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New Toyota Highlander headlines hybrid options

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Toyota is continuing to drive towards lower emissions for New Zealand customers with a fuel-efficient and environmentally conscious new Toyota Highlander line-up for 2021.

Following the success of the RAV4 hybrid, the 2021 Highlander becomes the ninth model in the current Toyota range to feature a hybrid powertrain. There is now a hybrid variant in almost every passenger vehicle offering from Yaris through to Highlander.

Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand General Manager of New Vehicle Sales and Product Planning says one in three of the company’s new vehicle sales are now hybrid.

"Hybrids are the stepping-stone to a lower carbon emission future," he says. "The introduction of the new Highlander hybrid to our line-up extends our focus on moving our business towards a more sustainable low emission economy while simultaneously delivering our customers cost savings through increased fuel efficiency."

"This new Highlander range also demonstrates Toyota’s global hybrid leadership," Steve says.

"We are very confident of the potential for hybrid sales; in fact, we have ordered four hybrid Highlanders for every petrol version and customers have already placed over 500 orders for the new Highlander, with over 90% of those orders in a hybrid powertrain."

The 2021 Toyota Highlander features a stylish, family friendly design with significantly improved safety and advanced technology, giving it a premium ambience.

The new hybrid variants will feature a revised version of the 2.5L petrol engine used in the RAV4, and an upgraded hybrid system. Together the combined petrol engine and electric motors offer plenty of power, enough to tow 2,000kg (braked). The larger drive motor produces a total system output of 184kW and a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 5.6L/100km. Like the RAV4, the rear wheels are driven by an E-Four AWD system.

The CO2 emissions are just 128g/km on the hybrid variants.

For those customers who still want a 3.5 V6 engine, Toyota New Zealand will continue to offer the petrol-only version in two grades.

The V6 engine featured in the GXL and Limited variants have engine stop/start functionality that helps reduce combined cycle fuel consumption from 9.5 litres/100km to 8.8 litres/100km.

"The decision to retain a V6 option in the 2021 Highlander line-up was driven by consumer demand - mainly from fleets. While Toyota will introduce more hybrid and pure electric cars to the market, we will continue to offer multiple powertrains to meet the needs of our customers," Steve says.

"The all-new Highlander is the beneficiary of Toyota’s extensive experience in SUVs, adding the latest Hybrid technology to its unrivalled reputation for quality, durability and reliability."

Striking exterior design

Changes have been made to the 2021 Highlander interior and exterior design to build on their functionality and aesthetic appeal. The front of the new Highlander has a wider stance and features a high-gloss black grille, which is further highlighted by a chrome frame in the Limited ZR version.

The new Highlander is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and features a 60mm longer wheelbase, 60mm more in overall length and is slightly wider (+5mm) than the current generation, delivering more interior space and improved driving stability.

A clearly defined curve runs from the lower front wheel mudguard along the body to finish above the rear wheel arch and connect with the tail-light assembly. The overall impression of this body line is one of greater volume to the rear of the vehicle.

Slim LED headlights are now standard across the range. These are parabola type in the GXL and Limited; and projector type for the Limited ZR. The Limited ZR hybrid includes a powered back door with kick sensor functionality.

The GXL and Limited variants ride on 18" wheels, each with a distinct design, while the Limited ZR hybrid sits on 20" Chromtec® wheels clad in an iridium chrome finish.

Seven exterior colours are available across the 2021 Highlander range: Deep Sea Blue, Crystal Pearl, Glacial Blue, Ruby, Celestial Silver, Graphite and Eclipse.

Premium SUV interior

Inside, the new Highlander offers a premium atmosphere and larger cabin, particularly for third row passengers - and increased luggage space.

Premium soft touch materials cover the expansive dash with the seats in the GXL grades finished in a quality cloth trim. Synthetic leather material is adopted for Limited variants, which adds heating and power adjustments to the front seats. The Limited ZR hybrid is fitted with leather accented seats that include a premium quilted finish on the front seats. Both front seats offer heating and ventilation, and the driver’s seat includes two memory settings.

For maximum versatility, the Highlander features sliding and 60/40-split folding second row seats and 60/40-split folding third row seats.

Care has also been taken across the new range to ensure frequent touchpoints have a high-quality feel, with a leather steering wheel and shift knob trim.

Entertainment and information are provided via a multimedia system with controls accessed on the steering wheel and an 8-inch touchscreen display atop the centre console. The system incorporates Bluetooth® connectivity, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility.

The Limited ZR variant will include a series of new, premium features that have not been seen in Highlanders before, including an 11-speaker JBL premium sound system, a colour Head-Up display, and a large Panoramic Sunroof.

Standard equipment includes smart key entry and push button start, air conditioning, rain sensing wipers and automatic lights, and five USB ports.

Limited grades gain heated front seats with 10-way powered driver’s seat adjustments, tri-zone climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, satellite navigation and a 7" multi-information display.

Stay connected on those family road trips

The whole family can stay connected with the outside world and keep their devices charged with no fighting over the USB charging ports, of which there are five - three in the front, and two in the rear.

Safety in spades

Safety has been significantly improved in the new Highlander with new features for Toyota Safety Sense designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic conditions. New additions include road sign assist, emergency steering assist and intersection turn assistance on every variant.

This builds upon an already extensive list of driver assistance features that include Pre-Collision System with AEB (vehicle, pedestrian, and bicyclist detection), Lane Tracing Assist, All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Reduction, and Automatic High Beam. Other standard safety features include blind spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert Auto Brake, reversing camera, seven airbags and front and rear parking sensors.

Toyota Driveaway pricing

The Toyota Drive-away pricing includes all on road costs: WOF, registration, a full tank of fuel, the Toyota Care Service Advantage fixed price servicing package, floor mats, and a three year or 100,000 km warranty.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander is priced at:

3.5 V6 GXL AWD SUV AT 7-SEAT $60,990

3.5 V6 Limited AWD SUV AT 7-SEAT $63,990

2.5 GXL Hybrid AWD SUV E-CVT 7-SEAT $63,990

2.5 Limited Hybrid AWD SUV E-CVT 7-SEAT $66,990

2.5 Limited ZR Hybrid AWD SUV E-CVT 7-SEAT $74,990

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