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By Andrew Ganz

Although the standard Toyota Highlander only gained a revised look for 2011, not the "redesign" Toyota said it would get, its Highlander Hybrid sibling receives a new, more efficient powertrain.

Combined with some aerodynamic modifications courtesy, in part, of a new front fascia, the Highlander Hybrid now boasts more power and better fuel economy than before. Toyota says the crossover is capable of achieving 28 mpg in both the city and on the highway, an improvement over the 27 mpg city and 25 mpg highway of its 2010 predecessor.

Under its reshaped hood is a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a pair of electric motors that drive both the front and rear wheels. Toyota says the combined output is the equivalent of 280 net horsepower, putting it 10 ponies more powerful than the Highlander's gasoline-only V6 and greater than 70 more horsepower than the 2010 Highlander Hybrid.

The hybrid powertrain puts power to the wheels via a CVT and, like other Toyota hybrids, it features an EV-only mode usable in certain low-speed conditions where the battery has enough charge.

Inside, the 2011 Highlander Hybrid is mostly carried over from the outgoing model, although a new 50/50 split-folding third row replaces a single-piece unit and streaming Bluetooth audio joins the options list. Some trim colors have been modified for the new model year.

All Highlander Hybrids are all-wheel-drive, although the model is offered in both standard and Limited trim levels. The upgrade package adds 19-inch alloy wheels (that replace 17-inch alloy wheels), automatic climate control, a power liftgate and perforated leather seats.

Highlander Hybrids go on sale this week, starting at $37,290 for the base vehicle and $42,945 for the Limited.



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By Andrew Ganz

Although hardly the "all-new" model the automaker said it was planning to unveil, Toyota's popular crossover gains a new look and a few new features for the 2011 model year.

Introduced in 2007 as a 2008 model, the Highlander was due for a mild update - and that's just what it received for 2011. The 2011 Toyota Highlander made its formal debut earlier today at the State Fair of Texas.

Ostensibly the same basic vehicle as last year's Highlander, the new model will nonetheless stand out a little thanks to revised front and rear fascias and new front fenders. The crossover is still very clearly a Highlander, although some of its "mini-Land Cruiser" look has been toned down for a more carlike appearance. A faux rear diffuser and simpler tail lamps round out rear end changes.

Inside, the 2011 Highlander is essentially the same vehicle it was for 2010, although 7-seater models gain a new 50/50 split-folding rear seat that hides away in the cargo compartment. Previous Highlanders featured a single-piece two-seat bench.

A new Tech Audio system is standard on higher-trim Highlanders and it includes a USB port, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio capability.

Otherwise, the Highlander's interior makes due with only minor interior trim revisions.

Powertrains in the standard Highlander remain the same, although the Hybrid model gains a new engine. A 187-horsepower, 188 lb-ft. of torque 2.7-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission comes standard on base and SE models, while a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 270 horsepower and 248 lb-ft. of torque is standard on Limiteds and optional elsewhere. The V6 mates only to a five-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard on all standard gas models, while V6s can be optioned with all-wheel-drive.

The revised 2011 Highlanders go on sale this week, starting at $27,390 for a four-cylinder 4x2. A base V6 4x4 will list from $29,995, while the range-topping Limited V6 AWD starts at $36,345.



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2011 Toyota Highlander and Hybrid: First Look

By Marty Padgett

Editorial Director

September 23rd, 2010

After a global debut at the Moscow auto show, the 2011 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are making their way back home to the U.S. with new faces, new tails and other updates.

For the Highlander Hybrid, there's a meaningful increase in power. The gas-electric crossover's petroleum-drinking powerplant has been upgraded to 3.5 liters. In tandem with its motors and battery packs, the Hybrid now turns in the equivalent of 280 horsepower--while it's also EPA-rated at 28/28 mpg. Quick, play the lottery! The Hybrid also gets styling updates similar to those on the standard version, but with the Hybrid's usual distinct grille and blue-tinted badges.

For gas-powered Highlanders, the changes are a bit more basic. The front end wears a new grille, a slightly reshaped hood and new headlights. In back, new taillights and a new bumper give regular Toyota buyers an excuse to update to the '11 model.

The base Highlander still sports its 187-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, but the same engine is now offered in the SE version as well. Limited editions come standard with a 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. All-wheel drive is available; it's standard on the Limited.

