Standard accident avoidance tech; superior fuel economy; a just-right size in terms of interior space and exterior maneuverability; excellent reliability reputationSee the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid models for sale near you
Will take a while to pay back hybrid price premium; third-row seat less roomy than those of rivals; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available
After significant updates were made last year, the 2018 Highlander Hybrid carries over unchanged. To know more about what changed last year, read 2016 vs. 2017 Toyota Highlander: What's the Difference?
Now that it has a full range of trim levels, the Highlander Hybrid is much easier to recommend. The base LE is actually very well equipped, but we think you'll find the XLE's extra features (leather, heated power seats, power liftgate, sunshades) to be well worth the extra cost.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid can be had in LE, XLE, Limited and Limited Platinum trim levels.
Standard equipment on the base LE ($36,700) includes 18-inch alloy wheels, forward-collision and automatic braking, lane-departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, a windshield wiper de-icer, proximity entry and keyless start, a backup camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 6.1-in Toyota Entune touchscreen, Bluetooth, five USB ports and a 6-speaker sound system.
The XLE ($41,700) gains a height-adjustable power tailgate, a flip-up rear window, a sunroof, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, second-row sunshades, leather upholstery, heated power front seats, satellite and HD radios, a navigation system and an 8.1-in Entune touchscreen.
The Limited ($45,200) gains 19-in wheels, LED running/accent lighting, rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, second-row captain's chairs (reduces seating capacity to seven) and a 12-speaker sound system.
The Limited Platinum ($48,300) upgrades the sunroof to panoramic status, and adds front parking sensors, an upgraded 360-degree parking camera, automatic wipers and a heated steering wheel. The XLE and Limited trims can be equipped with a rear-seat entertainment system that features a single 9-in display.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid -- A minivan! Yuck! OK, give us and the Pacifica a chance, as this is really the only other hybrid people hauler available. It'll also outdo the Highlander's interior space and fuel economy -- it's actually a plug-in hybrid that can go 33 miles on electricity alone and boasts an EPA fuel economy rating of 84 MPGe.
2018 Honda Pilot -- OK, so it's not a hybrid, but the Honda Pilot is the Highlander's closest competitors in all other key areas, including interior quality, fuel economy and pricing. It has a more spacious interior, though, without sacrificing maneuverability.
2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid -- This is going to be more expensive than the Highlander, but as it's too new to realistically be a used choice, it's also your only real alternative for a hybrid 3-row SUV. It has even less third-row space than the Highlander, but it has a much nicer cabin and sharper driving dynamics.
Used Lexus RX 450h -- If you don't really need the Highlander's 3-row space and can't pony up for the MDX, the RX 450h is your best hybrid SUV bet that still maintains the superior reliability that Toyota/Lexus offer. It'll cost more, so you'll probably need to consider a used model.