Are Toyota Highlanders Good On Gas? (Read This First)

If you’re considering buying a Toyota Highlander, you’re probably wondering what kind of gas mileage it gets.

Toyota Highlanders have pretty average gas mileage compared to other cars. Only the latest hybrid versions (35-36 mpg combined) match the national average for all cars (36mpg) while the regular gasoline Highlanders fall well below this at 23-24 mpg combined.

Continue reading to see how the Highlander’s gas mileage compares to other popular SUVs, as well as some simple tips on how you can improve your Highlanders gas mileage.

Toyota Highlander

What Kind of Gas Mileage Do Highlanders Get?

The gas mileage of the Toyota Highlander varies according to model and year. The latest Hybrids get a pretty decent 36 mpg combined, while the regular gasoline options only achieve 23-24 mpg combined. In our opinion, the much better fuel economy offered by the hybrids makes them the only option worthy of the Highlanders’ hefty price tag.

How Does The Highlanders Gas Mileage Compare To Other SUVs?

The Toyota Highlander is by no means the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market. However, it stacks up fairly well compared with popular alternatives.

Highlander vs RAV4

The RAV4 Hybrid is much more fuel efficient than the Highlander Hybrid. While the Highlander achieves up to 36mpg combined in its hybrid versions, the RAV hybrids get up to 40mpg combined. The regular gas versions of the RAV4 are also more economical than the regular versions of the Highlander, getting between 28-30mpg combined, compared to the Highlanders 23-24mpg combined.

Highlander vs Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is known to be a powerful, fuel-burning beast that visually ranks near the bottom in terms of SUVs with the best gas mileage. Although the Sequoia has recently been redesigned with “much improved” fuel economy, it still only gets 15mpg combined. Even regular gasoline Highlanders from a decade ago get better fuel economy than that.

Highlander vs Camry

The Toyota Camry, being a much lighter and more aerodynamic car, naturally outperforms the Highlander when it comes to fuel economy. The most efficient Hybrid Camry gets an impressive 52mpg combined, while the Highlander only gets 36 MPG. Regular gasoline Camrys get better gas mileage gas mileage, between 26 and 31 mpg compared to the Highlanders rather dismal 23-24mpg.

Highlander vs Terrain

The GMC Terrain only does not come in a hybrid version. However, the latest gasoline models achieve up to 28 mpg, which is slightly better than the gasoline Highlanders 24mpg. That said, the Highlander does come in a Hybrid option, which achieves up to 36mpg.

Highlander vs Pilot

The Honda Pilot does not have a hybrid version, but the regular 2WD models get a combined average of 23mpg. You get the same gas mileage with the AWD Highlander (23mpg)

Highlander vs Sienna

The latest Toyota Siennas are only offered in a hybrid format and achieve a respectable 36 mpg combined. That places it just about even with the Highlander’s 36 mpg combined average.

How To Improve Your Highlander Gas Mileage

We recently covered how you can improve your Highlander’s gas mileage in detail. However, to summarise that article, here are some simple steps you can take:

  1. Turning on ECO mode
  2. Reducing AC use by keeping your car cool (window tinting, parking in shade, sun shades)
  3. Keeping your revs under 3,0000 RPM by changing gear early
  4. Keeping your tires inflated at 36 PSI (40 for heavy loads)
  5. Regular maintenance (oil changes, air filter change, throttle body clean)
  6. Removing all excess weight
  7. Driving at slower speeds (60mph max)

Which Toyota Highlander Gets The Best Gas Mileage?

By far, the Toyota Highlander models that get the best gas mileage are the latest Hybrid versions. Specifically, the Hybrid LE, SLE, and Here are all of the latest trim options ranked by fuel efficiency:

  • Hybrid LE – 36mpg city / 35mpg highway
  • Hybrid XLE – 36mpg city / 35mpg highway
  • Hybrid LE – 36mpg city / 35mpg highway
  • Highlander L – Gets 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway
  • Highlander LE – Gets 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway
  • Highlander XLE – Gets 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway
  • Highlander L – Gets 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway

Toyota Highlander Gas Mileage – Final Thoughts

Although the Highlander doesn’t get the best gas mileage when compared to other SUVs, it’s still a popular choice thanks to its excellent reliability, resale value, and safety.

However, with gas prices at sky-high levels and not looking like they’re going to be slowing down anytime soon, it simply makes sense to opt for the Hybrid version of this popular SUV.

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