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Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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Comments

  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    On my 2004 Prius and my 2006 HH to override the lockout:
    Touch the upper left corner of the screen, then the lower left, the the upper left again,
    then the lower left again.
    On the next screen touch and hold the OVERRIDE box until you hear a beep.
    You can now enter destinations and most other NAV commands.

    Does anyone know how to do this on a 2007 HH?
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    ". . . the reverse is always electric so you have to be really careful when backing up and needing extra power in snow. . ."

    Nothing in the owner's manual indicates that reverse is all electric. Obviously, the rear wheels are always electric. I have found that in deep snow (or coming up against a packed snowbank or ridge) the VDIM/traction control system will cut power. The cure for this is to simply take your foot completly off the gas pedal and then give it gentle pressure.

    The combination of the gas and electric drive has very good low speed torque. I have not found conditions (although I am sure they exist) to get my 08 HH stuck this winter. This is in northern North Dakota. We have had good amounts of snow this year. In the mountains, I would look into snow tires.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    ". . . I did look at the Escape. Much cheaper. Maybe as good in many situations. But the HH is more of a luxury vehicle, for better or worse. . ."

    The HH is larger than the Escape, but the base model HH is hardly a luxury vehicle.

    The big factor for me is that the Escape does not have stability control. On icy roads an SUV without stability control is just an accident waiting to happen.
  • Re the preceding two messages: The Toyota salesman had a long list of Toyota-prepared comparisons of the HH with the Escape. I later learned from the Ford dealer that some of these comparisons were incorrect, or unfair. But the list was VERY VERY Long, to the HH advantage in all cases. Such a list did have an affect on this buyer. I noticed the high torque at low rpms for example (commented above) and the various safety systems. Anyway, still very happy with it in Colorado's very snowy winter.

    As for luxury, despite the salesman's promises, we ended up with one with a package and features that we did not want: e.g., larger wheels, rear view camera, and a few other things that seem luxurious to me. Anyway, a technical question: What are the consequences of larger wheels (19 vs 17): Obviously it gives one inch extra clearance, which could be good sometime. But it adds weight and drag surely. Does it have a measurable affect on MPG? Might the larger wheels really be better in some conditions (snow, rough roads)?

    PS: I complained a lot to the dealer about the extra stuff that I did not want or order and managed to get a few 100 dollars back as a goodwill gesture.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    ". . . What are the consequences of larger wheels (19 vs 17): Obviously it gives one inch extra clearance, which could be good sometime. . ."

    The larger wheels do not give extra clearance. The only advantage is that the lower profile tires (45 series on the 19" vs. the 55 series on the 17") will give "better" handling. They will also wear out sooner and provide a harsher ride (due to the shorter sidewalls). The wheels (also due to the shorter sidewalls of the tires) are more likely to be damaged by road hazards (potholes, debris, etc.). The main purpose is that some people think they look good.

    Re-think the review camera. I have found that because of the tint on the rear windows I cannot not see anything out the rear windows when backing up at night. The camera gives a great view, at least of the close area. It is great for parking, I can bring the rear bumper up to about 3" from the bumper of the car behind me without touching it, and still see a gap using the camera.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    ". . . What are the consequences of larger wheels (19 vs 17): Obviously it gives one inch extra clearance, which could be good sometime. . ."

    The larger wheels do not give extra clearance. The only advantage is that the lower profile tires (45 series on the 19" vs. the 55 series on the 17") will give "better" handling, but not in snow or on ice. They will also wear out sooner and provide a harsher ride (due to the shorter sidewalls). The wheels (also due to the shorter sidewalls of the tires) are more likely to be damaged by road hazards (potholes, debris, etc.). The main purpose is that some people think they look good.

