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2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review
A vehicle that the whole family can love.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV is available in two trims: Base and Limited. The midsize crossover Highlander offers seating for five, and seating can be increased to seven with the optional third-row seat. The gas-electric hybrid version of the Toyota Highlander was introduced in the 2006 model year. It is the first seven-passenger hybrid vehicle on the market. Up until this point, environmentally-focused families had to find other ways to reduce its carbon footprint while driving. As fuel prices continue to soar, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid may be a wise investment. Both models are available in either front-drive or all-wheel drive.
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: CVT automatic
Models: Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited
The Base model is introduced into the 2007 Toyota Highland Hybrid lineup.
The 2007 Highlander Hybrid is identical in appearance to its non-hybrid model. It features a squared-off front end, four doors, and a rear liftgate. It has a 106.9-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 184.6 inches. With the long overhangs over the wheels, it looks more like a station wagon than a truck. Standard equipment in the Base model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome grille, variable intermittent wipers, privacy glass, intermittent rear wiper, roof rack, and front and rear stabilizer bars. The Limited trim level adds a standard rear spoiler. Optional equipment includes a power glass sunroof.
There are no differences in interior quality between that of the Highlander and the Highlander Hybrid. Seating is comfortable, and the gauges are well-placed and easy to use. One new feature in the hybrid is the LCD Energy monitor that sits front and center on the dashboard. It displays speed, and fuel consumption. Hybrid Synergy Drive monitors hybrid performance and selects which power source will be controlling the vehicle. With the second- and third-row seats stowed, maximum cargo capacity is 80.6 cubic feet. Standard equipment in the Base model includes power door locks, power windows, power heated mirrors, cloth upholstery, captain’s chair front seats, split-folding rear seatback, reclining rear seats, rear ventilation ducts, front and overhead consoles with storage, universal remote transmitter, 12-volt power outlets, air filtration, air-conditioning, tachometer, trip computer, external temperature display, and AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers. The Limited trim level adds the following standard equipment: heated front seats, four-way power passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and leather/wood-tone interior trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, and JBL premium audio system with AM/FM/six-CD changer, and eight speakers. Optional equipment includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Limited trim level offers optional leather upholstery.
Performance & Handling
The gas-electric hybrid process involves the use of two electric motors and a 288-volt battery pack. One motor works to start the gas engine and is responsible for changing the battery pack. The second motor, along with the V-6 engine, drives the front wheels via the CVT. A third motor is needed in the AWD models to power the rear wheels when traction slippage is noticed in the front wheels. With the use of the hybrid technology, acceleration in the Highlander Hybrid is brisk at any speed. Even with the added weight of the hybrid equipment, the Highlander Hybrid manages zero to 60 mph sprint times of 7.2 seconds. Ride quality is as smooth and even as it is in the non-hybrid Highlander. Until you reach the speed of 25 mph or turn on the air-conditioning, drivers will hear the electric motor as it quietly hums. When properly equipped, the Highlander Hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of 3500 pounds. The Base Toyota Highlander Hybrid is equipped with a 3.3-liter, V-6 engine and an automatic CVT (continuously variable speed) transmission. Standard equipment in the Base model includes auxiliary transmission fluid cooler, MacPherson strut front and rear independent suspensions, and cruise control.
Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel ABS with emergency braking assist, traction control, stability control, tire pressure monitoring, and front seat side-mounted airbags and first- and second-row side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Hybrid fuel economy
- Spacious interior
You Won't Like
- Handling on curves
A vehicle that the whole family can love.
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