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
#2337 of 4026 Re: press request [ashtoyhybrid]
Jan 02, 2006 (10:27 pm)
I'm guessing.. but please clarify.. a lot of your trips are within town on errands and delivery trips ( dance, school, basketball, etc ) If the trips are less than 5 miles and under 10 min you will only get about 22 mpg in winter in NE PA ( used to live in No. Jersey off 80 ).
This is a characteristic of all vehicles whether hybrid or not. Our ICE Highlander only gets about 16-18 mpg on a 3 mi trip to the store. For any vehicle to get the best mileage you need to drive it for at least 10 min for it to warm up. If our Highlander goes 80 miles the first 5-10 miles might be at ~16 mpg but the rest will be ~22 mpg.
That's not a very sexy number but it's 30% better than 16 mpg.
As regards to Toyota I am sorry that you feel let down but I've been involved with the program on the sales side since 2001 ( just bought my own Prius ) and the only ratings that Toyota promoted on the HH was '.. up to 600 mile on a tank of gas..' A better phrase might have been '.. up to 50% better fuel economy than a conventional ICE vehicle..'. Also as you know the MPG ratings on the vehilce are put there by the EPA.
In driving my Prius I can say that the three most important factors in determining the fuel usage are:
1. weather - everyone will suffer about a 10% FE loss in winter;
2. length of trips - as noted above.
3. driver input - as several have noted there are ways to drive more efficiently, which may also include making less short trips and planning back to back to back usages.
It may also be that your particular driving ( low mileage and short trip lengths )will not allow you to get the 26-28 mpg economies that others who are in the vehicles for hours at a time do. But as I noted above if I took our ICE Highlander on only short 2 mile trips I would only average ~ 16 mpg and your 22 mpg is significantly better.
#2338 of 4026 Re: Maintenance Reminder Red Triangle Light [myladdie]
Jan 03, 2006 (4:14 am)
Certainly does sound like a possibility that it is the same dealership - I like the sales person but have had a few other problems in the past with servicing. They only changed oil with my 5,000 mile servicing too. Changing dealerships is not really an option.
I am now wintering in Florida and there is a more sophisticated dealership here - perhaps I will go in and have a discussion about what is needed at 5,000 mile (what does C Best programming mean).
As a side note I am noticing that my mpg is going back up now that I am in warm temps. Unfortunately my trips are again short but as soon as I make several stops and extend my driving time the mpg goes up. ALthough the area is a little congested I still have some P&G opportunities.
#2339 of 4026 Re: press request [kdhspyder]
Jan 03, 2006 (7:03 am)
This is a characteristic of all vehicles whether hybrid or not. Our ICE Highlander only gets about 16-18 mpg on a 3 mi trip to the store.
I think you are giving a false perception. The Highlander V6 is rated at 18 city. So if you are getting 16 MPG in the winter on short trips that is not too bad. About 11% less than EPA estimates. If you are getting only 22 MPG with the HH on short trips in stop & go driving, where the HSD has been touted as superior , That is pretty poor mileage. The HH is rated at 31 MPG city. Getting 22 MPG is about a 30% loss in fuel economy. For a soccer mom that was hoping to save the big premium in fuel savings. Not much chance of that. I might repeat only two people posting their mileage on the GH website are getting the EPA combined mileage. That is for 78 owners of both the Lexus and Toyota RH & HH.
As a person closely associated with the Toyota organization I think it will take more than what you have posted for damage control. There are some very unhappy owners of both the Lexus RH and HH.
I would think that Edmund's posters make up less than 1% of owners. Fully half the owners posting are not happy with the mileage. They may still like the car. The ones that Toyota needs to deal with are the ones that would like to get rid of the car and get their money back.
You keep comparing the HH mileage to the non-hybrid Highlander. You need to compare the mileage to the HH premium and anticipation factor.
#2340 of 4026 Re: Toyota damage control by kdhspyder
Jan 03, 2006 (7:45 am)
Thank you for your thoughtful and thought provoking response to kdhspyder. I agree with you!
