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Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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  • hhvahhva Posts: 37
    Thanks for the comments/links on the Hh safety issues. We averaged over 26MPG, driving 70 - 85 MPH on interstates on a 97 degree day w/ 5 people in a new Hh AWD.

    Wonder if the snow/ice traction will be as outstanding as our '02 Highlander?
  • skipweisskipweis Posts: 1
    dear hhva,
    was that mileage calculated by you based on gallons used vs. miles driven or just taken off the vehicle's computer?

    About 4 months ago I placed an order for the new Highlander Hybrid, much of our decision was based on the Toyota fuel efficiency claim averaging between 27-31 MPG. I'm just wondering what real experience has been if there are any owners out there that have been driving them this summer.

    And, if anyone has calculated the actual mileage as opposed to taking the vehicle's computer calculation as accurate. Just wondering how close the Toyota claim to with actual real life experiences.

    thanks!
  • nimhrodnimhrod Posts: 49
    Wow, those articles in the Times are like a splash of cold water in the face. Though I'm still keen on the idea of green technology, I'm seriously re-thinking my paying a $5,000 premium over a "luxed out" regular Highlander- especially when the real-world gas mileage difference is turning out to be much less than anticipated. As much as I'm psyched over the Wow factor and the green element I'm asking myself whether I want to pay such a premium for a newly introduced car who's value may drop once the initial enthusiasm dies down.

    Anyone else feeling the rush subside?
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    I think we should all plug in our data here:
    http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/
    to get something definitive about our experiences with consumption.

    Hybrid technology being used to make a V6 into a V8 would be how GM would've approached it. Why not make a V4 into a V6 and get better MPG than the V4?

    I think it's fair to say that anyone who'd want/need 31 or 33 MPG shouldn't buy the HH. It just doesn't get that mileage and the EPA estimates are way off for all hybrids but particularly this one. Plus, if you're buying for power you'd have to justify the premium of $7k. Before that's been framed as how much time to get your money back from fuel savings.

    We now know the answer to that is never. Now it’s how much would you pay for 38 more horsepower. I was told by an ad exec that 90% of car advertising is to make customers (who’ve already bought!) feel good about their decision. The HH ad (zooming past a sportscar) makes me cringe, especialy when I think that sports car is probably getting better gas mileage than me.

    The computer seems reasonably accurate when compared to odometer/fill up calculations. A couple of points of in their favor.

    All gas pumps cut off as if the tank is full. But when I pull it out a little and then slowly put more in I get another 2 gallons! Anyone else had this? I don’t get this filling my old 4Runner.

    Also, has anyone worked out how much is left in the tank when the warning light comes on?
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    Yes,but a 20 mpg to 25 mpg saves a lot-twice as much-more gasoline than a 40mpg to 50 mpg.The 20 to 25 is much more important.
    20 to 25 mpg saves 1 gallon per 100 miles-20=5 gallons/100m 25/100m=4 gallons /100 1 gallon saved.
    40/100m=2.5 gallons 50/100m=2gallons .5 gallons saved
    Small mpg changes in poor mpg vehicles are more important than big changes in efficient vehicles..
    The NYTimes article savages the HH,but the testing wasn't "correct"-not even close.It was essentially a highway test and you would expect the 2 V-6's to be essentially equal on a hy test.Not much energy recaptured on the hy.It is essentially ICE VS ICE-no surprise.If you did the same test with a Prius-against a tiny low hp Atkinson cycle 4 cyl the results would be the same.Take a look at how the Echo performs on the hy-about like a Prius.Most vehicles now-my Titan V-8 and my Pilot V-6 both can beat their hy EPA numbers with the ac blasting(New Orleans) going 70+mph.The Titan 20+(EPA 19) and the Pilot-23+(epa 22).
    I wouldn't let the NYT article sway me much.The numbers returned here-average about 26 mixed driving- are much better than a 6 cyl High would produce.Folks who have them regularly complain of 15-16 mpg city.They can get 25+ mpg hy of course.The 4 cyl Highlander is a different story.If you are very careful you might beat the HH on the hy,and come close in the city.It is a 10-11 sec 0-60 vehicle of course,and has very little "passing power" at 70 mph.Thanks.Charlie
    PS The NYT has an obvious PC bias,and it is naughty in the PC world to push performance.Yes,I would rather a 4cyl HH;and it might come someday,but as was noted above, the HH and the R400 were developed together,and the R400 customers were catered too.The HH customers just came along for the ride.
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    Nimrod,with any luck the article will drop prices on the HH-a big plus.The close to $40,000 price is the main downside to the HH vs a regular V-6 Highlander.If the premium drops to the $3000 it should be-they-HH's-will be a "bargain".Early results here show about 25-26 mpg in mixed driving.Probably 5+ mpg better than a very carefully driven V-6 only Highlander.Hy mpg will be close,but it will have a big-maybe 10 mpg-advantage in city driving.Most "regular" V-6 Highlanders get 14-16 mpg city-(yes,folks here with V-6 will do better,but they are mpg fanatics).
    Let's hope prices drop as a result of NYT poisoned pen.Thanks.Charlie
  • waltrdewaltrde Posts: 26
    My understanding is that improved fuel economy was never a prime design objective in Toyota's hybrid designs. For the Prius, the prime objective was actually minimizing exhaust emissions and improved fuel economy was a side benefit. Toyota's Prius ads always touted clean and green for the not gas savings. Improved fuel economy was clearly not a design objective with the HH/RH, improved performance was the chief goal. I personally believe that Toyota's long term plans behind hybrid development is preparation for fuel cell vehicles. On the other hand Honda's emphasis for it's hybrids until the Accord was fuel economy (especially the Insight) and this is what the press and public ran with.

