I Fell in Love in Houston | 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I know I’ve written about my experiences about several cars that I’ve test drove, and typically I’ve fallen in love with them all. Well, just like a Maury episode, that’s a lie. Okay, not a lie to be exact, more like a, “I thought I was in love with you but then another vehicle came a long and totally swept me off my feet” kinda thing. I totally didn’t see it coming. I first met the vehicle on a cold night, in a lighted parking lot in Houston. I hurried up and entered the vehicle, not truly paying attention to all its beauty. I looked at the basics and even cursed at the blue Goddess as we couldn’t figure out how to increase the volume for the GPS. Yet she still led us to where we needed to go. A Walmart. The vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybird.

I was allowed to drive the vehicle for an honest review, as always, my opinions are my own

We rushed in to get our supplies, which consisted of the usual when we go somewhere; a big box of variety bags of chips, water and a Pepsi for my Pepsi addicted friend. We needed to be quick, as the night was alive, freezing and we needed to get the children fed and in their pajamas for the night. Luckily as we made our way to the car we could unlock the vehicle as we approached and was ready to load when we reached it. The children got in their positions and I quickly loaded up the back, realizing just how much space this vehicle has, which should have been an indication for what was about to come this long weekend. We decided to drive to our hotel, which at this point was about 20 minutes away. We figured it would be our best bet to get dinner over there. The vote was won for pizza, but to our dismay, all the pizza places were already closed except one. So we entered the address and headed out to seek pizza, but there was a problem. We couldn’t find the location. What are we to do. The area looks questionable. But then we saw it. A taco truck.

The taco truck was parked in a gas station parking lot. We drove up to it and noticed some customers waiting inside their truck for their food. My friend and I noticed the children were asleep, and if you know them then you too wouldn’t want to wake them, much less get three kids out of the car in a questionable area in the middle of the night with the wind shield below what I’ve been accustomed to as a Atlantan for the past 12 years. Thank God the Toyota Highlander was a push start, so we grabbed the keys and locked the doors while we looked at the menu. But the air was colder than what we thought and the ladies in the taco truck were finishing up the customers order. We couldn’t wait out there, so we rushed back into the truck. Here is where we waited. Warm. Comfortable. We overlooked the area as we sat their toasting our bottoms in the heated leather seats. Gazing off across the street we saw some stray dogs running in a stores parking lot. I noticed the sign for the store, ‘Thang Hung’.

We received our tacos and nachos in a timely manner, then we made our way to the hotel. Here is where I realized that, just because you’re in Texas, it doesn’t mean everything is bigger. This is where the rear camera came in handy, it made parking in the small parking spaces much easier to navigate. I appreciated the vehicle a little more at this point, even though she still didn’t speak while navigating us through the GPS.

We entered our room; tired, hungry and cold. For some reason the hotel didn’t believe in heat in the hallway. We ate our food and then called it a night. It was late at this point, way after midnight, which means my friend and I were pushing 24 hours of being awake as her and I worked early hours the day before. We had plans for the next day though, which is what we’ve been planning to do since we booked this trip. We would drive to Lake Charles in Louisiana for the day and then for the remainder of the time we would get the Houston City Pass and explore all that is has to offer.

As the next morning arrived we were in no shape to go outside. Still feeling cold we knew that Lake Charles would be out of the question, as we had planned on spending a bulk of the day outdoors. So we did nothing for the whole morning. The children played, my friend and I spent our time on our phones, browsing.

We were totally okay with this scenario. Typically, we are out the door very early on the go the whole day. This was the first time that we actually relaxed. I started to complain that I needed some warmer clothes as I brought workout clothes thinking the temperature would be warmer. So, myself and the crew got ready, and headed out.

As we started to drive down the freeway, we noticed that Houston had a lot of shopping centers. Like a lot.

Like a lot, a lot.

