Ever wondered how big the gas tank is on your new Toyota Highlander? Well, wonder no more. The standard (non-hybrid) Highlander has a 19.2 gallon capacity. In metric terms, this works out to 72.5 liters.
Capacity + mileage = cruising range
At the lowest trim level (LE), the Highlander is outfitted with a 2.7L, 4-cylinder engine that’s rated for 20/25 mpg (city/highway; 22 mpg combined). This vehicle, which is FWD, has a cruising range of 384-480 miles (422 combined).
Once you move up the the 3.5L V6 (LE Plus or above) the mileage dips slightly to 19/25 mpg (city/highway; 21 mpg combined) for the FWD model or 18/24 mpg (city/highway; 20 mpg combined) for the AWD model.
This works out to a cruising range of 365-480 miles per tank (403 miles combined) for the FWD model and 346-461 miles per tank (384 miles combined) for the AWD model. Based on my real-world experience with a FWD XLE, I’d say that it’s reasonable to expect 450+ miles on the highway.
Given the above, you’re giving up about 20 miles per tank by moving from the 4-cylinder to the FWD V6. And you’re giving up another 20 or so miles per tank by moving from the FWD V6 to the AWD.
What about the hybrid?
Interestingly, the hybrid Highlander has a slightly smaller gas tank, with a 17.2 gallon capacity (65 liters). But the hybrid also gets better mileage, with an EPA rating of 27/28 mpg (city/highway; 28 mpg combined).
In terms of cruising range, this means that the hybrid Highlander should get 464-481 miles per tank. In other words, in combined city + highway driving, you should be able to go almost 80 miles further between fill-ups in the hybrid compared to the FWD V6 model. And when compared to the AWD gas model, the difference grows to nearly 100 miles.
Note that, in the US, the hybrid drivetrain is only available at the highest trim level (i.e., Limited Platinum), and all Highlander hybrids are AWD. For the record, you can get a hybrid at lower trim levels in Canada.