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BEHIND THE WHEEL: Who’s up for the three-row hybrid version of the Toyota Highlander

Families looking for a three-row crossover stop and take a look at the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited.  A sport utility vehicle with the seating capacity for up to eight and a towing capacity up to 3,500 pounds – it’s a family vehicle on steroids. 

The competition includes the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Honda Pilot SUV and the Volvo XC90 SUV, but the Highlander’s ability to shine is in the miles per gallon as the hybrid option.


Trim level options 

Seating seven or eight depending on the trim, the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers either the LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels. The base LE trim offers plenty including 18-inch wheels, windshield wiper de-icer, keyless entry and ignition, height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth and a 6.1-inch touchscreen. 

On the XLE you get the LE goodies as well as sunroof, height-adjustable power liftgate, power front seats that are heated, leather upholstery, second-row sunshades, a second-row 120-volt power outlet, 8.1-inch touchscreen, navigation and a satellite and HD radio.  

The Limited will give you 19-inch wheels, LED running lights, rear parking sensors, heated and air-conditioned front seats with leather, second-row captain’s chairs and a rear cargo cover.

On the best-of-the-best Limited Platinum feature offerings there is a panoramic sunroof, automatic wipers, front parking sensors and a 360-degree parking camera system.  On the two higher-end trims you can also get a rear-seat entertainment system.


Under the hood

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a 3.5-liter V6 direct injection engine paired with three electric motors. Overall its 306 horsepower with all-wheel drive.


Safety first 

The standard safety features on the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure intervention and a rearview camera. The airbags include driver, passenger, front and rear head and front side. There is 4-Wheel ABS and disc brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, child safety locks and traction control with many of these features being part of the Toyota Safety Sense™ and Star Safety System™.

The XLE trim also has offers blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.


Interior and exterior highlight

The controls inside this SUV are easy to use and navigate, but this vehicle is large and that means the controls are not always easy to get to while driving. The size of the vehicle does have its advantages with the first and second rows offering plenty of room for passengers. The third row is smaller and unless it is small children three passengers will not fit in the back.

The quality of the interior is impressive, and much thought was put into the overall design and durability.  

The cargo space is average size and there is plenty of room for those items you need to store. Take note of the built-in shelf on the dashboard - the perfect place for your phone. Another stand out is the space under the sliding armrest cover where you can store a laptop if needed.


Along for the ride 

The Toyota Highlander is comfortable beyond measure and so quiet you hear nothing outside the cabin when the windows are up. The ride is also just as seamless and thanks to an excellent suspension you will barely feel the bumps at all. Acceleration is also important, and you have what you need with this one as well as proper cornering ability and confident handling. Large, but easy to drive, the words owning the road do take on new meaning when driving the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.


Should you need to know

The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers a super ultra-low vehicle emission rating. 



The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid got 29 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.



The price tag on the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum AWD came in at $49,499.


For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

Ellis County Press

208 S Central St. 
Ferris, TX 75125