Toyota Highlander Hybrid debuts in Europe, production begins 2021

Large, seven-seater SUV production to start in 2021 with hybrid and all-wheel drive. Product highlights: Sporty, robust design and great versatility, flexible space concept with large trunk and two tons of trailer load and a combination of petrol and two electric motors guarantees efficiency.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2021 – (photo by: Toyota)

The Highlander is coming: Toyota will bring its large SUV to Europe for the first time next year. The 4.95 meter long model combines a sporty, robust design with plenty of space: A flexible room concept with seven seats and 658 liters of luggage space guarantees functionality and versatility. Hybrid and all-wheel drive are standard.


Building on the in-house GA-K vehicle platform, which increases rigidity and lowers the center of gravity, the new flagship picks up on all the virtues of the brand – above all the hybrid drive, for which there are already more worldwide than 15 million customers. The combination of a 2.5 liter petrol engine and an electric motor on the front and rear axles ensures driving pleasure and efficiency.

The drive concept with three motors enables an intelligent all-wheel drive system: AWD-i ensures the best traction on any surface, while the trailer load climbs to two tons. The driver can choose from the four modes ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and TRAIL, which adapt the engine characteristics accordingly.

The fact that the Highlander as a real Toyota SUV is not afraid of unpaved roads is already evident in its sporty, robust design. Large wheel arches with 20-inch alloy wheels and increased ground clearance are added to the dynamic lines.

Spacious interior, practical features

The black interior is designed for high functionality and suitability for everyday use: up to seven people enjoy plenty of space. The second row of seats, which can be moved by 180 millimeters, ensures that adults have enough space even in the rear, getting in and out is child’s play. The noise-reducing windshield and front glazing and targeted insulation in key areas also contribute to driving comfort, which means that the occupants enjoy a particularly quiet environment in conjunction with the hybrid drive.

The tailgate, which can be opened electrically using the foot sensor in the top equipment variant, provides access to the 658-liter trunk. Additional storage space is hidden under the level loading floor. By folding down the second and third row of seats, the loading volume can even be increased to up to 1,909 liters.

A 12.3-inch multimedia display in the center console serves as the central control element. It includes a navigation system and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The wireless charging function for mobile phones is just as practical as the switchable digital rear view mirror that looks behind the vehicle without the head restraints and other occupants obstructing the view. Other features include the head-up display and seat ventilation. The numerous storage compartments and the USB ports in the first two rows of seats are also useful.


As an SUV for the whole family, the Highlander also has numerous active safety systems that can be used to prevent accidents or at least to mitigate their consequences. The Toyota Safety Sense package includes a pre-collision emergency braking system (PCS) that also recognizes pedestrians and cyclists and intervenes with active steering intervention if necessary, an adaptive cruise control, a traffic sign recognition, a lane departure warning system and a lane departure warning and high beam assistant.

Contact the author: marlonschwartz@wheelsjoint.com


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