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Toyota Highlander Real World MPG



  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    Don't get me wrong -- from a marketing perspective selling hybrids is brilliant. I am completely agreeing that many people are buying to be "green." I just don't think many of them looked into the facts very well. I know at least a eight people personally who own Highlander Hybirds. Most say they did it to be green and know it was not cost effective, but at the same time to the last man they quote a much smaller delta price than is actual. i think most people who get the Hybrid don't seriously research the cost delta personally so they believe they are paying a smaller premium. I started in the demo -- I went specifically to shop for the HH, was told by the dealer it was about a $4-7K delta, then did the research and found out it was much higher. I think some people skip that step. I also did the research on how I was helping the environement if I bought it. It worked out to saving 50 gallons of fuel a year. I figured out that if I asked my gardener to skip mowing twice a season I did more good, since lawn mores our 40x worse for the environment gallon for gallon as modern cars. Similarly, if I set the winter thermostat temperature just one degree lower I also do more good than I would have with the Highlander Hybrid. Now I suppose I could be doing all these things, but I bet most people aren't.

    I agree the Hybrids will do better on resale, which is only useful if you are buying versus leasing because ironically Toyota gives you little residual value benefit when computing leases right now. And interesting the residual benefit has been pretty modest until this year when the gas prices surged and everyone wanted a hybrid and there was a shortage. It will be interesting to see if that sustains itself.
  • I agree. If you don't drive a lot of city miles a year, Hybrids are just not worth much extra. Most people can talk themselves into anything they really want ot buy - logic be damned. Logic is used to justify their emotionally-tinged decisions. It is fairly damning of Toyota to not offer an increased residual on a lease. It will be interesting how this may change in the future.

    Me - not sure what to do. I just checked the weight of the current V-6 Highlander - 4,000 lbs. in Sport and Limited trim. Even the addition of the 2.7L option will not make it an economical drive around town. I hope the Venza is 600-800 lbs lighter. Just turned 22k on my 2007 4-cyl Highlander. Running just fine, too. Not exciting, but fine.
  • citivascitivas Posts: 144
    Do you require the third row and capacity of the Highlander? If fuel efficiency is driving your decision and you don't need that thirs row, get the Ford Edge Hybrid. You have to get over it being a Ford and looking like a classic SUV, but it gets 30/34 MPG, even in real world conditions. I absolutely required the third row (which is another reason I didn't go with the Highlander which hs a really small third row that can't be used on long trips since you can't split it to use and still pack stuff), otherwise I would have very seriously considered the Ford Hybird. It actually uses the exact same Hybrid Engine as the Toyota becaue Ford licensed it from Toyota but gets the added MPG benefit because it is lighter.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    I think you mean the Ford Escape Hybrid not the Edge.
  • He's probably just giddy that he got a hybrid of some type and can be "cool" now, not realizing that it IS a Ford and that it makes no financial sense whatsoever.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    It actually uses the exact same Hybrid Engine as the Toyota becaue Ford licensed it from Toyota but gets the added MPG benefit because it is lighter.

    Actually it uses the Toyota setup from the Camry (4cy engine). I thought the HH uses a V6 Hybrid combo and that's the reason the Escape out performs (on FE) the HH. Weight would not make up the 5 to 7 mpg difference.
  • 2007 FWD 4 cyl with a remote starter!
    Odometer = 12,400
    Long term mpg average = 18.88
    High MPG = 27.93
    Low MPG = 11.93 - result of 20 F below temps, lots of idling and heavy use of the remote starter

    Most driving is in-town with the summer average at 19-21 mpg and winter average at 14-17 mpg. Highway mpg is 23 to 28 depending on the wind direction, wind speed and road speed (local highways 65 to 70, the interstate is 75).

    We used some E10 (89) gas early on with the Highlander. The E10 is generally about 10 cents less per gallon, however, our experience is that the mpg drop with E10 makes regular plain gasoline a better deal.

    For comparison here is our previous 03 Sienna with the 3.0L V6 (FWD)
    Odometer = 26,000
    Long term mpg average = 16.47
    High MPG = 26.23 (vacation to Jellystone, used a lot of 85 octane fuel) Generally the highway mpg was 22-24 mpg.
    Low MPG = 9.03
  • I have a 2005 Highlander with 6 cyl engine. 15,000 annually. 55% town and local. Fast driver, generally. 17 local, 22-24 highway.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    1248 mile trip, 880 miles pure highway, the rest mixed city/suburban/highway. Overall 22.3 mpg. The two all highway tanks were 23.4 and 23.6, average speed about 69 mph. The trip computer on the 23.4 highway tank read 25.0, more optimistic than usual.
  • my_mr2my_mr2 Posts: 23
    I also have a 2005 Highlander V-6, FWD, with 55,000 Miles. Last weekend my wife went to her class reunion in Upland IN, a 592 mile round trip that took her from WI, through Chicago, down through IN and back. 20% stop and go due to construction and detours in Chicago and Gary IN. only used 22.5 Gallons of 87 Octane. That is 26.3 MPG, and she used the air the whole way...

