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Japanese carmakers Toyota have launched the latest iteration of its seven-seater Highlander SUV in Europe, here’s everything you need to know about it. The 2021 Highlander is a full-sized SUV and it has been introduced to the European market for the first time in the form of this, its latest iteration.

From the pictures, it’s fair to say that the Highlander brings dollops of kerb appeal to the table. The Highlander’s sleek design belies its considerable proportions – particularly its length of 4,950 mm. powering the 2021 Highlander is Toyota’s fourth-generation hybrid system, making this the most sizeable full-hybrid offering in the brand’s line up. The powertrain combines a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors. Despite being marketed as an urban SUV, the two electric motors result in the Highlander having the brand’s AWD-i (All-Wheel Drive-intelligent) system. The powertrain generates a total system power of 244 hp and comes with Drive Mode Select where you can choose from ECO, NORMAL, SPORT and TRAIL driving modes.

In terms of features, the SUV comes equipped with a 12.3-inch infotainment which features satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get wireless phone charging, seat ventilation, a heads-up display and something Toyota call a “switchable digital rear-view mirror.” With this, you can enjoy “a wide rear image without the interruption of seat headrest or other occupants.” You also get power USB slots in the first and second row to keep smart devices juiced up.

No SUV is complete without oodles of boot space, and the Highlander is no different in that respect. It features 658-litres of luggage room which can be accessed by a kick-sensor-equipped tailgate and expands to 1,909 litres with the second- and third-rows folded down. Speaking if the second and third rows, the Highlander also allows the second row to slide by 180-mm to accommodate bigger passengers in the third row and enhance occupant comfort.

The Highlander also has a decent bit of safety kit on tap, called ‘Toyota Safety Sense.’ This is set up features an amalgamation of active safety tech including a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with active steer assist featuring pedestrian detection day and night, and bicycle detection during the day. You also get Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), ACC with Road Sign Assist (RSA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beam (AHB) and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

The European market can begin buying the Toyota Highlander Hybrid from early 2021. Will it come to India though? We wouldn’t hold our breath. As of now, there’s no indication from Toyota that a Highlander India launch is a possibility, however, considering they did make an unexpected move in bringing the Vellfire here, anything is possible.

ALSO READ: Toyota Vellfire Launched In India |Toyota Vellfire – First Drive Impressions




About the author: Harket Suchde



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