    Anyone interested in saving money on a mid-size SUV should not buy an hybrid. In fact if recouping the hybrid premium is the major factor, I would recommend against buying any hybrid with possible exception of an Insight.

    Reading the More Thirsty Than You'd Think article, I noticed that one individual used premium gas. Unless an engine is optimized for higher octane, higher grades don't help at all, they actually contain less energy per volume unit. I know from experience with my first Prii and anecdotal evidence from other Prius owners online, that the Prius doesn't like high octane gas at all. Unlike the Prius owner's manual, the HH manual does say that a higher octane rating than 87 can provide enhance performance, but what part of performance is enhanced? Toyota used to claim a few more horsepower on the 3.0 liter V-6 with premium gas, but I don't find that on any data I've found for the 3.3 in the Highlander. Unless the engine can achieve higher power output using high grade poorer mpg would be the result due the lower energy content of high octane gas.

    On the extra 2 gallons, I believe that the HH has a rubber fuel bladder like the Prius. The fuel tanks in Toyota hybrids have a rubber fuel bladder to reduce evaporative emissions. It creates back pressure on the filler that can cause the gas pump to shut off prematurely. This has been extensively documented in the Prius online community. I first saw mention of it with the '04. The amount of gas you can squeeze in seems to vary a bit and I believe it is related to the alignment of the bladder to the outer tank. The better the alignment, the less you can squeeze in. Think of blowing up a balloon in a square box. A square balloon would need less pressure fill the corners than a round one. The tank of the Highlander is rather complex in shape, so the bladder is shaped to fit. If it isn't aligned perfectly, you have to stretch it further to fill it completely. It sounds like your's isn't aligned quite right. Some Prius owners have been able to get their tanks replaced under warranty. Even under the best conditions, the fill level of the tank will vary somewhat based on ambient temperature because the bladder is more elastic the warmer it gets.

    I have no idea what's left in the tank once the warning light comes on. Expect some variability because of the bladder. It could be significantly lower for a tank with a misaligned bladder. The same could be true in extreme cold weather.
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    The break even on the HH vs another midsized SUV is 125000 miles or less.This assumes
    1)$3/gal gas over 125000 miles-good bet.
    2)The HH get 25mpg(current average is ~26mpg for you folks) and other gets 18mpg.The V-6 High gets 19 "average" according to CR.It gets 13 city 25 high and 22 on their "trip".No V-6 midsized SUV will do any better than the Highlander.The 4 cyl High could do very well-same for CRV(but it is somewhat smaller and not available with Curtain ABs yet).Most Midsized will do much more poorly that the High V-6:Explorer-Envoy-Trailblazer-.Bigger SUV's do terribly-10 mpg city-Tahoe-Subur-Exped etc.Many folks will be downsizing to the HH-they wil make out immediately since the "buy' prices will be so close.
    Well,that is it.This ignores tax breaks and interest not earned on extra cost.It will be interesting to see CR actual numbers.
    The NYT articles were essentially on hy miles,not heavy city where it will "shine"Charlie
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    "2)The HH get 25mpg(current average is ~26mpg for you folks) and other gets 18mpg.The V-6 High gets 19 "average" according to CR.It gets 13 city 25 high and 22 on their "trip".No V-6 midsized SUV will do any better than the Highlander.The 4 cyl High could do very well-same for CRV(but it is somewhat smaller and not available with Curtain ABs yet).Most Midsized will do much more poorly that the High V-6:Explorer-Envoy-Trailblazer-.Bigger SUV's do terribly-10 mpg city-Tahoe-Subur-Exped etc.Many folks will be downsizing to the HH-they wil make out immediately since the "buy' prices will be so close."

