The fourth-generation Toyota Highlander will be offered in the UK for the first time, having steered clear of the market for its first three generations.
The fourth iteration of the large SUV was unveiled at the New York motor show last year and uses the same TNGA-K Global Architecture platform as the Camry saloon. While popular in North America and other regions, the previous-generation Highlander was offered in only a handful of European markets.
When the new Highlander goes on sale in the UK on 4 January 2021, it will be offered with only a 241bhp petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and four-wheel-drive. Toyota claims WLTP CO2 emissions of 146g/km and a two-tonne towing capacity.
Just two trim levels will be available from launch: Excel and Excel Premium. The former, from £50,595, is equipped as standard with 20in alloy wheels, leather seats, three-zone air conditioning, a panoramic roof and a JBL sound system. For an additional £1680, the Premium upgrade brings a panoramic roof, head-up display, remote boot lid, heated rear seats and a 360deg camera.
The Highlander also features Toyota's Safety Sense package of driver assistance systems, which includes pre-collission detection, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.
The Highlander uses Toyota's latest hybrid powertrain, featuring a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and electric motors mounted on both axles. The rear motor is used to operate the variable four-wheel-drive system. The system will offer four drive modes, including a Trail function, along with an EV-only mode.
The SUV is 4950mm long, 1930mm wide and and 1730mm high. It features a 658-litre boot and a total luggage capacity of 1909 litres when the second and third rows of seats are folded flat. The second row of seats can slide by 180mm to add extra leg room for the third row. The car sits on 20in alloy wheels.
Toyota says the interior features a large number of storage compartments, with USB ports for the front and second row of seats.
The decision to bring the Highlander to Britain part of Toyota’s renewed focus on its strong heritage with both hybrids and SUVs. Along with the recently revealed Yaris Cross, it joins the C-HR, RAV4 and Land Cruiser in Toyota’s expanded SUV range.
The original Highlander was launched in the US and Japan in 2000 and for a period was the firm's best-selling SUV, before being overtaken by the RAV4. It's also popular in Australia. In certain markets, including Japan and Australia, it's called the Kluger, because Hyundai has already trademarked the Highlander name for a trim level on the Terracan.