2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota’s Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet

Gear Diary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota's Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet Listen to this article

Despite its “greener” appeal, the hybrid version of Highlander does not disappoint one bit as it performed as admirably as its gasoline siblings in previous testing. The gas/electric component of the powertrain in the hybrid edition brings plenty of boost at launch and during acceleration – a common, favorable trait of hybrid vehicles. For 2017 models, Toyota has boosted the engine output of the 3.5-liter V-6 with direct-injection. This engine is mated to the Hybrid Synergy Drive electric component for our test model bringing total powertrain output to 306hp and a bevy of torque available instantly. The gas and electric motors are mated to an electronically controlled CVT gearbox. All Highlander Hybrid models are equipped with electronic on-demand all-wheel drive where a second, independent electric motor powers the rear wheels for optimal traction.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota's Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet

This third-generation is the best-looking Highlander to date and offers a surprisingly nice interior package that includes a device shelf center dash that runs from the just below the radio to over the glove box. This is in addition to an interior that is significantly quieter and offers more amenities than ever before and features all the latest technology including rear parking sonar, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam headlights, pre-collision system (with pedestrian detection) with automatic brake control, and dynamic radar cruise control.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota's Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet

For 2017, Toyota offers Highlander Hybrid models on LE, XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum trim levels. This is the first year the automaker is offering the hybrid version on its more base grade levels, making Highlander a better value for families. Pricing begins at $36,270 with our XLE tester arriving with a window sticker of $44,080. Fuel economy is rated at 29 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota's Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet

Highlander delivers as promised on long stretches of highway and tight, twisty roads alike, and the passing lane has found a new friend. Never once did a voice need to be raised to carry a conversation despite the road surface condition underneath and wind noise has been reduced thanks to new mirror design and a more integrated roof rail system overhead. The new model handles itself very well and is quite agile in town while offering a very stable ride on the open road. The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the dynamic, sleek, and sophisticated utility vehicle the automaker has made it out to be and, for this model line, certainly proves the third time can definitely be the charm.

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Is Toyota's Best Family Utility Vehicle Yet

Litter-Robot - Black Friday Starts Now

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!

About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.