    I have to disagree on your statements about the Honda CR-V, which is only marginally smaller than the HH. It gets 27 MPG highway and 22 City, real world, not EPA mileages. Plus there are no restrictions on the Real Time 4WD system. And the CR-V is about $10K cheaper, even for the top of the line SE model.

    I will grant that the HH will accelerate and ride better (because Honda designs vehicles differently than Toyota, not because of a design defficiency), but the question is about cost / vs MPG. In environmental terms, the CR-V, which does not incur the "enviro" penalty of having to incorporate traction batteries in the manufacture, or the "envrio" penaly to disposing of those batteries, may well beat out the HH. Also, the mechanical systems (especially the software modules) are simpler or incorporate time-tested technology. I don't anticipate having any trouble making 200K miles on my CR-V (not that I will go that far - I intend to let my son drive it to colleage - in 12 years).

    It's all really moot anyway. If you like the HH, go ahead and buy it, but don't expect it to be justified when compared to all the alternatives. It is a good vehicle so far, and has great performance. So enjoy!
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    stevedebi,we really don't disagree.I said that the Highlander 4cyl and the CRV were the only SUVs that would-will(maybe) give the HH a run for it's money mpg wise.I did say that the CRV is somewhat smaller vs your marginally smaller??I was wrong on the side curtains-the 2005 CRV has them standard-big plus!
    The CRV is smaller,and it has less interior room.CR numbers are for the second row seat
    56.5 vs 57 shoulder room
    29 vs 29.5
    3.5 vs 4 head room
    Of course,the HH has a 3rd row(7 passenger vs 5 pass) which the CRV doesn't.Granted it is only suitable for 10 year old kids,but a lot of families have 10 year old kids.
    CR's MPG numbers on the 2005 4x4 are
    21 average vs V-6 Highlander 19
    15 city vs 13 city
    29 hy vs 25 hy
    26 trip vs 22 trip
    EPA 22 -27 VS EPA 18-24.
    The CRV beats the V-6 High by 2-4 mpg-just about what the EPA results predict.
    CR hasn't tested the HH,so we don't have any"real world" numbers to compare in that respect.My bet-the HH will do 26 hy and 18 city on CRs test loops.Just a guess,and you can have a laugh on me when the real numbers come in.I'll go further with my guessing-THE HH WILL BEAT THE CRV on CR's city loop(strictly my guess,but I'm willing to bet genuine PAYPAL $$ on it-a friendly $5 bet?)
    The CRV is an excellent SUV,but it is shorter181 vs 184),narrower(70-72),carries fewer passengers(5 vs 7) and is a LOT slower accelerating-10.4 vs 7.3 0-60.It is a LOT less expensive-at least $10000 vs the AWD HH currently.MPG-well we know EPA results on Hybrids are a bit less predictive of real world results,so let's call that"PENDING".The HH is "near luxury" 7 passenger SUV the CRV is an excellent 5 passenger "not luxury" SUV.
    The HH beats everything in it's class in mpg and acceleration-heck of a car.Charlie
    PS I am really hoping CR will test the HH soon-I check their web site 2 times a day!!I suspect they don't want to pay the ripoff markups many dealer were pushing.The NYT article might put paid to that for a while!
    PPS I have a Pilot,and have had other Hondas.They were-are-excellent,as good or better that the Toyotas I've had.Honda generally makes peppier motors than Toyota with slightly better mpg and a bit harder accelerating.Toyota has trumped Honda with it's Hybrids(PRIUS vs Civic hybrid),and the HH which doesn't really have any direct Honda competition-maybe the MDX which has more room,but is slower and much thirstier-price is a wash.The Pilot has more room than a MDX or a HH,but it is much thirstier and slower.
    The near LUX market demands acceleration-this one of the main reasons that the CRV just isn't comparable to the HH.The 4cyl Highlander -same story-great fuel efficient vehicle,but it doesn't have the accel the mid $30000 SUV's have.The 4 cyl Highlander is every bit the vehicle that the CRV is(and bigger),but it isn't near lux acceleration wise.It is hard to buy a $36000 HH when you can get a 4 cyl Highlander FWD for $21999!!
  • nimhrodnimhrod Posts: 49
    I spent a while on the phone with several IRS folks asking about whether this year's Hybrid Tax Deduction is available if you lease. After being put on hold several times, I wa told that this deductionis available whether you lease or buy. As long as you are the original owner/lessee you can claim the deduction.

