With its combination of space and efficiency, the Prius is quite compelling—in our experience, 46 mpg is achievable, even at 75-mph speeds. In the fun-to-drive department, though, it falls short, and the brakes feel vague. The cabin is mostly quiet, but the tires clomp loudly over broken roads. The seats are comfortable; fold down the rear ones for 66 cu ft of cargo room. A responsive touchscreen controls the infotainment system. The Prius Eco model rates at 58 mpg city and 53 mpg highway.
Splitting the difference between SUV and traditional station wagon, the five-passenger Venza manages to be even more versatile, roomy, and comfortable than it looks. Built using many Camry components, the standard drivetrain includes a lazy 181-hp four-cylinder, while a 268-hp V-6 is optional. An easygoing six-speed automatic transmission is standard. It’s fine as a front-driver, though it’s hardly exciting, but all-wheel drive is available for chasing tornadoes, blizzards, and mudslides.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander is a solid midpack choice because of its upscale interior, good V6 engine power, and comfortable ride. Some unintuitive features and lower safety scores than rivals prevent the Highlander from ranking higher.
The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser isn’t held back by the fact that it hasn’t been redesigned in years. It’s still comfortable and incredibly capable, which is why it finishes near the top of our luxury large SUV rankings.