2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV

#18
in Suvs
2019 MODEL
$37,320 - $48,980

7.4

Overall Rating

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2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide


Aayush Yadav's image

Aayush Yadav Automotive Journalist Updated on: November 14, 2019


Toyota Highlander Hybrid is based on the modified version of Toyota's K Platform (Toyota Camry also uses this platform). In other words, the Toyota Highlander is the Camry of three-row SUVs. 2019 Highlander received a major update in 2017. Highlander is expected to undergo a generation change in next year. It will become more competitive once it is redesigned on Toyota's Global Architecture Platform

See detailed review »

Pros

Generous use of soft touch and high-quality materials in the cabin

Frugal for a three-row SUV

Advanced safety features (standard on all trims)

Plush ride quality

Cons

Below average cargo and passenger volume

Apple Carplay and Android Auto is unavailable

Bulky, difficult to maneuver in city

What's New?

Highlander received a mid-cycle update in 2017

No significant mechanical changes for this year


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$37320

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

drivetrain

AWD

engine type

displacement

211 cu.in.

horsepower

231 hp @ 5800 rpm

torque

215 lbs.-ft @ 4800 rpm

transmission

continuously variable-speed automatic

chassis

frame type

Ladder Frame

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

64.4/64.2

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

192.5 in.

width

75.8 in.

height

68.1 in.

curb weight

4398 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

144.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

83.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

1602 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

30/29/28 mpg

highway range

537.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr. / 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr. / 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

60 months. / 60000

corrosion warranty

5 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

2 yr. / Unlimited


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV in blizzard pearl color  2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV in Blue Streak Metallic and Midnight Black Metallic Roof color  2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV in Ooh La La Rouge Mica color  2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV in Predawn Gray Mica color  2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV in Abyss Blue Pearl color
blizzard pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.5

Engine And Performance

7.8

Interior

7.5

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV LE

LE

power
231 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
29 combined

$37,320


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
LE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $37,320 MSRP (30/29/28) 231 hp @ 5800 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 8

 2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV XLE

XLE

power
231 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$42,380


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
XLE 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $42,380 MSRP (29/28/27) 231 hp @ 5800 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 8

 2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Limited

Limited

power
231 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$45,860


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $45,860 MSRP (29/28/27) 231 hp @ 5800 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

 2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Limited Platinum

Limited Platinum

power
231 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$48,980


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $48,980 MSRP (29/28/27) 231 hp @ 5800 rpm, 3.5 L, V-6, regular unleaded
continuously variable-speed automatic all wheel drive 7

Expert Review

7.4

Overall Rating


Toyota Highlander Hybrid is powered by a V6 engine paired with electric motors. The combination is good for 306 horsepower and delivers a satisfying 28 or 29 mpg in combined mpg according to the EPA. The hybrid variant comes with standard all-wheel drive. A gas powered AWD Highlander scores about 22 mpg.

Highlander has aged but it still isn't obsolete. It offers stiff competition to newly updated models like the Acura MDX Hybrid and Lexus RX 450 Hybrid. If you are looking for a hybrid SUV in this segment, the changes are high that you would end up at a luxury SUV dealership. At this price, the Highlander is amongst very few hybrid SUVs that doesn't come with an astounding price tag. Yet, the Highlander is a bit long in the tooth and needs a lot of catching up to do but it is still relevant with its powerful V6, comfortable ride, and spacious seats in first and second row.

2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV front three quarters white
2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV front three quarters
2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV rear three quarters
2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV rear three quarters

6.5/10
Features

 

7.8/10
Engine and Performance

 
 

7.5/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Features

6.5/10

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is available in four trims. There is a single engine configuration available across all trim levels. It offers a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and a standard rearview camera and standard active safety features. The XLE introduces a bigger 8-inch infotainment screen and three-zone climate control.

XLE trim also adds premium touches with leather-trimmed seats, sunroof, push-button start, and an optional rear-seat entertainment package. The Limited trim offers a unique saddle interior color and option to get the Platinum package that brings in goodies like Bird's Eye View Camera, 19-inch Chromtec alloys and heated steering wheel.

