Her and His Reviews

September 2011

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

MSRP:$48,729 MSRP:$48,729
A strong 280 horsepower with a 3.5 liter V6 and CVT transmission. This mid-sized, hybrid SUV has reliable, powerful handling and performance. 280 horsepower Synergy Drive System, includes a 3.5 liter V6 and CVT transmission. Highlander Hybrid surprised us with its responsiveness and sprightly acceleration.
Fuel Economy
28 city/28 highway 28 city/28 highway
The Car
The Highlander Hybrid has a new look with more space, it transports up to seven. The ride is very smooth and comfortable, and, quieter. Leather seats in this Limited model ?? and, three climate control sections in the car. However, it is an exceptionally expensive vehicle ?? thousands more than the Ford Escape Hybrid and teetering well into Lexus prices. A great feature is the third row, split seating ?? a versatile plus for towing kids. In June, Toyota recalled 80,000+ of the Highlander Hybrid due to stalling that was occurring from an overheated hybrid inverter, causing it to lose power. The matter has been corrected. The Highlander is an awful lot like a comfortable pair of old slippers-- you don't want to be without it once you have one. It is completely intuitive to drive, comfortable as all get out, and a pleasure to drive through and through. Plenty of virtue and value, few things to complain about. Price might be one of the few niggles: There are other crossovers out there, including Toyota's lovely Venza, that are equally nice, but much easier on the eye, and at lower costs too.
The Highlander scores high for safety. ABS and traction control. Electronic brake force with Brake Assist and Smart Stop technology. And, Air bags galore ?? 7 in all. Highlander Hybrid is equipped with Toyota's Star Safety system, which includes vehicle dynamics integrated management, stability and traction control, antilock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop technology, third row roll sensing side curtain airbags, and lots of other items.
An on demand four wheel drive system, Hill start assist control, voice activated touch screen DVD NAV system, Bluetooth wireless for hands free chatting, CD and an MP3 jack, with USB/iPod input. Lots of it! Electronic on demand four wheel drive system, Hill start assist control, voice activated touch screen DVD navigation system, Bluetooth wireless technology and other features.
Aesthetics & Styling
A solid universal design. The "Grill Girl" here likes the grill on the Hybrid, tasty and understated. While the lines on the vehicle are attractive ?? it's not a stand out and nothing about it is a turn off, either ?? strictly run of the mill. Good organization on the inside. Love the second row seating can adjust, making for customized seating. As with other Toyota products, it's pleasant but certainly no standout. Toyota must step up its styling and design game if it expects to hold its ground against other equally nice but prettier competitors. Then again, we don't think Toyota buyers put a lot of stock in styling anyway.
3 year/36,000 miles basic warranty, 5 year/60,000 mile powetrain warranty. 3 year, 36,000 miles basic warranty, five year/60,000 mile powetrain warranty.