Another hybrid SUV joins Toyota’s Kiwi line-up

Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
 
Words: Matthew Hansen
19 Oct 2020

The all-new Toyota Highlander has touched down in New Zealand; subsequently ticking a range of firsts for the local distributor in the process.

For the first time, the Highlander is set to only be offered in hybrid form — Toyota New Zealand confirming that the 3.5-litre V6 petrol will no longer be offered locally. The model also represents Toyota’s first electrified seven-seater.

The new Highlander makes use of fresh architecture, paired to a 2.5-litre petrol four hybrid. It’s the same powertrain as in the in-demand RAV4 Hybrid, with four-wheel drive supported by its rear-mounted electric motor. Total power sits in the ballpark of 180kW.

On the outside the new Highlander adopts a sleeker nose and less in your face grille than the outgoing model. Around the back, meanwhile, its taillights look closer to those of the RAV4. Eagle-eyed Toyota fans will also spot the contour line that starts at the front doors and sweeps up over the rear wheels — a feature reminiscent of the GR Supra.

The announcement bolsters Toyota’s already very busy SUV line-up. It joins the C-HR, RAV4, Fortuner, Land Cruiser Prado, and Land Cruiser 200. The Yaris Cross and Corolla Cross are on the way to join them, too.

The C-HR and RAV4 are already offered as hybrids. The Yaris Cross, once landed, will also have an electrified variant. And it’s expected that the Corolla Cross will be available as a 1.8-litre hybrid, too.

In terms of seven-seat hybrid rivals, the Highlander takes on the likes of the smaller Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the upmarket Range Rover Sport, in a space that’s set to rapidly grow in the coming months.

“The next generation Highlander is a significant improvement on the outgoing model, with improved efficiency and flexibility for families,” says Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand Chief Operating Officer.

“The introduction of another hybrid to our line-up further complements our focus on moving towards a low emission economy, while delivering our customers with a fuel-efficient large SUV. The new Highlander is brand new from the ground up; a new platform for improved stability and handling, a new engine with class leading efficiency, new levels of safety and with a dynamic styling package.

“Toyota has now sold more than 15 million hybrid vehicles globally, including in excess of 17,000 in New Zealand. The all-new hybrid Highlander is the beneficiary of Toyota's global hybrid leadership, extensive experience in SUVs, and unrivalled reputation for quality, durability and reliability.”

Advertisement

NZ Autocar Enewsletter

Follow us

 
Peugeot Nov20
Advertisement

More news