    I also asked about the rumored-still-being-debated energy related tax changes for next year. For that I was transferred to a department that handles these issues. The gentleman explained that he'd been told that some sort of tax credit was being debated for next year's purchasers. And that this is potentially much greater than the $2000 deduction (which, at a 33% tax rate amounts to $666 break) A tax credit would come right off the top. He further said that the amounts would be larger for vehicles that were more efficient. Don't guess that will help the HH or RX400 that much, eh?

    He referred to publication #535. I've heard the credit credits could be as high as $3000+ Anyone heard similar numbers?

  • I have my new HH for about two weeks, driving this morning suddenly i got the message on the screen "CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM". In my way back to the dealer i also got the message "CHECK CSV SYSTEM". I left the car in the dealer, they didnt know the reason for that. Have anyone had similar or some kind of trouble with the HH?
  • For what it is worth, here is 1 family's "real world" data.

    Drove a brand new AWD HH (25 miles) on a family trip from Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Jose via HWY 5 over the weekend. 2 adults, 2 kids, a pile of luggage. Got 24.9 MPG

    We were in a hurry, there was no time to "hyper mile". We drove it hard but safely.
    We drove 66 miles in LA running errands before getting on HWY 5 north around Disneyland.
    Zipped through the mountains north of LA at 65-70 when safe to do so.
    Traffic condition on 5 northbound (in LA) was poor as usual, jam at every junction, temperature averaged 102-F, smog everywhere. We had the A/C on auto to maintain 72-F inside.
    After the grapevine, we drove at 70-75 MPH on flat stretches of HWY 5 with spurts of 85 MPH to pass convoys of trucks.
    The drive over HWY-152's twisty mountainous freeway was also at the posted 65 MPH whenever safe to do so.
    We used cruise control whenever possible to take advantage of the drive computer and used engine braking "B" on all descent. The "B" system worked great when timed right. Descent was smooth and with little use of the brakes.

    Darn good car, tight steering, easy to control, smooth, very stable even in high wind especially down the grapevine and along early stretches of HWY 5 north of LA. It takes curves surprisingly well with almost no body lean. It easily maintained HWY speed with tons of power to spare on steeper uphill grade (HWY 5 amd 152). Several monster SUV's tailgated smaller cars in #1 lane on 5 to "push" them aside on various uphill only to slow down half way up tehachapi barely able to maintain freeway speed. We just passed them. Not sure why their V8's would have difficulties.

    Not sure why gas mileage is such a big fuss here, this is just a higher powered and technically sophisticated SUV (VDIM) that happens to get decent mileage. If gas mileage is the focus, there are better choices at significantly lower cost.
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    discussion1,there actually isn't a midsized SUV that is comfortable for 4-5 people(7 if they are small enough) and a ton of luggage that will1) casually blast past V-8 SUVs like you did on uphills(thanks to 7.3 0-60) 2)Will get 25 honest mpg.
    The Biturbo Cayenne($80000-$111000+) is faster,but no chance in the world it would get 25mpg on your trip.
    The 4 cyl Highlander will come close on mpg,but it is extremely slow.The CRV same story- much slower(10.5 0-60) and a little smaller-.
    If you want a midsized SUV with hard acceleration(let's be polite and call it "passing power")and 4cyl midsized suv mpg-then the HH is it.Frankly,I don't know why anyone would want a RX400-Why spend $10000 more for a slightly less roomy vehicle??I've never understood the Lexus lure(on their lower end vehicles-the dolled up Camrys)-buy a dolled up Toyota for $10000 more??Charlie
  • What are the advantages of buying the Hybrid Hylander over the regular one?
    How long will it take to make up the difference in savings buying one tank of gas per week?

    leanybean
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Dear Leenybean,
    Your questions are common but the real answers come from your own analysis if you are seriously considering getting a new car. I like to suggest asking the following questions first before deciding whether Hybrid Highlander (HH) is worth considering.

