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Toyota Highlander Hybrid Driving Tips & Tricks

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Comments

  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    Higher tire pressure easier to pop. Plus, if ever stuck lower pressure ussually gets you out, particularly in sand.
  • Thanks very much. I can't wait to try this. Saves pencil and paper calculating too.
  • johnny_5johnny_5 Posts: 10
    I never thought to look at the mpg meter like that. I already have the bad habit of looking down at the dash alot due to trying to keep the arrows blank.
    Whoever came up with that instant mpg screen I think was on crack. Who wants to know the "instant" mpg you are getting? To me it is a pretty screen, but otherwise worthless. On the limited edition, I think you get the "actual" mpg on the screen. I would have preferred that anyday. Or if they would have changed it to a number other than a graph, it would have made more sense. I hate guessing the numbers especially when I am running on electric. That way you can still get bragging rights on the little screen.
  • Absolutely no sand track for this vehicle :), not confident that it can get out. Even if it can, afraid the rear motor will burn out. Sure hope these tires do not pop on our next trip out into the woods, we want to run them down some before getting new truck tires.
  • Yeah, not sure why they did not just show a number, guess that is a way to make a sale on the fancy screen? It is such an obvious thing just like the tire pressure monitor.

    The Ltd NAV screen does show the actual MPG but we do not use that when driving, too dangerous to look that way when driving.

    In electric, the bar will fill the entire line out to 60 MPG but you must do what is most comfortable for you. The bar is just an alternative that may or may not work.
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    By the way, I got 32MPG from baltimore to NYC. I was trying but other times I'd have to drive fast or accelerate (so this wasn't for the record books). So, this car can do reasonably well . . . but it's not easy.

    The type of driving I had to do should be done by the cruise control. It take a lot of attention and not to the road. I can pretty much feel when the engine kicks in and back off now but I wish the computer could do this on its own.
  • I drove a Subaru Outback VDC Wagon (6 cylinder 3 liter), and this vehicle BLOWS that one away in all categories except road handling, which is because Subaru is lower to ground and 500 lbs. lighter. Still, the Hylander Hybrid Limited 4 WD-i is very nice indeed! A 4230 pounder that gets 24 mpg in the first 500 miles of mostly in-town driving ! It holds the road great, although it's hard getting used to the bulging sidewalls at exactly 32 lbs. pressure. You can't please everyone though. I read in the manual that if you live in a country that "allows" you to drive at 100 mph and higher, fill up the tires to 35 psi. I may split the difference and go for 33.5 all around. Thing I really like is this vehicle has the same engine specs as the Lexus 400h for around 10 thousand $ less. The only difference I've been able to find besides Lexus' luxury interior items is that according to one reviewer, the Lexus handles better; the suspension must be tuned differently. It is a few inches longer and around 100 lbs. heavier. Perhaps that will be my next Hybrid!
  • waltrdewaltrde Posts: 26
    I believe that the 32 psi recommendation is low, very low. Toyota seems to have been recommending low tire pressures in order to soften the ride in a lot of their vehicles. This is true for many manufacturers. The problem is that handling, fuel economy, tire wear and safety all suffer when tires are under inflated. Toyota's recommended pressure for the 01-03 Prius resulted is such poor tire wear on the OEM tires that they extended the tire warranty. People were getting less than 20,000 miles on 36,000 rated tires.

    I know for the 2001-2003 Prius, if you maintain the Toyota recommended pressure, you see classic signs of underinflation wear. Pump them up 5 psi and handling and wear improve dramatically, and you get a bit stiffer ride. I run my 2001 Prius 9 psi above Toyota's recommendation (8 psi below the maximum allowable pressure) and get record tire wear on the OEM tires (over 36,000 miles). I'm close to that with the 04 Prius. I'm running the HH at 38 psi, with an improvement in handling and steering stability with each vehicle.
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    Interesting.

    Aside rom a stiffer ride, do you see any mileage improvement with higher pressure ?
  • waltrdewaltrde Posts: 26
    I did on the 1st Prius. I pumped up the Highlander and second Prius the day after I got each one.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Gazguzler,

    32 MPG is impressive! Can you please share techniques you are using?

    We are past our third tank getting about 28.5. At start of fourth tank, we began with 29.7 for the first 40 miles and have since dropped to 29.1 at 74 miles. Looks like our techniques are not good enough to break the 30 MPG mark yet.

    Keep up the "hyper miling" benchmark for the rest of us!!!
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    It needs to be qualified that if T had made this on the 4cyl and/or configured consumption over performance, mid 30s would be the rule for everyone without trying. Furthermore, even as is, if they had a P&G cruise control with an upper and lower speed limit and preference for electric motor instead of gasoline engine, we'd all be happy.

    I just got 32.4 from Delaware beach to Baltimore (100+ miles) last night. This time with hyper inflated tires. But again, when there was a truck bearing down on me or a slow coach to zip by, I'd abandon and slurped gas down. I’d say I was trying 75% of the time. I’m sure that you could get 45 if this was your only aim and never accelerated or felt peer pressure from other drivers.

    As for my strategy, I'm really just trying to keep the motor(s for 4WDi) going as long as possible. The combo engine/motor's fine, too, you can see that it's still getting in the 40s. When it's all engine then I rev up and get to a fast cruising speed and let go again. I don’t waste much time trying to stay neutral between the two arrows as it’s hard and I don’t mind if I’m recharging or using the motor to keep the speed going.

