Last post on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:20 AM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Hybrid Cars, SUV
#3657 of 4026 Toyota's Official Site
Feb 14, 2007 (6:38 pm)
Here's the link to Toyota's official site for the 2008 (they emailed this out last week, sorry, been busy):
Videos from Chicago Auto Show, pictures and details. Regular this summer, hybrid fall. Here's what the first page says:
The design of the all-new 2008 Toyota Highlander does more than evoke the future; with available Hybrid Synergy Drive®, your mileage is futuristic, too. The all-new 2008 Highlander Hybrid intelligently captures energy otherwise lost by coasting or braking to recharge the battery. Combined with a conventionally powered gas engine, the 2008 Highlander Hybrid will leave other SUVs in its low-emissions dust.
Inside, the 2008 Highlander provides available 7-passenger seating  with the versatile Center-Stow™ 2nd-row seat. Indulge 6  people in amenities like captain's chairs and a removable 2nd-row console, or modify Center-Stow™ to carry 7 . And just as the comfortable interior modifies to your changing life, Toyota Highlander's dynamic, car-like ride adapts to a twisty road. Bigger. Wider. More powerful. And filled with safety innovations that are our hallmark. The all-new 2008 Toyota Highlander. Coming summer 2007. (Hybrid, fall 2007.)
To me it's a refresh and modernization, like the previous to current Camry, what I would expect from Toyota, not a radical redesign like some in previous discussions were hoping for. But we bought the HH for practicality and this looks like practical, some nice-looking new features (second row seats for instance), but nothing to make us want to trade in (at least until the one we have wears out, maybe 8-10 years from now!). Check it out... - John
#3658 of 4026 Re: Toyota's Official Site [jdkahler]
Feb 14, 2007 (7:55 pm)
I agree that the styling is evolutionary not revolutionary, which is perfectly fine. With all the new crossovers looking to one-up each other in styling cues and slopely curves I still am pleasantly surprised how 'neat' the current Highlander looks on the road.
Too radical a change would have made it blend into the rest. It takes a dignified updating.
#3659 of 4026 EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH
Feb 16, 2007 (2:14 am)
I went to the Toyota site gallery and saw an interior picture of the '08 HH that shows two very interesting mode buttons. One says "Electric Vehicle" and the other says "Economy". Do you think Toyota may have heard our gripes and now provides the ability to run more on electric? I wonder what the "Economy" mode is all about. The MPG number is also questionable because it is unclear if Toyota is using EPA's 2008 rules for computing MPG.
Except for those two intriguing features (buttons), the new HH is larger but nothing that will make me trade in. I understand Khdspyder's comments about a dignified upgrade but it has too much of the Sienna lines, almost a retro to make it look like a van. Overall feel is not very attractive. I would prefer either a full-bore Tundra or 4-Runner type look.
In any case, the car is heavier but the engine power only got up to 270-hp. May be Toyota will cap it at 270 while the gas-engine version goes up to 280 or 300 in the future. This may be Toyota's answer to having a "higher" FE version in the Highlander line. Just like TCH in the Camry line.
I still prefer the current HH for a nice blend of handling and performance. It is 500-lbs lighter with a net power of 268-hp. It turns on a dime and parks in tight little spaces. It is small but small has its advantages too .
#3660 of 4026 Re: EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH [discussion1]
Feb 16, 2007 (2:45 pm)
I had earlier asked the same question about the
economy mode on the 2008 highlander non-hybrid board
but got no answer. I did some Googling and found that the
Ford Escape Hybrid 2008 model will have an economy mode
too. What it does is to switch off the AC when the vehicle
is idling. That way the ICE can always be shut off at
a stop whether you have AC on or not.
The EV mode lets the vehicle go 1 mile under 25 mph on battery alone if there is full charge.
I am disappointed that Toyota decided not to bring
out an I4 HH with about 220HP. 220HP would be enough
for 0-60 under 10 sec even in this heavier vehicle.
