Toyota Highlander: your questions answered

Toyota Highlander

The seven-seat Toyota Highlander sits at the top of our SUV line-up, joining the RAV4, Toyota C-HR and Yaris Cross to provide the widest range of hybrid sports utility vehicles Europe has ever seen.

Built on the GA-K platform, the Toyota Highlander is equipped with our fourth-generation hybrid technology for up to 80% emissions-free driving. It combines Toyota’s renowned reputation for quality, durability and reliability with traditional SUV qualities such as all-wheel drive traction, a flexible interior and strong towing capacity.

Toyota Highlander

How big is the Toyota Highlander?

The Highlander is 4,966mm long, 1,930mm wide and 1,755mm high and has a 2,850mm wheelbase. Its sophisticated design suggests the look of an urban SUV, while its wide front and tracks (1,662 and 1,690mm respectively) and flared arches create a broad stance that communicates the power, strength and durability of a rugged all-wheel drive model. The sizeable proportions continue with the fitment of striking 20-inch alloy wheels.

How spacious is it inside?

Highlander’s generous 2,850mm wheelbase is 160mm longer than that of the smaller RAV4, which allows it to be a true seven-seater. The second row of seats has a sliding range of 180mm to ensure spacious third-row accommodation for two adults and easy access. Legroom for front seat occupants is up to 1,067mm, with up to 1,043mm in the middle row and 703mm in the third row.

When all seven seats are in place, the load compartment offers 332 litres of storage space, including 27 litres beneath the floor. But this capacity quickly increases to 865 litres and a massive 1,909 litres when the third and second-row seats are folded down. In addition, there are multiple storage compartments throughout the cabin, together with power, USB and HDMI ports in the front seats and middle row.

What trim levels are available?

For the UK market, the Highlander is available in two high-specification versions: Excel and Excel Premium.

Premium features that are standard on the Excel include a seven-inch TFT multi-information display in the driver’s instrument binnacle, a multimedia system with a central eight-inch display, satellite navigation and smartphone integration. With regard to comfort and convenience features, you get triple-zone air conditioning, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power tailgate, a panoramic roof, black leather seat upholstery and an 11-speaker JBL Premium Sound System.

Customers choosing the top-level Excel Premium further gain kick-activated (hands-free) tailgate operation, ventilated front seats, heated outer second-row seats, digital rear-view mirror, Panoramic View Monitor and a head-up display.

What is the powertrain?

Highlander uses our fourth-generation self-charging hybrid electric system, combining a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with electric motors on both the front and rear axles – the latter delivering the vehicle’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The motors are powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery centrally located beneath the second-row seats.

The long-stroke petrol engine offers a world-class 41% level of thermal efficiency. Its fuel injection system can switch between direct cylinder injection and port injection, in order to optimise power output and fuel efficiency depending on driving conditions. Meanwhile, intelligent variable valve timing uses electric motor operation on the intake side rather than oil pressure control to enhance output and fuel efficiency, and reduce emissions.

Toyota Highlander

The hybrid transaxle adopts a dual-axis structure to reduce its size and minimise transmission losses. This means that the two electric motor/generator units located within the transaxle now sit on their own shaft instead of being placed one behind the other. In addition, resonance and noise have been suppressed by polishing the gear teeth and creating a new gear structure design, making the hybrid system quieter than ever before.

The total system output is 245bhp, which delivers smooth, powerful performance and the potential for all-electric cruising at speeds up to 78mph. The dash to 62mph can be despatched in 8.3 seconds and Highlander will top out at 111mph. Combined fuel consumption is from 39.2 to 39.7mpg, while CO2 emissions are 160 to 163g/km. Appropriate for its size and status, Highlander can tow braked trailers of up to two tonnes.

What is it like to drive?

Thanks to high body rigidity and the low centre of gravity afforded by its TNGA-K platform, as well as sophisticated MacPherson strut front and trailing wishbone rear suspension, the Highlander is engaging, nimble and comfortable to drive in all situations. These qualities are further enhanced with electronic Ride Control, which controls drive torque to the front wheels to reduce the pitching effect caused by hard acceleration or fluctuations in the road surface.

