The Highlander’s listed seating capacity is seven. However, the middle seat in the second row is quite narrow (it can be folded away and left open or replaced with a console), and there’s so little legroom in the third row that it might be a tight fit for adults. The third row is accessible by folding down one of the second row seats. The second and third rows fold down for increased cargo capacity – a total of 146.8 cubic ft.
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Interior features include a backup camera and a 3.5-in. LCD touchscreen Multi-Information Display with customizable settings, outside temperature, clock, fuel economy history, distance to empty, tire pressure monitoring, hybrid system information and warning messages. 8-way adjustable power driver’s seat and 4-way adjustable power front passenger seat are standard, along with audio, Bluetooth, and voice-command controls built into the tilting, telescoping steering wheel.
Standard safety features include stability control, traction control, ABS, and brake assist technology. Both the driver and front passenger are protected by front and side airbags and all three rows get curtain airbags in case of a rollover. The driver also gets a knee airbag.
The Highlander Hybrid gives you the best of both worlds. You’ve got the capacity and power to haul around half a soccer team or tow the family camper when you need it, but if you’re just driving around town, the hybrid system gives you far better mileage than a non-hybrid SUV.
The base model of the Highland Hybrid is anything but bare bones. It comes with integrated fog lights, a distinctive grille that shows of the SUV’s hybrid nature, and 17-in. 7-spoke wheels. The interior sports a 6-speaker audio system with a USB port and Bluetooth audio streaming capability. Remote keyless entry is standard.
The mechanical aspects of the Highlander Hybrid base model and the Limited are identical, so the differences are all either cosmetic or luxury. From the outside, the Limited has 19-in. 5-spoke wheels and chrome door handles. Inside, the Limited gets an upgraded audio system with 9 speakers, including a sub-woofer, and three-zone automatic climate control. Leather trimmed seats (heated in front) add additional style along with wood grain and chrome interior trim. The Limited also gets the Smart Key system, anti-theft system, and power/tilt moonroof.
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|Build & Price|
Pricier than the Highlander, but the V8 adds power (and reduces mileage).
Less expensive, but without a hybrid system, you'll be refilling the gas tank more often.
A luxurious SUV that gets some of the best mileage in its class.
Top-of-the-line power and luxury with respectable mileage, but it costs nearly twice as much as other SUVs.