Thanks for the info. I have a 2007 HyHi that is due for an oil change ... I appreciate your report.I changed the oil in my wife's 2007 Highlander Hybrid a few weeks ago. You need to:
1. Have a long, skinny arm with a lot of strength
2. Take the splash plate off
3. A specialized Oil Filter wrench
It was a complete pain and the stock oil filter does not have any kind of "sure grip" top where it is easy to turn. I ended up pucturing the filter with a small screwdriver to turn it. Her Highlander has a Fram Sure Grip Filter on it now so it will easier 1200 miles from now when the next change is due. Otherwise, the Highlander Hybrid is great and certainly gets better mileage then my 2007 Tundra with the 5.7L V8.
You might find that the oil filter wrench shown below takes care of all your oil filter problems. It should be in every man's toolchest. Slip a socket-wrench drive into the square hole (add an extension if necessary), and turn it ... the three arms are on a cammed base ... they close increasingly tightly around the filter base and it has to come off. I've never had a problem using this wrench. Get one at most any AutoZone, Standard Auto, O'Reilly's, Pep Boys, etc. No more than $10 max. And for what it's worth ... I'd stay away from the Fram filters ... Toyota's filters are top-rated and reasonably priced ... stick with them.