The Highlander, Toyota’s largest hybrid SUV, is to go on sale in the UK and Western Europe for the first time, from early 2021.
The Highlander will be offered as full hybrid and will extend Toyota’s hybrid SUV line-up, joining the RAV4, C-HR and the new Yaris Cross that will also be arriving next year.
Built on Toyota’s GA-K platform, the Highlander is a full-sized, seven-seat SUV offering comfort, drivability and safety with a fuel and emissions-efficient hybrid powertrain, intelligent, all-wheel drive, a flexible interior and a two-tonne towing capacity.
The practical and durable interior offers versatile space-on-demand with a 180mm sliding range for the second row seats to ensure easy access and spacious third row accommodation for two adults.
A kick-sensor allows hands-free access to the 658-litre luggage area. There’s also underfloor storage space, while fully flat-folding the third and second row seats can bring the load capacity up to cavernous 1,909 litres.
Inside, there’s plenty of storage compartments plus USB ports for the front and second row seats. Equipment features will include a multimedia system, satellite navigation, head-up display, wireless phone charging, smartphone connection via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ventilated front seats and a digital rear-view mirror that provides a wide, exterior-sourced image unobscured by rear passengers, luggage or headrests.
Powertrain and driving dynamics
The Highlander’s fourth generation full hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors. The rear motor provides the vehicle’s AWD-i intelligent all-wheel drive. A high-voltage nickel-metal hydride battery is located beneath the second row seats.
Total system power is 241hp and WLTP combined cycle CO2 emissions are 146g/km with 42.8mpg fuel consumption. This gives the hybrid Highlander the best balance of power and CO2 emissions in its segment.
The driver can use the vehicle’s Drive Mode Select system to switch between four drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail. Each of these can also be used when Highlander is running its separately switchable EV all-electric mode.
The GA-K platform allows for a lightweight and highly rigid body shell and a low centre of gravity, giving the SUV nimble handling and comfortable motorway cruising performance.
Noise reduction measures to maintain a quiet cabin environment include an acoustic windscreen, silencers in the roof, dashboard and floor and liners in the wheel arches and load space. The calm interior adds to the inherently smooth and quiet performance of the full hybrid powertrain.
The new Highlander is 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 can also detect pedestrians in the vehicle’s path by both and day and night and bicycle riders in daylight.
Other safety features include full-range Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert and Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.
Full details of UK specifications and pricing will be announced nearer the time of launch.