2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review
Test drivers note that although the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid commands a steep price compared to its non-hybrid counterpart, it gets great fuel economy for the class, feels peppy off the line and has a Lexus-like interior.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a V6 gas engine and electric motor system that test drivers say delivers lively acceleration off the line, though some critics mention that the standard continuously variable transmission makes highway passing power feel lackluster. The Highlander Hybrid earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 27/28 mpg city/highway, which is very good among midsize SUVs. Reviewers report that the Highlander Hybrid is quiet and composed, with sporty handling and sharp steering. According to critics, the Highlander Hybrid's regenerative brakes have a numb pedal feel, which they say can take a while to acclimate to.
Auto journalists are impressed with the Highlander Hybrid's high-quality cabin materials, detailed stitching and attractive interior trim. They report that the front and middle rows of seats are comfortable and spacious and that the third row offers sufficient space for kids. The Highlander Hybrid has adequate cargo space that is in line with other three-row rivals’, but not as much as class leaders’ space. Reviewers like the Highlander Hybrid's standard central controller and 8-inch infotainment touch screen, noting responsive touch commands and a sharp graphic display. The Highlander Hybrid comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera and Toyota's Entune system with the Entune App Suite and 12 JBL speakers, navigation, an 8-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio and HD Radio. Options include a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat Blu-Ray player, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
- "The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a satisfying three-row crossover SUV that gets an unbeatable 28 mpg in mixed driving. The price may give you pause, however." -- Edmunds
- "If you can spring for it, the Highlander Limited Hybrid is the one to have." -- Road and Track
- "Toyota has decided it can get away with offering the greener crossover in premium-only form and charging almost $50,000 for it. The markup makes for an unfortunate reality that Hybrid buyers will probably never make their money back in gas savings. But, hey, being eco-friendlier always requires at least a little sacrifice, right?" -- Autoblog
Other SUVs to Consider
Though it can't quite match the Highlander Hybrid's fuel economy, the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid still gets better fuel economy than most other midsize SUVs. Reviewers like that the Pathfinder Hybrid's cabin is similar to the gas-only model’s, which they say is built with high-quality, attractive materials.
The Ford Flex earns reviewer praise for having one of the most adult-friendly third rows in the class. Test drivers say the Flex has a comfortable ride and poised handling, as well as quick acceleration with its optional turbocharged V6 engine.
Details: 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid seats seven and has standard all-wheel drive. Power comes from a V6 engine and an electric motor system paired with a continuously variable transmission. The gas-only Toyota Highlander is reviewed separately. The Highlander Hybrid comes in one trim and is fully redesigned for 2014.