The dealership was supposed to call me yesterday. I'm still waiting to hear. By the way, on my last tank of gas I only got 20 mpg! That is pitiful. It included longer drives, including on the highway (55-60). Also, none of my "short" trips are under 5 miles. Whatever happened to that wonderful corporate adage of, "undersell, over deliver"?
#2341 of 4026 Re: press request [gagrice]
Jan 03, 2006 (11:03 am)
I am not affiliated with Toyota .
I am sure all of us wish everyone can get great gas mileage. It is unfortunate not all of us can and I am sure those HH owners will act accordingly to remedy their situations.
The following is not to change anyone's mind, it is just to share how we see this gas saving issue.
For early-adapters of HH like my family, gas mileage is not the only focus. Practical needs first narrowed our choices to a minivan or a medium SUV and then conservation factors (emission rating, mpg) were applied as tie-breakers and the HH won. If we ignored the SULEV factor, we would have bought a van.
To us, the SULEV rating is just as important as saving gas. Living where we are and working with asthmatic children, emission is just as important as using less gas. Diesel is so efficient that it can be as good as gas-electric hybrid but its emission creates smog. Until better diesel cleaners are ready, gas-electric hybrid is the best alternative for now.
For us early adapters, the HH is a good step in the right direction. Its good mileage is icing on our cake. At worst, its mpg matches its ICE sibling but the HH is cleaner (SULEV), safer (VDIM) and more powerful (269-hp). The extra cash is buying something more.
Short of a miracle, large cars and trucks will never go away. Short of another miracle, our gas supply will only get more expensive as China & India pressure the market. I am not looking forward to economic wars or outright shooting wars over shrinking gasoline supply.
The better we can reduce or eliminate emission and reduce or eliminate dependency on gasoline, the better it is for everyone. May be in 10 years, everyone can chug along in a monster 16-passenger 650-hp AT-PZEV HUMMER SUV that uses no gasoline .
Jan 03, 2006 (1:07 pm)
Like cdptrap, I don't work for Toyota and I think he's right on the mark. I really don't think Toyota has any "damage control" to do with respect to the HH's mileage.
First, the mileage that Toyota advertises is a number generated by the EPA, not by Toyota. *BY LAW*, Toyota and all other car manufacturers are not allowed to advertise anything other than the EPA numbers. (If anyone has an actual ad from Toyota that advertises an actual MPG number with something else on it, I'd love to see it.) Best of luck suing the EPA on that score.
But I think the actual situation is being blown way out of proportion anyway. Looking at the database on GH, people with the 2wd HH are getting an average of 25.8 MPG, where the EPA combined estimate is 30 MPG. That's 86% of the EPA number. For the 4wd, EPA combined is 29 MPG and people are averaging 25.4, which is 87.6% of the EPA number. Those are NOT BAD at all!
I would guess most people get about 85% of the EPA estimates (maybe even less) in non-hybrid vehicles, too. This is because the EPA test is unrealistic (55 mph on the highway, no air conditioning, etc.). Heck, Consumer Reports just did a big piece a few months ago on how virtually no cars got the EPA numbers in their tests. This affects some cars more than others, and maybe hybrids are more prone to this--but that's not Toyota's fault, it's the EPA's fault. Now, in absolute terms this might seem a bit disappointing because losing 15% of 30 MPG is obviously more than losing 15% of 20 MPG, but still.
Consider the V6 non-hybrid Highlander. Combined mileage 21 for the 4wd. If real-world performance is 87.6% of that, you should get 18.2 MPG, which is 7.2 MPG less than the HH. That's not bad, plus you get all the stuff cdptrap mentioned: better safety, better emissions, better performance. People pay thousands of dollars all the time for better safety and performance (e.g. V6 Accord vs. I4 Accord), but then get *worse* mileage and emissions out of the deal. So the $4500 premium for better safety/performance and more "green" doesn't seem like a bad deal at all. (Unless, of course, you are completely myopic and care ONLY about the mileage part--all I can say to that is "should have done your homework before blowing $35-40K.")
