Last post on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#2221 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [rsorganize]
Dec 04, 2005 (5:48 am)
The lifespan question has been debated at length here in another thread. I am firmly on the side that Toyota 'knows' in it's R&D that the battery system will last well into 200K miles if not damaged. The warranty you have depends on where you live.
For most of the US it's 100K mi or 8 yrs, the 100K in your case. But in CA, NY, MA it's 150K mi. I believe ( pls verify that tho ). This will be the 10th year the hybrid system has been on the road 4 in Japan and 6 here. I'm certain that Toyota has enough data to feel secure to make the statement on its website that the battery are '...expected to last the lifetime of the vehicle'. c.f. Toyota.com --> hybrids --> FAQ
I've been selling the hybrids since they came here in 2001 and just bought a new Prius this week. I drive a similar amount as you just a little more, 45-50000 annually. I also have an ICE Highlander which my wife drives mainly. She gets about 20 mpg combined. From reports here a normal driver using the best features of the system should expect to get about 25-28 mpg combined, or about a 30-35% saving on your fuel cost over an ICE Highlander.
If you are coming out of a V6 sedan then there likely is no savings in fuel. If you are coming out of another V6 or V8 SUV then you could be saving up to 50% or more of your previous fuel cost.
Those that buy the HH seems to love the experience simply because the power is so significantly better and you still have the quality ride of a Toyota. The fuel saving is a secondary benefit but not normally the primary purchase reason.
#2222 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [kdhspyder]
Dec 04, 2005 (9:09 am)
3800 miles on our HH and we get 26-27mpg consistently in mixed driving including a very short commute which is not good for mileage - overall we're about 50/50 city/highway. Wanted to add that a consistent point in the discussions on mileage is that proper tire inflation is essential, I suspect that most drivers (me included) pay less attention to proper inflation than we should, but when you do your mpg does well. The consensus seems to be keeping the tires at around 36-38PSI which is higher than recommended but within tire spec. Go higher if you don't notice an unacceptable deterioration in ride for your tastes. The other main change in driving style is to not drive with a lead foot, using the readouts (we have a non-LTD so it's bar graph not the fancier nav-based readouts) to show when you're maximizing mpg, not really that difficult.
That said, since the ICE is more used on open highway there isn't a Prius-like improvement in mileage in class but as hdhspyder notes it's still an improvement over similar V6 vehicles, the electric system does contribute when the computer senses it is useful both for power when needed uphill and being used and charged on downhills. It's surprising how often on our highways (PA, NJ) you'd see the MPG jump way up on the gauge on even slight downhills. And the extra immediate power available if you need it for passing/merging is truly impressive, great if your highway driving brings on occasions when you need it.
Yes, the experience is excellent, the full package of safety features are there if you need them, and so far at least we have no complaints. Approaching first 5K service it'll just be required maintenance/oil change and a good wash and detailing to handle winter dirt and mess, we can't find anything else to bring to the dealer's attention. What we'd expect from previous experience with Toyota, but this is a brand new model and typically you find something.
Check out Consumer Reports review to see the other reasons why they rated hybrid Highlander highest in class, and see their mileage comparison to ICE Highlander. Would we buy another? Absolutely. - John
#2223 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [jdkahler]
Dec 04, 2005 (10:27 am)
I would caution everyone to be a little more careful about over-inflating tires during the winter months when adverse roadbed conditions are more likely to be encountered. If anything I would advise very slight under-inflating during this time period.
Over-inflating your tires can substantially reduce the tire's contact patch with the roadbed thereby endangering you and yours in those conditions.
And don't forget that the speedometer will read lower than your actual roadspeed, and the odometer will indicate you have travelled farther than actual mileage contributing, falsely, to fuel economy.
