Auto123 reviews the 2021 Toyota Highlander.
Final calendar year, Toyota introduced the new technology of its Highlander SUV. Which was a terrific detail for the reason that the previous redesign dated back again to 2014. The system has remained fundamentally the same, having said that, preserving the model’s main qualities.
There was, having said that, one particular important modify in philosophy, particularly the swap from a V6 motor to a four-cylinder for the hybrid variant. Immediately after driving a regular product earlier in 2020, I gave the partially electrified variation a go a couple of months in the past.
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2021 Toyota Highlander hybrid, profile
The hybrid variation of the Toyota Highlander is offered in 4 iterations: LE, XLE, Constrained and Platinum. Technically, the initial a few are entire-fledged styles while the Platinum offer is an incorporate-on ($2,three hundred) to the Constrained variant. However, Toyota resolved to stick the Platinum identify on the tailgate of this variant, which is the one particular we drove. Of study course it was, for the reason that companies always like to show their wares in their very best gentle. At the same time, we get vehicles that allow for us to explore all the characteristics presented.
Our Platinum variation was priced at $fifty eight,one hundred twenty (including shipping and managing), which is not affordable. However, think about that the foundation hybrid variant is priced at $forty eight,289. The Highlander, no issue how it’s decked out, is something but an entry-stage product or service.
In any situation, with the Platinum product, you get the performs, by which I imply stuff like wireless charging for smartphones, created-in distant garage door opener, bird’s-eye view camera, navigation, eleven-speaker JBL audio method, 4 USB ports, next-row captain’s chairs and a slew of protection characteristics, all normal.
2021 Toyota Highlander hybrid, interior
The hybrid solution
Hybrid systems are of study course a little something Toyota is incredibly familiar with, and the technologies at perform below is well-proven. However, it suits some styles superior than other people, and in the situation of the Highlander, I was not all that enamoured with my encounter.
Reality is, with this new technology, Toyota modified its solution. As an alternative of marrying the technologies to its three.5L V6 motor as it had always completed, the automaker resolved to graft its 2.5L four-cylinder motor onto it. The efficiency of that device is further than questioning – we’ve observed it do its detail elsewhere. But that was with styles scaled-down than the Highlander. This is a definitely large large SUV, in which no four-cylinder motor could be anticipated to accomplish miracles.
I really don’t want to overstate items. Power, at 243 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, is sufficient for day to day driving. However, the encounter is rough, and when you happen to be shelling out above $60,000 for a car or truck (with costs and taxes), you be expecting a little something much more refined.
2021 Toyota Highlander hybrid, front
And does it shell out off at the pump? Meh. Toyota claims an average of six.7L/a hundred km. As a rule, I never have issues reaching the rankings introduced by Toyota I managed it with the RAV4 hybrid (five.7L) and with the Corolla hybrid just the 7 days prior (four.6L). But with the Highlander, I could only regulate 8.1L/a hundred km. Which is not bad, but the achieve is not as ideal as it should really be. With a V6 product, I managed an average of nine.7L/a hundred km. Will need I say that the Highlander’s driving encounter is a lot much more pleasant with the V6 beneath the hood?
What I’m obtaining is that if fuel intake was definitely beneath seven.0L/a hundred km, the reduction in driving dynamism would be well worth it. But is not, and it is not. I was left seeking much more. When you think about it, what Toyota should really do is deliver a Highlander Primary – that would make items intriguing.
Other than that, you will find not a lot to complain about when it arrives to the Highlander’s managing. The new technology positive aspects from the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) and that interprets into a much more direct encounter powering the wheel. The new Highlander is superior connected to the street than the old.
But let us be clear: that encounter is all about comfort and ease earlier mentioned all else. Force this car or truck a minimal as well tricky and the joy drops away. In usual driving, there is no trouble, but if you want much more from a large SUV in phrases of managing, appear elsewhere.
2021 Toyota Highlander hybrid, rear gentle
For these wanting for an SUV that seats 7 or eight and has plenty of room to spare, the Highlander is however incredibly intriguing. It’s comfortable, reliable and well-created, and you can’t go completely wrong. And for the reason that it’s a Toyota product or service, customers are match.
Now, as for the powertrain to pick from, that’s a issue of flavor and requirements. If you have to tow, the answer is straightforward, for the reason that you get a 3500-lb capacity with the hybrid in comparison with 5000 lb with the regular product. If you can reside with a four-cylinder motor that isn’t going to supply the refinement you want with this kind of car or truck, the hybrid variation will do the trick, but do not be expecting to be impressed just happy.
Gas economic system, even although the promise of even superior rankings remained unfulfilled
We like fewer
Gas intake, for the reason that the promise of even superior rankings remained unfulfilled
Tough general performance beneath acceleration
You have to reside with the CVT
Toyota Highlander hybride 2021, trois quarts arrière
2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid shots