    Tires: O.E. Brigstone Dueler set at 35 Psi
    Oil: Mobil 1 5W-30 SUV
  • I have a 2007 Highlander Hybrid AWD with 35,000 miles. It gets 26 mpg, and that's averaged over winters and summers, highway and city, good days and bad ones. And having driven cars for 45 years, I know that in the real world that I'm describing, the non-hybrid just doesn't come close. Plus the hybrid blows the doors off a standard Highlander, and all SUVs except the hemis. Yes, there is a price differential, but the MPG makes up part of it, probably most of it, possibly all of it depending on gas prices. But the important part is even if it isn't 100% cost justified, it's a vital step in the transition to all electric cars.
  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    I get around 22MPG combined on 08 AWD gas only model and I drive more in city then on hwy. I didn't see a Hybrid HL on the road that blown away doors away from mine, I guess I need to watch out better. I didn't believe it was worth the money to buy a HL hybrid when gas was at $4 a gallon. With gas prices floating around $2.50 already in Ohio, hybrid HL doesn't make any financial sense to me. If you live in city with heavy traffic then buying a hybrid might offer some advantages but still will take many years to recover your "investment" in hybrid technology. Hybrids doesn't offer substantial savings if you compare same model gas to hybrid versions. Even Prius is not going to save you a lot of money if you compare it with a Civic or Corolla. With gas prices plummeting hybrid resale value will soon go to the same place where it was year or two ago. Once plug-in technology matures I'll it might be worthwhile. For now I don't see any good alternative to gas.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Motor Trend did an analysis of hybrids a year or two ago. As I recall, they breakeven point was about 100,000 miles which is 6+ years for most people. Of course, gas was likely closer to $3 than $4 so the results might have been different if the analysis was done last summer. At this time, you buy a hybrid for the good of the planet, not because it saves you money.

    Btw, I'm impressed with your overall mileage given that the 08 is much larger than my 04. We never break 20 mpg in the city and 23-24 is the best we can do on the highway at 70 mph or less.
  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    08 employs newer technologies that make it a little better on gas then older generation. Not all people like these improvements such as drive by wire or electric steering assist but I'm fine with it. I don't see how you can do good for the planet by buying HL or any other SUV hybrid. On top of that you always need to take in account battery manufacturing process. Earth doesn't gain anything from hybrids. They as bad as any other gasoline engine cars. Customers might feel better but real winners here only car manufacturers. If you really want to make a difference then here is a best kept secret - drive a subcompact car with a stick shift you get almost same MPG as a hybrid of same size. Better yet drive less.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,756
    Indiana to Florida and back. 2922 miles, about 2400 pure freeway mostly around 70-73 mph. The remainder was mixed city/suburban/non-freeway highway driving.

    Overall average 21.95 which was 1 mpg less than the same trip last year. Not sure if this was due to slightly higher speeds or new tires (Bridgestone Alenza replaced the OEM Michelins) or a little of both. Best tank 23.6, worst tank 20.4. Trip computer was always 1-2 mpg higher than actual.

    Anecdotal evidence indicates support for data I have seen that says there's about a 2.5 mpg increase for each 5 mph speed decrease. I was going to try that theory on the way home but had to give it up to get home by the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. ;)

    At least the gas was over $1/gal less than last year.
  • john278john278 Posts: 2
    I drive a 2008 Highlander LTD w/awd. After the first 5000 miles I am getting 22.3 miles per gallon in mixed driving as per the computer.
  • I studied these real world gas mileage forums before settling on the Highlander which seemed to get better real world mpg than other equivalent SUVs.
    We bought a new 2009 2WD V6 Sport Model a week ago. We drove from Sacramento CA to Fort Bragg CA 180 miles one way. First 60 miles are freeway at 70mph, then 90 miles of two lane highway through mild cures and hills at max 55mph and frequent small towns with slower speed limits of 35-45 mph. The final 30 miles are frequent tight turns lots of up and down hills average speed 30 mph due to curves. We averaged 24 mpg going and 26 mpg returning the same route (based on computer reading). We had 2 people in the car plus 200-300 lbs of cargo. Only 500 miles on the car at the end of the trip. So far pretty happy with the results! :shades:
  • nsteffensnsteffens Posts: 2
    Ok, how are you doing this? I just bought the same car as yours (2009 Highlander v6 sport model. Thus far my computer says I am getting 16.3 mpg, which does not make me happy. I am not an aggressive driver, so what is going on??!!
  • mdhuttonmdhutton Posts: 195
    Any number of about 1000 things could be going on, but my guess is that you're not fully broken in yet. If you "just" purchased the car, give it about 3 months and/or about 1500 mileage in my 08 HL LTD 4WD improved significantly after the first few tankfuls.
  • Where are you driving?
    We now have 3200miles on the Highlander. Driving where there are lots of stop lights around town or short trips to and from nearby stores we get around 17mpg. If I can cruise down a boulevard without getting too many stops I get 19mpg. Continuous highway driving with minimal stops and a heavy load we are getting 24-26mpg. Average around town plus extended highway driving combined is about 20mpg.

    Technique: I try to anticipate stops and take my foot of the gas early and take advantage of the glide then I don't have to brake as hard with I get to the stop. The Highlander keeps going pretty well. If I loose momentum too early I just barely put my foot on the gas. When I'm going down hill I take my foot of the gas and glide trying to minimize my breaking to take maximum advantage of the glide.
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