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3 Reasons a Plug-In Toyota Highlander Prime Should Happen

Explore key advantages for Toyota coming out with a Highlander Prime – gasoline plus electric plus plug-in.

These are fun and exciting times if you are a fan of Toyota products. With so many new releases and next generation model redesigns, there is plenty to get fired up about.

I have been lucky to participate in both the next-gen Tundra and Sequoia launches. But there is one new model that has not even been announced yet. Might not even happen.

Would a Toyota Highlander Prime make sense?

Toyota Highlander Prime

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE Blizzard Pearl front end profile viewHighlander XSE - Blizzard Pearl with Cockpit Red interior

The benefits of Toyota Highlander for families are numerous. Highlander is smooth and quiet and comfortable. Plus, it has a great reputation for long-term reliability and durability.

Multiple 2022 Highlander trim levels can satisfy virtually any family needs and requirements. Newer vehicles that might interest you are Highlander XSE and Highlander Bronze Edition.

Of course, for those looking for optimal fuel economy, a 2022 Highlander Hybrid could be ideal. Imagine getting up to 36 miles per gallon with a midsize Toyota SUV. The one drawback to Highlander Hybrid could be that it produces less power than a traditional Highlander gasoline-only version (295 horsepower compared to 243 net hybrid horsepower).

Combining the ability and plug your Toyota Highlander in at home or work could offer many important benefits.

Highlander Prime MPG Benefits

First off, a “Prime” Toyota vehicle like RAV4 Prime is measured in MPGe versus traditional mpg that we are used to. This MPGe is the combined efficiency of gasoline and electricity.

RAV4 Hybrid, for example, achieves a combined 40mpg. RAV4 Prime (hybrid plus plug-in capability) can deliver 94MPGe.

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Owners who know how to maximize their driving and their routes can get tremendous fuel economy numbers and will, in turn, save money at the pump.

Toyota Highlander Prime on the Range

Let’s use Toyota RAV4 Prime as an example. This model can drive up to 42 miles on a single electric charge. No gasoline.

If a Prime version of Highlander comes to fruition, I would expect a similar benefit of all-electric range.

Since it is a larger vehicle than Toyota RAV4, maybe Toyota Highlander could be driven up to 35 miles on one electric charge.

I could see this benefiting people who drive less than 35 or so miles to work, parents who carpool their kids to school and activities, and pretty much anyone in general who takes a lot of shorter trips and commutes.

The Power of Highlander Prime

Now this one might be the real beauty here. More potential power.

A Toyota Highlander Prime that combines gasoline with electric motors and plug-in power will indeed become more powerful all-around.

The introduction of RAV4 Prime brought with it the fastest and most powerful RAV4 of all time. This RAV4 produces 302 total horsepower and is lightning quick.

I could extend the assumption that a Highlander Prime would become even more powerful than its current 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295 horsepower.

This would make Highlander Prime the fastest and most powerful Toyota Highlander of all time.

Time for Your Toyota Highlander Comments

Yes, these three benefits would make a Toyota Highlander Prime an extremely appealing option for many people and families.

The real question is – will it actually happen?

With Toyota’s aggressive commitment to vehicle electrification, I could see this fitting nicely in their plans.

An addition of Highlander Prime to the current Highlander lineup would make for an impressive fleet – Highlander gasoline, Highlander Hybrid, and Highlander Prime.

When the Grand Highlander eventually launches, the choices for potential customers are limitless (figuratively limitless, but you know what I mean).

What are your thoughts on this possibility? Would you consider a plug-in Highlander?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I discuss upcoming 2022 Tundra Hybrid mpg numbers.

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Bob Balderston (not verified)    February 3, 2022 - 6:34PM

I own a 2018 Prius Prime, as well as a 2018 Highlander Hybrid XLE. While I love both, I'd trade in my Highlander for a Highlander Prime in a heartbeat! Love the idea! Hope it gets (all-wheel drive) traction!

Dennis Wolf (not verified)    March 31, 2022 - 5:24PM

the exterior styling on the current gen. Highlander is lackluster, with the XSE being the exception. If they can mate that trim level's styling with their prime technology I would immidieltly put a deposit down on one of these. The RAV4 is simply too small and dosen't tow enough for the needs of many families.

Stephen Opperwall (not verified)    April 1, 2022 - 5:26PM

I would buy a Highlander Hybrid Prime if it gets the same 302 horsepower that the RAV4 Prime Hybrid gets, and there shouldn't be any reason why Toyota can't do that. I thought that Toyota would have produced that version of a Highlander by now. It would sell like hotcakes. It would dominate sales in that size and class range of SUV's.

Seth Page (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 2:04AM

Been waiting for the Highlander Prime plug-in Hybrid type combo for years.
Build it and we will buy!

John Rauchenstein (not verified)    May 27, 2022 - 12:25PM

It is really the vehicle I am waiting for. Enough range to make most local trips all electric but hopefully able to tow about 4000# and still have acceptable range. The Tesla X can tow but not far enough between recharges to be practical on a longer trip.

Ben (not verified)    July 30, 2022 - 8:20AM

We waited 5 months for our RAV4 Prime XSE loaded and well worth the wait. Wife loves it even after reluctantly trading in her Lexus 300h.
I have a 2012 Highlander Hybrid Limited and can’t wait for a Highlander Prime.

John (not verified)    August 13, 2022 - 11:23AM

The 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid with 35 miles of pure electric range. But it is expensive! I would love a Highlander Prime with similar pure electric range. The Volvo is the only 3 row SUV I'm aware of with an plug-in hybrid option. We need more ASAP.

Tony Wagner (not verified)    March 21, 2023 - 3:54AM

I drove a RAV4 Prime and I was only semi-impressed. They only had an SE I could drive I would buy a Highlander XSE with a full Technology package in a heartbeat
I would greatly prefer the V6 plus upgraded Battery & motors in a highlander