Toyota Highlander

The driver can select their preferred drive mode to suit the occasion or conditions – Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail. All four modes can still be used when the vehicle is operating in its (separately selectable) EV all-electric mode.

The model’s intelligent all-wheel drive system uses a new rear transaxle to increase torque at the rear wheels. The electric motor can now provide 121Nm to boost vehicle performance without compromising noise, vibration, emissions or fuel economy. The torque distribution between the front and rear is precisely controlled, shuffling anywhere between 100% to the front wheels and up to 80% to the rear wheels, according to driving conditions. The precise ratio is shown in the multi-information display when AWD-i is in operation.

How safe is the Toyota Highlander?

The new Highlander is equipped with the latest Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assistance systems, designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions in a wide range of traffic scenarios. Elements include a Pre-Collision System with active steer assist and pedestrian detection, full-range Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert and Lane Trace Assist, and Automatic High Beam.

Details in this article were correct at the date of publication shown.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander specifications

ENGINE A25A-FXS 2.5-litre four-cylinder 16v DOHC petrol engine with electronic variable valve timing and direct fuel injection. Output: 190PS at 6,000rpm and 239Nm at 4,300 to 4,500rpm.  
HYBRID SYSTEM Electric motor (front): AC permanent magnet, synchronous motor. Output: 134kW and 270Nm Electric motor (rear): AC permanent magnet, synchronous motor. Output: 40kW and 121Nm Hybrid battery: Nickel-metal hydride with 288V (nominal) and 650V (system) 
TRANSMISSION CVT with planetary gear system and 3.605:1 differential gear ratio 
STATISTICS Performance: max speed 111mph and 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds Combined fuel consumption: 39.2 to 39.7mpg Fuel tank: 65 litres CO2 emissions: 160-163g/km (Excel) and 159-163g/km (Excel Premium) 
CHASSIS Suspension: MacPherson strut (front), trailing arm/double wishbone (rear) Brakes: 457mm ventilated discs front and rear Steering: electrically assisted rack and pinion with 2.82 turns lock-to-lock Turning radius: 5.7m (to tyres) Wheels: 20-inch alloys with 235/55 R20 tyres 
WEIGHTS Kerb weight: 2,050 to 2,105kg Towing capacity: 700kg (unbraked) and 2,000kg (braked) Gross vehicle weight: 2,720kg 
EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS Exterior (LWH): 4,966mm x 1,930mm x 1,755mm Wheelbase: 2,850mm Track: 1,662mm (front) and 1,690mm (rear) Overhang: 988mm (front) and 1,128mm (rear) Body clearance: 202mm (ground), 18.1 degrees (approach), 22.7 degrees (departure), 16.7 degrees (break-over) Wading depth: 400mm 
Interior (LWH): 2,548mm x 1,499mm (front) x 1,212mm Luggage compartment (LWH): 520mm x 1,138mm x 800mm (to roof) Luggage capacity: 268-332 litres as seven-seater, 579-865 litres as five-seater, 1,909 litres as a two-seater 


      1. Is there plans to order it as new, as the screen size is 12 inch, while the used ones are only showing as 7inch?

      2. Hi Jojo,

        We have no information on this at the moment.

        We apologise for the inconvenience.


    1. Hi Jim,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Unfortunately, we do not have any further information to share on Highlander at the moment.

      1. It is a disgrace that many loyal Toyota customers have asking about this model and have been totally fobbed off with your response of not knowing. I have been a loyal customer of over 25 years with over 10 new Toyota vehicles in this time period. Toyota and their employees including you have made the mistake of being bigger than their customers and as such I will never purchase any of their vehicles again.
        If you had been honest about the Highlander when I asked numerous times, I would like many customers would understand. However you knowingly kept customers in the dark.

        Time to go to another manufacturer that values their customers just
        Iike Toyota once did

  1. I have owned a Highlander since 2021. Upgraded from Rav4 as I needed greater towing weight. The Highlander is a superb vehicle and I can honestly say it delivers everything I want. Comfort, reliability and efficiency. Sadly I am amazed that Toyota have not publicized it more. I have owned Range Rovers, Land Rover and Jaguars and the Highlander beats them hands down.
    I am disappointed that when inquiring with my local dealership they advise I cannot order a replacement which I would normally do at 3 years.
    Toyota…..this is a winner….keep it in the line up and learn how to Market it!!