    What *other* car would you purchase assuming a HH does not exist today?

    How far do you drive each day, 5 days a week?
    How many miles city? country lanes? freeway?
    How many mountain miles? dirt tracks?
    How far do you drive on weekends?
    How often do you visit this or that point of interest a week or a month?
    How fast must you drive on each type of roads? 40? 60? 85?
    Other travel patterns that only you know.

    From these answers, you can determine the annual mileage for street-, country-lane- and freeway driving.

    Now compare the mileage a highlander hybrid *may* get against the mileage of the car you will buy if the HH did no exist. This will give you the best comparison in terms of price, gas savings and so on.

    My bias opinion is that if you would buy a Prius or a Hondya Hybrid or a little Diesel (VW?) because they meet your needs, then HH may not be useful. Only you can decide.

    Hopefully this helps.
  • c2rosac2rosa Posts: 76
    Here are some snippets from an
    Interesting article in the NYT - July 31, 2005


    The all-wheel-drive version of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses a
    powertrain almost identical to the one in the Lexus RX 400h, and both
    vehicles carry fuel economy ratings of 31 miles per gallon in town and 27 on
    the highway. But try as I might, and I did try hard, I could not budge
    the Highlander Hybrid above 25 m.p.g. on a recent road test in eastern
    Connecticut.
    ........
    I calculated my mileage in the Highlander Hybrid as 23 m.p.g. (although
    the car's computer said it was 25).
    ........
    I sought to stay in the fuel-conserving electric mode and tried not to
    take advantage of the car's quick acceleration. But the algorithm that
    switches the gas engine on and off seemed to resist driving techniques
    intended to use the least fuel; for instance, even slight pressure on
    the accelerator brings the gasoline engine online, driving down the
    mileage. While the power delivery was very smooth, the onset of the V-6
    engine results in a quiver and some rather un-Toyotalike vibrations.
    ........
    Compared with my own Subaru Outback, it is hard to see advantages to
    the Highlander Hybrid. My Outback is a PZEV, or partial-zero-emission
    vehicle, with only negligible tailpipe emissions. (Classifications for the
    RX and Highlander hybrids vary by state, but none are as clean as
    PZEV's.) And in my experience, the Outback's mileage is at least as good as
    the Highlander Hybrid's.
    ........
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    There are over 30 posts recording "fillup"mpg here.Many aren't calculated,but the calculated and readout results are fiirly close.The lowest-from memory-is 23+,highest>30mpg.The average is 25-26(haven't done it lately).No doubt there is bias here-the folks with the good numbers post-poor numbers don't.However,these folks are mainly new to hybrids,so they should be able to improve their results as they "learn" how to max out their mpg-their numbers will probably improve.I doubt their is any significant"breakin" with modern cars,so I won't mention that;there might be a "learning curve" for the cars ECU,but I tend to doubt that that will improve mpg much either.
    The break even with $2.75 gas and $5000 initial difference and 18 vs 25 mpg(this would assume mainly city-suburban)is about 120000 miles-or 8 years at 300 miles a week.
    $5000/$2.75 + X/25= X/18 This ignores tax breaks and money lost to interest.
    The 18 mpg for the V-6 Highlander is a "guesstimate" based on CR city-hy mpg for the V-6(13-25 from memory).I have biased it slightly toward city-surburban driving-what I do)
    The V-6 Highlander is probably the best mpg wise of the V-6 Midsized SUV's,and waaaay ahead of the Tahoe,Suburban,Explorer,Trailblazer,Escalade,Pilot,Expedition etc which are the real "targets" of the $35000(now,or soon they will sell in this range) HH.One more bump in gas prices,and folks will downsize-forever- from the big SUV's.They are bailing out in droves,but GM's pricing gave them one last gasp,and the horrible resale(used Suburbans have to be given away now-1 year only one worth maybe 40% of cost on a trade)
    So,if you keep it for 120000 miles and gas averages $2.75,you will get all the benefits of the HH over the V-6 H-FREE! What do you think the chances are that gasoline will average just $2.75 over the next 8 years-or 120000 miles???ZERO!!
    HEY-GIVE US SOME "BAD" MPG NUMBERS!!!Only at fillups,of course,I don't want the 18 mpg you got climbing Pikes Peak!!(Actually it would be interesting to see some worst case short run numbers-just make sure it is clear it isn't a "tank".
    There are "some numbers"-is the HH 7 mpg better than the V-6 H?EPA says 18-24 vs 33-28,I'm waiting for the CR numbers.If you do much city drivng,the HH is a very good bet.Remember,the V-6 H is the best of the V-6 SUVs.Charlie
  • Interesting but repetitious. I guess some press has to say something "controversial" with all the interest in hybrid technology. What is the point of joining the chorus that supports hybrid?

