The Toyota Highlander Hybrid leverages an efficient 3.5 liter engine with hybrid capabilities to deliver fuel efficient transport in the full size SUV segment. The increased operational efficiency of Toyota’s renowned hybrid powertrain, effectively reduces the vehicle’s life-cycle environmental footprint and life-cycle operating costs. Win, win!

The Highlander Hybrid lead the full size SUV segment in the Automotive Science Group’s (ASG) 2018 Automotive Performance Index™ (API), proving the value of Toyota’s hybrid SUV platform. With an EPA estimated 29 MPG combined (30city/28 hwy/29 combined), the Highlander Hybrid outperforms competitors in class by an average 9 MPG, revealing new possibilities for fuel economy gains and reduced fuel costs in the full size SUV segment, earning ASG’s 2018 Best Environmental Performance award.

ASG’s environmental performance analysis is a comprehensive data-driven life-cycle assessment, analyzing environmental factors from raw material extraction and vehicle production through each vehicles’ operational life.

The Highlander earned a class leading environmental performance rating, outperforming all vehicles in its segment with the smallest carbon footprint in class, and earning ASG’s 2018 honor. The Highlander’s carbon footprint is 28% smaller than the average vehicle in class, according to ASG’s findings.

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The Automotive Performance Index (API) applies statistical methods to demonstrate each vehicle rating in relative comparison. For example, the vehicle that performs highest in environment performance in a given class obtains a rating score of 100. Each vehicle in its class is then compared relative to the top-performing vehicle with a rating score reflecting the statistical difference in performance outcomes. A score of 91 translates to a 9% environmental performance deficit as compared to the top-performing vehicle.  

Due to the API’s relative vehicle rating method, vehicle class divisions were identified as a critical input - these class divisions are detailed here.

While the Automotive Performance Index is indeed an exhaustive list of vehicles to trim level detail, with each vehicle assessment reporting over 200 unique data outputs (the culmination of thousands of data inputs), ASG has taken additional measures to ease the burden of sorting through all data points and all vehicle assessments. We have developed key performance categories and sorted all vehicles in each class according to Environmental Performance, Social Performance, Economic Performance and All-Around Performance. The vehicle in each class with the best score in each unique category is named the performance award winner (i.e. Best Environmental Performance Award winner). The vehicle in each class that scores highest combined scores in Environmental Performance, Social Performance and Economic Performance is named the ASG Best All-Around Performance Award winner.

One step further, we also name the Best 5 All-Around Performance Award winners in each class to provide consumers with a concise product comparison guide.