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Top 3 BEST New Road-Trip Cars of 2020 Counted Down!

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2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

~ “Bringing the Whole Family Along for the Ride” ~

Red 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Driving on Empty Road - Front 3/4 View

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

If you’re planning on bringing the whole family along for the ride, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid may just be your best bet!

For starters, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is one of the only non-luxury hybrid vehicles with 3-rows of seats! With that said, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is basically in a class of its own at the moment. But, we don’t expect this to be the case for too long, especially since more and more auto brands seem to be interested in hybridizing their most popular crossover SUVs.

But, as of now, if you need the added practicality of 3-row seating and want the added benefits of hybridization (and not looking for a luxury-branded SUV), the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is one of your only options (see below for estimated vehicle pricing).

~ Estimated Vehicle Pricing ~
$38,200 – $50,000

Powertrain / Fuel Efficiency / Range

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid gauge cluster (driving in sport mode)

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

Powering the 2020 Highlander Hybrid is a 2.5-Liter 4-Cylinder engine and two electric motors. All three of these power sources work together to produce a combined 243 horsepower. Unlike the non-hybrid Highlander, the Hybrid version is paired to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Thankfully, Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) are both still available with this hybrid crossover.

According to the EPA, you should expect hybrid variants of the 2020 Highlander to achieve up to 36 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Also, Toyota notes that the Highlander has a 17.1-gallon fuel tank.

QUICK MARCUS MATH: After some quick number crunching, theoretically, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid should be able to achieve slightly over 600 miles of range on one full tank of gas (in the most ideal driving conditions).

Cargo Versatility

For 2020, a power-assisted liftgate comes as STANDARD equipment, while an optional hands-free opening tailgate is available if you’re willing to splurge a bit. Nevertheless, as far as dimension go, the 2020 Highlander’s trunk is ever so slightly more cavernous than its predecessor’s.

Here are the exact cargo figures:

  • Behind 3rd Row ➞ 16.0-cubic*
  • Behind 2nd Row ➞ 48.4-cubic*
  • Behind 1st Row ➞ 84.3-cubic*
*The cargo capacities above are in cubic feet and apply to both the non-hybrid and hybrid Highlander.
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Trunk Space

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

This means that even when every seat is occupied, you can still store 16-cubic feet worth of luggage within the Highlander’s trunk. Not too shabby!

But, of course, if you decided to leave some people behind, you can easily expand your cargo-carrying capacity to 84.3-cubic feet of space… All in all, these numbers are class-competitive with other 3-row mid-size crossover SUVs.

The practicality certainly does not stop there! Looking beyond the cargo area, you’ll notice an oh-so-family-friendly cabin with conveniently-placed storage cubbies carved into the dashboard.


As far as safety tech goes, Toyota packs the 2020 Highlander Hybrid with an extensive suite of safety technologies. Toyota calls this impressive suite of STANDARD safety technology, Toyota Safety Sense. Here are some of the many STANDARD safety features:

  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Steering Assist
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear-Cross Traffic Alert
  • Automatic High Beam Assist
Red 2020 Highlander Hybrid Side-View Driving

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

Move up the Highlander Hybrid pedestal (beyond the base model), and you’ll benefit from a couple more convenient safety systems.

One much appreciated safety-enhancement system is Toyota’s optional Head-Up Display (HUD), which projects intuitive turn-by-turn navigation (and other vital info) directly on your windshield, helping you keep your eyes on the road.

Another rather commendable safety feature is Toyota’s optional Digital Rearview Mirror, which can be activated with the simple flip of a switch. In a nutshell, this optional rearview mirror system projects an unobstructed digital view of the Highlander’s rear. See images below.

And when the least expected happens, you can rest assured that you and your fellow passengers will be in good hands. This is because the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid earns a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS for 2020.

Multi-Media Connectivity & In-Car Entertainment

Toyota Entune 3.0 Touchscreen Highlander 2020 Interior

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020

New for 2020 is Toyota’s extensively updated Entune 3.0 touchscreen interface which comes in two sizes: standard 8-inches and an optional class-exclusive 12-inch spec. Additionally, the updated UI supports an applaudable amount of standard tech which will surely keep you and your passengers well entertained. Some of the many STANDARD entertainment goodies include:

  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Sirius XM radio
  • 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi hotspot
JBL A-Pillar Sub-Tweeter - 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

BEST Road-Trip Cars of 2020
JBL Sub-Tweeter // 2020 Highlander

Oh yes! And if you’re an audiophile, you’ll greatly appreciate the optional 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio System. It’s time to turn up the song below. LIVIN’ MY LIFE LIKE IT’S GOLDEN!

Jill Scott - Golden - Song Album Cover

BEST Road-Trip Songs of 2020

Ideal Road Trip Playlist

(Song #2 out of 5)

Golden ~ Jill Scott

Continue reading to discover our other song selections.

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41 thoughts on “Top 3 BEST New Road-Trip Cars of 2020 Counted Down!”

  1. I’m really impressed with how well this article is written and how it got me thinking about going on a road trip even though it hasn’t crossed my mind in the past. But I definitely like the hybrid because the less you gotta worry about the car, being the gas or the people in it… the trip becomes 100x more enjoyable

    1. Thanks so much, man! Glad you enjoyed it. I honestly was never really considering road tripping either, but when Dawn presented me with this sweet collab idea, it got me thinking!

      Indeed! Hybrids are definitely superior when it comes to maximizing how far you can travel without having to refuel. Which, in turn, surely makes your trip more enjoyable! Thanks for your insight and support. I have some really cool ideas cooking up in the kitchen. So definitely stay tuned! 🙂

      Also, keep up your music career, bro. Can’t wait for the next single!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ghady! I’m so happy you enjoyed this write-up. Can’t wait for your next video to drop this Friday!!! Hopefully, we can collab again in the future. That would be super sick! 🙂

    1. Much appreciated. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read this article. I tried my best to jam pack it with tons of useful information. More content is on its way!

  2. This was a very helpful and insightful blog. I’ve really wanted to take a road trip for my birthday so this helped a lot.

    1. Jeremiah, I really appreciate your support! Glad you found it to be helpful and insightful. That sounds like so much fun! Birthday road-trip!!! Yayyy!

      My dream is to have an RV road trip (with me driving) when I turn 21. That would be so awesome! Can’t wait. Just a couple more years… Haha! Thanks again for your encouragement, man!

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Marcus Walker

Marcus Walker

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of DriveAndBeDriven LLC.