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3 Key Reasons to Choose a 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Over Gasoline Models

Having trouble deciding between the new 2020 Toyota Highlander gasoline and Hybrid versions? Here are a few tips to help.

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We will be seeing a completely different 2020 Toyota Highlander very soon. Actually, we will be seeing two completely different Highlanders very soon. Toyota is introducing both the Highlander gasoline and Highlander Hybrid for the 2020 model year, complete with updates and changes galore.

For this exercise, I will discuss the benefits of choosing 2020 Highlander Hybrid versus its gasoline counterpart. I can think of three big reasons.

If you want gas savings, choose a Hybrid

Most people think of the perceived gasoline savings when contemplating buying a hybrid vehicle. They see it with the Prius and Prius Prime. They also can see it with the new Corolla Hybrid. And they most definitely will find savings at the pump with a 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Toyota offers four trim levels for the hybrid: 2020 Highlander Hybrid LE, Hybrid XLE, Hybrid Limited and Hybrid Platinum. For gasoline models there are these levels plus a lower L grade as well.

Hybrid buyers will find fuel efficiency ratings of 36 city / 35 highway / 36 combined for front-wheel drive 2020 Highlander Hybrid and 35 city / 34 highway / 35 combined for all-wheel drive. This is a 24% jump versus the previous generation Highlander Hybrid and a 50% benefit compared to gasoline versions.

On a similar note, 2020 Highlander gas grades offer 21 city / 29 highway / 24 combined for front-wheel and 20 city / 27 highway / 23 combined for all-wheel drive.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited interior beige

You may have noticed I am mentioning front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive when talking about 2020 Highlander Hybrid. Please take note of that and keep reading. Spoiler alert: it may be discussed later.

Pricing difference between 2020 Highlander gas and hybrid versions

In the past when shopping for Highlanders, you could expect a price increase of several thousand dollars if you chose to pick a hybrid instead of a gasoline-powered model. Luckily this pattern is not carried over for the 2020 model year.

This is a huge plus in Highlander Hybrid’s favor.

Toyota is only raising the price for a hybrid by $1,400 when compared to its gasoline equivalent, making the 2020 Highlander Hybrid an extremely enticing choice.

For example, factory MSRP for a 2020 Highlander LE front-wheel drive is $36,800 and $38,200 for the equal Highlander Hybrid LE FWD. A $1,400 difference. At the top of the chain, 2020 Highlander Platinum front-wheel drive costs $46,850, while Highlander Hybrid Platinum FWD is $48,250. Again a $1,400 difference.

I gave pricing for front-wheel drive trim levels. Expect a price bump of $1,600 to move to an all-wheel drive 2020 Highlander L, LE and XLE. There will be an increase of $1,950 for Limited and Platinum, both for gasoline and hybrid.

A front-wheel drive 2020 Highlander Hybrid

Front-wheel drive Highlander Hybrid. Did we read that right? If you have studied Toyota Highlander Hybrids in the past, you know that picking one of these meant you would be driving around an all-wheel drive vehicle. That is just how Toyota rolls (get it, rolls!?!)

For the 2020 Highlander Hybrid, buyers can now choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive for each trim level. This should be a big benefit to those people living in warmer climates where there is less need for all-wheel drive vehicles.

THIS MAY HELP: Watch my video review as I explain 2020 Highlander trim levels and features

Advantages to going with front-wheel drive are modest gasoline savings versus all-wheel drive and price savings for staying at the front-wheel drive level.

Time for your thoughts on 2020 Toyota Highlander

I have written several Torque News articles on the 2020 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid in recent weeks. I will include these links you might find helpful in your research.

Features for all gas-powered 2020 Highlander trim levels

Interior first look at 2020 Highlander Hybrid Limited

See the standard features on all 2020 Toyota Highlanders

What do you think of the changes to 2020 Highlander? Will you be visiting your local dealerships to check one out, and will it be gasoline or hybrid?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I give 3 important reasons to pick gas vs hybrid 2020 Highlander.

YOU MAY ENJOY: Get a first look at 2020 Highlander Hybrid exterior and interior in my video review. Please subscribe to Torque News channel here for daily automotive analysis and reviews.

Bookmark Jeff Teague's Toyota News and Reviews at Torque News Toyota. Please subscribe to Jeff’s “Toyotajeff” YouTube channel for Toyota news, reviews and how-to videos. Follow Jeff on Facebook and Instagram. Find him on Twitter @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories. All of Jeff's reports can be found at Toyota Highlander coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Toyota news for more Toyota news coverage.

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M. V. Fernandez (not verified)    December 29, 2019 - 7:24AM

Interested in Hybrid XLE AWD in Moondust. Would love to see pictures of that vehicle instead of the higher trim levels. The gas-powered Highlander is nowhere to be found in Texas. When can we realistically expect to see the Hybrid in these parts? What is the family discount? Thanks!

Meli (not verified)    December 29, 2019 - 11:47AM

I'm beyond disappointed that Toyota removed the rear opening window feature. I use it nearly every day. Why?!

Ed (not verified)    September 4, 2021 - 2:07PM

In reply to by Meli (not verified)

Traded in a 2013 HH Awd Limited for a 2021 HH Awd Plat and never really used the rear opening window but love the motorized rear window feature when driving the 4runner with all windows down and moonroof to let the air in.

Hyd-nj (not verified)    December 29, 2019 - 11:57AM

Was waiting for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid version for about 18 months but now I feel Highly disappointed with power downgrade. My personal expectations that the hybrid version will not see good sales compared to 2019 model l. The 6 mpg difference from 2019 all wheel drive Hybrid is not worth it to make the vehicle significantly underpowered. I believe that Toyota's direction for RAV4 Hybrid and the comming RAV4 Prime is the way to go, and they will eventually mimic the nice balance between Power and fuel economy to Highlander Hybrid.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    December 30, 2019 - 2:11AM

I agree that if you don't need the extra space that the Highlander provides, the RAV4 Prime looks like a better deal, especially if it qualifies for PHEV incentive credits. Hopefully Toyota will follow up with a Highlander Prime model that is also a plug-in hybrid soon.