    It seems pointless to pick apart news articles these days when mass media is more interested in making $$$ than providing really useful information.

    To be fair, our hand calculated MPG was 25 MPG while on-board showed 24.9 for our most recent mad dash from LA into SJ on HWY 5. The computational discrepancies is most likely the writer's error. As for engine coming on before we "think" it should, it depends on many factors, not just what we "think" it should do. How does the writer explain a stretch of LA street when we moved at 40 MPH on electric only for about 8 blocks? This happened again and again many times in LA and SJ on seemingly flat road ways. We now think the roads were sloped ever slightly so the drive computer took advantage of it.

    We are continuing our Great American Summer Trip into Northern CA Sierras/Mountain Country and then on up into Oregon the rest of August. If we have more interesting HH related info, we will be happy to share with others here.

    Enjoy your summer!
  • Hi Charlie,

    We did not post those intermediate MPG but the worst for us was 3.9 MPG gunning up a steep grade at 65 MPH (posted legal) on HWY 152.

    The best in-use was 38 MPG on a flat stretch of street (8 blocks) in LA on Katella on the way to Albertson's :-).

    The top-of-the-line was > 60MPG on all downhill :-) but like I said, we did not post these because they are too short to be of interest.

    Will tell you how we do In the Sierras, Mt. Shasta & Lassen and the Cascade range when we leave SJ for northern CA and OR.
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    I think it's fair to conclude that the purchase of a HH shouldn't be made on fuel savings and the answer to the earn-back question is “not within the life of the vehicle.”

    People who've flocked to the HH to have their cake (an SUV) and eat it (low MPG) realize Toyota was really saying "let them eat cake." What you get is a SUV with great performance and average MPG. That's an engineering but not an environmental marvel. When you consider that some (like Tom Friedman) estimate that we're really paying $7 a gallon (with wars, health problems and associated costs), you’d hope that everyone would be trying to conserve energy and not getting more performance for the same amount of energy.

    Maybe it's just not reasonable to have our cake and eat it. If we're concerned about these issues, maybe we should be in the Prius. But a 4cyl HH engineered, computed and geared for conservation (instead of performance) would've allowed us to delude ourselves a little longer.
  • tradscotttradscott Posts: 108
    They haven't downsized yet. I just read that SUV sales hit an all time high in July. The recent runup in gas prices may have surprised some drivers, but I don't think it is painful enough for most people to change their habits.

    Hybrids are a good trend, but don't really yeild as large a benifit as advertised. HH owners are really only saving a very small amount of gasoline. It only gets a little better mileage than the V6 Highlander. And that is really the only SUV that it is fair to compare against. Most of the other SUVs have capabilities that the H and especially the HH does not, even if most people do not use these capabilities (this is a different problem).

    I think that hybrids are a great trend in general, but I also think that the trend toward higher performance and very small mileage gains is not a good one. Similar performance (not better) to the V6 H and even better mileage, especially on the highway, would have interested me more.
  • Very well said and I agree with the V4 HH with cylinder deactivation to save gas. I will disagree slightly on 3 points then must run to continue our trip...

    1. Not all of us buy an SUV because we want an SUV. I would have preferred a 4x4 Tundra for off-roading while my wife would prefer a plush comfortable car.

    2. We have a 94 Mercury Villager still going strong at 230K miles. Our '86 Mercury Lynx lasted through 210 miles. So it is "well within life of the vehicle" if you consider mileage.

    3. Our oil dependent economy and social system will take a lot more than a few hybrids to change. When people are forced to live 75 miles away from their office due to affordable housing and family concerns, when development is based on sprawls and conversion of farmlands to giant mansions, one is forced to drive everywhere. More of us are on the road 4 hours a day just commuting to and from work, more of us have monster trucks and SUV's, more of us drive like mad men and women, of course there is now a perceived need for larger powerful engine.

