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
#3672 of 4026 Performance Hybrids
Mar 06, 2007 (5:32 am)
I've owned a Hh since July '05 [26K] and I understand Toyota's reasoning. No other auto company offers an All Wheel Drive, SEVEN passenger vehicle that will race to 60mph in LESS than 7 seconds and get up to 28 MPG.
If you want a 4 cyl. hybrid they have the Camry.
Consider this: a 4 cyl. All Wheel Drive RAV 4 gets 1 mpg better than Saturn's TWO WHEEL Drive Greenline Hybrid which also doesn't have VSC.
Maybe a 4 cyl. RAV 4 Hybrid down the road.
Toyota Lexus continues to offer hybrids with outstanding performance. Soon the Lexus flagship will offer a V8 hybrid.
BTW, the 2008 Highlander Hybrid's hardware and VDIM are almost identical to the power trains in the '06 version.
For the second year in a row, the '06 Hh is Consumer Reports TOP pick for a mid sized SUV.
#3673 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [kyrpto]
Mar 06, 2007 (10:35 am)
Well, to each his own. Some drivers of the Ford Hybrid Escape are getting MPG in the Mid 30's. You won't see that in the HH. And I haven't seen any complaints on the FEH forums about lack of power or acceleration.
"Performance Hybrids", comment reserved here...
#3674 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [kyrpto]
Mar 06, 2007 (6:33 pm)
I think we need to balance performance vs abilty to do work vs gas mileage. Do we want the SUV to do any work like towing heavy loads? Or is it a beauty statement car in our driveway? Or is it a showy hi-tec gas-sipper that beats the Prius? Or a sporty monster that shoves dirt into BMW and Mercedes converitbles? We cannot have it all but we can have some. Toyota is erring on the side of doing real work and I actually love that tilt.
If we want the SUV to do meaningful work, 5000-lb towing is the minimum requirement. A 2-horse trailer weighs at least 2500-lbs without animals. Add two horses and we are getting close to 4500 lbs or 4700 lbs. To have enough power to do this work, it also will have impressive performance characteristics. I see the '08 HH as the first hybrid that truly replaces a V8. The '06 HH is just a V8 wannabe.
The performane that comes with the bigger engine is just a side-benefit. If it were a normal V8, its mileage will likely be in the 14-mpg range. My guess is this version will get may be 24-mpg in real-life driving unless they have done something to the on-board S/W and batteries to favor better electric assistance.
The online info about the '08 is confusing but I am sure it is *not* only 270-hp. The V6 gas engine is already 270-hp according the spec. If Toyota does not detune the V6 as it did in our '06 HH, and we add in the electric motors, we may be looking at something producing over 300-hp when it finally releases.
The question now is with a larger gas engine to do a lot more meaningful work, how much will the gas mileage suffer? Will it return at least 25-mpg in normal use? or will it return only 20-mpg?
For what we do with our SUV, we may just trade in the '06 for the '08 if it can truly tow 5000 lbs and get a new EPA mileage of at least 28-mpg combined. Then I know we can get around 24-25 mpg in real life.
You have no clue how this will help us with what we do. Instead of a V8 returning around 10-MPG when towing, we can likely get 20-mpg out of the '08 HH towing the same load. That is a 100% improvement in gas mileage. Until they come out with a hydrogen drive, or a plug-in, I will take the '08 HH over a traditional V8.
Let's hope it is capable of true V8 workload and still gets 25-mpg (20+ towing) in real life.
#3675 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [cdptrap]
Mar 06, 2007 (8:20 pm)
cdptrap....i believe that the reports on the 08 HH indicate no change in the displacement on the V6 engine..3.3L while the gas version gets the new V6 at 3.5L. Hence, the Hybrid and the Gas versions will have very similar HP ratings...At least until the get the 3.5 hooked up with the HSD. Maybe in 09? Or mid-year 08??
#3676 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [cdptrap]
Mar 07, 2007 (9:57 am)
So, of the GRAND total of all HL and RXes sold how many would you guess EVER have something attached to the tow hitch? Let alone a 5000 lb tow.
And how many are ONLY FWD, more than half?
