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Toyota Highlander Hybrid



  • Hey, Bob2006-

    Here's what a website called (which has a lot of good stuff on it) has to say re extended warranties:

    "A dealer makes money when he sells you an extended warrantee at an increased retail price. But, you can easily buy one wholesale for much less. Receive instant online quotes before you go into the dealership.

    "Do you need an extended warrantee? That depends. How long do you plan to keep your car? Most manufacturers' standard warrantees last for three years. If you plan to keep your car longer than that, buying an extended warrantee now will likely increase the car's resale value later.

    "(Our advice: Price out extended warrantees without the dealer's involvement by receiving an online quote. Plus, find out why it makes sense to buy an extended warrantee now (as opposed to later). Get two quotes: one on the auto you intend to buy now (this year's model), and one on a three-year-old model with, say, 40,000 miles on it. You will discover that is it substantially cheaper to invest in the extended warrantee today instead of three years from now, even though the vehicle will be covered for more years.)"

    Bob: my dealer told me I could get an EW from them any time before the standard 3/36 warrantee is up.

    Somewhere, in print or on the radio, I recently ran across an ad for some outfit who specializes in insurance for hybrids. Dunno how good or worthwhile they are.

    Success to you, Bob. Obviously, I'm thinking of doing it myself, and this is as far as I've gotten. If you do track down some alternative providers of EWs, could you please let me know what they are. Thanks.

    Onward & Upward,
  • You say that you can get 30+ mpg in my HH...GIVEN EPA TEST CRITERIA. That's my point. See, the EPA test criteria don't exist in the real world. And, while ICE cars and Hybrids are subject to the same test criteria, the difference between the make-believe EPA test world and the real world has a much, much greater impact on hybrids. In my experience, when my ICE car's EPA number says 30 mpg, I expect to get 27 in the real world. However, that same 30 number on an HH means you'll be lucky to get 20-21 in the real world. Big difference! And a lot of people are in for the same shock and disappointment that I experienced (I'm getting a whopping 19.4 mpg).

    Because, you see, I can get 82-83 mpg in my HH...given SDA test criteria. What are SDA test criteria you ask? That's when I start my HH and push it around town with my Hummer.

    So, again, I say that when you post numbers like you do, you are clearly misleading people.

    Oh, one more fact: YMMVDMSTM
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well you are just wrong, sorry. For 20+ years I commuted in and out of NYC ( 60 mi RT ) at about 20-30 mph. This is 15000 mpy at EPA conditions.

    I will repeat, I can take your HH and get EPA values if the conditions are the same as the EPA test. I've done 65 mpg+ for 50 mi in my Prius with some values in the 75-90 mpg range. I've driven HH's with a semi-leadfoot at an avg 63 mph and obtained 26 mpg.

    If you are only getting 20-21 mpg then
    a. you arent making the effort to use the best features of the HSD system;
    b. your specific conditions, winter + short trips + constant acceleration, don't allow you to take advantage of the HSD;
    c. you have another agenda ;) .

    Sorry, that you are disappointed in you HH. It seems that probably your Bettle is a better choice for your driving scenario. BTW, where does your Hummer fit? Garage or outside?
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    19 mpg is not good, there may be something wrong with the car.

    I hope owners who are getting poor mileage will continue to post experiences here. It helps the rest of us see the other side of the coin and may be anticipate potential problems. Pesonally, I do feel bad your mileage is so low, I wish there is some other way to help it get better.

    There is a recent Toyota bulletin telling shops to reset and iniatialize the "ICS" (Idle Controller???) on the HH. The symptoms were that people were getting poor mileage; down around 20-21.

    Those of us who are seeing good mileage, all we can do is continuing to share our experiences when appropriate and ask questions. Hopefully everyone can find something good to use from these posts.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why does nobody understand or listen...?

    The RX400h and the HH are both tuned for performance, NOT FE. And because of some anomalies in the design vs the Prius that will actually get better Highway FE than the EPA estimates and dramatically lower FE than EPA estimates for city stop and go driving.

    In order for the catalytic converter in the Rxh and HH to be reasonably efficient at doing the job it is desgned to do it MUST be kept up to an operating temperature of at least 800F or above. If you want cabin heat in the wintertime or A/C in the summer that will add to the duty-cycle of the periods the ICE must be run.

    Given the above constraints the ICE in the RXh & HH cannot be shut down as long nor nearly as often as the Prius.

    Since the ICE must be run anyway on the highway for cruising then the FE will be quite good in comparison.

