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Hybrid Highlander

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta

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Having had a 2013 Highlander, and being absolutely happy with performance, maintenance, repairs (none), but with 113000 miles, I'm looking for a 2021 Highlander Hybrid. My first foray into car buying in 8 years; I'm 77 y.o. if that matters (doesn't to me), in deep South so white (Blizzard White currently) a necessity. I do some off road/arroyo/desert driving and car camping with grandkids.

Priorities: Powertrain performance / Towing / Handling

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 10000
Maximum age: 1 years

Maximum price: US $ 45000

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Response from Sea-Dan

11:56 pm July 30, 2021

I've been considering purchasing a 3 row SUV for the past 6 months. Still haven't pull the trigger but, I've gained a moderate amount of knowledge on the subject.

The 2021 - 22 Highlander is indeed an excellent choice. However, depending on the amenities and trim level that you want, it may be hard to find one for $45K, especially after tax is added.

Another potentially great choice would be either the Kai Sorento hybrid (available in 2-3 row models) or the Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid (5 seater only). These Korean "twins" are modestly smaller than the Highlander but quite space efficient and a fair amount less costly. While they can't match Toyota's stellar reputation for reliablity (particularly back in the day when you got yours). Given your history, I suspect you are not going to be racking up huge miles and you would have a 10 year powertrain warranty as back up if something went awray with either Korean model.

Or since you "live in the deep South" perhaps a AWD rig isn't a necessity. In that case a mini van such as the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid would give you more room, more comfort, more versatilty at a better price. After a few early hickups the Pacifica Hybrid has garnered high praise by the press and owners alike as a very comfortable,versatile, fuel efficientand relatively reliable rig with one of the easiest to use entertainment / Navigation systems available.

Any 2017 or later model will have a wonderful bevy of safety and convenience features that you 2013 was missing. They can take a bit of getting used to, but once that happens very few folks would go back to the simpler models.

Check out Alex on Autos Utube reviews for excellent reviews on any of these cars and please let us know what conclusions you come to.

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Kia Sorento
Hyundai Santa Fe
Chrysler Pacifica

Response from mkaresh

2:16 am August 5, 2021

I just posted a review of the Highlander Hybrid here. If you've liked the 2013, you'll really like the 2021. I'd wonder whether you need a vehicle this large--might a RAV4 Hybrid be enough--but if your 2013 has been the right size for your needs the 2021 will be, too.

The Highlander Hybrid isn't the best option for serious off-roading, but if you just need it for unpaved roads it will be fine.

The other question with any hybrid is whether you drive enough miles per year for significant fuel economy savings.

I agree with Sea-Dan that the Santa Fe and Sorento could also be worth a look.

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Response from LectroFuel

2:37 am August 8, 2021

If you are camping with the car and doing mild off-roading, you might want to consider just keeping your current car. It only has 113k miles, which is really low for a Highlander, and you wouldn't worry about accidentally breaking something on it compared to a new $45k car.

For 3-row vehicle recommendations: Toyota Highlander (Hybrid especially), Kia Sorento, or perhaps the upcoming Toyota Sienna Woodland edition, which is raised 0.9 inches.

I wouldn't recommend a minivan if you need ground clearance. I would worry about puncturing the battery in the Pacifica. The Sienna has a smaller battery and I'm not sure how big of a problem that would be when off-roading.

I would take Michael's advice and get a compact 2 row SUV. Hyundai Santa Fe has a lot of space and is really nice inside. The upcoming Hyundai Tucson Hybrid also looks nice. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is more rugged and durable, but less refined. Mazda CX-5 is the most fun to drive and is very reliable, but not as spacious inside. The Bronco Sport is getting pretty good reviews and would be great for camping, but I would be concerned with reliability.

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Hyundai Santa Fe
Mazda CX-5
Toyota RAV4
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