The all-new Toyota Highlander arrives as the latest hybrid SUV in Toyota’s massive range. One step over the RAV4 we tested last year, the new model is the biggest HEV Toyota makes to date.
The all-new Highlander combines comfort, driveability, and safety with low emissions and greater fuel efficiency. Equipped with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD), 1,500 kg towing capacity and tons of interior space, the new model is sure to fulfill most activity-family requirements.
The 2020 Highlander’s body is based on the Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) vehicle platform. This foundation is complemented by a lightweight high rigidity body shell with a low center of gravity. As SUV’s go, therefore this one should be easier on the roads and more capable off them.
King of hybrid. Now on a large SUV
A 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle petrol engine produces 183 Bhp and is paired with two electric motors that generate 191 Bhp. No, this does not mean the overall power of the car is 374 Bhp, as the complete system is tuned to give 240 Bhp in combo mode. The system is mated to a direct-shift Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), giving the whole package a fuel efficiency of 5l/100km. Drivers can also select from ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT driving modes to suit their driving styles.
The all-new Highlander HEV can be driven entirely on electrical power with zero-fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions, or by combining the power generated from the petrol engine and two electric motors, depending on the vehicle’s speed and driver behavior. Its hybrid-electric batteries are continuously charged by either the petrol engine or when decelerating and braking, eliminating the need to plug in a power cord. Furthermore, the HEV features a host of advanced technologies, yet drives like any conventional vehicle and does not require special fuel.
Hide and seek playground…
On the inside, the Highlander offers a comfortable environment with enhanced flexibility. The seven-seat vehicle’s second row has a sliding range of 180 mm to ensure third-row accommodation for two adults. The cabin provides plenty of storage compartments, as well as five USB charger terminals for the front and second-row seats.
As with any other Toyota model, safety remains a top priority, and thus comes with an advanced safety system. This is complemented by Toyota Safety Sense, an advanced safety technology package that includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with All-Speed Range, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB). In addition, the car features a comprehensive array of safety features to protect its occupants, such as 7 SRS airbags, including side-curtain airbags for all three rows, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), trailer-sway control, Electric Parking Brake (EPB) with brake hold function, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Panoramic View Monitor (PVM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Tire Pressure Warning System (TPWS), driver and front passenger seat-belts with pretensioners and force limiters, and a clearance sonar featuring eight sensors located in the front and rear bumpers.
Acronym salad for the cross-word puzzle aficionado. All in all, the new Highlander is a step up from the RAV4 which, in true honesty, we labeled as Car of the Year 2019, and was kind of on its way to position well in 2020. This new model has quite a difficult path to follow if it intends to improve on that.
The Highlander comes in two versions. The bare bones GSX and the top-notch VRX, in a price range from 42,000 to 49,000 USD.
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