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Toyota to expand SUV range with larger Highlander

Toyota is expanding its SUV range in the UK with the introduction of the seven-seat Highlander next year.

The new model, which is about the same size as a Land Rover Discovery, will be fitted with a petrol hybrid powertrain, offering 241PS.

It will give dealers a wider range of SUVs, sitting alonside the RAV4, CH-R and recently announced Yaris Cross.

Despite not being offered in the UK, the Highlander is now in its fourth generation and is an established model in the United States

It is Toyota’s largest hybrid SUV, at almost five metres in length.

The boot provides 658 litres of space, which can be expanded to 1,909 litres with the middle seats folded.

Inside, a range of storage compartments and USB ports for the front and second row seats provide additional practicality.

Features include sat nav, head-up display, wireless phone charging, smartphone connection via Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, ventilated front seats and a digital rear-view mirror that provides a wide image unobscured by rear passengers or headrests.

The Highlander is also equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, a package of active safety and driver assistance systems. These include a Pre-Collision System with active steer assist, to provide further collision avoidance support. The PCS can also detect pedestrians in the vehicle’s path by both and day and night, and bicycle riders in daylight. Other features include full-range Adaptive Cruise Control with Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert and Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beam.

The hybrid powertrain features a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with front and rear electric motors. The rear motor provides the vehicle’s all-wheel drive. A high-voltage nickel-metal hydride battery is located beneath the second-row seats.

The driver can use the vehicle’s Drive Mode Select system to switch between Eco, Normal, Sport and Trail modes. Each of these can also be used when Highlander is running its separately switchable EV all-electric mode.

Details of UK specifications and pricing will be announced nearer the time of launch.

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