Toyota’s new seven-seater Highlander SUV on the way

Toyota's new seven-seater hybrid Highlander.

Toyota's new seven-seater hybrid Highlander.

Toyota will launch a new and refined Highlander SUV here in the first half of next year. It will be the first seven-seater SUV to be added to the hybrid range.

Following its world-renowned SUV heritage, Toyota tells us the new model is built on the latest fourth generation hybrid technology. It adds that Toyota's largest hybrid SUV, the Highlander will offer a superb option for Irish families with its seven-seater capacity. It will include Toyota's innovative self-charging technology, premium style and comfort features that have been a key feature of the latest hybrid range. In addition it points out that potential customers can register their interest on to keep up-to-date with news on its arrival.

Available exclusively with a full hybrid powertrain, the Highlander, together with the D-segment RAV4, the C-segment C-HR and the forthcoming B-segment Yaris Cross, will expand the Toyota's SUV model line-up to offer customers the largest range of hybrid SUV options.

With 23 years’ experience in the development of hybrid technology, 15 million hybrid customers, nine hybrid models and fourth generation self-charging, full hybrid powertrains, Toyota boasts it has combined its hybrid leadership with its legendary QDR and extensive experience in the SUV market to create the Highlander Hybrid.

It adds that benefitting from Toyota's GA-K platform, the Highlander combines all the Toyota SUV attributes of comfort, driveability and safety with low emissions and fuel consumption from its hybrid powertrain. These characteristics are further strengthened by an intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, space on demand, and a two-tonne towing capacity. Toyota says with its nearly five metres long body, the Highlander Hybrid combines the sleek, dynamic and sophisticated styling of a premium urban SUV with the strength, power and durability of a rugged, versatile all-wheel drive.

Sophisticated wheel designs up to 20-inches will be available, which serve to accentuate the Highlander’s proud, athletic stance. It also says that on board, the interior has been designed to offer all the practicality, durability and space-on-demand expected of a seven-seater SUV, creating a comfortable and premium environment for all occupants.

The Highlander Hybrid is a true seven-seater - the 180 mm sliding range of the second-row seating ensures spacious third row accommodation for two adults, as well as easy ingress-egress. The power tailgate opens to 658-litres of boot space and with additional underfloor storage this can be dramatically expanded by fully folding the third and second rows of seats, bringing the potential total load capacity up to 1,909 litres.

Available with a choice of black or graphite colour schemes, Toyota says the interior boasts comprehensive storage compartments throughout the cabin, complemented by power USB sockets in the first and second row seating areas.

While final details of the Irish specification are not yet available, equipment offered within the range comprises an 8" centre console multimedia display with satellite navigation, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a JBL sound system, wireless phone charging, seat ventilation, and a digital rear-view mirror, which uses a camera to display a wide rear image without the interruption of seat headrests or rear occupants.

The Highlander's fourth generation full hybrid powertrain combines a 2.5 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors - the rear motor equipping Toyota's SUV with AWD-i (all-wheel drive-intelligent ) - and a powerful nickel-metal hydride battery located under the second-row of seats.

Toyota claims provisionally that with a total system output of 244 DIN hp combined with CO2 emissions of 146g/km and 6,6 l/100km (WLTP cycle ) or 117g/km and 5.2l/100km (Correlated NEDC ), the new Highlander represents an impressive balance of power and low CO2.

A ‘Drive Mode Select’ switch enables the driver to select a choice of ‘Eco', ‘Normal', ‘Sport' and 'Trail' driving modes. All four modes may be used when the vehicle is operating in the separately-switchable EV mode. Toyota says the use of an acoustic windscreen and front glazing combined with the adoption of roof, dash and floor silencers, and wheel arch and load-space liners equip the Highlander with a notably quiet cabin, reinforcing the inherently smooth, quiet driving characteristics of its full hybrid powertrain. It adds that the Highlander's GA-K platform is complemented by a lightweight and high-rigidity body shell and its low centre-of-gravity promotes nimble handling and comfortable motorway cruising characteristics.

The global leading carmaker says the new Highlander Hybrid is equipped with the latest 'Toyota Safety Sense’ system; a set of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of scenarios. The Highlander's Toyota Safety Sense package includes Pre-Collision System with active steer assist to avoid collision, pedestrian detection day and night, and bicycle detection during the day, Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control, with Road Sign Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert, and Automatic High Beam’.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid will go on sale in Ireland in the first half of 2021. Irish pricing and model specifications will be announced at a later date. Customers can register their interest in the seven-seater Highlander Hybrid SUV at Commenting on the launch of the new Highlander, Toyota Ireland's chief executive Steve Tormey says the arrival of the purely self-charging SUV hybrid will offer families a "comfortable and spacious way to travel while being eco-friendly, benefiting from lower CO2 and NOX emissions from hybrid technology, and of course excellent fuel efficiency".

"The Highlander is a strong addition Toyota’s range and builds on Toyota’s SUV heritage with no compromise on performance, comfort or style. We look forward to the arrival of the first seven-seater hybrid SUV in 2021 as we continue to offer customers new models that contribute to cleaner air and a better environment for Irish families.”


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