A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

You’re likely already familiar with the much-celebrated Toyota Highlander, but did you know that Toyota has actually offered a hybrid version of everyone’s favorite crossover SUV since 2006? The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is one of the most exciting vehicles on the market for families and individuals who want more carrying capacity and the sporty look of an SUV without losing fuel economy. It’s no wonder they keep selling so well and maintain such great resale values.

Key Features

The 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes standard with 17” alloy wheels, and it comes standard with halogen headlamps, a six-speaker stereo, adjustable steering wheel, interchangeable center console and stow seat, and a rear spoiler for better aerodynamics.

Changes for 2012

2011 brought about a few major changes for the Highlander, so Toyota left it almost exactly as-is for 2012 with just a few design tweaks.

What We Like

The fuel economy in the 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is incredible for a crossover SUV, and you can get that great gas mileage without sacrificing space, suspension, or any of the other features you look for in a small SUV.

What Concerns Us

Don’t try to take this model too far off the beaten path. It has a fair amount of power and torque, but it really is made more for getting everyone to soccer practice than it is for hitting the trails. If you want to get off road and get your SUV muddy, you might want to consider a different model.

Available Models

You can choose from a number of different trim options for the 2012 Toyota Highlander, depending on which features you want most. Under the hood you’ll find:

  • Engine – 3.5-liter V6 hybrid
  • Power – 280 HP (net system)
  • Torque – 248 lb-ft at 4700 RPM
  • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 28/28

Major Recalls

There have been no major recalls for the 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Common Issues

Most car buyers are really happy with their 2012 Toyota Highlander Hybrids, but some have complained that the seats are not as comfortable as they could be, especially on longer road trips. This is by far not the norm, and you can find out how you’ll feel about the seat design when you take a test drive.

toyota highlander hybrid 2012 interior


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19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
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Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
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18 years of experience
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18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
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I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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