Everyone likes great gas mileage. But as your family grows, you no longer fit so easily in your Toyota Corolla or Camry sedan. It’s time for three rows of seats, and the Toyota Highlander is beckoning you. However, with its 295-horsepower V6, it manages 24 miles per gallon in mixed driving — quite good for an eight-passenger mid-size SUV, but nothing like a small car.
If 24 mpg isn’t good enough, how about the 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid? It gives up some horsepower and costs more than the gasoline-only Highlander, but its fuel economy soars as high as 36 mpg in mixed driving. We recently spent a week in a Highlander Hybrid to see whether this family-friendly fuel-sipper is as good as it looks on paper, and whether it’s still a compelling choice in the face of new competition.