$27,586 - $39,293

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid has an upscale interior with high-quality materials and comfortable seating. Features such as smartphone integration and a six-speaker sound system make drives fun and entertaining, and optional leather and heated seats make road trips enjoyable.

The infotainment system is easy to use and employs knobs and buttons for many of the controls. The Highlander Hybrid fits up to eight people comfortably, although the last row of seats is best left to children. There is plenty of space for smaller items throughout the cabin, though overall cargo space is about average for the class.

  • "Step into the new Highlander and you'll find a comfortable driving position; refreshingly straightforward controls that are logically located, clearly marked and intuitively functional; and plenty of attention to detail as far as utility is concerned. All of this simplicity is rendered in a pleasing design comprised of appealing materials." -- New York Daily News
  • "It offers a spacious, comfortable and quiet cabin, seating for seven and high-quality materials and finish." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The latest Highlander Hybrid feels a lot more worthy of its luxury-car pricing. That's mainly due to its all-new interior, which has been thoroughly reworked compared to the previous-generation. It offers improved surfaces, better design and an overall feel that's a lot more upscale than we'd expect from a Toyota." -- Autotrader (2015)

Seating

The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid seats up to eight in three rows. Cloth upholstery is standard. A tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and sliding and reclining 60/40-split second- and third-row seats are also standard. Available features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

The Highlander Hybrid has a spacious interior with comfortable seats and plenty of leg- and headroom in the first two rows. The power-adjustable front seats allow drivers and passengers to set their ideal seating position. The sliding and reclining second- and third-row 60/40-split-folding seats provide either more legroom for passengers or more room for cargo. There is ample room for adults in the cabin, although taller passengers may feel cramped in the third row, and the high floor that is necessary to house the hybrid battery will elevate their knees.

The Highlander Hybrid has lower anchors and tethers on the second-row outboard seats and tethers on the second- and third-row middle seats. The second-row outboard seats' lower anchors are fairly easy to use. However, the anchors closest to the middle seats are blocked by the seat-belt buckles. There is plenty of room for three child seats in the second row, and two child seats will fit in the third row.

  • "Although the 2017's dimensions are identical to last year's, there's a change in the seating area that makes the Highlander more flexible: an additional 1.4 inches of forward and back travel for the sliding second row. Not only does this make the third row easier to access, it also offers extra third-row legroom that was sorely lacking in the previous year's model. I set the driver's seat in my driving position (I'm almost 6 feet tall) and moved the second-row seat forward as far as possible while still giving my knees space. When I jumped back into the third row, I was pleasantly surprised – it felt like there was more room than in the previous-generation Highlander. There is still a high floor, which elevates your knees a bit, so I still wouldn't recommend the third row to a grown-up for a road trip." -- Cars.com
  • "Featuring a wide range of adjustment, the driver's seat can supply a commanding view of the road ahead combined with excellent support, and soft-touch surfaces improve comfort anywhere you're likely to rest your arm or crook your elbow." -- New York Daily News
  • "In back, the second-row seats slide forward farther than before, making third-row access appreciably easier. It's still pretty cramped back there for adults, but the new 3-across bench means that you can carry an extra kid if necessary." -- Autotrader (2015)

Interior Features

The 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, push-button start, five USB ports, a 6.1-inch touch screen, voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, and Toyota Safety Sense, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, and adaptive cruise control. You can also add a Blu-ray entertainment system, a 360-degree camera, and Driver Easy Speak, which allows the driver to communicate easier with back-seat passengers by projecting your voice to the back through the Highlander Hybrid's speakers.

The Highlander Hybrid's infotainment system is easy to use with straight-forward knobs and buttons and a responsive touch screen. The system and controls are logically designed, and the physical controls make the system easy to operate. One downside is the lack of a navigation button that takes you directly to the navigation system.

See 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid specs »

  • "While the new driver information display screen occasionally proves confusing when making adjustments to settings, once you've adjusted all of its features and functions to your liking you won't interact with it much. The touchscreen infotainment system similarly challenges a user on occasion; its most egregious sin is the lack of a 'Nav' button supplying one-touch access to the map display." -- New York Daily News
  • "Simplicity rules within the 2017 Toyota Highlander. All controls are located where you might reasonably expect to find them, are clearly marked, and are sized for ease of use. Knobs control the stereo and the climate system, and except for functions embedded into the touch-screen infotainment screen, buttons and switches handle remaining functions. The only thing missing here is a direct button for calling up the available navigation system." -- J.D. Power
  • "The 8-inch touchscreen provides crisp graphics, large 'virtual' buttons and quickly accessed mode buttons around its perimeter. The navigation system is intuitive as well, while the audio system features the tried and true volume knob on the left and a tuning knob on the right." -- Edmunds (2015)

Cargo

The 2017 Highlander Hybrid's cargo space barely differs from its gasoline-only counterpart and is about average for its class. It has 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 42.3 behind the second row, and 83.2 behind the first row. There is an optional height-adjustable power liftgate that makes cargo easy to load. There are also plenty of interior storage spaces in the SUV.

  • "As might be expected, the third-row seat chews up cargo space, so you'll need to decide whether you want to carry up to 3 extra people or luggage for up to 5 travelers. Volume behind the second-row seat measures 42.3 cu. ft., while maximum capacity equates to 83.2 cu. ft." -- J.D. Power
  • "It does have a ton of space. Behind the third row there's 13.2 cubic feet and with the back two rows folded down it jumps to more than 80, so if you need to transport stuff, this will handle the job." -- Autoweek (2016)
  • "Behind that third row are nearly 14 cubic feet of cargo-carrying capacity, which when the rear seats are lowered maxes out at 83.2 cubic feet, an average figure for this class of vehicle. The available height-adjustable power liftgate with memory height settings is also a boon in garages with low ceilings." -- Edmunds (2016)

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