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This past week I had the opportunity to test drive the 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE. With all the running around that we do from various school drop-offs, to football games, to soccer games & all the adulting that I must do this car was able to keep up with it all and keep us going in comfort & style. I'd never driven a Toyota but had heard many good things about them. Even with the praise that I've heard I was still pleasantly surprised with the drive and the features.
Under The Hood
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes in 4 trims - LE, XLE, Limited & Limited Platinum. Each comes with a Gas/Electric V-6 3.5 L/211 engine and get some pretty amazing gas mileage 30 City / 28 Hwy for the LE & 29 City / 27 Hwy for all others. I only had to fill up once in my week of adventure. The electric motor would automatically charge while sitting idle so there was no need to find a charging station.
The interior in the XLE is both comfortable & stylish. Both front seats had electronic controls as well as heat elements, which we really needed with the cold snap we had...we went from the 90s to the 30s! It was also nice to have the keyless entry as I didn't have to fumble around in my purse, in the cold to find my keys. Just placing my thumb on the handle for a second with the key next to me would unlock the doors. The back seat had plenty of leg room even my 6ft 15-year-old didn't complain...and that's saying something! It was even easy for my two youngest to get to the third row and have plenty of leg room for my 4 year old who's legs don't exactly dangle down yet. There is a ton of room in the trunk with the third row down, and still plenty of room for groceries or sporting equipment with the third row in use.
Like any other car lover, the features now days just blow me away. My first car was a basic '78 Camero...I didn't even have AC installed, so watching cars evolve over the years and coming out win more and more convenience features has me just giddy with excitement. The XLE has plenty of features to keep you and your passengers entertained.
The XLE comes equipt with a back up camera which took a little bit of getting used to. I still wanted to break my neck trying to look behind me for bikes in the driveway. The camera is shown on the in dash 8" touch screen. This touch screen is your key to the navigation, AM/FM, SXM, CD, MP3, USB, AUX & HD + bluetooth phone & music! Say that 3 times fast.
Now we are a family who can never agree on temperature. You will constantly see us fighting. Ones too cold, another is sweating...and I'm usually "just right"...haha. The XLE has individual temperature controls for not just both front seats but also a separate one for the rear passengers. I can't tell you how much grace this saved this week! My husband usually had it set to around 70 while I had mine up on 78 (it was in the 40's outside!) Then you throw in the heated seats, and I never wanted to leave the car!
The driver isn't the only one who get features. The back passengers have plenty going on as well. The kids favorite is the blu-ray player with headphones. That was the first thing they noticed when I picked them up from school. It's not touchscreen but does come with an easy to use remote. My 4-year-old could easily navigate to his movie.
The back seat is also provided with temperature controls an AC outlet & a plugin for an external video device.
One of my favorite features in the back seat...the integrated side-window sunshades! No more hiding from the sun for the little passengers in the back. They were able to relax and watch their movies in peace.
Other Notable Features
Other notable features include:
- Power Tilt-Slide Moonroof
- Power Liftgate with Flip-Up Rear Window
- Automatic Highbeams
- Alert w/ Steering Assist
- Toyota Safety Sense
- 8 Airbags
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE Retails for $41,330.00 (as test-driven $44,080.00)