Last post on Jan 08, 2012 at 6:49 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), SUV
#433 of 447 Re: VDIM control [cjratliff]
Sep 02, 2011 (8:29 am)
"I have purchased a 2006 highlander hybrid 4wd-i. I live in Minnesota and was pleased with the traction at first, until I got stuck in my driveway in 6 " of snow! What I have observed is VDIM will not let me spin for more than a second or so before it stops. Well, here in MN it is common to have to spin to get unstuck, or drive a little hard. Can I not control or re-program VDIM? I mean, this is a 4 wheel drive vehicle?! "
It is not the AWD, it is the Toyota implementation of HSD. The early models did not allow the wheels to spin, causing problems in snow. I think they fixed this in later models. You might check with the dealer and see if there is an update to the computer programming. I can't recall if it was only a programming change.
#435 of 447 Hybrid Highlander in Snow?
Dec 02, 2011 (6:46 pm)
I have a major concern holding me back from buying a Hybrid Highlander after reading very mixed reviews on internet regarding its snow performance. My family skies in Lake Tahoe every weekend all winter long and we need a car that will reliably drive through 6-10 inches of unplowed snow on paved roads.
I have read a number of posts lambasting the Hybrid version of the Highlander (the non-hybrid version seems to perform just fine) for its snow performance. Most people attribute the car getting stuck to not being able to override the Traction Control. The Traction Control helps maintain control when moving forward and hitting a slick spot. But apparently if the car comes to a complete stop in deep snow, once the front wheels start to spin the Traction Control kicks in and automatically applies the brakes to spinning wheels. The electric motor on the rear wheels does not propel the car, and consequently it gets stuck.
Obviously in deep snow there are lots of times when all cars get stuck and you need to rock back and forth to get going. The HyHi reportedly just sits there with wheels locked and you cannot alternate between reverse and drive to get going.
I cannot tell if these complaints are limited to the older (500 plus pounds lighter) Generation 1 version of the Hybrid Highlander or are also applicable to Generation 2, or if these complaints are due to people using inappropriate tires for winter driving. (There are also lots of tire complaints but that is a separate subject.)
So, please, anyone who regularly drives a newer version Hybrid Highlander in heavy snow conditions please share a candid assessment of the car's performance. Note we will always be using it on paved roads, but with some frequency these paved roads will not have been plowed yet. Also our snow is typically wet and heavy (Sierra Cement). I would love to get the fuel efficiency of a hybrid SUV but cannot reasonably make that tradeoff if the car is not well suited for snow conditions.
All informed responses from experienced snow drivers are much appreciated.
#436 of 447 Re: Hybrid Highlander in Snow? [stingysuvwantd]
Dec 02, 2011 (9:41 pm)
Don't buy a HH. They stink! I also have a Prius which is great except for deep snow so we use the HH then but as good as the Prius is, the HH is bad and the mileage sucks.
#437 of 447 Re: Hybrid Highlander in Snow? [stingysuvwantd]
Dec 09, 2011 (6:48 am)
The problem is with the stock tires on the HH (I have a 2008 HH). They did not have good traction in snow/ice. I managed to get mine stuck a couple of times in very deep compacted snow that had started to melt in the spring. The tires punched through the surface layer, leaving the wheels in holes that they could not climb.
I have driven in 8-10" snow with no great problems, but felt the limitation of the tires. The problem with the stability control system is that most drivers do not know how to use it, you must be gentle on the gas once the system is activated by detected will slip/spin.
Switching to the Toyo Open Country H/T (I just did 10 days ago) will help a great deal. Icy intersections that activated the stability control system with the Toyo Open Country A20 tires (OEM) do not set it off with the H/T tires. You could also buy a set of Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires.
Good luck. I have loved my HH and live in NE North Dakota (cold and snowy).
#438 of 447 Re: Hybrid Highlander in Snow? [monte8]
Dec 10, 2011 (9:55 am)
Just bought a H/H and am wondering, does the rear power help in the snow or is it just a FWD vehicle? I dont have a t/c button on mine. did I make a mistake?
#439 of 447 Toyota Highlander AWD or 4-wheel Drive
Dec 11, 2011 (9:45 am)
I have been reading everyone's Posts regarding tire wear and driving in snow. I currently have a 2002 Highlander is it handles horribly in the snow. HORRIBLE! But I love the car otherwise.
So now that I have to buy a new car by year end. Do a lot of canyon/hwy driving but i need my new car to handle better in the snow. Do any of you have any experience with 2011/2012 Highlander either AWD or 4-wheel drive? Which is better in the snow and which one gets better gas mileage?
I can't warrant buying snow tires when I live at the beach. Does anybody have any suggestions because most of the forums are talking about snow tires. Also, what is with W&T on the tires? How expensive is a new set? I didn't have this problem.
I am just really worried. I don't know if I should just bite the bullet and buy the Acura MDX which doesn't seem to have these problems. It about $15,000 more but I am wondering if the problems versus $$$$ will pan out since I owns my cars for 10 years!!!!
Any suggestions? I am so confused and scared on what to do!
#440 of 447 Re: Toyota Highlander AWD or 4-wheel Drive [bugrl]
Dec 12, 2011 (9:31 am)
The HL and HH are primarily FWD, F/awd. Basically "APT-AWD", Automatic Part-Time All Wheel Drive. The driver has NO control over when and/or how the system goes into AWD mode, engages the rear drive capability.
Due to the dangers of wheelspin/slip at the primary drive, driven wheels, once slippage is detected the system goes into temporary "limp home" mode, braking is used to abate wheelspin/slip along with INSTANTANEOUS engine dethrottling.
Consider the 4runner or if in the MDX class the Porsche Cayenne V6 base.
Both of those are untimately more safe RWD base vehicles.
#441 of 447 Re: Hybrid Highlander in Snow? [stingysuvwantd]
Dec 13, 2011 (7:27 am)
The HyHy 2011 + have override button for TRAC and VSC which will enable one to rock / spin wheels if necessary. It will do fine in most inclement weather conditions but if you are driving to Yukon territory get a F250 or Chevy 2500 4x4
Also the tires are all season and kinda big (19") so there's potential traction issues with tires of this size / ratio in general on almost any vehicle; so with dedicated snow tires you will be able to get almost anywhere 'normal'.
#442 of 447 Re: Hybrid Highlander in Snow? [maxfairway]
Dec 13, 2011 (8:56 am)
Yes, you can override Trac, and less importantly so, the VSC system, but you should remember that in doing so you convert the vehicle back into a simple....
ONE Wheel Drive..!
when you depress the gas pedal ALL of the engine torque might go to the wheel with the LEAST traction.
A much better override would have been to allow the engine to produce a more moderate level of torque, not full dethrottling, for a few seconds along with braking to apportion that torque. Unless, of course, VSC detected yawing motion.