(Toyota)

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid rated at impressive 36 mpg

The 2020 Toyota Highlander is putting up some big numbers.

The all-new utility vehicle has a starting price of $35,720, which is $2,770 more than the outgoing model, but comes with a higher level of standard equipment that includes Toyota’s latest active driver aid system, with automatic emergency brakes, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and other features.

Even more eye-popping is the fuel economy figure for the Highlander Hybrids, which are rated at 36 mpg combined with front-wheel-drive and 35 mpg for all-wheel-drive. The latter a better than 20 percent improvement over the 2019 version and by far best in class among three-row utility vehicles that can’t be plugged-in to charge.

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The hybrids use a new powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors to provide 243 hp, with all-wheel-drive versions adding a separate electric motor driving the rear axle, similar to the setup in the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

Highlander Hybrids start at $39,320 and represent a $1,400 premium over V6 models, which have a 295 hp V6 and get 23-24 mpg combined, depending on the trim level. The top of the line Platinum has a base price of $47,970 and is available with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, 360-degree camera and 1,200-watt audio system.

Six-cylinder Highlanders are heading to showrooms now and the hybrids are scheduled to follow them in February.

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