    The Prius A/C can be metered, set to run in economy mode, but for the RXh and HH the A/C always run "full-out", operating the evaporator temperature as close to freezing as operationally possible. That results in the need for HOT WATER flowing through the heating section in order to moderate the overall system airflow level to within the human comfort zone.

    The Prius also has a unique catalyst system wherein the ICE need not run as often to keep the catalyst HOT.

    And keep this in mind...!

    As an overall commuter vehicle, size, weight, capacity, etc, the Prius is outstanding. You cannot say the same of the RXh or HH. So the compromise the design engineers made, reasonable city FE vs stellar highway FE, was probably quite reasonable and well thought out.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    WWEST said (The HH and RX400)...will actually get better Highway FE than the EPA estimates and dramatically lower FE than EPA estimates for city stop and go driving.

    YOUR Opinion....which you are entitled to. My brother has a 2006 HH, and commutes 20 mile in city driving, and gets 33mpg.....

    WWEST....You frequently voice your opinion as fact........

    stearing....... sheesh...
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    ...dramatically lower FE than EPA estimates for city stop and go driving.

    This actually is not what we are seeing. If I can avoid freeway driving, I can get in the range of 31-33 mpg. Have not tried this for a full tank but did have to drive all-city once for half a tank ending up with 31-mpg during a fill-up. This is mostly (90%?) done at or below posted speed. Brisk acceleration to P&G mode, not a slow acceleration that sucks gas.

    I claim it possible to reach 33-mpg because some stretches of roads actually supports all-electric but posted speed is 45-mph and traffic often will not let me run below speed limit. At 45-mph, there is little chance of running on electric.

    It is no slouch on freeway mileage but the ICE has to burn too often on freeways keeping speed at 65-70. It is most efficient at 55-MPH. When I drive 55-mph on a back country highway, I can get EPA numbers for freeway.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry to be nit-picking....

    Hell, no I'm NOT!

    In that twenty miles of "city driving" your brother does, how many stop signs and traffic lights does he transit?

    Here in the "city" of Seattle that stretches from Olympia to the south, MM-104, to Everett to the North, MM-165, I can drive 61 miles of "city" driving and never encounter a traffic light. ~22MPG on my 2001 AWD RX300 for "city driving".

    If you want to determine your true mileage for the RXh or HH then you have no choice other than average it over several tanks of gas. Unless you're somehow capable of figuring out how many miles of travel are stored in the batteries when you fill up vs when the tank is again empty. Of course that requires being able to define empty closer than the guage or computer can.

    The only "true" measure of fuel consumption is via averaging from that meter on the pump over at least 5 refills.

    If I wished I could truthfully tell you that using your pulse and glide technique I often see 99.99MPG on the computer calculation for a fair distance.

    The FE numbers I have used for the HH and RXh come from posts throughout the various internet forums wherein it is reasonably clear the drivers knew how to compute actual or real FE.
  • Anyone know the invoice price for the HH Limited? We live in Houston, TX and are curious what we should aim for in the price category. Can we expect to pay $4000 below MSRP?
  • discussion1discussion1 Posts: 103
    Not sure about Houston but in southern CA, larger dealerships were offering about $4K off MSRP for Limited 2WD and selected 4WD Models. I noticed the 4WD ones were of specifc color type, may be no one likes that color. The other 4WD models were only $2K off MSRP. In northern CA, a few local dealerships are asking $8K over MSRP for 4WD with NAV and rear DVD, outrageously wild pricing. A friend flew down to LA to get his.

    Houston is just a short hop away from LA. I have fond memory of Houston having spent time at Johnson's.
  • discussion1discussion1 Posts: 103
    How many miles do you have on the HH?

    Check on the "ISC Learning" Bulletin, that may be the reason.

    19 mpg sounds too low to be reasonable if you are not heavy footed like me. If you are, 19 is possible but you have to be really really flooring it almost everywhere. If you do not drive that way, then best have the car checked by a dealership that is interested in listening to you. Don't go back to the one that ignored your concern.

    We got 22-24 right off the bat when we first got it new. That is before we know anything about all the hypermiling techniques. The worst Winter mileage we got was 24 with heat blasting and seat-heater pumping. So 19 is strangely low.
  • Thanks for the info. We actually live in Clear Lake. My husband works for Boeing on an ISS contract. We want to get rid of suburban for a HH. A couple of dealers here have said they won't drop below the MSRP, but 2 have said that would. Hopefully we can get a good deal. Thanks again!
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    In that twenty miles of "city driving" your brother does, how many stop signs and traffic lights does he transit?

