Toyota goes big on

SUV front

Toyota Highlander, 2020, front
Toyota Highlander, 2020, rear
Toyota Highlander, 2020, interior
Toyota Highlander, 2020, seats

TOYOTA is to launch its largest hybrid SUV in the UK and the vehicle will be on sale next year.

The Highlander is almost the same size as a Land Rover Discovery with seating of up to seven people and boot space of 658 litres.

It is 4.95 metres long and is powered by a 2.5-litre hybrid petrol engine with electric motors front and rear.

Total power is 241bhp with the Highlander said to be capable of 42.8mpg at best under the new WLTP fuel consumption tests. Emissions are rated at 146g/km.

The rear motor provides the vehicle with all-wheel-drive and the Highlander will join the RAV4, the C-HR and the new Yaris Cross in Toyota's SUV stable.

The second row of seats can slide up to 180mm which Toyota says allows for good access for two adults in the rear. Maximum cargo space is 1,909 litres.

A drive mode system is fitted with settings for eco, normal, sport and off-road use - or trail performance as Toyota call it.

The Highlander also has a switchable EV all-electric mode which can be used in all drive settings.

Safety systems include Toyota's Pre-Collision set up with active steering assist which can detect pedestrians in day and night as well as adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, lane departure and tracing and automatic high beam for the headlights.

The Highlander is the fourth generation of a range which has been on sale in North America and Japan since last year but it is the first time Toyota has decided to sell the model in Europe.

Details of UK specifications and pricing will be announced nearer the launch time which Toyota says is scheduled for early 2021.

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