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2008 Toyota Highlander

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Comments

  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    So why would they build a plant with 50% more capacity than they normally sell?

    Probably because 1) they anticipate higher demand for the Highlander; and/or 2) they plan on adding additional model lines to the assembly plant. Better to have additional capacity up front than to have to retrofit or expand the plant after it's built, IMHO.

    There was a rumor of another 5-passenger CUV that Toyota may introduce, modeled after the FT-SX concept vehicle.

    My guess on positioning of the new Highlander? It's for those with a couple of older kids who, once in awhile, need the ability to pack 6 or 7 people in the vehicle (i.e. visiting grandparents, kids' friends, etc.).

    If you have a large family to begin with, a minivan is the way to go. I rented a Pontiac Montana this weekend and it was nowhere as refined as a Toyota SUV. However, with the amount of space it had, the sliding doors, etc., it just felt much more flexible than any reasonably sized SUV will ever be.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 317
    So why would they build a plant with 50% more capacity than they normally sell?

    I was under the impression from past posts that Toyota was working on a new design sporty xover like the soon to released Infiniti Ex35. That is how the extra capacity will be used.
  • dsw61dsw61 Posts: 2
    I test drove a Limited on Saturday. I did not care for the steering as it felt way over assisted and gave very little feed back. The front seats are comfortable. The middle seat in the second row is really not much of a seat and is very uncomfortable. The passenger side and driver side second row seats are fine. The third row seat is ok for kids. The Pilot, Acadia and Veracruz have better third row seats.

    The interior materials and trim seemed fine and I did not get the sense that the interior was cheap like others had mentioned. At least not for a vehicle in this price range.

    Overall, my wife and I prefer the design of the Veracruz better. If the Veracruz had Toyota's track record for reliability it would be an easy decision.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    It would come out of Tahara off the Rav4 line as a luxury version of that platform. But that is at least 2 years away. 2009 as a 2010 model.

    DrFill
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    She should have not let you drive the vehicle. The tire pressure is very high when the vehicles are shipped, the VSC has not been calibrated, and it also has to get state inspected. Bad saleslady. I didn't feel any stability issues, as a matter of fact the VSC worked as advertised.
    Mackabee
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    What are you talking about? :confuse:
    Mackabee
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I guess the question for you is would you rather have a 2nd row that seats 3 adults better, or would you rather have easier access to the 3rd row for your kids.

    Keep in mind that the EPA numbers for the Veracruz will go down for 2008, from 18/25.

    You have some more 3rd seat room, but lose some towing and cargo room.

    DrFill
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I was under the impression from past posts that Toyota was working on a new design sporty xover like the soon to released Infiniti Ex35.

    Here's a link to the FT-SX concept vehicle on Toyota's site.

    I know when the '08 Highlander was announced, some were hoping that it would inherit styling cues from the FT-SX. In hindsight, I guess it would have been difficult to do given the Highlander's 3 rows of seats and the concept's swooping roofline.

    I'm planning on taking my Highlander test drive this afternoon.
  • max63max63 Posts: 72
    Not trying to insult anybody who buys a Highlander, I'm sure they will be a long lasting, quality SUV. However, each individual on this board has different needs for the family and themselves. IMO,it really is somewhat of a four passenger car, as I tried to fit myself in the narrow seat and could not get in it (Only 5'8). Someone noted they got the car seat to fit in the middle (Seems difficult as some car seats would spill over to the outbound seats, which were big). We have two car seats so that really would not work for us. Now as far as the third row, which would be difficult to access with both car seats installed, very little room is left for anything you might carry. If you are carrying so many people, don't you think your going to be hauling a bunch of stuff?? As far as the ride, maybe my expectations were high, lets just say that it was not a smooth as expected.

    Automobile magazine that I just got had many complimentary things about the car, however ended the article with "The GMC Acadia and the Saturn Outlook both offer second-row captain's chairs, along with more interior room than the Highlander, while a similarly equipped Hyundai Veracruz is, overall, nearly as good as the Highlander but cost less. What's more, the Mazda CX-9 is much better to drive. Toyota is going to have to try a bit harder if it intends to retain its status as the king of the crossovers".
  • max63max63 Posts: 72
    Actually the Acadia is marginally smaller, with greater interior room.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    A Highlander?

    The HL is 188" long. Guess the size of the Acadia.

    Just add a foot. :(

    More a competitor for the Expedition than the HL. :surprise:

    The HL was designed to compete with the Pilot, the other heavy hitter in this class.

    DrFill
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    IMO the lambda triplets are GM's best product moves in ages. They've dropped weak products, their minimvan lines, in favor of ... a minivan that isn't a minivan. What this has done is put them in a subsegment of the market where no other vehicle maker exists. The 3 vehicles are stylish, capable and fuel efficient traits that none of the prior minivans had. The three are all bigger inside that the rest of the pack; i.e. Highlander, Pilot, Edge, Veracruz.

    A buyer needing seating for 7 or 8 who doesn't want to step up to a Sequoia or Tahoe or Expedition has a good alernative to a minivan.
  • mcswinemcswine Posts: 30
    We got my wife's RAV4 V6 when the V6's first came out at Fitzmall (we live in Little Rock). They were $2000 less than the local dealers who were not coming off MSRP at all. All the paperwork was done by Fedex...it was totally painless and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Flew in, got the car and drove it home.
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    GM was very smart in keeping the Acadia "trucky" looking; tons of people still want the look of a SUV, but better gas mileage and handling, and the Acadia fits the bill. If you want nice rounded curves, then the Buick Enclave is available, and in between the 2 is the Saturn Outlook.

