TheCarConnection.com consulted a wide range of reviews of the new 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid from across the Web, and most were lukewarm on the Highlander’s new look.
AutoWeek says of the Toyota, 2008’s Highlander is "bigger, brasher and bolder than its predecessor,” but notes that it’s “grown considerably…the new version is 4 inches longer, 3 inches wider and an inch taller." Interior volume increased by 41 cubic feet.
Automobile thinks that “with its aggressive but inoffensive stance, the Highlander looks good,” while Cars.com says, “the 2008 Highlander Hybrid is sleeker than its predecessor and features smooth sides.” Cars.com also points out that differences between the Hybrid and its gasoline-only powered siblings are "minimal," consisting mainly of the grille and taillights.
“Beefy” is what Edmunds calls the new Toyota; 2008’s Highlander Hybrid “isn't revolutionary, but the Highlander's new look is more robust than the old version.” Meanwhile, the gadget gurus at CNet say, “we're a little disappointed that the Highlander has gotten bigger, as the older model seemed nicely proportioned.”
The most fervent admirer is Mother Proof, where the writer finds herself "marveling at it, admiring its face-lift...new lines, more contour, a sassy snout and a higher profile" in describing its "complete makeover."
Edmunds was one of the only sources to comment on the new interior, saying that “its ergonomics are excellent.”
TheCarConnection.com thinks that Toyota has missed a real opportunity with the design of the 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. While other, newer crossovers offer great style—see the Buick Enclave, Ford Flex, and even the 2009 Honda Pilot—the Highlander Hybrid’s lines seem unimaginative. The Highlander Hybrid does offer the unmatched gas-electric powertrain, but when it comes to style, crossover shoppers have ample reason to look elsewhere.