You can never be sure of the Japanese carmaker. They refreshed the engine lineup recently, and we can already hear rumors about the next steps for the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. According to speculations, engineers are developing an advanced system based on the PHEV configuration. Well, we saw this coming, but not so soon. We are still trying to get used to the mid-size SUV that returns 35 mpg. You will hardly find the compact crossover with such an output. Toyota made a statement with this gas mileage, and before the rivals had a chance to respond, engineers in the Japanese company are already on the new task.
For some while, the Highlander was the only mid-size three-row SUV with a hybrid drivetrain. When other carmakers started catching up, Toyota brought the game to a whole new level. The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid will offer you the best gas mileage in the entire segment. Well, it is not the first time the Japanese company is luring buyers with this. Rav4 crossover was the first model in the small SUV world to reach 40 mpg. It also gets the PHEV configuration, called Rav4 Prime. The 2022 Highlander Prime is also an option for the name.
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Specs, Gas Mileage
Toyota made a great move when decided to downgrade the power outputs of the mid-size SUV and sacrifice it for the better mpg rating. A V6 is still there as the base option. The petrol engine is good for 290 hp. When it was the center of the hybrid system, the SUV delivered 308 horsepower and about 30 mpg of combined fuel economy.
Then, engineers decided to replace a V6 with a four-cylinder mill. Attached to an electric battery, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid can produce 60 hp less than its predecessor. Still, 245 ponies are still good for a smooth ride. But, the main goal was the fuel-saving. Now, the SUV returns 35 mpg and it is the details that will lure buyers looking for excellent mileage. Well, the Highlander is now producing more power than many smaller crossovers and offers better mileage and cargo space at the same time.
The next step in the evolution is definitely the 2022 Highlander plug-in hybrid. We saw the same moves on the Rav4. Well, although it is the compact crossover, the principle is the same. After the superb hybrid system comes the PHEV variant. In the future, the Highlander will turn into an all-electric SUV. That is the direction of the entire automotive industry. The PHEV will hardly beat the gas mileage of the standard hybrid. But, this version will enhance power output. For example, Rav4 Prime will produce 302 hp. Besides that, the 2022 Toyota Highlander PHEV will be able to cover some distance by using only the electric unit. Since it is larger, there will be more room for the battery of higher capacity.
Minor Cosmetic Changes, TRD Model, and More Updates
The latest generation of the mid-size SUV debuted in 2019 with a brand-new look. The first facelift is not expected until 2023. The carmaker is focused on the refresh of other models, and the full-size class is the priority. Toyota is preparing a new engine, which is going to be there for all the flagship models. You can read more about it in our report about 2022 Land Cruiser.
So, the Highlander is still fresh, and all we can expect are minor changes in the body. Inside, the infotainment system is going to be updated. Toyota introduced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, services that are now available with the Entune system. More safety options and extra features for high-end packages are also expected.
Recently, Toyota added another model to the TRD Pro lineup. Well, fans expected to see the Highlander there, but the full-size Sequoia took the spot. Nevertheless, in the future, there will be more models with the off-road package. On the other hand, the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is more focused on fuel-saving strategy and a greener report sheet, instead of power and skills. Another mid-size SUV by the same carmaker is one of the favorites for off-road adventures – 4Runner, especially if you equip the TRD Pro package and all-terrain tires.
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Release Date
The arrival of the new vehicle depends on the development of the plug-in system. Rumors and speculations are there, but the bosses are still quiet about it. The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the standard configuration, will be unchanged and available late in 2021. On the other hand, the PHEV might be there a bit later, probably as some sort of an update for 2022. The price of the Highlander Prime will be over $45,000. The base SUV costs $34,000 and the hybrid adds about $3,500. The PHEV system for the smaller RAV4 is nearly $10,000 above the standard hybrid and $12,000 more expensive than the base configuration.