All You Need to Know About the Improved 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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When the Toyota Highlander was introduced into the company’s line up, it took everyone by storm. The elegance in the design is something to always admire in the car. The highlander offers the space and power of a typical SUV but does so in a stylishly simple design that favoured agility to bulk mass.

However, since the whole cars nowadays are leaning towards electric power literally, Toyota decided to be making hybrid versions of the popular Highlander SUV for many years now. The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers the loveliness and comfort of a typical highlander but tops it up with a battery pack of higher capacity than the ones fitted on its predecessors. This has in turn enhanced the fuel efficiency of the Highlander. So what you get in return is a more modern, more improved and a more reliable Highlander.

Design

The new 2018 Highlander Hybrid is offered in all the trims LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum.

The body styling of the new highlander is its selling point. The 2018 Highlander features an inspired front fascia with a dynamic front grille and very expressive headlights, making for one bold first impression. With a unique grille tailored for each grade, there’s a Highlander that perfectly matches your own very style. Also the expressive headlights now feature integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which tend to amplify the 2018 Highlander’s signature look. The stylish SE grade ups the excitement with its distinctive blackboard headlights, while Highlander Limited Platinum has a powerful presence of its own with a Chrome-accent headlight housings. Every Highlander gets brilliant LED taillights for added visibility in the rear.

The new highlander hybrid shows off its athletic side with a selection of available alloy wheels. The sporty Highlander SE has 19-inches multi-spoke alloy wheels with a machined finish and the Highlander Limited Platinum has an added touch of sophistication with 19-inches 5-spoke Dark Chromtec alloy wheels.

Also, the new hybrid comes with a lot of safety features like a suite of six active features that include Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), A Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology which allows the engine to shut off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, and restarts when the driver’s foot lifts from the brake pedal. The new Advanced Airbag System helps protect you and your family with its driver and front passenger dual stage airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, a driver knee airbag, a front passenger seat Cushion airbag and also Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags for all rows. There’s virtually airbags everywhere in the cabin.

Other safety features include, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (which literally warns the driver when the car is going off course and tries to steer itself back to its lane) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control DRCC which is intended for highways and similar to “constant speed” cruise control but a bit more advanced because Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) lets you drive at a preset speed while using vehicle-to-vehicle distance control, which adjusts your speed, to help you maintain a preset distance from vehicles ahead of you that are driving at a slower speed than you. DRCC uses a radar mounted on the front grille and an in-vehicle camera to detect vehicles and their distance. If a driver is traveling slower than you, or within your preset range, it will slow your vehicle down automatically without deactivating cruise control. If DRCC determines you need to slow down more, an audio and visual alert will notify you and brakes are applied. When there’s no longer a vehicle driving slower than your set speed in front of you, DRCC will then resume its preset speed.

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection also come as standard on the new Highlander Hybrid. It uses an in-vehicle camera and radar to help detect a vehicle or a pedestrian that are in front of you, the Pre-Colllslon System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection can help you avoid a potential collision. If the system determines that a frontal collision is likely, it informs you to take action using audio and visual alerts. If you notice the potential collision and apply the brakes, the PCS may apply additional force using Brake Assist. If you don’t brake in time, it may automatically apply the brakes to reduce your speed, helping to minimize the possibility of a frontal collision or reduce its seriousness.

The glasses used on all the windows of the new Highlander are ”UV reducing” glasses which are capable of reducing the harmful effects of the Ultraviolet rays of the sun on the occupants inside the cabin.

Interior

Coming to the inside, the new Highlander’s roomy interior gives you enough space to seat up to eight people and provides more comfort along the way with reclining third-row seats. The available second-row captain’s chairs also help Highlander comfortably seat seven and offer the same great versatility. You can even get heated second-row captain‘s chairs on the Limited grade with its Platinum Package. The interior of the Highlander is very spacious and the cargo carrying capacity is enormous, owing to its large cargo area at the back which can be extended by folding the third row and middle row seats

With the available Entune Multimedia Bundle on the new Highlander, the technology to make any drive a whole lot more fun is already there. With the available 8-inches high-resolution touch-screen display, integrated navigation and a suite of popular apps, this is one smart way to help keep you connected. It also has integrated Sirius Satellite Radio 2‘ compatibility, giving you coast-to coast access to over 150 channels of commercial-free music, sports, talk, comedy and many more.

The three-zone climate control feature in the new Highlander is different; it has separate controls for the driver and another one for the front passenger. Passengers in the back seat and the third row seats also get separate control panels as well.

Other features in the new Highlander interior include, Panoramic moon-roof which come as part of the additional features on the platinum package of the new Highlander, Leather Trimmed Tilt/telescopic 3-spoke steering wheel with a metallic accent and audio, Multi-Information Display, Bluetooth hands-free phone, voice-command and cruise controls buttons, Blue LED ambient lighting on interior of the front and rear doors and in-dash shelf, Day and night rear view mirror, Overhead console with map lights, sunglasses storage, conversation mirror and Home-link universal transceiver, Five total USB ports (three front and two second row), Perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front row seats; 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function and power thigh and lumbar support; 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat; heated second row captain’s chairs with side table, Eight cup holders, four bottle holders, Soft-touch in-dash shelf with easy cable management feature, Front and rear air conditioning with air filter and second and third row vents and a Smart Key System on the front doors and lift-gate with Push Button Start and remote key-less entry system with illuminated entry.

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid combines the standard 3.5 liter V6 engine and an electric motor matched with an Electronically Controlled Variable Transmission ECVT. This combination is enough to produce 280 horsepower and a very impressive fuel efficiency of up to 30 mile per gallon.

Pros

  • It offers excellent fuel economy.
  • The engine and battery combination works effortlessly.
  • The all wheel drive system is powerful.

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer the towing capabilities you get from its rivals.
  • Handling isn’t that great.

Price

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid starts at $36,670, which is the company’s suggested retail price for its base trim. Three higher trim levels retail for a higher amount of money which goes up to a couple thousand dollars, and a fully loaded Highlander Hybrid can go as high as $54,000