The Highlander Hybrid was redesigned for 2008, and addressed many of the concerns its earlier version had. It now a large sized SUV, since the Toyota RAV4 was slotted into the medium sized category by Toyota. The engine chosen for the newer 2008 Highlander Hybrid was a 3.5L V6, but it used an Atkinson cycle, which improved the engine’s efficiency greatly over its predecessor. The EPA fuel rating for this full size SUV hybrid was 26 mpg combined (27 cities and 25 highways), better that the formed and smaller Highlander. A major innovation was the inclusion of an all-electric (EV) driving mode that allowed drivers to travel short distances on only electricity. This showed that both Toyota and Panasonic had confidence in their NiMH hybrid system technology and battery pack reliability. The movement away for gasoline to grid also showed the public that mainstream electric cars were possible. It’s worth a look if your needs require a large SUV.