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Toyota Highlander Hybrid MPG-Real World Numbers



  • otis1otis1 Posts: 142
    people cross shop different vehicles for different reasons. size isn't the only basis for comparison (although I admit when shopping for an suv, it's usually up there). I think in the US, there's a number of buyer who like HP. I wonder how much a gas highlander with a sequoia v8 would cost. BMW has 3 engine options for its 5-series (525, 530, 545) and you pay $$$ for that v8 engine. I guess the same could be said for the highlander.

    I guess the marketing folks at toyota were trying to hedge their bets- not banking solely on the HP junkies or the greenies. "it gets good gas mileage and as a side benefit, it has lots of punch." or "I like the HP of this SUV, and the good gas mileage is icing on the cake."

    I personally would have liked to have seen the highlander geared more towards gas mileage and the RX more towards performance. but no one at toyota asked me ;)
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    If I had any sense I would stay out of this,but...
    The CRV is very nice-a typical Honda-fuel efficient, well designed,good ergos.what's not to like!?It is classed as a SMALL SUV so I didn't consider it much.In AWD version CReports shows it as getting 15mpg in their harsh city loop,and 29mpg in their hy loop.I can backup the pitiful city mpg that all midsized SUV's get.The 10 mpg "better" is assuming 75% city.
    The Highlander is about the same-just a little bigger
    Honda CRV 181" LONG,70" WIDE-AWD 3600 LBS
    Highlander 184" long, 72" wide-AWD 4000LBS.
    Honda CR-V CReports AWD 15 CITY 29HY
    Toyota Highlander V-6 AWD 13 CITY 25 HY
    I'm very curious what sort of numbers CR gets for the AWD HH.My guess 21city 32 hy for the AWD version.CR's city loop is very,very "CITY".I bet most HH folks will get 23-27 mpg time after time on their everday driving.A Prius gets 35 city in CR's harsh city loop(a Corolla gets 20,I think).I
    The 10 mpg better is my distillation of what most midsized SUV's get if they spend a lot of time in the city-like I do-say 75% city.
    A $38000 HH will break even over a $30000 Highlander(or any other midsized with city mpg like the Highlander V-6) at about 120000 miles-ignoring tax breaks,and ignoring the $$ you could make on that $8000.It also assumes $2.50/gal gasoline.$2.50 is probably too low for the average price of gas over the next 6-7 years,but who knows??It also assumes 15vs 25mpg.
    Now you are also getting one of the fastest SUVs on the road!The ZILLION dollar Porche is quicker-the Armada is about the same 7.2(and 10 mg city)..It is much faster than-Trailblazer-;Highlander V-6;Pilot;Tahoe:Suburban;Explorer;Expedition;Durango;Excursion;Toureg;EscaladeMost MB;
    The HH is a Q-ship!Not a big concern for socially responsible folks,but still nice to be able to accelerate and get ahead of someone who won't let you come over when you need to change lanes for an offramp!!
    10 mpg difference and 120000 miles still seem right to me.Charlie
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Not going to go over most of your rants. I got my data from the Toyota website, including the weight and dimensions.

    You will find that the CR-V is listed as a mid-size SUV, due to the interior volume.

    The original quote compared it to a Toyota Echo, a totally bad comparison. While a bit smaller externally than the HH, the internal sizes are close enough that they can be used for the same purposes, with the exception of that third row.

    Your MPG quotations are for the CR-V FWD. For reference, I get about 22 in town, 27 at 80 MPH, and over 30 at 60-65. The 2005 model has a new 5 speed transmission, which probably does better than my 2003 4 speed in town.

    Consumer Reports is notorious about gunning the engine on their vehicles. I do not use their numbers for that reason. I used the real world numbers as reported on this site.

    I am basing my comments about the difference on what people have posted as real world mileage: as low as 28 MPG, that is actual mileage. But I will grant a generous 5 MPG over my CR-V. It still takes a long time to recover the cost of hybridization. I actually think that your "10 MPG" is too low when compared to, say, a Ford Explorer. But I was comparing it to my CR-V, driven conservatively.

