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2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

Updated for 2011, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is as spacious and comfortable as the gas-only Highlander. The Highlander Hybrid’s good fuel economy and great safety scores make it a strong choice among 2011 midsize SUVs.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Quiet, high-quality interior
  • Top safety scores
  • Not very fun to drive

Rankings & Awards

The 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2011 Best Hybrid SUV for Families award. Currently the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 81 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Overview

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid entered 2011 with a refreshed look, a new powertrain and improved gas mileage. All of this results in a midsize hybrid SUV that improved upon the already well-regarded 2010 Highlander Hybrid. Reviewers said that the Highlander Hybrid has plenty of power, but when it comes to driver involvement, they found it lacking. Still, if you prioritize fuel economy and safety over performance, the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an excellent choice.

All Highlander Hybrids come with a V6 engine and an electric motor. Whether you choose the base or Limited trim, you’ll get standard all-wheel drive and 28/28 mpg city/highway. Even base models are particularly well-equipped, offering a standard backup camera, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Highlander Hybrid Limited trims have even more standard features, like tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

See the full 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but are deterred by its likely higher price, consider a gas-only 2011 Toyota Highlander. The base Highlander has a four-cylinder engine that gets particularly impressive fuel economy, and it shares similarities with the hybrid that include three rows of seats, a well-made interior and comfortable handling. However, some reviewers felt that while the gas-only Highlander got great fuel economy with the base engine, it also felt underpowered. Both SUVs offer similar levels of safety, but neither is particularly fun to drive. If you need an SUV with a spacious third row, the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid might both come up short.

You should also consider the 2011 Buick Enclave. Though it can’t match the Highlander Hybrid in terms of fuel economy, its upscale interior and long list of standard features rival that of the Toyota. Plus, the Enclave has an adult-sized third row, which is something the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid lack. The Enclave performs slightly better in crash tests, so it may be the better choice for some.

Compare the Highlander Hybrid to the Highlander and Enclave »

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