Prices are yet to be announced.

It was just a few weeks ago when we last tested the Toyota Highlander but we thought the review would be helpful only to our readers in the United States. It turns out, our European audience could be interested in taking a look at our impressions too, as they will be able to buy a Highlander very soon. The Japanese manufacturer has just unveiled the seven-seat model for the Old Continent, where it’ll go on sale at the beginning of next year.

The three-row SUV joins the already wide range of Toyota high-riding models for Europe, which includes the C-HR, RAV4, and the recently introduced Yaris Cross. The model rides on the company’s GA-K platform and looks virtually identical to the version for the North American market. 

Gallery: 2020 Toyota Highlander for Europe

Toyota lists some of the dimensions of the SUV, which are - again - the same as the U.S. numbers. These include a 658-liter boot, which can be expanded to up to 1,909 with the second row of seats folded.

Customers on the other side of the big pond will be offered exclusively with a hybrid-powered Highlander. Under the hood, it has a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine, supported by front and rear electric motors and a nickel-metal hydride battery. The peak output is rated at 244 horsepower (182 kilowatts) with CO2 emissions of 146 g/km and an average fuel consumption of 6,6 l/100 km, both measured by the new WLTP cycle. According to Toyota, these numbers represent the best power to CO2 balance in the segment.

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In terms of safety, the Highlander will be sold with Toyota’s Safety Sense range of safety and assistance systems. For Europe, the package consists of a pre-collision system with active steer assist to avoid a collision, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, and others.

Prices are expected to be revealed closer to the on-sale date.

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Toyota's largest Hybrid SUV, the Highlander, is to go on sale throughout Western Europe for the first time.

Available exclusively with a full hybrid powertrain, the Highlander - together with the D-segment RAV4, the C-segment C-HR and the forthcoming B-segment Yaris Cross - is the newest addition to Toyota's European SUV model line-up.

With 23 years’ experience in the development of hybrid technology, 15 million hybrid customers, 9 hybrid models and 4th generation self-charging, full hybrid powertrains, Toyota has combined its hybrid leadership with its legendary QDR and extensive experience in the SUV market to create the Highlander Hybrid.

Benefitting from Toyota's GA-K platform, the Highlander combines all the Toyota SUV attributes of comfort, driveability and safety with hybrid powertrain low emissions, fuel efficiency and intelligent All-Wheel Drive, space on demand and a 2-tonne towing capacity.

 

Design and Packaging

4950 mm long with striking 20" alloy wheels, the Highlander Hybrid combines the sleek, dynamic and sophisticated styling of a premium urban SUV with the strength, power and durability of a rugged, versatile All-Wheel Drive.

On board, the interior has been designed to offer all the practicality, durability and space-on-demand expected of a 7-seater SUV, creating a comfortable, premium environment for all occupants. The Highlander Hybrid is a true 7-seater - the 180 mm sliding range of the second-row seating ensuring spacious third row accommodation for two adults, as well as easy ingress-egress.

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.

Available in a choice of Black or Graphite colour schemes, the interior boasts comprehensive storage compartments through the cabin, complimented by power USB sockets in the first and second row seating areas.

Premium equipment levels include a 12.3" centre console multimedia display with satellite navigation, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, seat ventilation and a switchable digital rear-view mirror which displays a wide rear image without the interruption of seat headrest or other occupants.

 

Driving Dynamics

The Highlander's 4th generation full hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors -the rear motor equipping Toyota's SUV with AWD-i (All-Wheel Drive-intelligent)- and a powerful Nickel-Metal Hydride system battery located under the second-row seats.

Total system power of 244 DIN hp* combined with CO2 emissions of just 146 g/km* and 6,6 l/100km* (WLTP cycle) or 117g/km* and 5.2l/100km* (Correlated NEDC) represents the best power to CO2 balance in the segment.

A Drive Mode Select switch enables the driver to select a choice of ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and TRAIL driving modes. All four modes may be used when the vehicle is operating in the separately-switchable EV mode.

The use of an acoustic windscreen and front glazing, and the adoption of roof, dash and floor silencers, and wheel arch and loadspace liners equip the Highlander with a notable quiet cabin environment, reinforcing the inherently smooth, quiet driving characteristics of the full hybrid powertrain.

The Highlander's GA-K platform is complemented by a lightweight and high-rigidity bodyshell and with a low centre of gravity, providing the new SUV with nimble handling and comfortable motorway cruising characteristics.

 

Safety

The new Highlander Hybrid is equipped with latest 'Toyota Safety Sense’, a set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations.

The Highlander's Toyota Safety Sense package includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with active steer assist to avoid collision, with pedestrian detection day and night, and bicycle detection during the day, Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), ACC with Road Sign Assist (RSA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid will go on sale in European markets from early 2021.