When there is a great midsize, three-row SUV built on the principles of safety, reliability, and longevity, drivers are winning no matter what engine configuration is in the vehicle. That is exactly the case with the 2022 Toyota Highlander, which is also offered in a Hybrid model. The best and most capable Toyota SUV in Canada, the new Toyota Highlander is a winner in both the gasoline and hybrid versions.
Many of the Highlander's fundamentals remain the same in the new Highlander Hybrid, but there are obvious differences under the hood. Let's take a look at what these sibling models have in common and what differs between them.
2022 Toyota Highlander / Highlander Hybrid - Differences
With easygoing road manners, superb comfort, and confident driving dynamics, the 2022 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are great midsize SUVs for any driver. They share many of the same characteristics, including exterior and interior styling, cargo space, safety technologies, infotainment systems, and more. However, they differ with what is provided under the hood and with their capability.
Besides the engine, the AWD systems on the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid models are also different.
1.Highlander - Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD (DTV-AWD) with Rear Driveline Disconnect - The gas-powered Highlander offers DTV-AWD, which can send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, distributing power to the wheel that needs it most. This enhances stability, responsiveness and control. When the system is not needed, it sends all driving force to the front wheels to improve fuel economy and deliver a smoother ride.
2.Highlander Hybrid - Electronic On-Demand AWD - The Highlander Hybrid features a dedicated electric motor for its rear wheels. This allows the Hybrid to adapt based on driving conditions - giving 100 percent of engine torque to the front wheels or moving to an even 50:50 split between the front and rear wheels. This happens automatically to provide you with better traction in tough driving conditions, as well as deliver performance when accelerating and cornering.
2022 Toyota Highlander / Highlander Hybrid - Similarities
There are many features that are similar on the 2022 Toyota Highlander and 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. This includes Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which is the automaker's advanced suite of active safety technologies and capabilities. Standard features on all Highlander (gas and hybrid models) include:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection & Bicycle Detection
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Road Sign Assist
While the engine, transmission, and AWD systems differ between the Highlander and the Highlander Hybrid, there are two available systems that are the same. The first is Drive Mode Select (DMS), which is used to suit driving and usage conditions and includes three modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco. An EV Mode is also available on the Hybrid.
Normal Mode - This mode is optimal for daily travel, providing a balance of fuel economy, quietness, and dynamic performance.
Sport Mode - This mode provides an increasing acceleration response and also changes the steering feel, making it better for more agile driving conditions, such as on roads with many curves.
Eco Mode - This mode helps the driver improve fuel economy, especially on trips that include frequent stops and acceleration, such as city driving.
Another cross-Highlander system is Multi-Terrain Select, which lets you choose between four modes - Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, Snow, Normal - to maximize traction when the weather or the roads take a turn for the worse:
Other fun and unique features that are similar across trim levels on the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid include:
- Rear Door Sunshade
- Power Rear Door with Kick Sensor
- Standard 8.0-inch infotainment system
- SiriusXM satellite radio
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
- Apple CarPlay / Android Auto / Amazon Alexa integration
Considering the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
For over two decades, Toyota has been a leader in hybrid technology. The Highlander itself has had a hybrid model available for over 15 years. The 2022 model is no different, featuring Toyota's renowned self-charging gas and electric hybrid powertrain as standard on all Highlander Hybrid models.
With the Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the Highlander Hybrid is self-charging and never needs to be plugged in. Recharging on the go, the Highlander Hybrid uses innovations like regenerative braking to transform energy into electricity and store it in the battery. And the Hybrid comes with its own Toyota-backed warranty: a 8-year/160,000-km hybrid component warranty and a 10-year/240,000-km hybrid battery warranty.
There are several key differences in the engines, transmissions, AWD systems, and towing capabilities of the 2022 Toyota Highlander and 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. However, both are great family vehicles that are built to last for generations.