Toyota unveils new 2020 Highlander crossover in NY

18 Avril, 2019, 05:25 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • 2020 Toyota Highlander

Facing its first three-row hybrid rival, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid that bowed Thursday at the 2019 NY auto show boasting one big number: 34 mpg combined, according to the automaker's estimates. Hybrid models will boast a total system output of 240 horsepower-not bad at all for the mileage targets. That's down 75 horses compared to the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid, but Ford estimates just 24 mpg combined versus 34 for the Toyota.

Where the outgoing Toyota Highlander Hybrid was a curiosity in the lineup, the new model is solidly mainstream.

The Highlander's optional all-wheel-drive system varies by what's underhood.

The new Highlander will earn its best fuel economy ratings with front-wheel drive. Even the attractive hybrid mentioned above can play along, as its AWD system incorporates an electric motor to the rear axle in a system similar to that used in the Prius AWD-E announced a year ago. The hybrid's system has no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles.

Toyota hasn't said how much the new Highlander will weigh, but the automaker switched its three-row crossover SUV to its modular TNGA-K platform and shed weight in the crossover's driveline by switching its reduction gear from planetary to parallel design.

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No matter what wheels are driven, the Highlander Hybrid's gasoline-electric powertrain communicates with its navigation system to anticipate traffic and topography ahead to prepare the system to use more or less electric power to reduce fuel consumption.

The interior has been upgraded with more soft-touch surfaces, and the top of the line Platinum trim features a 1,200-watt 11-speaker audio system, 360-degree camera and a 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a WiFi hotspot.

The 2020 model is over two inches longer than the one it replaces, with all of that length earmarked toward increasing the size of the cargo area to help the Highlander better compete with its top rival, the behemoth Honda Pilot.

Base L and LE Highlanders come standard with three-seat benches in the middle and third rows.

Cloth seats come standard on the LE trim, while synthetic leather is fitted to the Highlander Hybrid XLE.

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