SUVs are way ahead of all other classes with its versatility. Now, these vehicles are treating to overtake the remaining advantages. The greatest example is the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Reports say this mid-size three-row SUV could offer up to 34 mpg combined thanks to the new system. We believe this is possible. Highlander used to be the only 7-seat model with a hybrid drivetrain. Now, when other companies are adding the same configurations, the Japanese carmaker had to do something special to maintain the position. An extraordinary fuel economy is a move that will push off the competition.
The new 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will share some solutions with an upcoming Rav4 hybrid. We can also see it with the PHEV setup. However, this is not confirmed yet. Anyway, the hybrid model will share the same platform as the standard one. That means a redesign for the next season. The new look will bring a more aerodynamic shape. Also, the SUV is getting lighter materials for a diet. With it, the body mass goes down, while the average MPG rating jumps up. How it will affect the price? With rivals on its tail, Toyota can’t bump it too much.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Specs
Under the hood of the new 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will be the same 3.5-liter V6 engine. The Japanese company is using the same setup for the premium Lexus RX model and its hybrid variant 450h. Also, the new Sienna minivan will get the same configuration, and in future, it could become the drivetrain of Tacoma hybrid.
So far we have only a few details. Chiefs of Toyota announced big things. The major one is the fuel economy of 34 mpg combined. That could sound silly, but we never underestimate this company. There are a few options that could make it possible. The current model is returning 30/28 mpg for city and highway drive. To add +5 mpg a lot of changes must happen. A larger electric motor could be a solution, but it is not easy to fit it. The other possibility is to downgrade the existing petrol engine to the four-cylinder unit. In this case, a fuel economy of 34 mpg is not spectacular. The major concern becomes the power output.
The similar setup we will find under the bonnet of the Rav4 crossover. A 2.4-liter engine in combination with a pair of batteries can create 240 hp. That is 65 hp cut from the previous edition and 80 ponies less than Ford Explorer Hybrid can do. Well, this might be an option for buyers looking for the more economical SUV. A V6 configuration will offer more power to beat its new rival.
A 3.5-liter V6 engine is capable to produce 295 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor adds 10 horsepower to the combined system. More power and better fuel economy are definitely worthy purchase, especially having in mind fuel economy boost. Regular Highlander returns 19-21 mpg in city drive, depending on the configuration. The hybrid goes up to 30 mpg currently. The SUV is also using a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. But, this is the least favorite setup.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Redesign
The new Highlander will present a new look. Besides this model, Toyota is refreshing the 4Runner SUV. Rav4 is already new, and you can be sure the upcoming vehicles will have some similarities with the small crossover. The new shape is here. More aerodynamic, it drew a lot of attention during the presentation. The TNGA-K platform underpins the concept. This one opens the door for the plug-in hybrid system, but the company does not unveil these plans yet.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the last model we saw in the series of new arrivals by the Japanese company. That makes fans say the new SUV carries similar solutions as Rav4 crossover and Avalon sedan. Well, Toyota used the same options for the front fascia and other details. But, these vehicles are far away from the same.
Inside the cabin, the new 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is getting a 12-inch touchscreen display. Well, it will be available only for a Platinum trim level. The base packages are using an 8-inch screen. More safety features are there for both standard and hybrid model. Safety Sense 2.0 replaces Safety Sense P and comes with lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and few other alert systems. The 2020 Highlander Hybrid comes in four trim levels. The base SUV is LE, and there are also XLE, Limited, and abovementioned Platinum.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Release Date and Prices
The new hybrid is coming in 2020. Until the release, we will find out all the details about outputs and fuel economy. The price will stay put. Toyota can’t afford to let buyers look at other hybrid SUVs with three rows of seats. That means the LE will start around $35,000. The high-end 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum will start above $50,000 with all upgrades and new features.