It is not easy to find an SUV that provides a good mix of comfort, luxury, entertainment and excellent fuel economy offered at a very affordable price. Such models usually attract a high price.
However, Toyota has managed to offer the Highlander with a good mix of the above factors at a very competitive price. The automaker is set to release a new model of the SUV which will feature cosmetic changes since the model underwent more significant changes just recently. The good news is that the new model will feature a hybrid drive-train.
2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Exterior
The Highlander is usually offered in LE, LE Plus, Limited and XLE trim levels. The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is offered on the Limited trim level. The exterior profile looks powerful and elegant.
The front fascia will feature a redesigned bumper and a modified trapezoidal grille. The headlights will also be redesigned and will be feature LED lighting. The five-door SUV will also feature a restyled rear with a spoiler, a redesigned bumper and LED taillights.
The structure and other body parts are constructed using light weight materials meaning the model will weigh significantly less than the outgoing model. The vehicle has the capacity to tow a trailer weighing around 680 kg. The vehicle will ride on new 18-inch alloy wheels.
2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Interior
Actually, the Highlander is an alternative to those motorists who find the smaller Rav4 too small or just need additional sitting capacity. The interior will comfortably accommodate 7 or 8 passengers depending on the seat arrangement. The first seating arrangement features captain seats which accommodate 7 passengers and the regular seats which accommodate an extra passenger.
The third row seats are easily assessed courtesy of a step function that slides second row seats to create a wider entry and exit space. The seats are upholstered in premium-quality leather. The seats are electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid cabin also features numerous soft-touch materials. Standard features include front and rear automatic climate control, power door locks, a heated, tilt-and –telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and a parking camera. For entertainment, the Highlander comes with an Entune system integrated with a 6.1 inch touch-screen. The system allows Bluetooth connectivity, Smartphone integration, and Internet connectivity. The vehicle also features an auxiliary input and USB port. The SUV offers a 391 L cargo space behind the third rows.
Safety is also taken care of and the model features hill start control, blind spot monitoring, radar cruise control, traction control, stability control and ABS among others.
Engine Specs and Performance
Though power-train details are still scanty, we have established that the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will feature a 3.5 L, V-6 engine which will be paired with two electric motors. The engine and the motors combine to produce 280 hp at 5,800 rpm and 215 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.
The drive-train is paired with an eVCT transmission system which channels power to the front wheels. In terms of fuel economy, the engine is estimated to deliver 27 mpg in city and 28 mpg on highway drives. This is a big improvement compared to the other two conventional drive-trains with the 2.7 L inline-4 engine offering the best fuel economy of the two conventional engines at 20 mpg city and 25 mpg on highway.
Price and release date
The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid which is only offered on the Limited trim will be more expensive than the models with conventional engines except the XLE trim. The model has an estimated starting price of around $ 48,160. For comparison, the base model MSRP starts at around $ 30,300 inclusive of an $885 destination charge.