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Pick a Gasoline Powered 2020 Toyota Highlander vs Highlander Hybrid for These 3 Key Reasons

Buyers will have a fun but difficult choice when deciding between a 2020 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid. Here are key reasons to go with gas-powered.


I recently wrote a Torque News story detailing the compelling reasons to choose the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs a gas-powered 2020 Highlander. Hybrids offer 50 percent better fuel efficiency, up to 36 mpg combined, when compared to a gasoline-powered Highlander. Also, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is an excellent value, with a price increase of only $1,400 to forgo gasoline only and go with hybrid. Finally, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is available this year in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

However, many people will choose to buy a 2020 Highlander gasoline trim level as opposed to a Highlander Hybrid. Here are some key reasons they might pick gas.

Towing capacity advantage for 2020 Highlander

Often a Toyota Highlander is purchased by families who love the open road. This is an excellent road trip vehicle since it is smooth, quiet and comfortable both on city streets and on the highway during long vacations.

With this usage comes the need to bring along a trailer, a boat or a camper. This is where towing capacity comes into play.

A gas model 2020 Highlander has the higher tow capacity here and is rated at 5,000 pounds. The 2020 Highlander Hybrid has a solid tow rating, but is slightly less at 3,500 pounds.

2020 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid front seats beige color2020 Toyota Highlander horsepower gas vs hybrid

One of the main philosophical differences between a gasoline and a hybrid 2020 Highlander is each model’s engine and the power it produces.

The 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid utilizes a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors to maximize your efficiency with driving styles, power and fuel ratings. This is matched with an electronically controlled CVT (continuously variable transmission). Most people will probably find the 243 total hybrid horsepower to be more than sufficient for their overall needs, especially when factoring in their savings at the gas pump.

2020 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid Ruby Flare Pearl profile

The most vehicle power will come with the purchase of a gasoline-powered 2020 Toyota Highlander. All of these vehicles will offer a 3.5-liter V6 engine partnered with a direct shift 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. This produces 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. torque.

I’ll take “2020 Toyota Highlander Pricing” for $1,400 please Alex

How appropriate that the value of this category is $1,400. This is the amount you will pay extra to upgrade to a 2020 Highlander Hybrid in contrast to 2020 Highlander gas.

Feel free to follow this link for my recent Torque News story detailing all pricing for the 2020 Highlander models. You may find it helpful in your research.

I find it incredibly enticing to find such a minimal price difference between gas and hybrid Highlanders. So appealing, in fact, that I recommend everyone in the market test drive both the gas and hybrid versions to see what you like best. As I said before, the gap in pricing is so small that the hybrid is worth a second look.

YOU MAY ENJOY: Watch as I give pricing for all 2020 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid trim levels.

However, if finding the lowest possible price is extremely important in your search criteria, I would suggest going with a gas model Toyota Highlander.

You may even want to stretch your research out further over a ten year period, since the gas savings over time should more than account for that additional up-front $1,400.

I will be curious to see what you choose.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I explain how rain-sensing wipers work in Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs and how you can get them.

THIS MAY INTEREST YOU: See interior highlights of 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited in my video review. Please subscribe to Torque News YouTube channel for daily automotive analysis.

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.


S Allen (not verified)    January 13, 2020 - 9:06PM

Any idea why the gasoline version with the 5k towing capacity that Toyota says that you cannot put a hitch on the Limited and Platinum trim levels? What a joke then....the hitch interferes with the foot operated black door closing sensor. So why bother with towing capacity?

D. Fryett (not verified)    February 18, 2020 - 11:04AM

The lack of a trailer hitch with the Platinum is a show stopper for us. Don't really tow a lot but we do put a bike rack into a 2" receiver on the back of the car. Just can't believe they can't engineer a sensor that would work with a trailer hitch, a bracket to relocate it or something. I won't buy one until they fix this issue, why pay that kind of money for a car and then be unable to put a trailer hitch on the car?

Ed Halliday (not verified)    February 27, 2020 - 8:38AM

Test drove a 2020 Highlander Limited yesterday and was so impressed with vehicle that I sat down with local toyota sales person to build & order. So disappointed to find out hitch not available on Limited/Platinum Models. This is a deal breaker as I use my current SUV(Lexus RX 350) several times a year for various towing needs. My current lease ends in September this year, hopefully factory hitch will be available by then otherwise I will purchase/lease a Kia/Hyuandai in which all their high end models comes with a hitch.