The top of the line, Limited Platinum brings in a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors,panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers and a heated steering wheel.

Trim

LE Base

XLE

Limited

Limited Platinum

MSRP

$36,970

$42,030

$45,510

$48,980

Features Five total USB ports

Adds or deletes features from Hybrid LE:

Adds or deletes features from Hybrid XLE:

Adds or deletes features Hybrid from Limited:

 

Toyota Safety Sense

Multi-Information Display

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Post-Collision Safety System

 

Seating for up to eight

Smart Key System plus liftgate with Push Button Start

Seating for seven with second-row captain's chair and 60/40 third-row seats

Front, Side, And Rear View Camera

 

60/40 split second- and third-row seats

Leather-trimmed front seats and second row

19-in. 5-spoke Chromtec alloy wheels

Front And Rear Parking Sensors

 

Entune Audio with Bluetooth

Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and Entune App Suite

Heated and ventilated front-row seats

Heated Steering Wheel

 

Integrated backup camera

Leather-trimmed seats with heated front seats

Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and Entune App Suite

Multi-Level Heating

 

 

Power tilt/slide moonroof

Rear parking assist sonar

 

We Recommend

We would suggest most buyers move up to the XLE plus trim. It brings in a longer list of standard equipment. It offers features like powered liftgate, an 8-inch touchscreen, upgraded upholstery, and start-stop function. This trim has the maximum value for money appeal.

 

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Engine and Performance

7.8/10

The Highlander's V6 has plenty of power for daily driving tasks, but it can be lazy to respond when you aren't asking for maximum acceleration. The steering is sometimes too light and less responsive than we'd like, and the Highlander's capabilities are merely average.-Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

The 3.5-liter V6 engine has enough grunt to get this three-row crossover going. The burly V6 engine is aided by three electric motors. The combined system output is 306 hp, the Highlander produces best in respectable power. The hybrid powertrain can take care of most driving situations. Even with a full load of cargo and passengers, the HIghlander will accelerate briskly.

Transmission duties are taken care by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Highlander is available with standard AWD drivetrain.

Models

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

MSRP

$36,260

$31,450

$32,365

$31,995

Engine

3.5-Liter V6 3.5L DOHC 24V V6

3.5-liter V6 3.0L PGM-FI 24V SOHC i-VTEC V6

3.5L V6 DOHC 24-Valve

3.6L V6 Hybrid

Transmission

CVT Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

CVT Automatic

Single Speed Automatic

Horsepower

306 hp

321 hp

308 hp

260 hp

Torque

215 lb-ft

289 lb-ft

247 lb-ft.

262 lb-ft.

In this comparison, Acura MDX hybrid makes the greatest power figures. Lexus RX 450 Hybrid takes the second place with its 308 hp output and then closely followed by Highlander's 306 hp output. But when we consider drivability, the newly introduced Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has better lower rpm grunt due to a turbocharged engine.

Acceleration

A Toyota Highlander Hybrid powered by a V6 engine completes its 0-60 run in 6.9 seconds and the quarter mile is completed within a respectable 16.2 seconds. Even after having the such great power output, Highlander only manages an average acceleration. To put it into perspective, a similarly equipped Acura MDX Hybrid is faster to reach to 60 mph by 1 second.

Models

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

0-60 MPH

6.9 sec

5.9 sec

7.7 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter mile

16.2 sec

14.6 sec

13.6 sec

14.9 sec

Engine

3.5 L V6

3.0L

3.5 L V6

3.6L

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.0

6.5

5.9

N/A

Toyota Highlander Hybrid tips the scales at 4398 lbs., it is the lightest vehicle in this comparison. Surprisingly, it has below average acceleration. Acura's segment best 5.9-second run is followed by Toyota's 6.9-second. And finally, the Lexus RX 450 Hybrid in its base trim takes the longest 7.7 seconds to reach 60 mph.

