Highlander in time to compete.

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How does it compare? I took to Toyota’s media examination in San Antonio to acquisition out. ( pays its own airfare and abode at such automaker-sponsored events.)

Related: 2020 Toyota Highlander: Well-Equipped But Whoa-Nelly Priced

The Highlander comes in a new abject L trim akin as able-bodied as LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum.

I evaluated L, XLE and Platinum trim levels for the Highlander, as able-bodied as two well-equipped examples of the accompanying Highlander Hybrid, which comes in all but the L trim and anew offers front- as able-bodied as all-wheel drive.

My verdict: The redesigned Toyota Highlander boasts high-end technologies alike amid abject models and, on college trim levels, abundant berth abstracts that go toe-to-toe with the poshest rivals. But amplitude for bodies or baggage is not its ability — a actual weakness for the archetypal that has bigger alone abundantly in this fourth-generation overhaul.

By contrast, the Highlander Amalgam has absorbing ability abeyant and no bright rival. The abutting was to be Ford’s new Explorer Hybrid, but the closing is so abundant costlier that it’s adamantine to appreciate anyone cross-shopping the two. If you’re absorbed in the Highlander Hybrid, annal to the basal of this analysis for my take. I’ll focus aboriginal on the non-hybrid variant, which goes on auction this month. The amalgam follows in February 2020.

The redesigned Highlander sheds the above-mentioned generation’s abject four-cylinder engine, so now Toyota’s stout dual-injection V-6 (295 horsepower, 263 pounds-feet of torque) from 2019 carries over in all non-hybrid trims. Saddled now with 100 to 200 pounds’ beneath barrier weight, the 3.5-liter agent moves the SUV with sufficient, smooth-revving power.

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Try to advance already you’re in motion, however, and the Highlander’s eight-speed automated manual bliss bottomward with all the accuracy of Brexit. It stumbles through multigear downshifts, pausing briefly in an agent accessory afore clearing into a final choice. I’ve accomplished affluence worse agnosticism — or absolute lag — from added transmissions, but this is a alternating botheration for Toyota’s eight-speed. Choose the Highlander’s driver-selectable Sport mode, and the manual assets some much-needed decisiveness, but that comes at the amount of ammunition efficiency.

Shock assimilation is acceptable behindhand of caster admeasurement — the Highlander comes with 18- or 20-inchers, both of which acquire about tall-sidewall tires — and wind and cartage babble at artery speeds are impressively low. Still, the SUV rides a blow busy. Anatomy motion stays in analysis during accelerated acclivity changes and bouncing surfaces, but the abeyance doesn’t clarify out a lot of baby imperfections. Toyota admiral say all trim and drivetrain variants acquire the aforementioned ride tuning; I’d adopt bigger abreast beyond the board.

The Highlander steers with a ablaze blow and ambiguous feedback. Adamantine corners abet affluence of anatomy cycle and annoy squeal, and the torque-vectoring all-wheel drive on college trim levels improves little of that. None of this should appear as a deal-breaker for SUV shoppers — our Challenge winner, the Palisade, apparent abundantly the aforementioned characteristics — but those who appetite added active fun ability accede the Ford Explorer, Mazda CX-9 or Volkswagen Atlas, in that order.

Cabin abstracts for the redesigned SUV advance on the third-gen Highlander, already amid the higher-quality interiors in its class. Areas your accoutrements and knees blow are padded, and the split-level dashboard appearance low-gloss finishes and upscale, stitched coverings. Lower trim levels barter some soft-touch surfaces and adverse trim for adulate plastics, but their controls are athletic and the bolt upholstery feels substantial.

The blueprint is practical, too. With mirrors confused to the doors instead of the A-pillars, afterimage out advanced is good, and an accessible camera-based rearview mirror offers complete aback bend alike aback active forward. Controls are intuitive, with affluence of concrete altitude and multimedia controls and a acceptable gearshift. And accumulator areas abound, with assorted dashboard trays and a abysmal alcove beneath the centermost armrest.

The accepted 8-inch touchscreen has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa integration, but the advancement camera’s resolution is low and it has old-school anchored lines; college trim levels add guidelines that move aback you about-face the council wheel. The top trim akin has 360-degree cameras with a 12.3-inch touchscreen in abode of the 8-inch unit. Still, like abounding supersized dashboard touchscreens, the Highlander’s avalanche abbreviate of abounding potential. Toyota borders displays like CarPlay or the onboard aeronautics map to aloof two-thirds of the screen, with the butt assuming one of several cachet menus. Why the affair you appetite to focus on can’t booty the accomplished awning baffles me.

The Highlander’s redesign added 2.4 inches of length, about all of which went to accretion burden space. It’s up some 16 percent against the approachable Highlander, but I catechism whether that was enough. Inconsistent alignment makes comparisons amid manufacturer-stated burden specs unreliable, so I put the Highlander through the aforementioned burden appraisal we acclimated in’s just-published Challenge, barometer above ambit with the seats slid all the way aback and seatbacks at a 110-degree bend about to the ground.

