Only 1 Midsize SUV Ranks Among Consumer Reports’ Top-Rated Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles can be a great option nowadays as they can help folks save a lot of money on gas without paying the upfront costs of an EV. That said, the hybrid segment, like any other segment, is very competitive, and only one midsize SUV ranks highly right now. Here’s a look at the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and why it’s such an excellent midsize hybrid SUV.

A recap of Consumer Reports’ list of the best hybrid midsize SUVs

A silver 2022 Toyota Highlander parked in a black and white room.
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

As Consumer Reports wrote, hybrids’ main advantage right now is economics. Traditional hybrids, which are different from plug-in hybrids, only cost, on average, about $1,700 more than the standard version of the car. In fact, some hybrid models are cheaper than their standard models. 

On top of that relatively affordable price tag, hybrids will have a significantly improved fuel economy, which can pay off the extra cost relatively quickly. And since a hybrid doesn’t have a big battery that needs charging, owners don’t have to worry about range and can refill their hybrid normally.

Some of the best hybrid options on the market currently include the Lexus NX and the Ford Maverick. According to Consumer Reports, these two hybrids are cheaper than their gas-only versions. The Hyundai Tucson and the Hyundai Elantra also made the list, as did the Honda Accord and the Toyota Prius. The only midsize SUV on the list was, of course, the Highlander Hybrid. 

Why the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid made the list

The Highlander Hybrid is the largest hybrid option that made the list, and there are a couple of reasons why that’s the case. The biggest reason, however, is efficiency, as the Highlander Hybrid is much more efficient than its gas-only version. The standard Highlander comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that gets 295 hp, but it only gets 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on highways, for 25 mpg combined.

The Highlander Hybrid, meanwhile, gets a 2.5-liter inline-four engine that works with two small electric motors to get 243 hp. This hybrid powertrain allows the Toyota SUV to get 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on highways, for 35 mpg combined. That’s a difference of about 15 mpg in the city and 10 mpg overall, which will help families save a lot of money, especially when gas prices are high.

On top of that, for the 2023 model year, Toyota is replacing the standard V6 with a turbocharged four-cylinder. This new four-cylinder engine gets 265 hp, and it’s only estimated to get 24 mpg combined. That said, it’ll pollute less than the V6, which is why Toyota switched. Overall, the Highlander Hybrid is simply a far more efficient version of a great SUV, which is why Consumer Reports liked it.

An overview of the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Like any other Toyota, the Highlander Hybrid is a reliable and safe. But since it’s a midsize SUV, it also has all the capacity a family could want. For example, the Highlander Hybrid has a max cargo capacity of about 84.3 cu-ft, and this makes it more spacious than many other midsize SUVs. The Highlander Hybrid is also a comfortable SUV, as it’s spacious and well-designed.

In terms of tech, Toyota gave the Highlander Hybrid an 8-inch touch screen as standard, as well as Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, which provides many smart safety features, all as standard. The Highlander Hybrid starts at about $39,500, that’s roughly $3,700 more expensive than the standard Highlander.

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