  2. ToyotaUK any news about ordering the Highlander or is this now discontinued for the Grand Highlander???

    1. Hi Tom,
      After a revision of our product offering, the Highlander will no longer be available in the UK market.

      1. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment.

        We have no information on this vehicle coming to the UK.


      2. Does this mean the facelift highlander wont be coming to the U.K ? As we have had one on order since september and on the app its still saying at the processing order stage

      3. Hi Mike, thanks for your question.

        We would recommend contacting your Toyota Centre for information on your order.


  3. Is there a reason this is not being continued ? It’s one of the best cars you have in the fleet if not thee best, makes zero sense.

    Last time out in my local Toyota dealership they said they’ve completely fulfilled all orders, so are not currently taking anymore orders. That to me says it must of being doing something right .

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

      We understand your dissapointment.

      Following a comprehensive review of our SUV model portfolio and UK market opportunities, the Toyota Highlander will be discontinued in the UK market. This will allow us to focus on our higher volume electrified SUV models. For customers who still desire a large SUV, Landcruiser and RAV4 will be available as new car alternative.


    2. I wanted to buy one last year but I could not get past the crappy little screen, 50 grand for a car and you get a little poor res screen worse than in a ford fiesta, annoyed me more when I saw that the rest of the world gets a massive HD screen, as per usual we get fobbed off with low spec versions and then they wonder why they dont sell as many as they should

  4. Hi,
    So where does that leave us? No Highlander but no answers. Can we import a Grand Highlander from the US or Europe, or ANZ, or Japan for that matter? The Land Cruiser is a fantsatic vehicle, but it is not hybrid or fully electric (and it is not a Highlander), does Toyota plan to change this? For the first time, I don’t feel well supported by Toyota as a customer.

      1. Hi,
        I am sorry, but I don’t think you understand my disappointment at all. This is the best car you have ever produced and because I live in the UK I cannot purchase one anymore; and yet, according to the link you provided, I can buy it in most countries in Europe, including Spain, France, and Ireland. Ireland!! Please tell me why everyone else can have one but us?!

  5. I made a difficult decision to sell my Highlander and buy a Supra. I needed to collect my other car from a service and agreed to arrive early, later in the day to test drive the Supra. after receiving the sales pitch and a value for the Highlander I was then refused a test drive. I had to wait over an hour before my car was ready. To say I was not amused is an understatement. What on earth is going on with Toyota dealers? I think I’ll keep the Highlander! Thanks for nothing.

  6. Very disappointed to find out that the Highlander has now been discontinued in the UK. We gave up waiting for a new one and bought a second hand one this year, with the idea of upgrading next year. If you don’t market a car you can’t sell it. Everyone has loved the car, I’ve even had someone stop in the street and ask what it was but no-one had ever heard of a Toyota Highlander. We only found it by accident when we were looking for a new car last year on an American site. It is a great car and we would have bought another one. Any chance there could be a change of heart and it be made available again in the UK, even as a seven seater Rav4 as they look similar?

    1. Hi Juliet, thanks for your comment.

      We are very pleased to hear you are enjoying your Toyota Highlander!

      At the moment, there is no information on this. However, any future updates and availability would be published on our website and magazine. Please keep a look out for any future information.


  7. It’s a pity the Toyota Highlander has been discontinued. Is the Land Cruiser going to come in hybrid if you are hoping the Land Cruiser will replace the Highlander?

  8. Is there any plans to roll out the Grand Highlander in the UK (England)?
    It looks like it will be a perfect rival for the extremely successful BMW X7 which is currently experiencing a long waiting list.
    Please try your absolute best to bring it to the UK, it is guaranteed to be successful. It has the exact dimensions as the BMW X7

    1. Hello Femi,
      Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback.
      We will pass this onto our Product Team.
      Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on our future vehicle lineup.
      Please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the latest information on our vehicle offerings.

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