2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Price Canada – It turns out that Toyota has just launched its redesign, fourth generation Highlander utility vehicle, but the automater does not waste time to bend the lineup. A sportier XSE model is set to join the family. It only comes on the eve of the 2022 Chicago Motor Show’s first media day, and here are some of its finer points.
Compared to a standard Highlander, this improved variant is attracted with a unique outdoor styling, features an upgraded cockpit and even benefits of a revoted chassis. It should be more involved in Drive and interesting to look at.
Toyota has built the Highlander for about 20 years, but this is the first time it is offered a X’S model. Differentiating it from mainstream variants is a new front fascia including an redesigned grid and a lower spoiler. Altogether, it gives the family-drag a more planted and aggressive appearance. Unique main light meetings complete with black accents and stribous day-Hardlooplampe to round out the vehicle front.
Toyota’s mid-size Highlander SUV had the intermediate crossover category that put it in the back in 2001 when it was first introduced, and in fact for a few years later, it was the brand’s best-selling utility model until the RAV4 had set a stop to its power. It has proven its stay over the years. But with its last major overhaul dating from 2013, the Highlander was due to something more than a simple refreshing.
And so it was that we were heading to the house of the Alamo for a first row of the whole new fourth generation 2022 Toyota Highlander. Apart from the 3.5 L V6 transferred from the outgoing model, it was a basically whole new vehicle that we climbed on a sunny morning for our day of driving in and around San Antonio, Texas.
The new Highlander generation, first unveiled back in April at the New York Car Show, is the first building on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), a platform that caters for a number of updates, upgrades and improvements that impact on the efficiency, management and in-cabin experience provided by the SUV. It is also the architecture underlying a fair portion of the automation’s current new vehicle, from the Corolla, Camry and Avalon sedance to the RAV4 juggernaut.
The new platform is designed to accommodate both an All-gas and a hybrid configuration, and that is what Toyota is offering for the Highlander in 2022. In the hybrid version (there is no PHEV variant on the menu), the above 3.5 L V6 of the “regular ” Highlander is replaced by a 2.5 L 4-cylinder unit working with some electric motors. The V6 works with an 8-speed automatic transfer, while the hybrid power source incorporates a constantly variable transmission (CVT).
Here’s how production of each version plays out: the V6 delivers 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, providing a maximum towing capacity of 5,000lb – just as it did in the 2019 version. The hybrid version, meanwhile, makes a total of 243 hp, and the towing capacity is 3,500 lb; this variant weighs 140 kg less than the previous Highland hybrid. While production is especially lower than in the combustion-engine-only configuration, you get a 19% improvement in fuel economy, according to Toyota. More on that below.
Note that while Toyota offers a front-wheel drive configuration for the hybrid version for the U.S. market, which will be cheaper than the AWD version, Toyota Canada has decided to bring only the latter to market here.
Also note that buyers will have the choice of more than one four-wheel drive system to choose from. Depending on which Highlander trim they choose, they get either Dynamic Torque Control or the new Dynamic Torque Vectoring system. Hybrid versions get electronic on-demand AWD, which includes a Trail Mode.
The choice for consumers will thus be a pretty clear: more muscular performance from under the hood, or better fuel economy. And it’s a lot better, judging both from the official numbers and from our experience on our first drive (achieved, admittedly, on very slippery, dry road surfaces in Texas in ideal heat-but-not-hot temperatures). Toyota’s combined number for the gas-only Highlander is 10.3L/100km, while for the hybrid it drops to 6.7L/100km.
That’s an impressive figure for a three-row people-mover, and in fact it translates into a total estimated range of 967 km. On this day we obviously don’t have the ability to test the last number, but we put up fuel consumption numbers that matched, and sometimes beat, the official rating. On our single longest drive as the day came to a close covering highway, heavy traffic and city-street environments, we came up with 6.14L/100 km (in a FWD model). This will be music to many a Canadian motorist’s ears, we believe.
While the new Highlander is bigger than the RAV4, it’s actually a little softer in its overall shape than the compact SUV’s. The front end doesn’t stray miles from the current version in shape, but the horizontal strips of the old lattice have gone in favor of one that more closely nourishes what you get on the nose of the RAV4. The headlights are suitably thinned out for a sleek, slightly aggressive look, and they are now LED.
The model will have a total length of 66 mm (60 mm in wheelbase) and 5 mm in width, but no height, with the result that it looks more streamlined and road-focused compared to before.
Inside you get an updated version of the current interior environment, so there’s no great departure there. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are included standard.
Comfort levels are really impressive, from the generous legroom and headroom to the firm but comfortable seats to the surfaces on the dashboard and doors; there’s nary a cheap plastic element in sight. The model, as before, can fit up to 8 occupants, though that’s reduced to 7 if you go for the available second-row captain’s chairs.
