Last post on Oct 27, 2013 at 4:38 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander, Toyota, SUV
#976 of 2954 Re: Fortunately, the market is slightly more astute [drfill]
Jul 23, 2007 (11:00 pm)
According to the Honda and Toyota press releases for sales up to June 2007:
CR-V: 104,179 (versus 72,054 YTD in 2006)
RAV4: 87,124 (versus 75,015 YTD in 2006)
Pilot: 66,632 (versus 70,746 YTD in 2006)
Highlander: 64,749 (versus 61,357 YTD in 2006)
Back on topic regarding the 2008 Highlander, I drove a Limted 2WD today. I think the smart key, Bluetooth, and power rear door are great new features for my list of "must haves."
The exterior didn't look as large in person as I thought it would be. The 19" wheels give it a muscular look and make the 17" wheels on the base look tiny (ironic since the largest wheels on the 1st gen were 17" and I thought even the 16" wheels looked fine).
I'll definitely investigate having the bodyside moulding installed (but I want to see what it looks like in person first). I'll probably pass on the running boards.
I thought the rims on the Sport and Limited were identical, but the features list on the Toyota web site indicates that they are different. Sure enough, the Sport rims have a dark accent that give them a slightly sportier appearance. The basic design appears to be the same, though.
Inside, I wasn't sure whether I'd be disappointed by the quality of the trim, given some of the other comments. There were a few disapointments -- the door trim has, particularly around the window controls on the rear doors, some cheap-feeling hard plastic. I wasn't sure, but the upper portion of the door trim does not appear to be padded. The center armrest and the compartment it covers also look and feel cheap.
Everything else appears to be step up from the previous model. The leather feels soft and the multi-function display seems larger and more useful in person than I thought it would be. The middle seat in the second row felt fine when I sat in it.
The Limited I drove had a flush, wood-grained lid that covered the aux-in and 12V power outlet. All the pictures I've seen have them, along with the seat heater controls (which my vehicle lacked), exposed. I thought it looks nicer covered and makes the dash seem less cluttered.
Oh yeah...I did drive it. Much more car-like than my 4Runner (obviously), but it does have a slightly more truck-like (maybe heavier?) presence when driving than the previous gen model.
In fact, I hardly remember anything significant about the drive. That's not really a bad thing. Driving the new model felt very natural. Where some would argue that the Highlander (or even Toyotas in general) are boring, I think that's probably the intent of the design.
#977 of 2954 Re: Toyota seems to be missing the mark lately [blufz1]
Jul 24, 2007 (2:44 am)
Sorry that is so far off the mark I can't let it pass unmentioned.
The RAV is selling at a record pace only limited by lack of production here. When the new 150K unit plant in CA is finished the RAV will go even higher.
The new Highlander looks old?????
Tundra sales have the Big 3 really concerned because it is eating away at the most profitable segment in the market -the retail buyer in the %30-#50K range. The Tundra sales are way way up. And it's big for a reason.
Diesels are an answer for the future but only part of the answer. Honda says that their clean diesel is better than the urea-based technology but it is still vaporware. Then they have the monumental issue of convincing the buying public to switch to diesel. Honda is probably the only one that can do it due to their wealth of goodwill with Mrs Decision-Maker but it won't be an easy task.
Sqeaky-clean hybrid Sienna or diesel Odyssey? Honda's last two forays into advanced technology haven't been their best steps in recent years ( Insight and HAH ). Good engineering poor marketing. Then there is the cost premium for the new diesel technology. GM says it will be in the $4000-$5000 range, Honda may be less, but since it's still vaporware who knows.
#978 of 2954 I'll also add
Jul 24, 2007 (5:52 am)
That it's the RAV4 that received the critical acclaim of being Consumer Reports' top-rated compact SUV, as well as a C/D 5 Best nod... Yes, the CR-V marginally outsells it, but the RAV is one of Toyota's most successful redesigns recently.
#979 of 2954 disagree about diesels being a hard sell.
Jul 24, 2007 (5:55 am)
If you talk to any twenty something who's remotely interested in cars, they all lust after the diesels sold in Europe. Also, people look at numbers the numbers that modern diesels put out sell well. They have huge amounts of torque and accelerate quite well.
That said, diesel has a cost premium over a regular gas engine and it's about on par with the cost premium of a hybrid. Diesels also polute more regardles of the urea injection.
#980 of 2954 Re: disagree about diesels being a hard sell. [pablox]
Jul 24, 2007 (6:15 am)
I saw posted here by one of the Honda sales people that in the training for the debut of the CR V that Honda estimates that 80% of the decisions to buy this will be made by women, alone or as partners. Odyssey? At least as much if not more.
The figure I've heard on Toyota's in general is 75%.
It's the woman who has to be convinced that diesel is every bit as effective as a hybrid, for the same money, with the same availability ( my wife says NO diesel ever until it's in every station in the country ), with the same panache ( HUGE issue ) and same cleanliness.
The bulk of the target demographic is middle America soccer-Mom. It's not male auto enthusiasts. I've done this several times with the buying public: out of the blue ask a woman if she'd like to trade her [ Sienna, Odyssey, Highlander, Pilot ] for a diesel that got 30% better fuel economy? HUH? After encircling herself with garlic to ward off vampires and demons she'll ask, Why?
A lot of education is going to be needed for this to work. But Honda is the one to do it IMO. The buying public ( the woman buyer/decider ) trusts Honda.
#981 of 2954 Not pulling off the HAH
Jul 24, 2007 (6:30 am)
Really hurts Honda's credibility, at least in the short run. Running failed experiments on the legendary Accord is not an option.
I, personally, would wait at least a couple of years before diving into more Accord experiments. If diesel fails on Accord, Honda really can't go anywhere else with a diesel. They're out of the business!
Doing a lot, not a little, of customer clinics on diesels, and how to improve the next Accord overall, are necessary before going down this road. Sounds risky to me.
#982 of 2954 Re: disagree about diesels being a hard sell. [kdhspyder]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jul 24, 2007 (7:44 am)
Edmunds says "Women either buy or influence the purchase of 85 percent of all new cars and trucks sold in the United States today."
The Gender Gap
Big number no matter which one you use.
#983 of 2954 If Momma ain't happy
Jul 24, 2007 (8:00 am)
#984 of 2954 Fuel Economy for '08 Highlander
Jul 24, 2007 (8:01 am)
Does anyone know the fuel economy for the 2008 Highlander?
#985 of 2954 It is 18/24 2WD
Jul 24, 2007 (8:20 am)
Or 17/23, 4WD.
Hybrid numbers have not been released yet, but the previous version was listed at 32/27, and owners are seeing 25-26.