Shifting up a league doesn’t always convey success. The rewards could also be better, but the competitors will probably be more durable. So it’s for the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The one-time Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage rival has been reinvented as a more expensive SUV, so now it’s up against formidable prestige-badged competitors such as the BMW X1.
Luckily, the new 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid builds on the strengths of the original, providing more space, a classier feel and improved efficiency. It’s nonetheless designed mainly for on-road use, but four-wheel-drive 4Motion versions now characteristic adjustable drive modes that show you how to tackle totally different conditions.
Engines range from a 1.4-litre petrol with 123bhp to a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel with 237bhp, although the lowest-powered fashions include front-wheel drive and a handbook gearbox only. If you need an automated ‘box and four-wheel drive, you’ll want to take a look at engines with 148bhp and above.
Learn on over the subsequent few pages for every thing it’s worthwhile to know concerning the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, together with which engine and trim to choose. And do not forget to visit our new car deals to see if you may get a good low cost off a 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The very best-selling 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the 148bhp 2.Zero-litre diesel mannequin (badged 2.0 TDI 150) and it is easy to see why; it gives a positive mix of efficiency and gasoline economy, whereas the cheaper 115 version (with 113bhp) feels a bit short of puff. There’s additionally a 190 model of the 2.0 TDI engine that delivers plenty of punch however is relatively pricey, while the range-topping 240 version brings but more tempo for an much more eyebrow-raising price.
When you’re extra inquisitive about petrol power, the entry-level 125 model puts out 123bhp from its turbocharged 1.Four-litre engine. However, while it is essentially the most inexpensive mannequin within the range, it struggles a bit up inclines, especially when loaded as much as the gunnels. The 150 version is better, however nonetheless lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesels.
As for the 2.Zero-litre 180 petrol engine, it feels fast and is fast off the line, due to all-wheel drive coming as normal. It doesn’t fairly have the in-gear flexibility of the diesels, though, however around city you’ll have little difficulty with the respectable performance it provides and out on the motorway there’s no downside overtaking.
By small SUV requirements, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid rides very properly certainly. It smooths over larger imperfections, equivalent to velocity bumps, higher than the BMW X1, but the suspension continues to be firm sufficient to stop the physique from bouncing up and down too much alongside undulating roads.
Patched up roads and damaged Tarmac can unsettle the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid a bit of – particularly in the event you select a model with big alloy wheels – but compared with its key rivals the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is comfortable. Even the sporty R-line trim is bearable, if inferior to lesser fashions. If you would like a extra settled journey, you’ll need to choose something with a decrease centre of gravity, comparable to a VW Golf.
We would not bother with the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid non-compulsory adaptive suspension. It would not improve the trip that much and there are more worthwhile extras to spend your cash on.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid handles extra like a traditional hatchback than lots of its SUV rivals; it’s genuinely satisfying to drive. Some could really feel the steering is slightly too gentle, but it’s precise, making the car easy to place on the road. There is not too much physique roll by means of corners and all variations have loads of grip, though the four-wheel-drive 4Motion models unsurprisingly offer better traction in slippery circumstances.
True, the X1 and Seat Ateca are even more agile through the twisty bits, but the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid outshines most other small SUVs, together with the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. The R-line mannequin is out there with sports activities suspension but this doesn’t make the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid any extra fun.
4Motion fashions add a dial subsequent to the gearlever that means that you can choose different modes depending on the terrain and provoke a hill descent system. An additional possibility is adaptive chassis management – this lets you stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise either journey consolation or flatter dealing with.
The petrol engines are particularly smooth, even when being labored hard, and whereas the diesels sound a bit clattery at tickover and whenever you really put your foot down, they’re nonetheless muted at a cruise and far from raucous when accelerating. That stated, the diesel engines within the rival X1 are barely quieter.
At high speeds, you’ll hear a flutter of wind noise around the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid door mirrors, however just about no road noise until you opt for a model with really large alloy wheels. The manual gearbox is mild and easy to make use of, whereas the DSG automatic is clean and soothing the overwhelming majority of the time, with solely the occasional jerk at low speeds.
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