Buyers stopping into their local Toyota showroom will find three distinct Highlander models—a gas-powered four-cylinder, a gas-powered V-6, and a hybrid. We've not had the opportunity to test the four-cylinder model, but the V-6 makes 295 horsepower and is hooked up to an easy-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Throttle response is sleepy, and the transmission is hesitant to downshift for extra power when called upon, but for the most part, this pair should serve most buyers just fine and is available with front- or all-wheel drive. The hybrid uses a retuned version of V-6 and two electric motors to produce 306 horsepower; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard, as is all-wheel drive and this setup is similarly easygoing.
While base-level LE and LE Plus Highlanders come with a standard second-row bench seat, the XLE, SE, Limited, and Limited Platinum grades come with captain’s chairs in the middle. (The bench seat is a no-cost option on the XLE, Limited, and Limited Platinum.) Space is plentiful in the second row, but we found that our seven-passenger test car’s bucket seats were mounted too low for optimal comfort. Still, the Highlander’s sliding and reclining second-row chairs were like a pair of La-Z-Boy recliners compared with the thin and flimsy 60/40 split-folding third-row bench. Legroom in the wayback is just 27.7 inches, a full six inches fewer than what the Volkswagen Atlas’s rearmost row offers. If you regularly haul enough passengers to merit frequent use of the third row, consider the Atlas, a Honda Pilot, or a Ford Flex.
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For some users, this type of vehicle may also be financially attractive so long as the electrical energy being used is cheaper than the petrol/diesel that they would have otherwise used. Current tax systems in many European countries use mineral oil taxation as a major income source. This is generally not the case for electricity, which is taxed uniformly for the domestic customer, however that person uses it. Some electricity suppliers also offer price benefits for off-peak night users, which may further increase the attractiveness of the plug-in option for commuters and urban motorists.

In addition to vehicles that use two or more different devices for propulsion, some also consider vehicles that use distinct energy sources or input types ("fuels") using the same engine to be hybrids, although to avoid confusion with hybrids as described above and to use correctly the terms, these are perhaps more correctly described as dual mode vehicles:


Emissions target: The agreement will reduce average CO2 emissions from new cars to 95 g/km from 2020, as proposed by the Commission. This is a 40% reduction from the mandatory 2015 target of 130 g/km. The target is an average for each manufacturer's new car fleet; it allows OEMs to build some vehicles that emit less than the average and some that emit more. 2025 target: The Commission is required to propose a further emissions reduction target by end-2015 to take effect in 2025. This target will be in line with the EU's long-term climate goals. Super credits for low-emission vehicles: The Regulation will give manufacturers additional incentives to produce cars with CO2 emissions of 50 g/km or less (which will be electric or plug-in hybrid cars). Each of these vehicles will be counted as two vehicles in 2020, 1.67 in 2021, 1.33 in 2022 and then as one vehicle from 2023 onwards. These super credits will help manufacturers further reduce the average emissions of their new car fleet. However, to prevent the scheme from undermining the environmental integrity of the legislation, there will be a 2.5 g/km cap per manufacturer on the contribution that super credits can make to their target in any year.[99]

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