Sounds to me as if you're in need of a supercharged Chevy Suburban.
#3677 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [cdptrap]
Mar 07, 2007 (10:29 am)
"Let's hope it is capable of true V8 workload and still gets 25-mpg (20+ towing) in real life."
Let us know how it turns out. I am pretty sure that an HH towing 5000 lbs will get around 16 MPG. You would be using the ICE all the time. Also, maximum towing capability does not mean the vehicle is optimized for such use. If one tows that load a lot it will stress the vehicle; get a dedicated body-on-frame vehicle for frequent towing.
Of course, that beats 10-12 MPG with a larger SUV or truck. But there is no getting past physics.
#3678 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [wwest]
Mar 07, 2007 (10:55 am)
Well, we see it from three different angles and all of them practical.
First, emission. Hybrids have better emission (SULEV and SULEV II). In actual use, after years of breathing gas and diesel fumes working around our trucks, we are not going back.
Second, use of available tools. We buy what is available and meets our needs. If HH were not available, a SupChrg type vehicle will be of great interest. With the '08 HH able to handle V8 work, we will give it a good look.
Third, from a truck user's perspective, we see SUV's as tough working vehicles, not a van-substitute. We have a Sienna for that. This is why my tilt on the HH is slightly different than most. I do care about emission and gas mileage but having sufficient power to do work is also important.
For most families, I would agree that a little I4 with SuperCharger or Turnocharger will do nicely. The closest to off-road such families will do is may be a drive over maintained dirt-road to a trail-head once a year or a few trips on plowed road to the snow.
Then there is the 0.01% of us who actually do use our trucks and SUV's to the max. We care a bit more about having the right power to do work. As long as Toyota puts out a car we can use, we are going to look at it. Call us serious early-adapters . If Toyota puts out a Tundra Hybrid that is V8 capable and true 4x4 enabled, we will be even happier!
#3679 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [cdptrap]
Mar 07, 2007 (2:02 pm)
"For most families, I would agree that a little I4 with SuperCharger or Turbocharger will do nicely. The closest to off-road such families will do is may be a drive over maintained dirt-road to a trail-head once a year or a few trips on plowed road to the snow"
This is exactly my profile. Just want a substitute from a boring, large minivan that looks better and gives stellar mpg. Basically a 7-8 passenger AWD vehicle that can do very limited offroading if needed as you described above. If this
is the requirement for most families that look at the
Highlander is beats me why Toyota is catering more to
the .01% of consumers. A turbo charged I4 hybrid will do just fine and get 35 mpg. This is just frustating.
#3680 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [igh]
Mar 07, 2007 (2:34 pm)
Yes, I share your view. Toyota ought to put out two engines for us to pick. We can pick the I4 for FE or V6 for power. This is probably economically infeasible for them. It may also be true that most SUV buyers still want power just for the sake of power, not that there is a real need, so Toyota must answer that. I had posted long ago wishing that Toyota would not join the horse-power race. It is indeed really unfortunate.
I believe all of us are speaking the same language, there really is no debate. If Toyota had offered two engine choices, we will not be having this discussion at all. It will satisfy 99% of owners.
I must admit that I did not want to buy our '06 HH at first. I looked down on it as neither a real SUV nor a real van. My wife forced my hands and even then, I was rather unhappy we paid so much for just emission and gas mileage. After using it on our ranch roads, I have completely changed my mind. The '06 HH is very versatile and capable even though it is not a real V8 replacement. The car has real "guts" behind its refined electronics. This is the only reason we would even consider the '08 HH as a possible workhorse.
Oh well, I am just speculating and wishing, best to wait until the '08 HH hit the dealer lot.
#3681 of 4026 Re: Performance Hybrids [stevedebi]
Mar 07, 2007 (4:52 pm)
Remember that the Escape is 4cyl. hybrid, only has seating for 5 - it should get better mileage. 25 - 27 mpg avg for AWD and room to spare with plenty of amenities set the Hh apart and its $10K less than the Lexus.
Its VDIM is probably the best VSC/Traction program out there.
The Escapes are making great Taxis in New York - London PD tested the hybrid Lexus SUV for police work.
Drive a Hh on a freeway, then an Escape.