The 2022 Toyota Highlander is a family SUV that offers practicality, style and comfort, all in one sleek package. Boasting three rows of elegant seating, this powerful Utility Vehicle has multiple configurations to match any lifestyle. With the base powertrain consisting of a V-6 engine and an optional hybrid setup for those looking for something more eco-friendly; you can also choose between efficient front or all-wheel drive on either model – making it one of few SUVs with these options available.
Toyota has followed the value-packed route with their Highlander, offering desirable infotainment and driver assistance features as standard across all trims. From its entry level to luxuriously equipped models, this SUV nearly rivals a Lexus in quality. The only thing lacking is driver engagement; while providing an impressive ride and decent acceleration, it fails to match the driving verve of competitors like Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade or Mazda CX-9.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Highlander comes with a potent 3.5-liter V-6 engine boasting 295 horsepower and an 8-speed automatic transmission that can be outfitted with either front or all wheel drive. On our test track, the AWD model effortlessly accelerated to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds; its handling is surefooted but unremarkable, while providing an ideal level of comfort for family transport duty. For those looking for even more power, there’s also a 243HP hybrid featuring 2 electric motors and a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder gasoline engine under the hood!
The Toyota hybrid model features a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) and provides buyers with the option of front- or all-wheel drive. Ideated from their expertise in the field, this powertrain allows customers to experience higher fuel efficiency than previous models. The caveat is that acceleration performance may be slightly low due to its lower horsepower rating along with it using a CVT instead of an eight-speed automatic transmission found on nonhybrid cars.
Testing out the hybrid model at our track, we got it to 60 mph in an impressive 7.3 seconds! Any buyer looking into this sector may already be aware that Ford Explorer also comes in a hybrid edition. But when comparing these two models head-to-head, Toyota’s fuel economy is unparalleled compared to its competition.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA reports that the Highlander V-6 provides up to 29 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive models decrease fuel efficiency by 2 mpg. However, hybrid versions offer enhanced mileage ratings of 36 city/35 hwy mpg. On our 200 mile highway route test, we measured 28mpg for standard Highlander; next time we’ll be evaluating hybrid model performance as well! To discover even more about the Highlander’s fuel economy visit The EPA website for additional insight.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Base L and LE models can fit up to eight passengers with bench seating in the second and third rows, but if you go for higher trims, you’ll be able to get seven-seat arrangement with captain’s chairs on the second row. Though there is more passenger space than the CX-9 provides, it’s still not as roomy when compared to other vehicles like Chevrolet Traverse – particularly in its third row.
When it comes to the cabin materials, this generation of Highlander has upped its game. The Limited and Platinum models come with a variety of luxurious features—but if you’re looking for something even grander, check out either the Palisade or Telluride. Lastly, when using the third row in this vehicle only four carry-on suitcases can be stored – unlike that of a Traverse which can fit up to six!
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
As is the Toyota way, the Highlander offers a standard suite of driver-assistance features. The package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and automatic high-beam headlamps. For more information about the Highlander’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Is Toyota Highlander a reliable car?
The Toyota Highlander has received above-average scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gave it 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it seventh out of 26 SUVs. Its average annual repair cost is only $489, which is lower than the average $573.
What is the best year to buy a Toyota Highlander?
The best choice is probably the 2008-2013 version. This generation gives you more interior space, more features, and a more powerful engine lineup, plus better safety and crash test scores.
Which is bigger 4Runner or Highlander?
Bottom Line: The Toyota Highlander is bigger than the 4Runner and much more spacious for humans in just about every measure. The main reason for this is down to the way they are constructed. Where the Highlander has a unibody construction, the 4Runner is a body on frame.