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8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Review

The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets exemplary fuel economy for the class, and reviewers were impressed with how powerful it feels for a hybrid SUV.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Good acceleration for a hybrid
  • Grabby, numb brakes

2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Overview

The 2012 Highlander Hybrid is powered by a V6 engine and an electric motor which are paired with a continuously variable transmission. Test drivers said the Highlander Hybrid gets going quickly from a stop and has ample power for highway passing. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 28/28 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. Most reviewers agreed that the Highlander Hybrid has a controlled ride over rough road surfaces, but some critics said that nimble handling isn't the Highlander Hybrid's strongest attribute. Critics also noted that the Highlander Hybrid's regenerative brakes feel numb and the pedal can feel a bit grabby.

Some auto journalists said the 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid's interior materials are high-quality, though others complained that the cabin is constructed with materials that look and feel a bit cheap. While its first- and second-row seats were deemed spacious and comfortable, some reviewers said that the Highlander Hybrid's third row is cramped. Still, others noted that the Highlander Hybrid stands out as one of the few 2012 hybrid vehicles available with three rows of seats. The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes standard with a rearview camera, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features when it was new include a nine-speaker JBL stereo system, a rear-seat entertainment system and a touch-screen navigation system. There is up to 94.1 cubic feet of cargo space in the Highlander Hybrid, which is on par for the class.

Other SUVs to Consider

The non-hybrid 2012 Toyota Highlander can't quite match the fuel economy of the Highlander Hybrid, but models equipped with the base four-cylinder engine are more fuel-efficient than most other SUVs in the class. The Highlander earned reviewer praise for its tranquil ride and reviewers appreciated that it is fairly easy to maneuver, thanks to its tidy dimensions.

The 2012 Buick Enclave was praised by auto journalists for its opulent interior and minimal body lean when cornering. Additionally, the Enclave has more cargo space than the Highlander Hybrid and reviewers said its third-row seating is spacious relative to some rivals' third rows.

Compare the Highlander Hybrid, Highlander and Enclave »

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