The company suggests the RAV4 Hybrid achieved stellar sales growth after its price tag was dropped for the 2016 model year.

Toyota has quietly reduced the Highlander Hybrid's entry price to help invigorate sales.Until recently the hybrid powertrain was available exclusively with the Limited or Platinum packages, keeping the effective base price just shy of $48,000. The trim levels included plenty of other upgrades, though the relatively hefty sticker relegated the hybrid to a low-volume niche item.

The company has now brought the Highlander Hybrid downmarket with a more basic package that starts at just $37,230 (including $960 freight), representing a premium of just $5,640 over the model's cheapest configuration.

Speaking to Wards Auto, Toyota North America chief Jim Lentz suggests the company experienced better-than-expected success when it followed a similar strategy with the 2016 Rav4 Hybrid, which now starts at just under $30,000. The executive claims the Rav4 is responsible for propelling the entire hybrid truck segment to 300-percent growth. The gasoline-electric edition now accounts for 14 percent of total Rav4 sales.

The Rav4's success story has been overshadowed by a significant decline in sales for Toyota's iconic Prius, which experienced a nearly 16 percent drop last year.