Ride and Handling

The Highlander isn't the best handling three-row crossover out there. The Highlander is bulky and you have to be careful with it in the urban space. The steering isn't the nimblest unit out there, so maneuvering the Highlander takes some attention. With a curb to curb turning radius of 38.4 ft. taking U-turns would require some preparation.

Although the Highlander doesn't respond well to enthusiastic input from the driver. Highlander displays good high-speed stability and it is a very capable highway cruiser. The cabin refinement is also on the higher level of this segment.

Braking

Highlander is equipped with ventilated discs at the front and at the rear has a solid disc setup. With the additional weight from batteries and electric motors, the 2019 Highlander offers below average braking performance. Under emergency braking scenario, this three-row Toyota underperformed a lot. It covered a distance of 128 feet before coming to a standstill from 60mph. Not good figures for a family hauler.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Brake Front (in.)

12.9

13.0

12.9

13.0

Brake Rear (in.)

12.2

13.0

12.3

13.0

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4398

4471

4740

4943

60-0 MPH (ft.)

133

134

123

131

The Lexus RX 450 Hybrid scores an impressive stopping distance of 123 ft. This feat is achieved with the optional summer tires. However, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid covers 20 feet more to stop from a similar speed.

Towing Capacity

Highlander can tow a maximum load of 3500 lbs. when properly equipped. When we talk about the competition, Toyota lives up to the expectations of a vehicle of its class.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Capacity (lbs.)

3500

5000

3500

3600

Drivetrain

AWD

SH-AWD

AWD

FWD

Engine

3.5 L Hybrid

3.6 L V6 Hybrid

-

3.6 L V6 Hybrid

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Fuel Economy

The 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motors offer a combined mpg of 29. The engine start-stop system works in unobtrusively to increase the fuel efficiency. The competition also offers a similar combined fuel economy but the newly introduced Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid beats everyone by a generous margin.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

MPG (city)

30

26

31

33

MPG (highway)

28

27

38

33

MPG (combined)

29

27

30

33

Looking at the competition, the newly introduced Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid delivers a segment-best of 33 mpg which is followed by the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Acura MDX Hybrid.

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Interior

7.5/10

Material quality is solid, though this SUV won't fool anyone into thinking it came from a luxury brand, especially from the second and third row seats. LE models sport a painted silver trim that looks downmarket, but Limited and Platinum models swap in fake wood, and most Highlander trims are available with either synthetic or real leather.-TheCarConnection

Seating and Comfort

Toyota Highlander Hybrid can seat eight people. The front and second row offer good space. The third row is poorly equipped to seat adult passengers. This row is best left to smaller passengers. The cabin has lot spaces to store items. Starting from the center console, it offers enormous space for miscellaneous items. You can easily keep your laptop there. It offers a power socket. The row between glovebox and the upper part of the dashboard is a well-designed space to keep keys, wallet, and tickets.

The interior has a sturdy built and the higher trim levels have been decorated with wood grains and metal inserts. The upper part of the dashboard and the doors have been finished with nice soft touch material. The top-spec Limited trim is offered with a massive panoramic roof that elevates the in-cabin ambiance.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Passenger capacity

8

7

7

7

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.7/59.3/44.2

38.1/ 61.1/41.4

N/A

40.1/63.0/39.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.9/59.0/38.4

38.3/59.1/38.5

N/A

39.6/63.0/39.0

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.9/55.0/26.7

35.6/57.7/28.1

N/A

38.7/61.2/36.5

Toyota's interiors are starting to show their age. Newly updated competitors offer better interior features and also offer more passenger volume. The newly introduced Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers the maximum passenger volume in this segment 153.5 cu-ft.

Infotainment

The base trim level is equipped with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and 6-speaker setup. The higher trims come with an 8-inch touchscreen display. The Entune touchscreen system from Toyota doesn't support Apple Carplay and Android Auto. It has soft touch buttons on either side of the screen. The system requires little time to get used to. Hopefully, Toyota will upgrade this system in the upcoming generation change.

