2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review - Low gas prices have resulted in difficult times for crossbreeds. Also today's most efficient gas-electrics-- the Toyota Prius, the Kia Niro, and also the Hyundai Ioniq-- don't pencil versus much less efficient but a lot more economical nonhybrid counterparts in the exact same general course. And also those are crossbreeds that cover 50 mpg. The Toyota Highlander crossbreed SUV remains in an also harder area, given that its EPA ratings are just a couple of mpg better than a regular Highlander's.

Upgraded for 2019 together with the remainder of the Highlander schedule, the crossbreed, as in the past, weds a V-6 engine to a 167-hp motor/generator to power the front wheels, with a second 68-hp electrical motor fitted to the rear axle providing on-demand four-wheel drive. The engine, nevertheless, is new, and for the very first time is shared with the nonhybrid Highlander. It's currently straight infused as well as makes 295 horsepower as well as 263 lb-ft of torque, improvements of 64 ponies as well as 48 lb-ft over the previous model, pushing the crossbreed powertrain's total result (thinking about both electrical motors) from 280 to 306 horse power.

Of the 4 Highlander hybrid trim degrees, the base LE design boasts the greatest EPA scores: 29 mpg integrated, 30 mpg city, and also 28 mpg highway. The figures for the other 3 (including the Minimal checked here) are each 1 mpg lower. Either way, compared to the all-wheel-drive V-6 Highlander, the crossbreed's EPA estimates are only better by a couple of mpg. Our real-world fuel economic climate was also much less impressive, at 23 mpg generally-- simply 4 mpg much better than the last nonhybrid Highlander we tested, a 2014 version that had the previous, less-efficient V-6 engine as well as a six-speed transmission. With its brand-new V-6 as well as eight-speed automated, the present variation likely would tighten the performance space even more. In our 75-mph freeway fuel-economy examination, this newest Highlander hybrid attained 26 mpg-- precisely the like a nonhybrid 2019 Highlander V-6-- or 1 mpg even worse than its EPA freeway rating and no far better than a few of its nonhybrid peers, such as the Mazda CX-9.

2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

If there's a silver lining, it is that the Highlander's hybrid rate costs is smaller compared to many. The entry-level LE is only $2130 more than an all-wheel-drive, V-6-- powered Highlander LE; on the XLE trim, the crossbreed's price fine is just $1350, whereas the Minimal and also Platinum crossbreeds are $1620 dearer than their gas-only equivalents. Oh, and also this crossbreed (thanks to the updated, much more powerful V-6 engine) is the quickest Highlander we have actually ever evaluated, getting to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds flat. That's 0.6 2nd quicker compared to the old crossbreed as well as 0.3 2nd quicker compared to the pre-refresh basic Highlander with the previous V-6 engine.

Still, we would certainly save the cash and also just purchase the nonhybrid model, which also benefits from an extra conventional owning experience. Speed up promptly in the hybrid, and also the V-6 and also electrical motors combine for a sort of mooing soundtrack as the engine revs to its power top as well as remains there while the transmission involves the optimum drive proportion.

Despite the crossbreed's AWD configuration, there is visible torque steer as the front wheels fight for purchase throughout hard velocity. Up to about 30 miles per hour, the hybrid feels peppy and fast; over that speed, the feeling of velocity wanes as the electrical motors lose wind and also the V-6 shoulders more of the worry. This isn't completely unusual; inning accordance with Toyota's weight figures, the battery-assisted Highlander Limited crossbreed is 310 pounds much heavier than a comparable nonhybrid.

Dynamically, the three-row Highlander is unexciting, with lifeless steering, sometimes drooping body activities, and awful brake feeling. Toyota has yet to determine how to shift efficiently from regenerative stopping-- where the electric motors act like mechanical brakes, transforming kinetic energy right into electrical energy-- to standard friction braking through the brake blades. The result is unclear and also unpredictable action from the brake pedal, although the hybrid's actual stopping distances are par for this class.

A Routine Three-Row Show
Powertrains aside, the hybrid adheres to the basic Highlander script as a skilled household hauler. All versions amass cosmetic updates for 2017, including a wide-mouth grille, even more LED lighting accents front and back, and a generally classier appearance overall. The cabin's setting up is top quality and good-looking, and we like the wide shelf that extends most of the reduced dashboard as well as comes in handy for keeping day-to-day sediment. Bad marks include the touchscreen's range from the vehicle driver (it's a less complicated reach for the front traveler) and also the stubby audio and A/C knobs that are almost flush with the surrounding surface area and also consequently hard to grip.
The Minimal examined below, along with the top-end Restricted Platinum version, features a pair of second-row captain's chairs and a third-row bench, however buyers can go with three-person benches in both rows to seat eight in total amount on the LE and also XLE. The Highlander's second row provides a lot of area, plus fore/aft as well as recline adjustments-- although the seats have a rather reduced pillow-- while the cramped third row is intolerable for anyone but kids. Usefully, the third row, when folded, develops a clean ramp in between the cargo flooring and also the fold-flat second-row chairs, so one can slide boxes or various other heavy items in without getting cargo on anything.

At $46,154 with just extra-cost floor mats as well as body-side moldings, the Limited you see right here isn't really unreasonably expensive for a well equipped mid-size three-row crossover. Every 2017 Highlander currently comes standard with forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control, and every trim over the base LE likewise has blind-spot monitoring. The Limited includes warmed and ventilated pole positions, 19-inch wheels, as well as a lot more chrome outside trim along with the sunroof, power pole position, power liftgate, as well as natural leather seats (vinyl in the 3rd row) that the XLE brings.

So the Highlander hybrid is every bit the functional as well as beneficial three-row family members crossover that its gasoline-powered sibling is. And also therein lies the rub: There's no compelling reason to pay additional for it or to deal with its drivability traits. The little fuel-economy enhancement is unlikely to be of much rate of interest, specifically when gas is so economical.

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