I do not know why people would like to race in
such a heavy large vehicle. Sub 10sec 0-60 is adequate
for most normal driving. Otherwise nobody would buy the
Prius. Maybe it would not be adequate for towing but then
those folks can opt of the more powerful model. I was really hoping for >35mpg city with 2008 EPA standards.
#3661 of 4026 Re: EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH [igh]
Feb 17, 2007 (3:47 pm)
Ford missed it by not making the AC in Escape electric - in the summer we often stop for a few moments - or get in stop and go traffic - and having AC work on battery at those times is great. Most of the time they recharge so the AC isn't costing any gas. What good is the "economy" mode if it's hot, I suspect most folks will want AC. Poor substitute for electric AC.
As far as power goes, it does come in mighty handy on busy, old east-coast highways with inadequate access ramps and fast-moving traffic. Been forced to drive an underpowered Cobalt while our HH is in the body shop (thanks to a driver who turned in front of my wife we've been renting for a month and no way did we want to spend the rental for anything larger and even less fuel efficient) and after this experience I'm quite willing to trade for that power. Considering the Cobalt is doing no better in mileage than the HH, the balance between economy and ability to move with traffic is a fair compromise. Can't wait to get the HH back, will feel so much safer, I'd hate to see what a Cobalt would have looked like, or more important my wife, with the same type of accident. We purchased the HH because we didn't want just adequate, and were willing to pay for the difference. And it's in the non-normal conditions that better safety considerations - which can include things like reserve power - come into play.
Perhaps Toyota found that an i4 based HH wasn't enough of a benefit to add it to the line or change the engine. And maybe they have other tricks to come, such as speculation they're working on diesel hybrids. Will have to wait and see if there are other tricks behind those buttons, there's a lot of time between now and the new hybrid release.
#3662 of 4026 Re: EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH [jdkahler]
Feb 18, 2007 (11:35 am)
There is absolutely no reason to believe, or suspect, that an SC equipped I4 Miller Cycle engine wouldn't have more than adequate and easily include enough "reserve" HP.
And in the meantime, normal driving, freeway cruising, the FE would be more in the class of the Prius.
#3663 of 4026 Re: EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH [igh]
Feb 19, 2007 (5:03 pm)
"I am disappointed that Toyota decided not to bring
out an I4 HH with about 220HP. 220HP would be enough
for 0-60 under 10 sec even in this heavier vehicle."
I agree. I would consider buying one if it was equipped with this type of hybrid system. The Hybrid Camry (which I own) has more power than I will ever need. So far it runs flawlessly. Maybe Toyota will include it their new crossover vehicle, to be released in 2008.
Feb 20, 2007 (11:10 am)
I'd be first in line for an I4 HH! There should be no reason this vehicle couldn't easily obtain 30 MPG in real world numbers.
#3665 of 4026 Re: EV and Econ Mode in 2008 HH [discussion1]
Feb 20, 2007 (1:47 pm)
Not sure if the buttons do it, but per Toyota the 08 HH will not use the ICE at all until it reaches 25 mph or the battery is depleted. I guess that is nice if you can drive < 25 mph, but unless you are stuck in traffic or cruising for a parking space, I am not sure how much benefit you will get. It doesn't state how long it will go until the battery is depeleted. I can't imagine they would let it go completely unless that have radically changed the battery. Would prefer a plug in capability, and use battery only for x number of miles, then use the ICE.
#3666 of 4026 Re: Toyota's Official Site [jdkahler]
Feb 20, 2007 (9:27 pm)
Very interesting. I'm actually a bit disappointed it doesn't look more different than it does, it looks a bit "Camry-ized" and that's about it.
What IS really interesting is the EV button that you can see in the PICTURES section... does this mean there is an all electric mode that you can put the high Hy in?
Its also nice that they put in a standard LCD for showing hybrid system status... I was really irritated that my 2007 HiHy didn't have the nice display like our Prius, and there was no way I was going to pay for an over-priced Nav system to see system status. (but don't get me wrong, I LOVE this car, its absolutely great).
The keyless start is also something that is just great... its the favorite feature in my Prius.
Anyone have any idea what the EV switch is all about?