    Re-think the rearview camera. I have found that because of the tint on the rear windows I cannot not see anything out the rear windows when backing up at night. The camera gives a great view, at least of the close area. It is great for parking, I can bring the rear bumper up to about 3" from the bumper of the car behind me without touching it, and still see a gap using the camera.
  • ". . . What are the consequences of larger wheels (19 vs 17): Obviously it gives one inch extra clearance, which could be good sometime. . ."

    It is possible the "one inch clearance" is referring to the inner wheel, not the tire diameter. This would give more cooling airflow to the rear motors.

    I agree about the camera. I sure wish I had one on my Tacoma so I wouldn't have to get in and out so many times when I hook up my trailer.
  • We are having very above average snow year here in the Colo mts and so far the HH is behaving well. Not quite as good as the 1994 Explorer with its low range, but it has been fine in very heavy snow. The real test will come this summer on some of the rough roads to trailheads... the power is there, and the clearance is probably the equal of the Ford, but will the lack of gearing keep me away from places I am used to getting to? We'll see,
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,302
    We are in Northern British Columbia with plenty of snow and very cold temps. Do you have any experience or idea yet how much of a mileage hit you are seeing in sub-zero temps? We usually reckon on about 25-30% drop in mileage for our ICE vehicles during the 3 heavy months Dec-Feb. Is the HIHY comparable or worse?
    FWIW we will be using the new vehicle almost exclusively in short to medium haul city driving.
  • I have only had the vehicle in the winter, but I have experience with the Prius for 3+ years now. In summer, Prius gets 50 mph no problem. In winter it gets 40, except when I am working in St Paul, Minnesota, and driving just 2.5 miles to work each way. Then the mileage takes a big hit because of the short hops. 32-35 mpg is typical for Dec. in St Paul (unless we go somewhere on a longer trip). I imagine the HH willl be the same, percentage wise. Right now I am getting 24, but I try to use it only on snowy days. I believe it will get 30 in the summer.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,302
    So do the HY's not do well with short drives? My understanding was that short distance city driving is their forte. Am I wrong on this, or is it simply an issue of short trips are always bad for mileage - ICE or HY? Were you using a block heater? I've read that can significantly improve performance of the HY.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes short trips are bad for all ICE vehicles. Hybrids are primarily ICE vehicles. Hybrids do very well when the entire vehicle ( ICE, cabin, catalytic converter ) are at optimal operating temperatures. This allows the ICE to shutdown or shut off for periods of time. The battery and motor can then power the vehicle alone. But the ICE has to get everything up to temp first.
  • Why is that the Fuel Gauge and Cruising Range move more slowly from full to half then they do from half to empty or zero? I've noticed this on several cars I have owned, both Toyota and domestics.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota hybrids are designed to get really GREAT FE in city stop and go traffic in comparison to "normal" ICE vehicles.

    If there is no opportunity to recover energy "stored" in the mass of the vehicle via it being in motion then the Toyota Hybrid synergy drive system has very little advantage. Energy recovery via regenerative braking occurs only during coastdown and braking periods. For mostly freeway, primarily cruising at a set speed, you would be better off with a non-hybrid vehicle.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Your last statement is inaccurate for two reasons.

    The HSD system offers the Toyota models the opportunity to use the more efficient Atkinson cycle while cruising on the highway.
    In addition while highway driving is normally at a constant high speed it is not uniformly an accelerating speed. There are periods of highway driving during deceleration or during lessened load on the ICE that the battery/e-motor assists the ICE and thereby saves fuel.

    The proof is that the Prius is more efficient on the highway than both the Corolla and the Camry.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But the Atkinson cycle engine is not unique to the THSD concept, and not used at all in the V6 THSD versions. It is also used in the Millenia S for the FE advantage but upgraded to Miller cycle via the use of an SC.

    Yes, on the hwy the THSD will often use the electrics for BOOST for even the slightest level of acceleration. But then the battery must be recharged via the ICE and that increases the loss factor.

