in 2012 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $29,990 - $34,695
Original MSRP: $38,715 - $44,370
MPG: 28 City / 28 Hwy
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2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers say that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a fuel-efficient means of transportation, though it’s not very entertaining to drive. Still, if fuel economy means more to you than blistering acceleration or composed handling, the Highlander Hybrid is a fine choice.

  • "There’s no excitement in the driving experience, but trying to maximize mileage can be entertaining." -- Car and Driver
  • "Bring your own pulse because you won't find one here.” --  Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that is paired with an electric motor. This combination pushes out 280 horsepower. According to the EPA, the Highlander gets 28 mpg in both city and highway driving. Reviewers praise this powertrain’s seamless operation, and they say that it has enough power for most drivers.

  • “The Highlander Hybrid charged up hills without any hesitation.” -- Cars.com

Handling and Braking

Test drivers write that like the gas-only Toyota Highlander, the Highlander Hybrid is no fun to drive. It has more body lean in the corners than most SUVs in its class, and it lacks steering feel. Both trim levels of the Highlander Hybrid come standard with four-wheel drive.

  • "The ride is super-smooth, but the Highlander Hybrid has a roly-poly feeling through twisty roads, which was a bit unnerving and encouraged slower driving on my part.” -- Cars.com
  • "The Highlander Hybrid changes direction when we turn the wheel, but that's the only way to know it's connected to anything because there's precious little sensory feedback through the column.” --  Edmunds
  • "It’s mostly about fuel economy, so it’s not too thrilling to drive.” -- Car and Driver

Next Steps: 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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