Interior Features

  • Power adjustable door mirrors
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Cargo area light
  • 3 Climate control zones
  • Adaptive cruise control

Cargo Capacity

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers the least cargo space behind the 3rd row at 13.8 cu-ft. Fold the third row, and space increases to 42.3 cu-ft. Fold the second and third rows and the total cargo space available is 83.7 cu-ft. The cargo bay doesn't have a loading-lip. It is easy to load/unload your luggage. The rear window can be opened for easy access to the boot. Lexus RX 450 Hybrid offers the best rear cargo space behind the third row.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Cargo Volume (cu-ft.)

13.8

15.8

18

32.3

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Exterior

We generally like the Highlander's look. It's large but not imposing, muscular yet handsome. It has more a squared-off look vs. the rounded Acura MDX Hybrid. In this respect, the Highlander looks the part of a more traditional, slabbed SUV. Up front, it's hard to miss that massive grille. Base models come with 18-inch wheels, while higher trims wear 19-inchers. - KelleyBlueBook

Dimensions and Weight

The Highlander comes with a generous chrome application at the front. The front fascia tries to bring out the width of the car. This design comes off as aggressive but once you are behind the wheel you will feel lack of driving dynamics. The higher trims receive a fancy cladding beneath the grille that accentuates the width of the vehicle. The exhaust is hidden below well and the reflectors are covered in chrome.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers modest dimensions. It has the smallest wheelbase in this comparison and has the least the passenger volume in the segment. Highlander has a decent ground clearance of 8.0-inch and it can handle light off-roading jobs.

Model

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid

Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Curb weight (lbs.)

4398

4471

4740

4943

Length(in)

192.5

196.2

192.5

203.8

Width(in)

75.8

77.7

74.6

79.6

Height(in)

68.1

67.4

67.7

69.9

Ground clearance (in)

8.0

5.6

7.0

5.1

Wheelbase (in)

109.8

111

109.8

121.6

Track width (in) F/R

64.4/64.2

66.3/66.3

64.4/64.0

68.2/68.2

The Chrysler Pacifica makes the competition look puny. Being a van it offers a massive wheelbase of 121.6-inches and width of 79.6-inches, the larger wheelbase which translates to more passenger volume. When we compare the third-row dimensions, the Highlander offers the least space there.

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Safety

Ford Explorer comes with state of the art safety equipment that allow it to score well on the safety tests conducted by the agencies. Some of these features are mentioned below:

  • Front, Rear and Third Row Head Airbags
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Traction Control
  • Stability Control
  • Front and Rear Ventilated Disc Brakes
  • LED Headlamp
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring

 

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Competition

Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs Acura MDX Hybrid

Acura MDX Hybrid is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 321 horsepower. Pricing for the Acura MDX Hybrid starts at $31,450. The 2019 Acura MDX Hybrid comes off as more contemporary vehicle due to the newly introduced updates. Honda has a very intuitive infotainment system on offer. It also offers standard Apple Carplay and Android Auto. When it comes to convenience, the MDX SUV takes the crown from the Highlander.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs Lexus RX 450 Hybrid

Now, these two SUVs may look different on the outside but are very closely knitted together. The competition between the cousins who are equally competent, having capable engines, rugged chassis, and beautiful exteriors and classy interiors is quite stiff. However, Lexus is on the expensive side. So if budget isn't a constraint, opt for Lexus, else Toyota Highlander Hybrid will do all the work as nicely as Lexus RX 450 will do at a more reasonable price.

 

2019 Toyota Highlander hybrid SUV Final Verdict

The Highlander is equipped with a competent V6 engine and three electric motors. This hard working setup produces over 300 horsepower. Toyota Highlander Hybrid shows its age, considerably. The infotainment system falls behind the competition. The cargo and passenger volume isn't impressive. If you want a little more out of your three-row crossover then the Highlander disappoints with its strictly commuter nature and lackluster stopping power.

The Highlander offers a well-built cabin, plush ride and a reliable V6 engine that is very adept at doing school duty and grocery runs but the Highlander is about to receive a generation change next year. If you can wait, then the newly upgraded Highlander would be a much better choice. If you can't wait, then your money is better spent elsewhere.