    I suspect that if a switch were provided wherein the driver could choose to live with slower "ICE only" acceleration on the hwy the hwy FE would improve dramatically.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Hybrids do get better mileage on the highway than non-hybrids, so the arguement that one would be "better off getting a non-hybrid if you do primarily hwy driving" may not pan out.

    Looking at the specs of a vehicle that is offered in both non-hybrid and hybrid, the Toyota Camry, the specs say this:

    2008 4 cylinder, automatic trans.:
    Mileage Estimates: city 21 mpg / hwy 31 mpg;

    2008 Hybrid:
    Mileage Estimates: city 33 mpg / hwy 34 mpg;

    --------
    This proves true, though to a lesser degree, with the Highlander as well:

    2008 Highlander 3.5L v6:
    Mileage Estimates: 18 mpg / 24 mpg;

    2008 Highlander Hybrid:
    Mileage Estimates: 27 mpg / 25 mpg;

    Granted there are ICE-only vehicles that you can purchase that get better hwy mileage than the 34mpg Camry hybrid, but then, the '08 Prius is rated at Mileage Estimates: city 48 mpg / hwy 45 mpg, and few non-hyrid cars can compete with that hwy mpg rating. That carries over for the highlander hybrid. How many SUV can compete with the hybrid mileage?

    On a related subject, there is definitely a fall-off on winter mileage with a hybrid, but there is mpg drop-off on a non-hybrid as well. And note that the winter mileage on a Prius, even for short trips, is still much higher than the winter mileage of a non-hybrid for short trips. I would think the same would hold true for the HH compared to other SUVs and to it's non-hybrid self, too.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I assume those are EPA estimates as our '03 Prius w/35k has gotten a pretty consistent city only 42MPG. Not sure how closely that will relate to a Camry hybrid.

    It's been pretty clean from the get-go that the EPA estimates are aways off the mark for hybrids.

    I've only had the Prius on a hwy trip once, ~300 miles round trip, and I remember the MPG being pretty disappointing in comparison to city.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I assume those are EPA estimates as our '03 Prius w/35k has gotten a pretty consistent city only 42MPG. Not sure how closely that will relate to a Camry hybrid.

    It's been pretty clear from the get-go that the EPA estimates are aways off the mark for hybrids.

    I've only had the Prius on a hwy trip once, ~300 miles round trip, and I remember the MPG being pretty disappointing in comparison to city.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,302
    Well I did test drive loops of both the reg. Highlander and the Hybrid. Did the work-home leg. Wait 20 mins then home-work and back to the dealer which is less than a mile away. Both vehicles were cold and hadn't been driven for 2 days. Temp was 34F, but that was the high for the day and it had been sub-freezing for close to 24hrs preceding the test (10F overnight). Around here, we call that Spring weather. ;-)
    Results come only from the on-board computer readings which I know aren't perfectly accurate but they are all I had. Hit all the same lights as luck would have it, although I did have to go through amber for one and slow down a little early to stop at another to keep it even.
    Hybrid 10.6L/100km (22.1 mpg) and I forgot to set to ECON mode for the drive from work to home.
    Highlander Limited 16L/100km (14.6 mpg).
    Both were as expected well below EPA but the relative economy difference was maintained. That would mean about $800 per year gas savings at current prices for us on top of the gov't rebate and tax break. It actually makes the HY financially worthwhile in less than 5 years of use .
  • My "lifetime" MPG is for 2000 miles all at high altitude and in generally cold weather, and on hills. And the reading is about 23.3. I expect much better in summer, though I will drive it less. Unlike the Prius, the panel tells you lifetime MPG and MPG since last fillup (one can reset the lifetime to start over if one wants).

    Another note: The "Cruising Range" tells how many miles more one can drive. I believe when that is 0 one would still have about 1.5 gallons in the tank. My last fillup the cruising range was down to 2 miles left and the tank took 14.55 gals, when capacity is, I think, 17.2. Hmm.. maybe 16.2? I am out of town and cannot check. But it seems like one can easily drive to cruising range of 0 with no fear of running out of gas.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    "Nothing in the owner's manual indicates that reverse is all electric."

