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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I say that because the RX is Lexus's prime vehicle. It's their volume leader. It's their Camry. It gets attention first. The RX00 lead the current Highlander by 2 years. the RX400h got all the press and the initial release in 2005 ang it also got the new V6 a year ahead of the revised Highlander this Fall. IMO the Highlander takes a backseaat to it's more upscale ( profitable ) sibling.

    Now the Camry OTOH is Toyota's prime vehicle. Everthing, until the Tundra, revolved around the Camry in the Toyota line. The V6 Camry and the ES are the same vehicle essentially but it's the Camry that leads off the new model when there's a refresh and it's the Camry that gets all the press and attention.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I don't think its to save money in development; the 5A for this engine already exists - I suspect its more of a capacity/production issue.

    I also think design priorities can be summed up in producing a competitive vehicle. If Toyota had sacrificed say, 30 horses and 15 foot pounds, people would be calling it underpowered as they do the Subaru Tribeca, for example. And, the new HL V6 is expected to acheive the same fuel economy as the previous version, despite being larger and heavier, and it will use regular. I don't consider that ignoring fuel economy, but if enough people are dissatisfied with the redesign, Toyota will feel it in the sales/margins of this vehicle and have to reconsider.

    That said, the RAV got larger, heavier, more powerful and stayed about as efficient.... and sales doubled.

  • Well, I for one will be looking elsewhere for a better styled vehicle. After seeing the pictures, I was truly disappointed. I really don't want to drive an overstuffed RAV without a rear spare tire.

    I can't believe I am saying this as I own/have owned the following vehicles from new 2004 Sequioia SR5 4WD, 2002 HL Ltd AWD, 1999 Solara SLE V6, and 1999 RX300. Looks like a Murano and another RX will be given serious consideration. Toyota blew this one. They have very loyal customers like myself but as we age (50) we do expect nicer things from Toyota.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I don't know that Toyota will be that upset if you purchase another RX.

    If I were you, I'd also check out the Mazda CX-9, Subaru Tribeca 3.6L, the GM Triplets and the Hyundai Veracruz.


  • I agree. After seeing the new Highlander, I was a bit disappointed too. Did not think much about it till I happened on a nice 2wd 4 cylinder at the local dealer. It dawned on me that in a few months the 07s would be gone. So after a couple of test drives we bought the 07.

    A couple other issues bothered me about the 08 like the increased width from 71.9 to 75.2 inches. The extra 3 inches in width is a problem due to the width of our garage.

    The height also seems to have grown from 67.9 to 69.3, but I am not sure if the 08 measurement includes a roof rack. The current model is tall enough.

    The 3.5L in the 08 was going to be overkill for us. The 4 is turning out to be rather zippy. I am surprised that with higher gas prices we keep on getting bigger vehicles and more power. Just goes to show people don't care.

    I suspect the new prices will be up a few thousand for a base model since the 4 cyl is gone.
  • Comparing the two is a good idea. I did just that and came away liking the Highlander. The Limited Rav4 2wd had more options but the ride was choppy compared to the 2wd Highlander. I was hoping to like the Rav4. The Limited was the same price and better mpg (24/30 vs 22/28).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Except from loyal owners, like you and me, who currently like the looks of the Highlanders the knock from the rest of the market who looked at it and immediately wrote it off was, It's too small. It's a 4 person vehicle ( adults ).

    These buyers didn't have a lot of other choices except the Pilot unless they wanted to step all the way up to a Sequoia. The Pilot/MDX got a lot of buyers for whom the Highlander was 'just' a Camry wagon. The new Highlander is now Pilot-size with the new GM triplets being significantly bigger yet.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    I was looking for possibly an 07 HL 4wd 4 cylinder. Does it have enough power?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    just beat the brand new Ford Edge in a 4-way comparo in MT. Despite its age. They criticized the current model most for its driving dynamics, essentially it was the snoozer ride of the 4 (the ages-old Murano won the contest, with the new Santa Fe coming a close second).

    Can we expect the driving dynamics of the new model to improve at all, I wonder? I would tend to agree that the steering is totally numb in the current model, and handling is minivan-like. There's not much sport in this "sport utility vehicle".

    Will the '08 have electric steering? I believe the current model still uses a hydraulic pump, right?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    Same question as for prd, does it have enough power? or is it sluggish?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    There are a lot of currently satisfied Highlander and HH owners to the tune of about 500K-600K currently on the road. A good number like the posters above want a more dramatic modern style, a good number like the current size very much, a good number want two-person carrying ability with high utility but excellent fuel economy.