Will you get the EPA mileage out of your HH? No, probably not--nor are you likely to actually get the EPA mileage out of most other vehicles, either. I see no evidence that the problem is worse in the HH than it is in other vehicles. Is the HH for everybody? No. It is undoubtedly expensive. But the HH is a very solid vehicle which I don't think is under-delivering at all.
#2344 of 4026 Re: Toyota damage control by kdhspyder [ashtoyhybrid]
Jan 03, 2006 (2:23 pm)
Ash, I really am curious about how you get only 20-22 MPG on your HiHy. I've had mine for two months now, with somewhere around 2000 miles on it, and I get from 27-29 MPG, depending on the weather and how I'm driving. I've had one tank of gas where I came in under 27. It was early on, and it was 26 and change.
I do about 75% of my driving on the highway (setting the cruise control at 60-65 MPH) and the other half on surface roads. I live in Houston, so I have to deal with plenty of stop lights and traffic. I even fairly regularly take short trips for lunch.
With that traffic, I also cannot do the P&G driving that many folks around here love so much. When I do come from a stop, I get up to 1 or 2 MPH over my desired speed, coast down to my desired speed to cut off the ICE, and then apply very light pressure to the accelerator pedal to maintain speed. Once the ICE has warmed up, I can usually run on battery power alone for quite a distance, provided I'm driving at or under 40 MPH. When I'm approaching a red light or stop sign, I coast for quite a while, and I brake from further back and with lighter pressure that I used to in my former vehicle. That helps the battery quite a bit. Driving around town in that fashion, I've taken my average MPG over 30. It's taken some conscious effort, research (on this board, mostly) and practice to get my mileage up to that level, but it's fairly natural now.
Using cruise control on the highway (and even on some surface streets) makes a significant difference. I had to get used to the speed variation on the highway, but it's worth the mileage. I also coast or brake down exit ramps to intersections as much as possible. You don't need to do a lot of battery driving to significantly increase your MPG.
Now, I do generally drive by myself, except for those short lunch trips. I'm sure that adding a bunch of weight would affect my numbers. That said, though, I've carried about 250 pounds of equipment several miles at 35 MPH on surface streets, and I traveled a long way under battery power.
Short trips really do give a big hickey to your mileage, in any case, and especially during cold weather. As someone pointed out before on this forum, until that ICE warms up, you're just driving around a regular ICE Highlander with the added weight of the hybrid system. When the weather is cold, the ICE warms up more slowly, has to warm up more, and cools down more quickly between trips.
#2346 of 4026 Re: HH mileage [sunbyrne]
Jan 03, 2006 (3:10 pm)
Thanks for explanning the EPA numbers again!
Not much can be done for owners who are not seeing the mpg many of us are seeing. Suing Toyota over EPA numbers truly is akin to suing EPA. Independent source of EPA info:
I also am uncertain what to make of a post earlier that seems to imply the regular-Hi getting 16-mpg, -11% below EPA, is better than the HH getting 22-mpg, -30% below EPA. So a V6 gas engine car getting 16-mpg is better than a "V8-like" V6 car getting 22-mpg?
If we compare only the percentages, and applying the same logic, then the GM Hybrid Silverado that saw a gain of +12% from 17-mpg to 19-mpg must be better than the HH who saw a loss of -30% to 22-mpg? We should all buy the Silverado then and be happy we are getting 19-mpg because it is a +12% improvement in fuel economy?
Not to cause anyone grief but I am a bit confused by the logic. I know it is attempting to look at whether the $10K premium is worth it. Again, people forget the car is V8 like, has more safety features (VDIM) and is a SULEV vehicle. The $10K is not just for the same V6 210-hp Hi with gas-electric engine.
In any case, best of luck to you all who are having trouble with the mpg number. I hope it gets better as the weather warms.