The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is one of the few entries in the mid-size SUV segment that offers a hybrid powertrain. Offered for a base MSRP of $39,055, the Highlander Hybrid is a good value in the segment, as it offers amazing fuel economy along with all the desired features that make it a great family hauler, including unmatched interior space accommodating 8 people with reasonable comfort.

It has also provides solid performance from the 2.5-liter inline-4 motor mated to dual electric motors. The towing capacity is similar to many of the rivals, too. The plush ride quality, butch styling, and long list of active and passive safety features round off the package quite well. Competing with the likes of the Kia Sorento Hybrid and the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, here are 10 things you need to know before buying the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

RELATED: Mid-Size SUV: 2022 Toyota Highlander Vs 2022 Honda Pilot

10 Performance Is Adequate

2022 Toyota Highlander
Via Toyota

The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a mid-size SUV that is not going to put a smile on the driver's face. The 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated inline-4 engine along with dual electric motors gives a combined output of 243 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. The power is put down with the help of a CVT automatic transmission and the FWD or AWD drivetrains.

2022 Toyota Highlander 3

Put your foot down from a standstill and the car initially feels a bit lazy, unlike the turbocharged Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid. The CVT makes the driving experience less enjoyable as it blunts acceleration. There is noticeable lag when you need a fast overtake on the freeways, due to the lazy transmission and an engine that is not very rev-happy. The 0-60 mph time of 8.4 seconds looks good on paper, but of course that's going full throttle. In normal driving the powertrain just doesn't feel quite that responsive. A towing capacity of 3,500 lbs is mediocre too.

9 Not Going To Excite Any Gearheads

2022 Toyota Highlander
Toyota

The powertrain is tuned for extracting the maximum number of miles out of every gallon of fuel, and nothing more. Apart from that, the suspension is tuned for comfort, which it delivers, rather than for driving pleasure. The front end feels somewhat heavy, especially with the FWD variant, and the car understeers when pushed harder, though most folks won't push this three-row SUV that hard.

Toyota Highlander
Via toyota.com

Even the full-time AWD variant is not going to excite any gearheads out there, with its slow direction changes and a steering system that offers a below-average feel and feedback. Nevertheless, drive the Highlander Hybrid a bit sedately, and you would be happy with the way the car responds. The grip level is decent too when you drive the car sanely.

RELATED: Here’s How The Toyota Highlander Stacks Up Against The Competition

8 Has A Sorted Ride Quality

A picture of a grey-colored Toyota Highlander 2022.
Via toyota.com

Coming with the strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is not going to disappoint in terms of ride quality. The suspension is also tuned to the softer side, similar to the rivals like the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, and that helps the car to ride phenomenally well.

Interior Of Toyota Highlander
Via Rickhendricktoyotasandysprings

Given the smooth ride it delivers, many would find the traveling experience on long road trips to be pretty excellent. The slow-speed ride is where this SUV shines the most, as it absorbs even the largest of the potholes with ease. The highway riding remains pretty flat and composed too. However, there is a bit of body roll.

7 Butch Exterior Design

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE
via: AutoTrader

The fourth generation of the Toyota Highlander has always been praised for its butch exterior design, especially when compared to the bland third generation. The design continues with no major changes to this 2022 iteration as well. However, there are subtle updates in the form of three new colors, a new Bronze Edition, and a few more changes are offered to make the car stand out.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition
Via guideautoweb.com

The Highlander Hybrid still wears a contemporary design, especially when compared to the rivals from South Korea, we admire the aggressive front and side profile which gets highlighted with the blacked-out grille, a massive air-dam, Toyota logo with a blue surround, and the masculine bumper and hood design. The 18" alloy wheels and the blacked-out pillars make it very elegant too. There are quite a lot of exterior options as well.

