Toyota has announced that it will bring its seven-seat Highlander SUV to the UK for the first time next year.
The Highlander will sit at the top of Toyota’s crossover model range, and is the second new SUV model announced by Toyota in the last month. The small Yaris Cross will also arrive next year to occupy the other end of the range, sandwiching the existing RAV4 and C-HR models.
Although it will be a new addition to the UK range, this is actually the fourth generation of Toyota Highlander and has been sold in several other markets for years. It’s sold as the Toyota Kluger in Japan and Australia because the Highlander name was already trademarked by Hyundai. The current model was launched at last year’s New York motor show.
The seven-seat Land Cruiser 4×4 is expected to remain in the UK line-up for the time being, but that is much more of a niche model that provides far greater off-road capability than the Highlander.
The new Highlander will only be available with four-wheel drive and a hybrid powertrain that uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine and twin electric motors. The total power output is 245hp, with CO2 emissions of 146g/km on the combined cycle and fuel economy of 42.8mpg.
Toyota calls the Highlander ‘an authentic seven seater’ because the second row of seats has a 18cm sliding range that frees up legroom in the third row for two adults.
The boot space measures 658 litres, with extra underfloor storage space available, while folding the second and third rows provides up to 1,909 litres of load area.
In the cabin, there are USB ports for the front and second row passengers, an infotainment system with sat-nav, head-up display, wireless phone charging, and connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
UK pricing for the Toyota Highlander will be revealed closer to the car’s launch date in early 2021.
Additional reporting by Stuart Masson