2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum and Back to School

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Last week was back to school.  It’s always a mix of emotions for parents and kids alike, anxious and happy all at the same time.

My kids and I wanted to have a last hoorah before going back to school and we had the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited Platinum to go along for the journey.

The zoo was calling our names since we hadn’t been all year and the is one only a little over an hour at that we’ve never visited. Check out my coverage on it here.

The hybrid is A-Mazing on gas mileage. Half electric and half gasoline engine this darn thing charges itself! Yes, you read right.. no plugging it it although I believe you technically could. Any time you go below 30mph, the engine switches to electric and doesn’t suck up any gas.

I had a full tank of gas when I started my week, and a full week later after driving to and from work, the zoo which is an hour+ away, and to and from school pick ups and drop offs, I still had just under a quarter tank of gas left.

Not to mention $10 put it back up over a half tank!

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Not only is the hybrid awesome on gas, it boasts a fabulous interior if you can find the Limited Platinum edition. This photo has no filter, just amazing interior lighting and interior leather seats. My kids really enjoyed how big and open the it was with the captain’s chairs.  The center chairs move forward, backwards, recline and collapse forward foot extra space needs.

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The rear row of seats fit 3 and also recline and collapse. Look at all this space.  Its almost like a minivan fell without the “mom-van” stigma.

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The limited edition comes with these rims and open country tires.  The AWD feature makes for a smooth ride regardless of the weather.

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Safety is a big concern for everyone but especially top of mind for parents.  All new vehicles now must have a backup camera but I’ve seen some that work poorly at night.

Night time is probably one of the most important times to have clear vision on your back out camera, especially in a larger SUV. Kids are always in and out, and even when you think they’re in, they’re back out. The light on the back of this camera comes in handy for illuminating the space behind you like in a dark parking lot.

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Check out that trunk! HUGE space with the 3rd row folded down.  You can fold just one seat, or just the 2 on the right if you want.  Someone can still fit comfortably back there with one side down.

The Highlander fit easily into my daily routine. My mornings start of with an early bootcamp classes and the leather cooled seats help to not feel so sweaty! I car pool with a friend and she absolutely loved that little fact haha!

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I’m already missing the huge spacious inside of the Toyota Highlander and especially the heated and cooled leather seats.

The only downside (aside from my oldest son getting car sick from the new car smell) is the lack of ability of the push to talk navigation feature.  I thought by now they’d figure it out for all vehicles.  My 2016 vehicle does the same thing, it rarely understands me and I just get frustrated.  Maybe it’s just me?

If you want a laugh, check out my fighting with the navigation push to talk system LOL! Even with the “teach your voice” feature I still couldn’t get it to work for me properly.

I hope everyone had a great first week back to school! My kids certainly did but they’re already counting down the days until Summer break and so am I!

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2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Review

2018 Toyota C-HR XLE

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Check out the all new C-HR by Toyota. What a cool looking car right? Immediately I felt like it was a car of the future,  especially with the back door handles higher up then normal,  made it feel like a “special” vehicle that I’d feel proud to ride around town in.

My kids,  my husband,  and I went to Medieval Times  over the weekend in Lyndhurst NJ and took the 1 hour ride in style with this beauty.

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It has everything you’d expect from a 2018 vehicle,  blind spot monitoring,  large LCD touch screen with bluetooth capability,  heated seating,  and more, although navigation does not come standard which is interesting.

One thing that I found unique that may be a Toyota brand thing (this is my first time with a Toyota) is the back up camera comes up on the rear view mirror as opposed to what I am used to which is on the large LCD screen.

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See how small it is? Personally I am not a fan of this for a few reasons.  The number one reason being the picture is very small and grainy and I don’t quite get the point of it being there instead of a much larger viewing screen.  The second thing is,  as a mom,  while driving I have enough distractions with the kids fighting over things in the back seat,  It’s defintely a distraction to have to look into the rear view mirror foot the back up camera,  and in the right side is the actual mirror which you can see out of the back, yes, but you also see little heads bopping around and hands flailing about.  I guess I don’t really see the point of it IN the rear view mirror. Anyone?

I found myself not even using it and struggling to see out of the accrual mirror instead along with the turn your head to see technique which the back windows make it very hard to see out of since they’re small due to design.

I guess that’s a price to pay for external beauty.  The vehicle itself shines no matter where you go because it is so different in its design.

I thought my kids would have a hard time opening the back doors themselves but once I told them where the door handle was (I admit, I let them struggle for a bit trying to figure out where it was #badmom) they were able to open it pretty easily.

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Can you find the back door handle? LOL!

The inside front is much smaller then my husband and I are used to with me having a full size explorer, but it is roomy enough to get comfortable in after. Also,  surprisingly The back seat is much roomier than you would think.

My stepfather wanted to go for a ride in the back seat with my youngest and he raved about how comfortable he was back there even though it’s a small sized crossover.

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From the back it looks like a small hatch back, but looks can be deceiving.

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Check it all of this trunk space!

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