New seven-seat Toyota Highlander SUV set for 2021 launch

Toyota Highlander hybrid will have a starting price of £50,595 when it reaches the UK next year

Early next year, Toyota will expand its UK SUV roster again with the introduction of the fourth-generation Highlander. It’ll sit between the RAV4 and Land Cruiser SUVs with a starting price of £50,595 – and it’ll come with a hybrid powertrain.

The Toyota Highlander has been sold in North America, Japan and Australia in various guises since 2000, but the rapidly growing seven-seat SUV market in Europe has now given Toyota all the incentive it needs to bring the latest version here. When it goes on sale next year, the Highlander will offer fresh competition for the SEAT Tarraco, Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq.

UK buyers will have their choice of two trim-levels – Excel and Excel Premium. The base-model features 20-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof, leather upholstery, three-zone air conditioning and a JBL stereo system. Buyers should also get a brace of USB ports and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Excel Premium models start from £52,575 and build on this specification with a unique set of 20-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display, heated rear seats, a 360-degree parking camera and a power-operated hands-free tailgate.

The Highlander is built on Toyota’s GA-K platform, which it shares with the Camry and the RAV4. However, it’s larger than both of those vehicles, measuring 4950mm long, 1930mm wide and 1730mm tall. It also has a 658 litre boot capacity, expanding to a claimed 1,909 litres with the second and third seating rows stowed.

Like the RAV4, the Highlander uses a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine and a CVT gearbox – although it features an electric motor on each axle rather than just a single motor at the rear. Total system output stands at 241bhp, while economy and emissions figures are a claimed 42.8mpg and 146g/km of CO2 respectively.

The Highlander also features an EV mode, which allows the SUV to run on electric power alone for short periods of time, using electricity recovered from the car’s regenerative braking system.

Toyota will also fit the Highlander with a broad selection of driver assistance technologies, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and a traffic sign recognition system. There’s also a pre-collision system with active steering assist, which can automatically recognise pedestrians and cyclists that stray into the vehicle’s path.

Do you think the Toyota Highlander will be a sales success in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below…

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