#2224 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [rsorganize]
Dec 04, 2005 (1:16 pm)
The posts following yours were well thought out and i can only add of course you will have the tax deduction if you purchase this year, and if you try to use the cruise control with the hybrid on your freeway trips it will maximise mpg. KDH congrats on your new Prius, and im sincerely wondering since less than 10% of fellow 400h and HH drivers are getting as low a mileage as your wife, are her trips mainly short, or does she have lead foot. Its not hard to average 25 to 28 mpg combined in these vehicles. Many of us are not finding a highway penalty. That being said if you drive over 60 mph on the freeway the mileage will start to suffer.
#2225 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [katzjamr]
Dec 04, 2005 (1:28 pm)
Thanks all...these are, indeed, very thoughtful and helpful responses.
I live in MA and it does appear that the battery warranty is 150,000 mi. That's really reassuring.
On highway driving: My breakdown is probably 80/20, even 85/15. I am relatively sure that I can slow down a bit, but criss-crossing the state...going to meeting after meeting...not sure that I'll ever consistently do better than 70-73. 60??!! Can't see it ever happening.
Right now, am driving an '05 Subaru VDC wagon. A really terrific vehicle, but a bit too cramped for all the driving I do. Am barely avering 20mpg, using premium. Admittedly, the car is very quick/fast and I usually do around 80 on the Mass Pike.
Thanks, again. (Though any additional thoughts are still welcome!)
#2226 of 4026 Re: The right choice? Trying to decide... [katzjamr]
Dec 04, 2005 (1:28 pm)
Hers is an ICE Highlander - a 'gasser'. In it she gets abt 20 mpg combined on two 20 mi trips per day. I was using her results as a baseline for comparing the HH.
Dec 04, 2005 (2:40 pm)
sometimes i only open my mouth to change feet, thanks for the clarification kdh.
#2228 of 4026 Re: The right choice? One more question: snow and tires.
Dec 04, 2005 (6:13 pm)
I believe someone mentioned the lower-resistance tires, as a means of improving gas mileage?
I have been in awd (Subaru and Volvo) vehicles for nearly a decade. We live in the hills of WMass and travel, not only across the state, but into Vermont, as well. So, we drive a lot in snow conditions...plus, we live on dirt roads in a hilly area.
Over the years, I have used really good winter tires to enhance the benefits of AWD in the snow.
Would probably do the same with a HH. Should I worry about further reducing mpg??
Again, thanks in advance.
#2229 of 4026 Re: The right choice? One more question: snow and tires. [rsorganize]
Dec 04, 2005 (7:25 pm)
Dirt road!? We face the same challenge. We have a well maintained crushed granite driveway and we drive on well maintained farm and ranch roads weekly. Got 8" of snow 2 weeks ago on portions of our ranch.
Where we drive, snow tires are insuffient so this post is about using better 3-season tires and chains.
Our HH Ltd. came with Goodyear Integrity, rated for cars and minivan, *NOT* for light truck or SUV.
It rolls very well but braking suffers and its sidewall is only 1-ply, really cheap! We lost one of these tires to sidewall puncture a few weeks back. Another HH owner here reported losing 2 Integrity tires to sidewall punctures in the first 4 months.
We strongly recommend changing the stock Integrity to truck tires. There are many good ones made by Bridgestone, Goodyear or Michellin. We are using Goodyear Fortera SilentArmor. We had to use 235-65/17 instead of 225-65/17. We picked the Fortera for its 2-ply reinforced sidewall.
MPG did not suffer, still getting 28 mpg so far. In return, we get excellent dry and wet handling and braking. The car was solid in torrential rain last week. We used chains when climbing our snowy ranch roads so no idea yet how the tire will perform in snow without chain.
If you use 4 chains in snow (old Michigan habit) instead of the normal 2 (strange recommendation), you will need to buy special chains to fit the rear wheel-well because it has *NO* room for chains. We use "Spike-Spider" for the rear wheels because it covers only the outer half of the tires. We have used "spikey" for the past 7 years without problems.
#2230 of 4026 Drag when driving 60
Dec 05, 2005 (10:34 am)
Has anyone experienced a drag feeling in the HH when going 60. It feels like there is resistance.