The third row is typical for a midsize SUV, which is to say strictly for children. Access isn’t too difficult but there’s precious little legroom back there. Fold those third-row seats down and the second row of seats as well and you get a cavernous cargo space in the back (2,037 litres as opposed to 454 with all the seats up), with even a nifty storage space under the floor adding additional room. Toyota says the hatch to access the cargo space opens two seconds faster than before – good news for us impatient types.
Offered standard in all versions from the get-go is the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of functions, which include: lane departure warning with steering assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection and automatic high beams, as well as lane keeping assist.
The 2022 Highlander is available in five different trims: L, LE, XLE, Limited and Platinum. All but the first of those can be had with the hybrid powertrain. The first and the last of them are also new to the Canadian market. Toyota expects however that the most popular choice for Canadian buyers will continue to be the XLE trim.
The base-model Highlander L starts at $39,990, and its gains over the 2019 LE (the former base trim) include, in addition to those mentioned above, heated front seats, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, electronic parking brake and blind spot monitor. It features a front-wheel drive system and rides on 18-inch wheels.
Priced at $43,490 (slightly less than in 2019), the LE comes with AWD as well as a 4.2-inch colour data display for the driver, upgraded audio system and smart key with push-button start. The XLE edition starts at $45,990, just slightly above the 2019 version, and for that you get a 7-inch data display and LED fog lamps. Both of these come with standard all-wheel drive.
Move up to the Limited, and for $51,690 you get a premium audio system (a 1,200-watt, 11-speaker JBL unit), wireless charging, kick motion power hatch, larger 20-inch wheels and the Dynamic Torque Vectoring system. On top of the pile sits the new Platinum ($53,990), which gives you a head-up display, second-row captain’s chairs and heating for them, a digital display rearview mirror and a panoramic view monitor.
What about the hybrid versions, you ask? Toyota has introduced an aggressive pricing structure for these, requiring just a $2,000 premium in each trim level to access that attractive 6.7L/100km of fuel consumption.
We didn’t, on this day, run the 2022 Highlander up any mountains, or pull it off the road to attack rougher trails, or pull any weight. But we had the opportunity to try out each of the versions of the crossover – and they were all made available to us – in the city, on smaller, winding roads and on the open highway. In the latter context Highlander shows an extremely comfortable people mover, with sufficient power under the hood – even in hybrid version – to make passing effortlessly and cruising at speed a quiet, smooth operation.
Further highlighting its appearance are special rocker-panel trim and machine-faced 20-inch wheels. Roof rails, mirror caps and window moldings are all finished in black, and ’round back, the XSE model has chrome-plated double-exhaust tips, another first for the Highlander.
Under all styling, this SUV is equipped with stiffer springs and a stiffer rear stabilizer bar. Work associated with these components is retuned, lower friction shock absorbers. Taking advantage of these suspension changes, the electrically assisted power steering has been retuned to feel more engaging.
The Highlander XSE is available with either front-wheel drive or a dynamic torque Vectoring all-wheel drive system. This setup can send up to 50 percent of available torque to the rear wheels. From there, it can mix it from side to side depending on the conditions or the driver’s requirement to provide better handling.
As with other Highlanders, this one is built on the TNGA platform, which means it is robust, safe and should be Lexus-like in its sophistication. Another thing that hasn’t changed is the powertrain. XSE models have a well-known 3.5-liter V6 engine matched to a responsive eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers 295 horsepower and should dole out 263 pound-feet of torque.
Mechanical componentry aside, a few notable improvements have been made inside. The seats are wrapped in SofTex, a leather, and further gussied up with fabric inserts. White ambient lighting sets the mood, while a carbon fiber-like finish on the dashboard adds a bit of visual texture. For drivers who want something different, red-and-black leather is offered as well, complete with red contrast stitching on the dashboard. This either makes the Highlander look super sporty or like a bordello.
The XSE models are always connected and come with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and even Amazon Alexa. Keeping the whole family stable of electronic devices topped with juice are five USB ports. An 11-speaker JBL sound system with 1,200 watts is available, so go ahead, crank up that Kidz Bop party hits album. Sung by children, Moves like Jagger never sounded better.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander XSE is slated to go on sale this fall. The automaker expects it to account for about 12 percent of that nameplate’s total sales. Pricing has not been released, but this model is intended for slot between XLE and Limited grades, meaning it will likely start around $42,000.
Otherwise, the increased length of the vehicle affects its flexibility in corners and its turning radius; the latter situation is the only time you are reminded you are at the wheel of a rather large three-row utility vehicle. That said, the new Highlander never feels like a lumbering oaf. The steering is light but fairly precise, and the new TNGA architecture makes the entire chassis feel satisfyingly rigid.
Personally, I’m certainly sold on the idea of a hybrid powertrain that can, without effort or effort, deliver such stingy fuel consumption from a large SUV, at an additional cost of only $2,000. It will be interesting to see what percentage of buyers in Canada go that way as well. Those who do will have to be ready to pay the piper up front, though, especially if they are attracted by the siren call of the more luxurious top-end trims. The 2022 Highlander Limited hybrid version lists at $53,690, while the Platinum hybrid goes for $55,990.