And across that lineup, the Highlander has some similar driving traits: it's smooth and fuel-efficient.
The base 2.7-liter four-cylinder comes coupled to a six-speed automatic and is offered only with front-wheel drive. It's smoother than you might expect from such a big-displacement four, and it makes a meaty 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
Most models will come with the 3.5-liter V-6, with 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque; it's also teamed up with a six-speed automatic, but can be paired with either with front- or all-wheel drive. It's smooth, relatively strong, and surprisingly fuel-efficient.
What makes this a bit different is that all versions of the Highlander Hybrid have through-the-road all-wheel drive courtesy of the rear motor, which means the hybridized engine/transmission power the front wheels, while only electric power passes to the rears for better mileage.
Toyota reworked the Highlander's front strut and independent rear suspension for better handling, and much of its substantial body lean was tuned out with its last 2014 redesign. Ride quality is no longer cushy, but it's on the correct side of firm for a vehicle in this size class. The Highlander's firmer-feeling electric power steering is excellent. It's as if all the invisible handling screws have been tightened a few complete turns, without ruining its family-wagon fundamentals.