The hybrid concept is not a new one, though the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid could possibly put the word ""hybrid"" on the mind of many Americans. The most revolutionary cars available today do not encompass more than five seats, but the Highlander is the very first hybrid to offer seven-passenger seating. Coupling the lower fuel economy with the excellent handling ability, Toyota created a winner.
The 268 horsepower of the Highlander Hybrid will be the recognizable factor among other SUVs. The Highlander comes with a few added touches such as the 17-inch unique wheels and standard LED taillights. A JBL stereo, foglights, and rear roof spoiler are added options. All-wheel- and front-wheel-drive options are available on this Toyota SUV, but the Highlander Hybrid is originally intended for driving on pavement.
Toyota named its all-wheel drive ""4WD-I,"" and it's the system that is capable of power-generating from four wheels and improves traction when driving on dry or wet pavement. Whenever the front wheels detect slip, the system will use its rear-mounted generator/motor for powering the rear wheels. With a remarkable, conservative styling that is combined with a comfortable interior, the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid should excel into the top high-tech choice for typical car buyers with a family.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid
Transmissions: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: Highlander Hybrid Base, Highlander Hybrid Limited
New for the Toyota Highlander is the pairing of electric motors to a V-6, gasoline-powered engine, thus improving fuel economy and performance.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with a base and Limited models. Nicely equipped, the base model has a standard chrome grille and optional sunroof and foglights. The Limited models are available with all of these features plus leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, power glass sunroof, rear defogger, all-season tires, and rear spoiler. Five beautiful exterior colors are available on the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid base model interior features are cloth upholstery, seven-passenger seating, stability control, ABS, power driver seat, and CD player with six speakers. The Limited models upgrade the interior to leather upholstery, automatic climate control, front-passenger power seat, and interior wood grain trim. Additionally, the Limited has a navigation system that can be added as an option feature. The feel of the interior is very sophisticated compared to other vehicles in the segment.
Being identical to the gasoline-only versions, the interior boasts an ideal cabin that contains all of the necessary controls within easy reach. The seating is very comfortable and can carry seven passengers, which is great for families. The 10 cup holders are an advantage of the interior design. The third row may be a little rough to access than others, but the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the only seven-passenger hybrid on the market.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Toyota Highlander hybrid has a 3.3-liter V-6 that is recalibrated for hybrid duty, along with two installed electric motors. One motor will start the gas engine and charge the battery 288-volt pack. The other one will couple with the V-6 for driving the front wheels through the continuously variable transmission. There is a third motor added onto the all-wheel-drive version, which juices rear-wheel traction when necessary.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander's light and easy nature is perfectly offset with the weight added by the hybrid version to fully maneuver corners throughout city driving. The acceleration is great at any speed, which is contributed by the electric motor assist. The Highlander is good for towing about 3500 pounds.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid models all have standard safety features that include airbags on the front-side seat, along with first-row curtain airbags and second-row airbags in the curtain casing. Anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist, traction control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, stability control, and child seat anchors come standard. The new integrated safety system will coordinate the safety features to ensure maximum accident avoidance and protection in case an accident does occur. The Highlander crash results are unknown and no test ratings are available.
EPA Fuel Economy
Highlander Base: 28/25 mpg city/highway
Highlander Limited: 28/25 mpg city/highway
Highlander 2WD: 33/28 mpg city/highway
Highlander 4WD: 31/27 mpg city/highway
- Solid materials
- Simple controls
- Smooth ride
- Comfortable interior
- Excellent acceleration
- Good fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Extra weight affects handling
- Third-row seat not easily accessible
- Engine a little noisy
Accommodates many needs of SUV owners.
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