    To break this cycle of consume-consume and more consumption means more than just cars and gas. It means making personal changes, doing the little things individually that hopefully can make a collective difference. I happen to think a HH is a decent start.

    Off we go....
  • sbgirlsbgirl Posts: 22
    You definitely need to be in this mindset when purchasing the HH
    "I think it's fair to conclude that the purchase of a HH shouldn't be made on fuel savings"

    I traded in my 30+ mpg Honda Civic for my HH. I knew I needed a bigger car with the fact that I will be starting a family soon. I chose to look at SUVs primarily rather then cars, such as the Camry for my personal reasons. I also knew that the HH would be with me until it dies. So with all of these factors and the fact that I prefer Toyota and Honda over any other manufacturer. The HH was the obvious choice as I will be supporting the technology, getting better MPG then a regular Highlander (which I would've purchased if HH was pushed back again), and knowing how long I would have it, it will be the step in the right direction.

    I do have a confession....I'm a hybrid snob.
    It's funny when another Highlander pulls up next to me, the first thing I look for is the Hybrid Synergy badge.
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    Be careful, you're likely to rear-end a H trying to find the HH badge . . . it’s SO small. I’ve heard T’s going to make something more obvious and I’ve seen big hybrid stickers in windows and wonder if that’s it.

    On the odometer at death, I have a 4Runner with over a million. I know a car can go over 100k BUT I suspect that once you get there you're going to have end of warranty issues with 3 motors! Let's keep this list going a decade cause I'd be willing to bet a gallon that no one's going to earn money back on gas savings. But who's going to buy on the 'rosy' scenario of earning back in a decade?

    I think we need to let this discussion go. When the EPA guesstimates came out it was fun math. But with the real numbers we can stop that and say no one should buy this vehicle for gas savings. No one here is boasting about savings. They're boasting, like the ads show, about overtaking sports cars.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I may be missing one, but according to Jim Press, COO of Toyota NA sales, the upcoming Camry Hybrid will be the 5th Hybrid. I count...(1) Prius, (2) RX400h, (3) Highlander Hybrid, (4) Camry Hybrid..I wonder what is in between? Or is he counting Gen 1 Prius?

    Jim speaks about half way thru the short video...
    Camry Hybrid announcement Video
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    I have to disagree on everyone who says"you won't break even mpg wise-during the life cycle of the vehicle".
    If the NYT tests were the final word,that would be right.It isn't.Those were essentially hy mpg tests.We have 20+ posters with over 25 mpg !!
    We do have "hard numbers" on the V-6 Highlander VS HH 18-24 VS 31-28 EPA.Yes,I agree that the numbers are "relative" and biased for the HH.However we also have CR's V-6 H numbers 13-25(from memory).Once we get CR's HH numbers will have some very good ,hard numbers to compare.I would bet CR will get something like c17-18 h26.
    The V-6 H is the BEST midsized V-6 SUV mpg wise.Many of the rest-Explorer-Trailblazer-Pilot are very,very thirsty.
    "Our numbers" here are better than the NYT numbers.
    We'll see once we get CR's numbers.If the difference is just 4 mpg the break even is 230000 miles with $2.75 gas..If gas is $4/gal it is 160000 at 21 vs 25 mpg .If gas is $4 and difference is 18 vs 25 break even is 80,000.
    Lotta guessing-we will see with CR's numbers.Charlie
    PS-Yes,I would have preferred the 160hp 4 cyl Hybrid also.It would give 2-3 mpg better everwhere-something like the Escape-just faster,quieter, and more reliable.I expect to the a 4cyl HH in a couple of years.Heck,maybe a 4cyl Diesel HH delivering an honest 31 mpg High and honest 31 mpg city!!
  • juniejunie Posts: 2
    I have had my HH for about 3 weeks and am thinking about adding an in-dash navigation system (probably from Car Toys.) Has anyone done this? Do I have to be concerned about the electrical system for the Hybrid any more than a non-hybrid? The Pioneer system I'm considering has an iPod cable and XM radio all accessible on the touch screen...any experience with either of these?
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    I think because there were two Priuses (what is the plural?). This is the second now.
  • sbgirlsbgirl Posts: 22
    True, it is too small. I tend to also look for the chrome rear "handle" where the Toyota badge is above the license plate. :)

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't feel a huge hit on the wallet when it goes over 100k....I wonder if there are any Priuses that have over 100k yet.
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