6 Very Fuel Efficient

Toyota-Highlander
via toyota

In comparison to the regular Toyota Highlander, this Hybrid does manage to take things a step further when it comes to fuel efficiency. If you want the most frugal offering of the trim lineup, get the one with the FWD drivetrain, and you would be presented with the impressive 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Toyota-Highlander
via toyota

The fuel efficiency numbers of the Highlander Hybrid turn out to be better than the Kia Sorento Hybrid and the Lexus RX450h. However, if you get the AWD variant, the fuel efficiency sees a minor drop to 35 mpg in the city and highway. With 17.1-gallons of fuel tank capacity, the car could theoretically go 598 miles on a tank full of fuel.

RELATED: Here's Why The 2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum Is Worth The Premium Price Tag

5 Many Safety And Driver-Assistance Features Are Standard

Red Toyota Highlander Premium
Via Toyota

Toyota has always been known for providing most of the safety and driver-assistance features as standard, and the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is no different. The standard driver-assistance features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and many more.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid Infotainment
Via PCmag

All the basic safety features are on board too. With superb engineering and the use of high-tensile steel, the 2022 Highlander Hybrid received an overall crash safety rating of 5-stars in the NHTSA crash test. The IIHS gave the regular Highlander a good rating in most of the subsections of their crash tests as well.

4 Spacious Cabin

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE interior shown in Cockpit Red leather
Via Toyota

Being an 8-seater mid-size hybrid SUV, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a reasonably spacious offering, especially for a low MSRP of $39,055. The driver and front passenger are going to enjoy the excellent headroom, legroom, and shoulder room on offer. The seats are neither too soft nor too hard, and there is an ample amount of under-thigh and lower back support.

2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum interior in Harvest Beige
Via Toyota

The front seats also get heating and power adjustability, making the traveling experience even better. The second-row seating experience tells a similar story, and this row can also be had with captain's chairs for the higher trims. Unlike the Lexus RX450hL, the 2022 Highlander Hybrid has superb headroom and shoulder room for third-row passengers. However, the legroom could be better.

3 Interior Quality And Features List Is Good

2021 Toyota Highlander Platinum 10-Inch Color Head-Up Display
Via Youtube

Unlike some of the cheaper offerings from the Toyota stable, the interior quality, and overall refinement levels are almost up there with the more expensive offerings from the Lexus lineup. The dashboard and door cards come crafted with soft-touch plastics and leather with contrastive stitching. The silver accents, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and many more add to the overall quality and beauty of this cabin.

Toyota Highlander Premium Interior
Via Toyota

The features list is also surprisingly competent for such a family SUV, which wasn't the case with the older model years of the Highlander. Even the base trim comes with powered seats, a touchscreen audio system with all the connectivity features, dual-zone climate control, and many more. However, the top-of-the-line Platinum trim is the one to get if you want all the features you could think of from this segment.

RELATED: Here’s Why The Toyota Highlander Should Receive More Credit

2 Superb Braking Performance

A 2021 Toyota Highlander
Via YouTube / Alpha SQUAD Official

Even though the driving experience offered by the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is pretty SUV-like, the same cannot be said about the braking performance. Coming with 4-wheel disc brakes with 13.3" front and rear rotors along with all the other braking features like ABS, EBD, automated emergency braking, brake assist, and many more, the braking performance is top-notch.

Toyota-Highlander-Hybrid
Via toyota.com

We were pretty surprised with the effortless braking which felt quite similar to that of the sedans from Toyota. The initial bite is excellent, and the car felt like it could stop on a dime when we stomped hard on the brake pedal. The regenerative braking isn't very intrusive and the brake pedal offers reasonable feedback too. The 70-0 mph braking distance of 176 feet is acceptable for the segment as well.

1 Gets A Polished Infotainment System

Toyota Highlander Touchscreen
Via MartinMiltonToyota

The infotainment system gets no changes from the outgoing model, which means it is still an 8" touchscreen unit. This infotainment is very intuitive to use, with minimal lag and super smooth animations. There is no learning curve needed for operating it, so most anyone would appreciate the ease of this system. There is also a 12.3" infotainment system that comes with the Limited and Platinum trims.

Toyota-Highlander 2021
Via Toyota.com

The features list is also pretty enticing as it comes loaded with all the required entertainment and connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM radio, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and many more as standard. The optional 11-speaker JBL audio system has got superb bass and produces reasonably clear vocals too.

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