Having been completely redesigned for 2008, the V6-powered Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid are unchanged, save for trim additions and a new power rear door on all models except the base Hybrid. The base Highlander trim line has been discontinued, its place taken by the previous SR5 trim line, now renamed the Highlander V6. A new four-cylinder model has been added, which now becomes the base Highlander.
The Highlander uses a platform derived from the Camry and Avalon, and has three rows of seats in all models.
Three engines are available. The base Highlander uses a 2.7-litre four-cylinder with six-speed automatic. The V6 models use a 3.5-litre V6, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, while the Hybrid uses a 3.3-litre V6 with Toyota’s Synergy Drive hybrid electric system and CVT. The four-cylinder is front-wheel drive, while all other models are four-wheel drive.