TEST DRIVE: is the 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s 28 MPG Rating Worth the Price Tag?

by , 12/30/13

reviews, toyota, toyota highlander, toyota hybrid, toyota highlander hybrid, hybrid SUV, green transportation, green SUV, green car, electric motor

The 2014 Toyota Highlander is now the third generation of Toyota’s midsize SUVs. Toyota offers a four cylinder, V6 and hybrid powertrain for buyers to choose from. Although many of its competitors offer four-cylinder and six-cylinder options, the Highlander is one of only a handful of SUVs that can be selected with a more fuel efficient hybrid system. Besides the Lexus RX, which shares the Highlander’s hybrid system, the only other midsize SUVs that offer a hybrid setup are the Nissan Pathfinder/ Infiniti QX60 models.

The 2014 Highlander Hybrid is powered by a 3.5L V6 and three electric motors that generate a total 280 horsepower. This means that the Highlander Hybrid is the most powerful version of the Highlander with 10 more horsepower than the standard V6 and 95 more horsepower than the base four cylinder. Even with the most horsepower on tap, the Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel efficient with a fuel economy rating of 27 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Compared to the all-wheel-drive Highlander V6, the Highlander Hybrid gets nine more mpg in the city and four more mpg on the highway.

Based on those initial specs, the differences between the Highlander Hybrid and Highlander V6 models do seem significant, but does that make the Highlander Hybrid the better choice? Toyota has decided to discontinue the base Highlander Hybrid, so if you want one, you will have to be willing to pay at least $47,300 for the Highlander Hybrid limited model. Compared to the Highlander V6 limited with all-wheel-drive, the Highlander Hybrid has a $6,000 premium, but is it worth it?

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