    I’ve notice that a slow acceleration doesn’t use any motor - only engine. But if you do a moderate acceleration the motor(s) help the engine and (I assume) that helps consumption.

    I P&Ged between 70-60 and other times 60-50.

    What really helped me both times was traffic (this time at the bridge). I glided through it, anticipating goes and slows from the traffic ahead. I must've done 5 miles exclusively on motor (and the bridge is quite an incline (for tankers to pass beneath). Of course, coming down was easy. Both times that seemed to make up for the non-disciplined accelerations I did.

    I want to get back in my old 4Runner and see if P&G works with engine-only vehicles. I used to save quite a bit of gas by having a kill switch and having it in neutral for any downhill or stop light, for that matter. Now I’m wondering if speeding up and then gliding without engine would do the same even if there’s no electric motor?

    One thing I know is that the HH rolls with far less resistance than the 4. My goodness you can push the HH around with a finger on the flats and you have to heave your shoulder into the 4 to get it even moving even on a downhill.

    It’d be fun to have a tortoise and hare race with hybrids where it’s based on distance.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Thanks for the informative post.
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    I should add that in the beginning I got some really disapointing numbers. I think the car wears in a little and you learn to drive more in tune with the electric. Short runs are the killer though. You'll never get good mileage on a short run from a cold start . . . untill you adapt to plug in.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Ulev,

    You certainly have to decide for yourself whether 22 vs 26 is worth the money.

    As for calling reports of >30MPG "BS", that word choice is unfortunate. Observing etiquette rules of this forum, it would have been better to use "...exaggerated...".

    Most, if not all, of HH owners posting here, I believe, are not interested in huffing and puffing about our cars. If it has "warts", you will likely see us talk about it here. We are just interest in learning and sharing driving tricks so all of us can eeek out that extra 1 MPG. "BS" or not, only we will know, personally, I won't bother trying to convince non-owners.

    Those of us (my family included) who have reached the 28-30 MPG mark know what this car can do and wish Toyota could have done more to let us push it up into 35-40 MPG. May be the next version.
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    I've always heard that low tire pressure hurts mileage, but I never paid much attention until recently. Our HH was dropping in mileage, so I checked my tires and found that they were all around 25 instead of the 35 shown on the side of the tires. Our mileage went up around 3 mpg since then -- from 25.2 to 28.4. I guess I'll have to watch that from now on.
  • mike4698mike4698 Posts: 18
    I went on a 4 hour trip. Got 26.6 miles per gallon. Like to seen better. Then when I got back, I seen on the board here about checking tire pressure. Checked my tires Tuesday and they were all at 20 lbs.Tires now are 32 lbs. I reset everything, after 67 miles later, I'm getting 27.7. They let the tire pressure down when they put them on the trucks for they don't roll easy. Must be some dealers don't check the tires when they get them in. So, check your tires. What a GREAT SUV. Love It.

    Mike
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    You are correct !!
    I deserve to be corrected.

    I am guilty of 'over exuberance' in my characterization, not of individuals but of statistics. What is that saying we all learned in college? "statistics don't lie only..."
    I leave it to the collective imagination to finish the sentence.
    Also, if you kindly notice the '>' included in my post, which of course means 'greater than ' it delineates the statistical population I was referring too.
    Perspective is yet another consideration, if you previously drove a Tahoe with 10 mpg/tank then you are HAPPY with getting 2.6 times your previous mileage with the Avg. 26 mpg of the HH...if you are a previous Toyota Truck owner like myself, a 0.846 times previous mileage result is less than satisfactory.

    The vehicle is 'well built' I cannot argue that point, and drives like a tank, as well as havingnumerous safety features, having survived a 'headon' accident several years ago, if it saves your life, it is priceless.

    However as you have mentioned, there are 'warts' and one of them is the heralded gas economy, which when compared to 'older' models kinda makes you wonder..

    It is not so much 'revisionism' as it is 'realism'.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I am enjoying the Vineeta website. I am curious. Do you plan to take your HH on 3rd world journeys?
  • gazguzlergazguzler Posts: 137
    ulev,

    I do share your view that older T's are bullet proof (literally in our case). T stopped making the 22RE for the same reason the textile industry stopped making polyester . . . it never wears out and that's bad for business.

    The HH could've never made that trip. And only a fool would try as there's not technician outside Japan and N America who can even work on one, never mind that it’s really a Camry. (To answer your question, gagrice, we will do a short one to Alaska next year and then later try a modified world tour with less offroad when there's more H support from T).

    We got a rock-steady 20mpg with a mix of in city, hwy and offroad and the later would've left the HH with burned out motors and no undercarriage. (Sorry, no screen shot for this).

    My wife and kids (3 and 5 – born on the way) did that trip (so you can be sure I wouldn’t risk brakes or steering) and that car’s the best thing I’ve ever owned and the HH will be a cube of crush metal before the 4R ever sees a grave. My wife, to this day, won’t drive the HH and still loves the 4R. I don’t think I have to tell you how the kids feel about the 4R as they literally grew up in it.

    I will never wax poetic about the HH as I do about the 4R.

    The HH is not for everyone or every environment (though it is better for the environment). It's sadly not all it could be. The world doesn't need an SUV that goes under 7 seconds in 0-60. It needs an SUV that goes over 40mpg and this could with 4cyl and p&g cruise control. I'll never change my opinion about that even if I break the 35mpg barrier by driving like Arnie Palmer on a golf course.
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