One of the hallmarks of the crossover vehicle is lots of room inside, and in this respect, the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid does not disappoint.
Cars.com raves about the seating featured inside the Toyota; 2008’s Highlander Hybrid gets front bucket seats, reconfigurable second-row captain's chairs, and a center stow seat. Altogether, this SUV can seat seven people in relative comfort with the third-row seats in seating position. Edmunds adds, “The second-row seats recline and then also move fore and aft through 4.7 inches of travel. The second-row seat also incorporates a Center Stow seat, an occasional seat that can also be converted to a center console or even stowed away to create separate captain's chairs. It's amazingly light and easy to handle, and even a scrawny 6-year-old with arms like twigs was able to get the job done without whining for help.”
However, Car and Driver points out that the third-row seats (which can fold down to provide extra cargo space) are "still too tight for adults for all but short hops." Car and Driver agrees: “it will do for small adults for short trips, and little kids should be happy back there for a while longer.”
ConsumerGuide notes, "wind and road noise are noticed at highway speeds, [and the] Hybrid's electric motor is annoyingly whiny." Noise levels are apparently an improvement over the previous year, however, because Popular Mechanics reports, "interior noise is reduced significantly" on the Toyota 2008 Highlander Hybrid due to foam insulation and better door seals.
Cargo room in the Hybrid is nearly the equivalent of the gas-powered version. “Like the regular Highlander, the Hybrid has just over 10 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third-row seat and 42.3 cubes behind the second row,” Edmunds says. "With all rear seats folded in the Toyota, 2008’s Highlander Hybrid offers 94 cubic feet--just 1 cubic foot less than the regular version.”
When it comes to the quality of the interior and its materials, TheCarConnection.com finds few complaints; most reviewer agree with Edmunds, which reports that "build and materials quality remains high, and the ergonomics are excellent."