Toyota's largest hybrid SUV, the Highlander, will go on sale in Western Europe next year, marking the first time the nameplate becomes available in the region.
Already available in North America, Australia (where it is marketed as the Kluger), Russia and other parts of the world, the Toyota Highlander will arrive in European markets in early 2021 equipped exclusively with a full hybrid powertrain and standard AWD-i to rival the Ford Explorer Plug-In Hybrid.
Based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, the Highlander is a massive SUV for European standards, measuring 4,950 mm (194.9 in) in length. This enables a standard seven-seat layout and a 658-liter (23.2-cu ft) cargo volume with all seats in place. When the second- and third-row seats are folded down, the load capacity increases to a cavernous 1,909 liters (67.4 cu ft).
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Accessed by a kick-sensor operated power tailgate the 658-litre boot space and with additional underfloor storage may be dramatically expanded by the fully flat folding of both the third and second row seating, bringing the load capacity up to 1,909 litres.
The Highlander is a true seven-seater, offering spacious accommodation for two adults on the third row, with access made easy by the 180-mm (7.1-in) sliding second-row seating. In European specification, the Toyota Highlander comes in a choice of Black or Graphite color schemes, with standard 20-inch alloys, power tailgate, power USB sockets in the first and second row seating areas, as well as "comprehensive storage compartments" through the cabin.
Features also include a 12.3-inch multimedia display with satellite navigation, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless phone charging, seat ventilation and a switchable digital rearview mirror.
Power comes from Toyota’s fourth-generation full hybrid system combining a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors and a powerful Nickel-Metal Hydride battery located under the second-row seats. The combined system power is 244 PS (241 HP) and Toyota claims the massive Highlander returns 6.6 l/100 km (42.8 mpg UK / 35.6 mpg US) and 146 g/km on the combined WLTP cycle.
A Drive Mode Select switch enables the driver to choose one of four available drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail. All four modes may be used when the vehicle runs on the separately-switchable EV mode.
Needless to say, Europe’s Highlander will offer the latest Toyota Safety Sense kit. It consists of Pre-Collision System (PCS) with active steer assist, Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist (RSA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Road Sign Assist (RSA).