So funny story about this test drive. My wife had an 2003 Toyota Highlander (that’s now my son’s) and went to a new highlander. It was funny when I tested the newest 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid because they were the exact same cars (excluding some small things) but same color and look.

To get a way way better MPG in the Highlander made me happy but sad at the money I’m losing. Oy!!

On average the car got over 30-32 MPG ECO but that’s compared to 18.4 MPG on the Best days!!

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I mean Is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid a Good SUV?

The 2018 Highlander Hybrid is a great hybrid and a pretty good midsize SUV. Its cargo room and passenger space are about average for the class. Though the Highlander Hybrid boasts plenty of standard features, some can be difficult to learn. The hybrid engine setup delivers good power and comfortable ride quality, but the SUV’s steering is uninspiring and the brakes can be touchy. A premium-quality cabin and high fuel economy numbers for a crossover complete the package.

However I am reluctant to think they actually drove the car. For example, they rate the MPG at 20 and 24 on highway. That’s so not the case. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Highlander are identical in many ways, so your choice between the two will come down to how you value fuel economy savings against the money you’d pay up front for the car. The regular Highlander starts at $31,030 – over $5,000 less than the hybrid’s starting price.

While in the past the savings would only be in fuel, this version is a beast. The Highlander Hybrid comes with all-wheel drive and a V6 engine. An equally equipped Highlander today will cost you at least $34,540. You would only have to drive the all-wheel-drive, V6 Highlander Hybrid a little over five years to make up for the difference in price.

Also which people forget, the life of a hybrid is way longer than a gas car. People are keeping Prius for over 300,000 Miles. That’s savings savings savings too on brakes, fuel, oil and engine part replacements too.

The Hybrid Synergy Drive system pairs the new Direct-Injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor-generator produces 306 total system horsepower for strong acceleration and passing performance. The Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient Highlander too, with an EPA-estimated 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway/29 mpg combined fuel economy rating.

All Highlander Hybrid models come equipped with Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, this AWD-i system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.

It was a little hard to brake at times but overall this car is a beast on the road with amazing safety amenities. It’s worth the investment for an SUV hybrid. Period.