Toyota Highlander Hybrid – Ranks Number 1

The 2009 Highlander Hybrid scored 1 out of 29 Affordable Midsize SUVs.

The Highlander Hybrid has a spacious interior, smooth ride, and refined hybrid powertrain. However, some consider it too expensive compared to the non-hybrid Highlander. Anyway, both of the models win US News Media's Best Midsize Crossover for the Money award for their all-around livability and value.

The Highlander Hybrid remains just like the 2008. It's seen as an excellent family vehicle, but it demands a large premium over its gasoline-powered counterpart -- and also over other hybrids. "Even though the Highlander hybrid costs several thousand dollars more than the standard Highlander, the fuel efficiency and ego-inflating nature of the hybrid version might just be worth it to some buyers," says Car and Driver. The hybrid version has great interior versatility, a strong powerplant, carlike refinement, and a handsome and spacious interior.

As gas prices drop, the value equation of the Highlander Hybrid is starting to change. If you are buying it to save money, check the figures before purchasing. With lower gas prices, you may not save a lot of cash.

The Highlander Hybrid comes in two trims -- the base and Limited -- in standard four-wheel drive with either five- or seven-seat models.

"Highlander's jump on the midsize SUV segment won enough converts to guarantee a second generation makeover which came out a year ago. Now, for 2009, the Toyota Highlander consolidates its position as a hybrid leader, winning even more fans every time there's a spike in prices at the pump." -- Road & Travel Magazine

"Don't buy this car expecting to save on gas. It's doubtful that you will ever come close to recouping the added initial vehicle cost in fuel savings." -- Boston Globe

"The Highlander is definitely the most efficient of the mid-large crossovers and provides good utility for those who need ample space for five plus two on occasion." -- Autoblog Green

Here's how the Highlander Hybrid Rated:
Performance - 8.4 (Very Good)
Exterior - 6.9 (Mediocre)
Interior - 8.2 (Very Good)
Safety - 9.3 (Excellent)
Reliability - 10.0 (Excellent)

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