Toyota's also boosted the standard equipment on the Indiana-built crossover. All versions have dueling air conditioners, power windows/locks/mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, cruise control and keyless entry. The SE and Limited add a rearview camera. Options include a Tech Audio package with a USB port, Bluetooth and satellite radio (the package comes standard on Limited versions); voice-activated navigation; leather seat trim; a sunroof; and a towing package.

Base prices for the Highlander start at $27,390 not including destination charges. An SE V-6 with front-wheel drive runs $33,150 before destination; the Limited V-6 is $36,345, not including destination.

Hybrid versions have a base price of $37,290 not including destination, to $42,945 for the Limited--again, without destination charges included.



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2011 Toyota Highlander Facelift: US-Spec Model Unveiled and Priced, Hybrid Models gets New 3.5L V6


As some of you may recall, Toyota showed a redesigned version of its Highlander SUV at last month's Moscow International Motor Show. Today, the Japanese automaker released details and photos of the U.S.-spec model that will begin arriving at Toyota dealers from September 24.

Not surprisingly, the NA 2011 Highlander features the same styling updates as the model shown in Moscow. On the outside, the Highlander gets a new front fascia, hood and fenders, redesigned head lamps and tail lights, a re-trimmed rear bumper, as well as new alloy wheel designs and black rockers with chrome accents for the gasoline models.

For 2011, Toyota has further distinguished the Hybrid version that gains a unique front grille and bumper design plus color-keyed rockers with chrome accents, vertically stacked fog lamps and blue lens covers for the head lights.

Inside, changes are limited to the added comfort and convenience features such as the 50/50 split third-row seat and manual rear climate control that have been made standard across the range, the standard power lift gate on the SE grade and the revised audio / navigation systems.

The standard 2011 Highlander will continue to be offered with two gasoline engine choices including a 2.7-liter four-cylinder unit with 187HP and 186 lbs-ft offering an EPA-estimated 25 MPG rating in highway driving, and a 3.5-liter V6 with 270HP at and 248 lb.-ft. of torque, hooked up to a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

The updated Highlander Hybrid debuts a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine for 2011, replacing the outgoing 3.3-liter V6. The system pairs the larger displacement V6 engine with an electric drive motor-generator for a total system output of 280 net horsepower. Toyota said the 2011 Highlander Hybrid receives EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 28 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.

Prices for the revised Highlander range from $27,390 for the base 2WD four-cylinder model to $42,945 for the 4WD Hybrid variant in Limited trim.



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2011 Toyota Highlander shows up for America, gets new look and pricing

by Jeff Glucker (RSS feed) on Sep 24th 2010 at 9:58AM

As we have suspected for some time now, Toyota will update its popular mid-size crossover for the upcoming model year, and now we have the details about what's in store. The 2011 Toyota Highlander, and Highlander Hybrid, are getting a plethora of updates inside and out to completely freshen up the vehicle.

First seen at August's Moscow Motor Show, the 2011 Highlander has been updated thanks to an all-new hood, fenders, lights and front fascia. The hybrid features additional exterior elements, such as a unique grille and front bumper, which help set it apart from the standard Highlander.

On the inside, the Highlander now features three-row seating as a standard feature while amenity and tech options have been expanded throughout the lineup. SE and Limited trims will henceforth come standard with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and XM radio while these features are available optionally on the base model. The base Hybrid Highlander can now be outfitted with a Leather Package boasting heated front seats and a power moonroof.

Under the hood, the base 2.7-liter engine four-cylinder engine is now also available on the SE model, and it churns out 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque – good enough for highway fuel economy figure of 25 miles per gallon. The uplevel 3.5-liter six-cylinder has been tuned to deliver 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, but both the I4 and the V6 still make do with five-speed automatic transmissions. Interestingly, the Highlander Hybrid gets an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine to replace the older 3.3-liter unit, and it's the most powerful powertrain in the range. The combined output of the new engine with the electric motor is 280 horsepower, yet the hybrid is expected to return 28 mpg in the city and on the highway.

Pricing for the 2011 Toyota Highlander lineup has also just been announced. Break out the wallet and start counting the bills...$27,390 gets you the base four-cylinder front-wheel drive model; the SE V6 FWD will be $33,150, while the Limited V6 with all-wheel drive will list for $36,345. The MSRP for Highlander Hybrid will range from $37,290 for the base model to $42,945 for the Limited model.

The full list of updates can be found in the press release after the jump and you can check out both the gasoline-only and hybrid Highlander models in the galleries below.



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The pricing seems to range up to where the RX was a few years ago...I guess this will be the Explorer's main competition from Japan., along w/ the Pilot.

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