A mid-cycle refresh results in largely minor changes for the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. However, a new engine helps bolster both vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. Keep reading to learn what's new on the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and review specs, features and pricing.
What's New - 2011 Toyota
Cosmetically, the new Highlander receives a broadened front end and newly shaped front headlights. The list of available standard features is now longer - a fact that also increases base MSRP. All models now come with third-row seating.
Under the hood, the Highlander Hybrid gets a new 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Despite being larger than last year's engine, the hybrid SUV now boasts 28 mpg combined (compared to 26 mpg combined last year).
2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Styling
All things told, the styling updates to the 2011 Highlander are minimal. The vehicle still serves largely as an accommodating crossover for shoppers who want the functionality of a minivan and styling cues of an SUV. The exterior exudes a somewhat refined personality - a fact that continues on the inside. Overall build quality places the Highlander in the top half of SUVs when it comes to vehicle comfort.
Hybrid shoppers will likely be pleased by the amount of interior room afforded by the cabin. All three rows of seating offer good leg room and bolstered seating. With seats up, cargo room is a bit constricting at 10.3 cubic feet. Fold the seats flat, however, and you'll enjoy up to 94.1 cubic feet of storage capacity.
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2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Performance
Last year's 3.3-liter V-6 gets replaced with a 3.5-liter that outputs 231 horsepower. Add in the power of the electric motors, and total output comes in at 280 horsepower (10 hp higher than last year). Thanks to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and other engine enhancements, this larger engine delivers better fuel efficiency - 28 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. These figures further cement the Highlander Hybrid as one of the most fuel-efficient midsize SUVs available.
In terms of driving comfort, the Highlander receives good reviews. For the most part, the hybrid drives like a conventional car and provides well-received on-road manners.
Review full 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid specifications.
2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Safety
Standard safety features on the 2011 Highlander Hybrid include antilock brakes, seven airbags (including driver's knee airbag), stability control, hill-start assist and active front head restraints. While the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has yet to perform crash tests on the 2011 Highlander, the nearly identical 2010 model earned an overall best-possible rating of "Good."
2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Prices and Features
Base price for the 2011 Highlander Hybrid comes in at $37,290. This price is a bit higher than the $34,900 baseline of last year's model. However, the standard features list receives some new additions, and includes keyless ignition, three-zone auto climate control, six-speaker stereo, CD player, auxiliary input, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, 3.5-inch multifunction display, 10-way power driver's seat and cruise control. Notable options include a nine-speaker stereo, navigation system and DVD entertainment system. Load up on all the bells and whistles, and shoppers can expect to pay well over $45,000.
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