    The HSD is only geared for forward motion. Reverse is electric. You might check the Prius board for a further discussion.
  • hlanderhlander Posts: 31
    I want to know that how do the tire pressures display in Mult Information Display. What indicate which?

    I maen the top tire pressure in display represent Front Left Wheel or what?

    If somebody know, please share with me.

    Thanks.
  • stanwagonstanwagon Posts: 15
    I believe there is no correlation. This must be because the data comes from a coded transmitter on the tire, which could be moved to another location.
  • hlanderhlander Posts: 31
    That mean the tire pressures display in the Multi Functional Display randomly and if there is some warning about tire pressure we may not know right away which tire is going bad. And it's hard to read spare tire pressure with tire pressure guage.

    Anyway , thanks for your reply Stanwagon.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    1. The Prius is FWD while the HH is AWD.
    2. I can tell at times that the ICE is powering the front wheels while in reverse.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    On our '06 HH AWD, the energy flow display shows the hybrid battery pack driving all four wheels when reversing. The ICE comes on to charge the battery pack when necessary. We have never yet seen the display showing the ICE driving the wheels when reversing. The display may not show complete info, that's possible or '07-'08 HH may be different.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,793
    " I can tell at times that the ICE is powering the front wheels while in reverse."

    Just because the ICE is running does not mean it is providing power to the rear wheels.

    Take a look under the vehicle and see if there is a transfer case attached to the rear wheels, or if there are electric motors. I suspect you will find the latter.

    The HSD is a completely different system than the transmission / engine used in the conventional HH.
  • monte8monte8 Posts: 75
    "Take a look under the vehicle and see if there is a transfer case attached to the rear wheels, or if there are electric motors. I suspect you will find the latter. "

    Of course the ICE does not drive the rear wheels, there is no transfer case or drive shaft to the rear. However, that does not mean that the ICE cannot power the front wheels in reverse. How would you drive this car if the traction battery pack failed (something I hope does not happen for 200K miles or so)? Do you think Toyota would produce a vehicle without the ability for the ICE to back the car?

    Or even more simply, if the traction battery is below the cutoff point for use (40% charge?), the ICE would power the front wheels.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Unless Toyota has changed the HSD behavior in the '07, '08 models, the HH cannot run on ICE alone. If the Hybrid Battery pack dies, so dies the car.

    If the traction battery is way low (two red bars on the energy flow display, 25%), the ICE will charge the battery and power the car simultaneously. In some situation, the ICE is so busy powering the car, it takes forever to recharge the battery. This has happened often to us on uphill climb either at low speed or high speed.

    Last night, we ran the charge down to two red bars and had to reverse uphill to drop off some gear. As I did the reverse, the ICE stayed on but the energy flow diagram stopped showing any trace of power flows. Identical to what it does when I shift into NEUTRAL. That means one of two things:

    (1) ICE is driving the front wheels in reverse. If so, why not just show it as it always does when the ICE drives the front wheels in forward motion and charging at the same time?

    (2) ICE is powering front wheels and battery pack is powering the rear wheels in reverse. Again, this is no different than when we are moving forward and climbing a steep grade at low speed. The ICE boosts the front, the battery pumps power to the rear. It has shown this countless times.

    (3) ICE is charging the battery like mad, the battery is powering ALL FOUR WHEELS like mad to go in reverse. There is no way to show this on the display without erroneously showing that the ICE is powering the front wheels. So the best approach is to show nothing.

    I am 90% sure that (3) is the case. Only the battery pack powers the four wheels (AWD version) in reverse.

    Not sure why this is such a critical topic though. I am not here to argue the point, just trying to provide observation.

    As long as the car will reverse nicely, I won't care if the ICE does it or the pack.

    Cheers!
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