    It's actually 22 miles, and he has 12-14 traffic lights/stops signs that he stops at during that commute. Highest speed reached during his commute is 40-45 mph. With that many stops, average of a little over 1.5 miles between stops. He continues to average over 33mpg. In fact, as of this evening, he is at 33.6mpg, and 250 miles on this tank. Quite impressive I must say. He has somewhere in the neighborhood of 11,000 miles on the vehicle. the desert southwest, so cold and snow are not an issue, (either is rain, this year!) but this is with "winter gas"
  • discussion1discussion1 Posts: 103
    HOOOOYAA YAAA!!! Your brother has the absolute best set-up for this car.
    1.5 mile between stops, 22 miles, speed limit of 40-45. No rain, no snow, may be a little wind but absolute ideal condition. I am so envious, I am salivating :).

    No wonder he is getting 33+ MPG! Holy Mackerel, he does not have to do much at all. If he were to hypermile it just a bit, I can see him geting 36 or a whopping 38??
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is the near perfect emulation of the EPA City test criteria.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Wow, absolutely ideal condition for this car. As khdspyder said, almost mirroring the EPA test condition. Your brother's car should be the "Control" for all other HH. I honestly wonder if there is a V6 or V8 in existence today, with similar weight and performance parameters, that can get 33 mpg in the same driving condition?

    This really goes to show how local condition can impact gas mileage. While all cars are sensitive to such factors, Toyota's current gen of gas-electric seems much more. For some owners, this is great for it yields hi-power performance and reasonable gas-sipping all in one. For other owners, it becomes a burden because of misinformation, misunderstanding and false expectations.

    Toyota needs to educate the public and especially prospective owners about the wide range of sensitivities. They are actually the strength of the HSD technology in the HH. Drive it one way, one trades gas consumption for oomph and zip. Drive it another way, one trades zip-zip for a competition between car and driver to see who can do better at increasing gas mileage. Drive it yet another way, one can balance zip with good gas mileage.

    I can attest to the third point. Counting total gain in elevation, our place has a gain of about 200 ft. For the past 9 months, we have been looking for the best way to drive up this grade without losing too much MPG. We went from losing 2.5-MPG each climb to 1-MPG to 0.5-mpg to about 0.2-MPG today just by modifying how we drive up the grade.

    I can begin to appreciate the term, "driver's car".
  • katzjamrkatzjamr Posts: 146
    seattle is also hilly and can you share your technique for the best mpg up the grade. i also agree toyota needs to do a better job in encouraging and demonstrating hybrid driving skills from the day of purchase. i think this is especially critical with the more mainstream camry hybrid rollout.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Thanks to a posting elsewhere this great article was discoverd from the last issue of C&D

    The influence of speed is dramatic as you can see.
  • jeff57jeff57 Posts: 1
    Why should the consumer who wants to make a smart ecological choice for a vehicle, have to baby the vehicle, like the suggestions I read for the Highlander Hybrid, to receive the gas mileage Toyota so widely promotes? I don't think Toyota gets it. They should have combined a 4 cylinder engine with an electric motor, as they are doing on the Camry for 2007, for the Highlander as well. The power would be plenty for most people, and the gas mileage would be fabulous. Combining a six cylinder with an electric motor so that you can have the punch of a V-8 is not what we need, especially with gas prices going up. Let's face it, we have been programmed to think $2.40 is a good deal on gas, so the auto companies should be required to make vehicles that give true good gas mileage, not those unrealistic EPA numbers. As you can see, I am frustrated with the whole mess, and I bet I am not the only one. Jeff
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Very valid point and I think sales attest to this sentiment. IMO though the HH was just a tagalong to the Rx400h which was the real vehilce being highlighted here. Lexus buyers are actually interested in V8 power and handling. They are getting a V8 SUV with FE values in the mid 20's. The HH was added along in order to increase volume and maybe to test the waters in the Toyota market.

    The Highlander is due for a revival this time next year and I wouldn't be surprised if the standard engine is the 3.5L 268 hp one in the RAV, camry, Avy, ES350, etc.

    But I also wouldnt be surprised if the base system is the 2.4L +HSD with ~190 HP and FE values in the mid 30's. The 4c Highlander is dead since the RAV 4c takes it's place, not to mention the V6 RAV which is a rocket.
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