Is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Good for Winter Weather?

It may be blazing hot outside right now, but many of us will face snow, sleet, and ice in just a few weeks. Having an SUV that can tackle the elements is key, and we don’t just mean one with monster studded off-road tires. To be safe and comfy in the winter, you’ll want heated seats, all-wheel drive, and a traction control system that knows what to do when the snow blows. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is an immensely popular SUV, but can it tackle the tough stuff?

Is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid good in snow?

The Toyota Highlander in white in a showroom.
2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is all-wheel drive, and that means lots more traction when the road gets slippery. In the Highlander Hybrid’s case, it has Toyota’s clever electric on-demand all-wheel drive system that. The Highlander Hybrid, like the Toyota Sienna and the RAV4, only uses the rear electric motor when the computer senses you need it. Other Toyotas like the 4Runner have a different kind of four-wheel-drive system.

What is Toyota Snow Mode?

Toyota offers several drive modes in the Highlander, and one is Snow Mode. It simply starts the Highlander in second gear and smooths the throttle inputs from your right foot. How fast can you drive in snow mode? While it does limit your throttle inputs, it doesn’t change the maximum speed of the Highlander or the all-wheel drive system.

Does Highlander Hybrid really get 35 mpg?

Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain's Chairs
Toyota Highlander Interior with Second-Row Captain’s Chairs | Toyota

Toyota lists the Highlander Hybrid is a different model than the Highlander. But, it’s the same SUV in every way except for the hybrid powertrain. In the regular version you get a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, but in the Hybrid version you get a 2.5-liter four cylinder tied to an electric motor that makes a combined 243 horsepower. According to the EPA, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid gets a combined 35 mpg, with ratings of 35 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Are Highlander Hybrids reliable?

Reliable Toyota SUVs under $25,000 like the Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander SUV in silver | Toyota

The Highlander Hybrid should be reliable and it earns high scores from Consumer Reports and is recommended by the magazine. At J.D. Power, It ranks highly for reliability earning a “great” score. Where it really stands out, however, is in the resale category where it earns a “best” score of 91 of 100, which means that when it comes time to sell your Highlander, you won’t lose a ton of money. It ranks as No. 2 behind the Kia Telluride as the Best Upper Midsize SUV at J.D. Power.

The Highlander is the Toyota version of the Lexus RX.

How much is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid?

Toyota Highlander Interior
Toyota Highlander Interior | Toyota

The Highlander Hybrid starts at $39,555 in base LE trim. The XLE version starts at $42,555 and adds wireless charging and special trim on the front and second rows of seats. The $46,510 Limited and $49,510 Platinum are the most expensive but add premium features like a hands-free liftgate, leather trimmed seats, surround camera views, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. In 2023, many are expecting the new Grand Highlander extended wheelbase version to debut.

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