The Toyota's Highlander Hybrid SUV has been around now for seven years in the US- and has only undergone one major revamp since its launch, which took place in 2008 Bearing a very strong resemblance to what might be a slightly larger version of a Camry station wagon, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV has gained a lot of its popularity as sitting very nicely between fulfilling the roles of a family station wagon and off road vehicle while considerably reducing fuel costs for either large families or small business owners .
The 7-passenger Highlander Hybrid is available in an all-wheel drive configuration with a new powertrain that improved fuel economy than the series one version. The Highlander comes with an advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive system, based around a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator, capable of generating 280 net horsepower on a six speed automatic transmission. Add to that package a continuously variable transmission system, whose role it is to synchronize all these various power sources to maximize the Camry's efficiency as well as a third electric motor that operates the push button engine starter.
The Petrol driven and Hybrid versions of the Highlander traditionally share the same chassis and suspension, with electronic power steering on the Highlander Hybrid does its job more than capably making for a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride according to trade reviews.
When it comes to style, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV is very symmetrically pleasing with no particular external features that will make it stand out in a crowd. The cabin is fairly roomy an obviously room enough, to permit Toyota to add a third row of seats as standard on paper that means seven passengers with some confidence.
When it comes to the crunch, most reviews suggest that only five of these passengers can be carried in comfort for any length of time, due to lack of leg room. To allow access to the third row when needed, the Toyota Highlander comes with a fully folding center seat in the second row, which can even be removed and stored under the cargo space at the back. Interpreted properly that means that the 2012 Toyota Highlander Crossover SUV really comes into its own when carrying four adults.
As far as cargo handling is concerned, the good news is that both rows of seating can fold down completely flat, meaning a formidable 95 cubic feet of nett cargo space, a figure that leaves most of the Highlander's niche competitors lagging far behind.