"Oh yeah. They're all like that."
That's how a Toyota spokesman responded when I pointed out loose, poorly fitted pieces in the company's high-profile, high-tech and high-priced Highlander gas-electric hybrid SUV.
In addition to poor fitting interior trim, which is usually unheard of for Toyota, Phelan criticizes the cheap fabric seat covering, which is not appropriate for a vehicle with a $37,000 price. He was also unimpressed with his fuel economy, of only 20.6MPG, compared to the EPA rating of 27/31. The electric power steering felt numb.
All in all, while the Highlander hybrid does offer good performance and some fuel savings, those benefits are not great enough to outpace competitive SUVs like the TrailBlazer, Nissan Pathfinder and the Ford Escape hybrid or overcome the fit and finish defects in the one I tested.You can read the whole review here.