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The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a head turner in the mid-sized SUV segment. While the Highlander Hybrid is not as opulent as its Lexus RX cousins, it is surprisingly well-balanced. Starting at a price of $37,665 (with a $995 destination charge included), this practical three-row SUV is loaded with standard technology and safety features that are premium upgrades on many competitors. The roomy cabin and cargo space is average, while it delivers a comfortable ride, produces exceptional city and highway fuel economy, and packs an impressive punch for a hybrid engine combination.

What's New for 2018

Receiving a fresh exterior and interior upgrade in 2017, the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid hits dealerships this year relatively unchanged.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Choosing Your Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Highlander Hybrid's powerplant consists of a 3.5-liter V6 that works together with two electric motors and a single electric generator to produce 306 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque. An electronic continuously variable transmission supplies power to the ground through a standard all-wheel drive system. This combination returns an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.

The 2018 Highlander Hybrid offering this three-row, mid-sized SUV in four available trim levels including the LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum still available with impressive standard features such as climate control, a height adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that operates a six-speaker stereo system

Toyota makes selecting the perfect Highlander Hybrid simple, offering this three-row, mid-sized SUV in four available trim levels including the LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum. Consumers will find upgradable packages sparse, but individual trims include noticeable interior, exterior, and technology upgrades that justify the increase in starting price.


Kicking off the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid trim levels is the base LE, which begins at $37,665. The LE rides on 18-inch wheels, and includes multiple safety systems including an automatic emergency braking system, adaptive cruise control, a backup camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure intervention. A 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system with MP3 playback, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio input.

The LE has 60/40-split second and third-row seating, and USB connections to charge mobile devices are available in each row. The LE offers seating for up to eight passengers, front and rear heating and air conditioning, and eight cup holders with four bottle holders for passengers. Unfortunately, Toyota does not offer any convenience packages with the LE, but there are multiple accessories that individual dealerships will offer.


The XLE, which starts at $42,725, ups the ante by adding leather upholstery with heated front seats, along with third-row seats that feature sliding headrests, and a reclining function. Toyota’s premium audio system with an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, voice recognition, and multiple apps are included with the XLE. This multimedia bundle also includes USB connectivity, music streaming, along with a predictive traffic, and weather overlay.

The XLE upgrades continue with a moonroof, eight-way power driver seat and four-way power passenger seat. Additional safety systems such as an anti-theft system, a blind spot monitor, and rear cross traffic alert system are also standard in this trim. A rear-seat Blu-ray disc entertainment system, with a nine-inch display, RCA jacks, and capability to connect two wireless headphones is available for an additional $1,810.


Starting at $46,155, the Limited trim features items included in the XLE and adds rear parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, and second-row captain’s chairs with 60/40-split third-row seating. The Limited has a slightly taller stance, with 19-inch wheels, and includes a backup camera with gridlines, a rear area tonneau cover, and blue LED ambient interior lighting.

The Limited also features a 12-speaker JBL audio system, with an eight-inch touchscreen, and SiriusXM three-month trial. The rear seat Blu-ray entertainment system upgrade and trailer package can also be added to the Limited.

Limited Platinum

The Limited Platinum trim raises the starting price to $49,275 and adds a panoramic moonroof, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row outboard seating, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 360-degree camera, and includes the rear seat entertainment system.

CarsDirect Tip

Although this vehicle is one of the more expensive mid-sized SUVs, the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is a safe, efficient choice for families. The XLE is arguably the best buy, with the upgraded multimedia package, moonroof, and heated front seats. For mid-sized SUV shoppers with children, adding the rear seat entertainment center will deliver a well-equipped hybrid without breaking the bank.

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