The Highlander isn't an ordinary crossover vehicle. Its four-cylinder and hybrid editions give it an edge in our Green ratings, and in the EPA's fuel economy tests.
For the 2011 model year, the EPA rates the four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive Highlander at 20/25 mpg. On V-6 versions with front-wheel drive, the Highlander checks in at 18/24 mpg, and with four-wheel drive, the big Toyota crossover slumps to 17/22 mpg.
With the changes to its gas engine, the Highlander Hybrid could have lost ground in the fuel economy standings--but it doesn't Though it's bored and stroked out for 10 more net horsepower, the Hybrid's fuel economy actually increases to 28/28 mpg for the new model year. That's up from the 2010 ratings of 27/25 mpg.
While Toyota is working on an all-electric version of its seven-seat RAV4 crossover with Tesla Motors, it's not expected to build a Highlander EV.