    The Camry Solara is destined to be discontinued, possibly except for the ragtop.
    Toyota is offloading 100,000 units of production to it's new partner at the Subaru plant in Indiana.
    Both of these reduce plant usage in Kentucky...hmmmmmmmm.

    Is there a smaller, more efficient I4 and I4+HSD crossover in the works for Kentucky that's bigger and nicer than the Matrix but maybe just smaller than the current Highlander? For the JDM they have the Blade which I think addresses this segment.

    Why would they leave a hole of 100,000+ vehicles at the prime production site in the US? Curious.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    When I read about the Blade, I too thought it was a prime candidate for TMMK production, especially given that it is expected to use the Camry's 2.4L which isn't produced at NUMMI or in Ontario. Certainly, not that engines NEED to be produced where the car is assembled, but it reduces logistics costs, I'd imagine....

    But I see the Blade as much more of a Mazda 3 Hatch competitor.

  • I drove both the 4 and 6 cylinders when I bought, and felt that the 6 drove more like a truck while the 4 was more like a car. Hence my decision to go with the 4. I am quite happy with the power (I live north of NY city in a semi-hilly area).

    Unfortunately the new RAV is still a little small for me, and I don't care for the styling anyway. The current Highlander without the 3rd row seat is perfect for my needs, I just am frustrated that I cant get the in-dash navigation with the base model. I may end up trading in my current one for a new 4 cylinder before they go away.

    If the time ever came where they transitioned the 4 cylinder Camry platform over to the Highlander I would be interested then, particularly if it were a hybrid that delivered real world MPG above 30.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "I drove both the 4 and 6 cylinders when I bought, and felt that the 6 drove more like a truck while the 4 was more like a car."

    I'm not sure I understand this. Can you explain just a little bit? I would imagine if its semi-hilly, the V6 would be better suited. And the 3.3L is quieter and smoother than the 4 as well....

    In any case, best of luck!
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    "is there a smaller, more efficient I4 and I4+HSD crossover in the works for Kentucky that's bigger and nicer than the Matrix but maybe just smaller than the current Highlander?"

    You hit the nail on the head, this is exactly the vehicle I hope Toyota will build! Is anyone from toyota listening?
  • Alpha, in my test drives, I found the 4 to be much smoother and quieter than the 6. Every time I stepped on the pedal with the 6 you heard the power kick in.

    I should say I do about 80 % of my driving on the highway (NY Thruway), so having a 4 is perfect for me (once you get up to 65 you are smooth as silk).
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Interesting. That's not something I've heard before.

  • The only problem I would have with a "4" is getting up to 65 and getting on the onramps around here. We commonly need to get up to a slightly higher speed than the oncoming traffic to merge safely. And I do hate peddling.
  • So far so the power is fine. It does take a few extra seconds to merge on the interstate. I suspect that if you had 3 or 4 big folks in the car going up hills and merging would require the engine to work a bit.

    So far my wife loves the car. She does not consider it sluggish - calls it zippy. She drove a Sienna (3.0L) before this car/truck.

    I should also mention that historically we have owned low powered cars. Our cars had weight to hp ratios of 22 plus. In other words, 22 pounds per hp. The Avalon was our first car to crack the 20 mark. The new Highlander is about 22.7 (3516/155). We are OK, power wise, with cars in the 22 to 23 range.

    Another point to mention is that in the good old days our cars/vans typically had 3 spd automatics. The new cars have 4, 5 and 6 speed automatics. A new car with a weight to power ratio of 23 will probably perform better than a model from 15 years with the same weight to power ratio. I also know that hp ratings have changed over the years, so I try to make a mental adjustment and typically I am not to concerned about anything right of the decimal point.

    I can see why Toyota did not put the 4 in the 08 model. The extra weight requires an engine of probably 2.7L or better. Since Toyota seems to have settled on the 2.4L and the 3.5L the only option was the 3.5L.
  • Thanks for the info. I am guessing that the comparo was in the paper copy of Motor Trend - how 90s :( I did not see anything obvious on the web site. Sounds like a trip to the library is in order.

    As to the driving dynamics of the 07, - we like the way it drives. The 4 seemed to be a bit more nimble than the V6. The handling is better compared to our ex Sienna minivan.

    MT does a nice job, but they probably subconsciously expect everything to handle, drive or perform like a sports car. Those of us that are more interested in getting from point a to point b can live with less.

    Maybe somebody from Edmunds can hint as to when a first drive of the 08 Highlander will appear on the web site. Some of us information junkies would like to know :) Thanks
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