It's not just America that has a strong appetite for crossovers.
Being based on the same platform as the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Highlander was an early example of a crossover SUV when it launched way back in 2000. Fast forward two decades later, and the market is now oversaturated with SUVs and crossovers. Despite the competition, the Highlander continues to be a best-seller for Toyota in the US. It isn't only America that has a strong appetite for crossovers as sales have also surged in Europe in the last few years - and Toyota wants to capitalize on this demand. And so, for the first time in the model's history, the Toyota Highlander is coming to Western Europe.
Based on the new fourth-generation model that debuted at the 2020 New York Auto Show, the 2020 Toyota Highlander will be offered in Europe exclusively with a hybrid powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with an electric motor producing a combined 244 horsepower.
With CO2 emissions of just 146 g/km and 6,6 l/100km based on the WLTP cycle, Toyota claims the Highlander Hybrid offers the best power to CO2 balance in the segment. In the US, the 2020 Toyota Highlander is also offered with a 3.5-liter V6 developing 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. Visually, the European-spec Highlander looks identical to its American counterpart, with a length of 194 inches, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a sleek new design inspired by the RAV4. Inside the spacious seven-seater cabin, there are seven seats, while the seven-inch sliding range of the second-row seating allows for two adults to sit comfortably in the third row.
Like the US version, the European Highlander Hybrid offers 23.23 cu.ft of boot space, which can be increased to 67.4 cu.ft with the second-row seats folded. In terms of tech, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is equipped with a 12.3-inch center console multimedia display with satellite navigation, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, seat ventilation, and a switchable digital rear-view mirror.
As for safety tech, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid includes the Toyota Safety Sense package featuring a pre-collision system with active steer assist to avoid a collision, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.
Pricing for the European 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid hasn't been announced, but the US version starts at $38,200. European customer deliveries will start in early 2021.