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2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Review by Mark Fulmer

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The three-row SUV with 35 mpg has plenty of Room, Performance, and Safety

Mark Fulmer

New on this years Toyota Highlander Hybrid a chrome-trimmed black grille, silver-colored painted front bumper and rear, LED fog lights and 20-inch alloy wheels.

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The Highlander Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with electric motors that produce a net output of 243 horsepower. The battery pack is installed under the second-row seats, so it does not take up space. This means Highlander Hybrid drivers get all the benefits of a hybrid powertrain without sacrificing much-needed cargo room for everyday activities. It has fuel economy in the 35 mpg range with all-wheel drive (it uses the second electric motor at the rear axle).

In terms of drivability, it has a solid feel without feeling oversized to handle the in-town errands as well as the freeway commutes and off road adventures.

Our test car was outfitted with a heads up display which is simply terrific in urban areas and could easily pay for its self in speeding tickets avoided. With a vehicle this wide and long it is very easy to think you are at the speed limit when actually you can be well over it.

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The infotainment is handled by a 10.25 inch touchscreen and which is wide enough to show a lot of map info as well as multiple windows. Once you have it set up the way you want it, it does all you need. Both low volume music and conversation are possible as aerodynamics and efficient insulation create a very quiet cabin.

Safety is always on the mind of shoppers for a family car and the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.5+), is a comprehensive suite of active safety systems that includes:

- Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection is enhanced with intersection support.

- Additional PCS function includes emergency steering assist, which is designed to stabilize
the driver’s emergency steering maneuvers

- Road Sign Assist (RSA) which displays speed limit signs.

- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

- Lane Keeping Technology: Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/ SA),
Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Sway Warning System

- Automatic High Beams (AHB)

- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

- The standard backup camera provides a live rotating 360-degree view around the vehicle.

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The second row has got lots of space (with either bench or captain's chairs) and they can slide and recline a bit. The front row seats have power adjustments and excel at comfort for those long trips.

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The Highlander has 16 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Folding down the third row opens up 48.4 cubic feet.

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Folding down the second and third rows provides a total of 84.3 cubic feet.

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It's good to see that some car makers have to good sense to replace cigarette lighter power plugs with a much more useful plugs.

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The Mode Select control dial on the console allows the driver to increase traction when confronting squirrely road conditions. And you can monitor in real time, the torque allocation and slip control. Nice.

Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Drive Mode Select and Driveline Disconnect gives greater agility and capability by torque distribution between the front and rear wheels as well as between the left and right rear wheels.

Toyota understands families and the Highlander provides the roominess, comfort, and safety that fill those needs.

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