The 2015 Toyota Highlander hybrid shown in downtown Fort Lauderdale
The 2015 Toyota Highlander hybrid
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Toyota practically pioneered the mainstream hybrid drive system bringing products like the Prius to be the electrified industry standard. The marketing tagline of “moving forward” continues as the Toyota brand has several hybrid variant models in the portfolio. Ranging from an even smaller Prius C, tested early this year, to now a full-size crossover—the Highlander. For the fuel minded, there is just about something for everyone. This week, Toyota has dropped off their latest variant of their crossover portfolio with the Highlander hybrid.
The test model was dressed completely in its fully loaded garb, which made for one upscale hybrid. Upon first glance, a stunning dark blue metallic paint covers the simple, yet defined design. Metallic silver running boards underline the side sills giving the full size crossover not only a luxurious element, but also a rugged type undertone. The new look of the Highlander also introduces Toyota’s new design language consistent for the remainder of the lineup.
On the inside, Toyota has elevated the interior starting with top level leather seats that thoroughly cover the surface of each of the 7 seats throughout the cabin. In the second row, captain’s chair seating arrangements are made for comfort and convenience, while allowing easy access and additional comfort for those in the third row. Technology and comfortable convenience remain the center focus of the cabin.
Yet, with all the amenities on board, the true focus shifts to the primary source of propulsion, which is located right beneath the front hood. A naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 is paired with electric motors that contribute to exceptional fuel economy with smooth performance. In mixed city and highway driving, the Highlander hybrid achieves an impressive 29 mpg, which for a vehicle of this size an impressive engineering feat.
The Toyota Highlander hybrid exceeds the expectations of even the most discriminating buyer where efficiency, luxury, and versatility all live in one capable package. With little competition the Highlander not only stands in a class by itself, but sets the benchmark for other manufacturer’s inspirations. For more information on the Highlander hybrid, or any of the other hybrid models from Toyota, please visit toyota.com.