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Toyota is well-known for reliable vehicles, making the brand a top pick for used car buyers. If you’re interested in a used Toyota Highlander Hybrid, consider the following three model years. They offer an ideal mix of affordability and reliability for under $20,000.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

U.S. News rounded up the best used hybrid SUVs on a budget. The top-rated model is the 2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It boasts an overall 9.1 out of 10. The average used car buyer paid $9,500 to $14,000 for this used model. However, because it’s an old SUV, its interior is sparse on features.

But you can find three-row models with comfortable seating for seven. And the two-row configuration provides generous cargo space of 94 cubic feet. 

However, the most significant part of this used Toyota Highlander is its hybrid powertrain. Its 3.3-liter V6 pairs with an electric motor for 209 hp. They mate with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and all-wheel drive is standard. This configuration allows this 2009 SUV to get 27 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined.

It also boasts a perfect five out of five in reliability from J.D. Power. However, it has one recall. The issue is related to the SUV’s electrical components potentially not having enough lube. Authorized dealerships will apply lube to the components or replace them.

2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, used Toyota Highlander
2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Overall, the 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is similar to the 2009 model — both SUVs have the same powertrain and specs. However, the 2010 version has an overall U.S. News score of 9.0 out of 10, slightly lower than the 2009’s score. This hybrid SUV ties for second place.

And because it’s a year younger than its older sibling, it’s also more expensive. Used car shoppers pay an average of $12,500 to $13,500, according to U.S. News. That said, this model year has a few more features than the 2009 version, including push button start.

It also earned a five out of five in reliability from J.D. Power and is included in the same recall as the 2009 model.

2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Although the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid isn’t much younger than the 2009 or 2010 models, it has a significantly lower overall score from U.S. News. It received 8.3 out of 10, placing it 16th on the list of 64 used hybrid SUVs. Expect to pay between $13,000 and $18,500 for one. This used Highlander is still similar to the 2009 and 2010 models, but Toyota made some significant changes.

Its exterior styling was updated, and the third-row seats became a standard feature. Toyota also gave it a new hybrid powertrain — a 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor for 280 hp. It still has a CVT, but this setup allows the hybrid SUV to get 28 mpg combined.

In addition, its J.D. Power reliability score is an excellent (but not perfect) 4 out of 5. The same recall as the 2009 and 2010 models applies here too.


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