Review and Test Drive: 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum AWD

By Jonathan Spira on 12 February 2021
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The Toyota Highlander was released in 2001 shortly after it made its debut at the 2000 New York International Auto Show. After 20 years, it was time for the fourth generation Highlander to come to these shores, “redesigned from the ground up,” as Toyota put it.

The Toyota Highlander was one of the first car-based SUV crossovers and the hybrid variant was the first seven-seat hybrid vehicle on the market.

Now in its third generation, the Toyota Highlander continues to offer a hybrid powerplant in an all-wheel drive configuration with a 3.5-liter V6 paired to an eCVT transmission.

A rather striking Highlander in Ruby Red Pearl garb arrived at our offices on a cool autumn day and it was clear that Toyota had put a lot of thought into giving the crossover the appropriate look for the Roaring 20s, a certain air of sophistication with a more muscular stance and a striking black grille.


Open the door and it’s clear this is not your father’s Highlander.  The Highlander in our short-term press fleet was the Platinum, the top of the line variant, and it was clearly intruding into Lexus territory.

The embossed, perforated Glazed Carmel Leather interior was rather sumptuous. Indeed, Toyota calls the Platinum variant “the most luxurious Highlander ever offered,” with good reason. The seats are supremely comfortable and the Highlander is so chock full of storage cubicles that my biggest concern was that I would lose something in the time the Highlander was in my driveway.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2020 Toyota Highlander

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