    So I think the SUV crowd will flock to the Acadia, and the rest will be dispersed between the Veracruz, Highlander, CX-9, the new Pilot, etc. etc. etc. Personally I don't need the room of the Acadia, so the Highlander is perfect. And I really don't think dealers will maintain MSRP for long, since there is so much more competition.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    Fitzmall said they'll order a Highlander with exactly the options we want for a $100 refundable deposit. The only hitch was they said it'd be a 6mo wait. I was very impressed with them on the phone though. No pressure and very helpful.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Toyota seems to be missing the mark lately. The Rav is upstaged by the CRV. The new Highlander looks old and will soon be upstaged by Honda's Pilot. The new Tundra looks great but is soooo big! Honda seems to have the advantage on the most recent redesigns. Toyota seems like it is becoming the GM of foreign makes, too big to quickly adapt to the desire for more economy. Honda also appears to be ahead re the introduction of diesels in the U.S. What do others think?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Chicks dig the CR-V, but 160k+ sales for Rav4 is rockin' pretty hard! Try to find a CR-V with 3rd row seat, V6, or the level of safety features the Rav4 has.

    HL looks like a hit. HL and Pilot are neck and neck in sales, and HL will pass it by year's end. More cargo and towing than Pilot. More power and better economy, plus a Hybrid model, and new features Pilot can't match.

    Ridgeline or Tundra? That's what I thought.

    Even Civic is having problems fighting off a 5-year old Corolla, being outsold rather easily. And a new one comes next year.

    Did Gagrice send you over here? :confuse:

    DrFill
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    According to the Honda and Toyota press releases for sales up to June 2007:

    CR-V: 104,179 (versus 72,054 YTD in 2006)
    RAV4: 87,124 (versus 75,015 YTD in 2006)

    Pilot: 66,632 (versus 70,746 YTD in 2006)
    Highlander: 64,749 (versus 61,357 YTD in 2006)

    Back on topic regarding the 2008 Highlander, I drove a Limted 2WD today. I think the smart key, Bluetooth, and power rear door are great new features for my list of "must haves."

    The exterior didn't look as large in person as I thought it would be. The 19" wheels give it a muscular look and make the 17" wheels on the base look tiny (ironic since the largest wheels on the 1st gen were 17" and I thought even the 16" wheels looked fine).

    I'll definitely investigate having the bodyside moulding installed (but I want to see what it looks like in person first). I'll probably pass on the running boards.

    I thought the rims on the Sport and Limited were identical, but the features list on the Toyota web site indicates that they are different. Sure enough, the Sport rims have a dark accent that give them a slightly sportier appearance. The basic design appears to be the same, though.

    Inside, I wasn't sure whether I'd be disappointed by the quality of the trim, given some of the other comments. There were a few disapointments -- the door trim has, particularly around the window controls on the rear doors, some cheap-feeling hard plastic. I wasn't sure, but the upper portion of the door trim does not appear to be padded. The center armrest and the compartment it covers also look and feel cheap.

    Everything else appears to be step up from the previous model. The leather feels soft and the multi-function display seems larger and more useful in person than I thought it would be. The middle seat in the second row felt fine when I sat in it.

    The Limited I drove had a flush, wood-grained lid that covered the aux-in and 12V power outlet. All the pictures I've seen have them, along with the seat heater controls (which my vehicle lacked), exposed. I thought it looks nicer covered and makes the dash seem less cluttered.

    Oh yeah...I did drive it. Much more car-like than my 4Runner (obviously), but it does have a slightly more truck-like (maybe heavier?) presence when driving than the previous gen model.

    In fact, I hardly remember anything significant about the drive. That's not really a bad thing. Driving the new model felt very natural. Where some would argue that the Highlander (or even Toyotas in general) are boring, I think that's probably the intent of the design.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sorry that is so far off the mark I can't let it pass unmentioned.

    The RAV is selling at a record pace only limited by lack of production here. When the new 150K unit plant in CA is finished the RAV will go even higher.

    The new Highlander looks old?????

    Tundra sales have the Big 3 really concerned because it is eating away at the most profitable segment in the market -the retail buyer in the %30-#50K range. The Tundra sales are way way up. And it's big for a reason.

    Diesels are an answer for the future but only part of the answer. Honda says that their clean diesel is better than the urea-based technology but it is still vaporware. Then they have the monumental issue of convincing the buying public to switch to diesel. Honda is probably the only one that can do it due to their wealth of goodwill with Mrs Decision-Maker but it won't be an easy task.

    Sqeaky-clean hybrid Sienna or diesel Odyssey? Honda's last two forays into advanced technology haven't been their best steps in recent years ( Insight and HAH ). Good engineering poor marketing. Then there is the cost premium for the new diesel technology. GM says it will be in the $4000-$5000 range, Honda may be less, but since it's still vaporware who knows.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    That it's the RAV4 that received the critical acclaim of being Consumer Reports' top-rated compact SUV, as well as a C/D 5 Best nod... Yes, the CR-V marginally outsells it, but the RAV is one of Toyota's most successful redesigns recently.
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