Toyota Highlander seven-seat hybrid SUV: prices, specs and UK on-sale date

Previously limited to foreign markets, the new Toyota Highlander is being sold in Europe for the first time from 2021

Toyota Highlander

Toyota has announced that its Highlander SUV will be sold in western Europe and the UK for the first time as of early 2021. It'll be the largest SUV in the brand's range, sitting above the RAV4 and bringing a more affordable seven-seat option to Toyota's European SUV line-up, alongside the more rugged and expensive Land Cruiser.

Previous models of the Highlander have already proved popular in the American market, as well as in Japan and Australia, where it's sold as the Kluger. UK prices will range from £50,595 for the Excel trim level, rising to £52,575 for Excel Premium, with orders opening on 4 January. Rivals include the non-hybrid Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 5008, as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid and SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid plug-in.

The new Highlander is based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, which also underpins the RAV4 and the Toyota Camry saloon. Like those cars, it’ll use ‘self-charging’ hybrid technology, with the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, here mated to a pair of electric motors to provide four-wheel drive. Toyota claims a total output of 241bhp, 146g/km CO2 emissions and 42.8mpg fuel economy.

The usual array of driving modes is offered to make the most of the car’s drivetrain, namely Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail. An all-electric mode is also offered, but Toyota hasn't confirmed how far the Highlander will travel on electric power alone; it's likely to be a mile or two at most.

At 4,950mm, the Highlander is 350mm longer than the RAV4. Toyota has used the extra space to fit a third row of seats, with the middle row able to slide by 180mm to get the best balance of legroom for all occupants. Storage is plentiful, with a 658-litre boot that’ll extend to 1,909 litres with all seats folded. All rear seats fold fully flat.

Excel specification includes 20-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, three-zone air-conditioning, a panoramic roof and a JBL premium sound system. The Excel Premium grade adds a head-up display, a hands-free powered tailgate, heated rear seats, a 360-degree camera and a different 20-inch alloy wheel design.

The latest suite of Toyota Safety Sense technology also features, including adaptive cruise control, road-sign recognition, lane-departure warning, automatic headlights and a pre-collision system with active steering assistance.