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I empiric aloof 9.9 cubic anxiety abaft the Highlander’s third row and 18.7 cubic anxiety abaft the added row with the third row folded, both abstracts at or abreast the basal of the group. In particular, the aerial burden attic arch up to the second-row seatbacks banned accessible acme in the Highlander — additionally a botheration in the Honda Pilot, which has appropriately bound confines. As such, you may allegation to bend the second-row seats added generally to aggrandize burden space. Toyota does owners no favors in this regard, acute as abounding as three accomplish to bend the seats if the armrests are out. The burden breadth has no controls to absolution them remotely, an aid the Palisade and Telluride both offer.

Accommodations for bodies are appropriately lackluster. The advanced seats acquire acceptable acclimation ambit but the amplitude amid the doors and centermost animate is narrow, and the commuter bank lacks a acme acclimation on any trim level. Second-row amplitude is accomplished acknowledgment to a hardly college basement position than before, but the third row has bare allowance and a slammed-to-the-floor bank that sentences cartage to a triplong squat. Knee approval requires those in the added row to accelerate appreciably forward, and a accommodation to admission allowance for adults in both rows will leave neither accumulation happy.

Rivals like the Palisade, Pilot and Telluride action one-touch buttons for third-row admission — a big advice aback apprenticed cartage acquire to ascend aback there — but Toyota sticks with an old-school acquire lever. The consistent alleyway is modest, but it’s absolutely the alone anatomy of access, as the alley amid the captain’s chairs is alone about 6 inches wide.

It doesn’t acquire to be this way. Rivals like the Atlas and Explorer acquire accessible centermost aisles, and abounding — amid them the Atlas, Telluride, Palisade and Chevrolet Traverse — acquire adult-friendly third rows. Toyota absent an befalling to bolt up in a big way.

Pricing on the 2020 Highlander starts at $35,720 (all prices accommodate the destination charge). That’s up a abrupt $2,770 from 2019 and gives the Highlander one of the accomplished starting prices in its class. But it’s additionally one of the best well-equipped, with accepted appearance like tri-zone automated altitude control, a ability driver’s seat, push-button alpha with keyless admission and the 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration. Automated emergency braking, lane-centering council and adaptive cruise ascendancy bottomward to a stop are additionally accepted — an absorbing accepted array, accustomed that others still allegation added for some of those appearance or don’t action them at all. Like every Toyota, the Highlander additionally has two years or 25,000 afar of chargeless maintenance.

Move up the trim levels, and you can get vinyl or covering upholstery, a across-the-board moonroof, acrimonious and aerial seats, a ability liftgate, JBL exceptional audio and the 12.3-inch touchscreen. Loaded with branch options, the non-hybrid Highlander acme out about $50,000, a beam adequate with best rivals.

We’re attractive advanced to comparing the Highlander with assorted Challenge vehicles, but my daylong drive reinforces some of our antecedent thoughts afterwards Toyota alien the SUV at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander boasts aerial affection and a assembly of new technologies, alike in abject trim levels. And some shoppers will acquisition its abate size, still a few inches abbreviate of best competitors, a positive. (Toyota signaled as much, touting in columnist abstracts that the Highlander charcoal alone about 3 inches best than a Camry “for accessible maneuvering.”) But the automaker absent an befalling to accumulate up with an added ample class. That, added than anything, could absolute how abounding new shoppers it draws.

Sans the abject L trim and priced $1,400 added than agnate non-hybrid versions, the Highlander Amalgam runs $39,320 through about $52,00. It has a about identical interior, complete with the aforementioned burden dimensions. But with the Explorer Amalgam starting some $14,000 higher, Toyota’s three-row amalgam SUV lacks any absolute competitor.

As such, the SUV serves the role of an ultra-efficient Highlander variant, at atomic by its potential. Published EPA estimates abide awaiting as of publication, but Toyota expects 35-36 mpg accumulated depending on driveline. Such abstracts essentially exhausted official EPA estimates for the non-hybrid 2020 Highlander (23-24 mpg) as able-bodied as the approachable Highlander Amalgam and Explorer Amalgam (both in mid-to-high 20s).

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With a 2.5-liter four-cylinder instead of aftermost year’s V-6-based amalgam system, the 2020 Highlander Amalgam loses a footfall in onramp acceleration, but its gas-electric drivetrain (243 hp) and continuously variable-style manual bang up revs readily while in motion if the agent is active — bigger response, frankly, than you get from the approved Highlander’s changeable eight-speed. Transitions from all-electric access to agent ability are smooth, if hardly quick. AWD models drive the rear arbor with an added electric motor, a bureaucracy active by the approachable Highlander Hybrid, which came alone with AWD.

Regenerative braking in electrified cartage can aftereffect in nonlinear pedal feel or alike adversity advancing to a bland stop. We’ve empiric some of that in the Explorer Hybrid, and the Highlander Amalgam has its own doldrums. The pedal feels bendable aback you aboriginal columnist down, and deceleration can sometimes abide a moment afterwards you let off.

But if final EPA numbers bout or alike access Toyota’s estimates, that’s a austere accomplishment — absolutely abundant to absolve the SUV’s accustomed drivability.’s Editorial administration is your antecedent for automotive account and reviews. In band with’s abiding belief policy, editors and reviewers don’t acquire ability or chargeless trips from automakers. The Editorial administration is absolute of’s advertising, sales and sponsored agreeable departments.

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