More than we ever seen in one space. I’m pretty sure there was a Ross, Marshalls and some sort of shoe store within each shopping center within a mile span. We stopped at one, and proceeded to do what we ended up doing the whole trip. Shop. This was a first for us. Like I said, we typically don’t shop at all on a trip, so it was really nice to go at our own pace, take our time, relax and just do what the locals do. Which is looking like shopping as there were more stores than we saw houses, apartments and the likes. I’m so glad we ended up in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, it had plenty of room for all our goodies that we were finding.

And I lied again. It isn’t true, that isn’t all we did. We also drove to Galveston, which was a short 45 minute drive from Houston. Not a bad drive at all. We rode smoothly there and by this time we mastered the volume of the GPS, so all was good. What was even greater is that driving the Toyota Highlander Hybrid helped us save some cash. We had a full tank when picking it up initially, drove about 25 miles to the hotel the night we arrived and then around the area while we checked out different stores and to get the Galveston still left us with 1/2 a tank of gas! This is when I really fell in love. I couldn’t believe that is all we has used for driving it around as much as we had.

The next day we were going to make the drive to San Antonio to visit my sister. With that long of a drive we knew we needed something to keep the kids entertained Cue Blue-Ray player in the back! The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is has three rows, so although perfect for us to lay the seats down and use all that space to fill up with the items we purchased, it was equally as good to raise the seats and give the kids more room to enjoy the ride. They decided sitting in the third row with the second row seats lowered would work for them best, and it did. We easily controlled the Blue-Ray via the touch screen console in the front, of which allowed us to access the XM radio, Navigation as well. And if I wanted to sync my phone, then that too.

I drove comfortably to San Antonio, as the blue beauty allowed not only comfort and ample room, but also the seat had great lumbar support. It is totally a great road trip vehicle. Even the seats in the back reclined, which is amazing if the passengers in the back weren’t of a pint size. The next morning we parted our hotel to head to the airport for our early morning flight. We stuffed the back with more than half the stuff we came with. Luckily we found some very inexpensive suitcases to stuff it all in. Everything fit perfectly in the back, with room to store more.

And this is how I fell in love to Toyota’s 2017 Highlander Hybird.

It’s perfection in the form a vehicle.

  • It possesses that latest and greatest; all the bells and whistles, all the technology you need in a vehicle whether it’s the whole family or a road trip with friends
  • Fashion forward; it looks good! Gorgeous lines, amazing leather seats
  • Money saver; saving money by saving gas. This car is NOT a gas guzzler

I have nothing bad to say about the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. It’s my new love. I thought of several times that I wanted to drive it home, but I don’t look good in orange or stripes. When I arrived home and got back in my car, it didn’t even feel right. Now the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, that felt right. No question about it. I’m in an owner/vehicle relationship with a 2004 BMW 325i but in love with a 2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

If you liked this post, then you may like:

Roadtripping in a 2017 Toyota 4Runner

Our BMW Mishap

The Ins and Outs of the Mazda CX-3

From Georgia to Texas for $60!

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Hi, I'm Stacey, the face behind Seeking The Weekend. I was born and raised in Michigan, currently reside in Atlanta. I'm a full-time working mother who loves to travel and explore my city, of which often only happens on the weekends. Follow along if you're trying keep life going all the while trying to enjoy it.

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Sarah Bailey at
Oh wow it looks like you had an awesome time with visiting Houston and how nice is the Toyota Highlander, I could definitely enjoy travelling in that.
lavandamichelle at
These are very nice pictures, I love the car! I'd love to go to Houston. Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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About Stacey

About Stacey

Hi, I'm Stacey. Welcome to Seeking The Weekend! If you're like most working parents, your time off is the weekend. Follow along to see how I pack my adventures into a weekend. Here on Seeking The Weekend, I'll share tips to weekend/ short trip travels, good eats, projects and Atlanta area events and activities! Want to connect? Email me at seekingtheweekend@gmail.com