    You have to remember that the CR-V, even the top-of-the line SE, can be had for under 23K. That is at least 15K less than your minimum for HH, and about 17K less than most people seem to be reporting. Trying to recover 15K dollars with only 5 MPG mileage improvement is very difficult.
  • waltrdewaltrde Posts: 26
    It isn't easy to cross shop between the HH and V6 Highlander. You can't just go by base MSRP, figure gas savings and be done with it. Toyota hasn't equipped the two equally. Available option packages are different, etc. The same comparison problem exists for the Honda Accord and Civic Hybrids. Toyota and Honda both throw in extras with the Hybrid that are standard gear on the gas only model.

    I tried my best to tart up a gas only Highlander Limited 4WD on the Toyota website to match the equivalent Hybrid model and the difference in MSRP was around $2500. This is about $1000 more than the difference in price between getting a V6 and a V8 in a 4-Runner. To my understanding, unlike Honda, fuel economy has never been the prime objective in Toyota's Hybrid designs. It just comes along for the ride. The objective with the HH was V8 performance with a V6, so you could consider this a $1000 premium for a vehicle that gets better fuel economy and runs much cleaner than the standard V6 model. If you consider the fuel economy it would get with a V8, so much the better.

    Of course this doesn't take into account incentives and discounts available on the gas only model that are not available on the Hybrid or included "options" that you may not want. This was done using a Central Atlantic Zip code and options packages vary by region, so your mileage may vary.
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    stevedebi "posting such nonsense"""most of your rants" Little over the top there?!We are just discussing cars;nothing life and death about that.
    The CR-V is a fine SUV.It can be the smallest midsized SUV in the Phoebeisis lineup!
    Everyone is now happy.Thanks.Charlie PS What will my Pilot be now that the CR-V is midsized??
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    Exactly my sentiments...
    This type of 'in your face' mockery belongs elseware....
    This site is productive for all participants if we dispense with the 'commentary' and stick to the subject matter.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " The CR-V is a fine SUV.It can be the smallest midsized SUV in the Phoebeisis lineup!
    Everyone is now happy.Thanks.Charlie PS What will my Pilot be now that the CR-V is midsized??"

    Well, I suppose the pilot could be the smallest full sized SUV?

    I would have to say that I was very surprised when I started researching my vehicles in 2003 and didn't see the CR-V in the "compact" listing.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Exactly my sentiments...
    This type of 'in your face' mockery belongs elseware....
    This site is productive for all participants if we dispense with the 'commentary' and stick to the subject matter."

    Exactly my sentiments as well. Sorry if I went a bit "over the top". I try and use logic at all times. I really hate it when I let people get me going...

    Apologies where needed...
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    stevedebi,I do the same.Put my poison keyboard in motion waaay too quickly,I then go...maybe I should have been a little more restrained.
    No kidding-the CR-V is about as good as it gets for a really handy sized people-thing hauler.(check CR they are practically sales people for it).I eyeballed it when I was Eyeballing the Pilot-Highlander.It failed the 2 greyhounds behind the second seat fit test.Now,since the mutts can command the entire back of the car,I'm eyeing it again(son won't travel with us anymore)
    The Pilot is a roomy midsize.It gets very good HY mpg-better than EPA 22 at 73 mph).It gets miserable city mpg (13-15)-especially in humid New Orleans with AC blasting 9 months of the year.Of the 22000 miles-12300 have been trips-interstate-,so the average is 18mpg.(Well,I'm lying,we used a roof basket on the 1st 2 trips-16.5 mpg-terrible;the second two trips I jury rigged something to ride on the rea bumper-22.4mpg-huge difference)Thanks.(Didn't mean to come off so snooty-sarcastic-sorry about that)-Charlie
  • darmockdarmock Posts: 9
    I have 712 miles on my HH Ltd 4wd. I just did a
    296 mile 99% hwy loop. +30.5 digi readout mpg vs 30.1 calulated mpg. Of course, the calc number has error in it (do you mark at the valve shut off, or top off?). The 30.1 is the average of the extra .5 gal that seems to be able to be 'squeezed' into the tank during the topping off period. I have a very light foot and was avg 60 -70 mph with light AC use. That said, calc was never HIGHER than digi. Overall mpg for 712 miles is 30.5 per the digi About 48% is hwy driving. Sounds like it is in the EPA range for me and can be effected by driver attention and effort.

    The reason I bought the HH is complicated and certainly goes beyond any potential savings on gas expenditures. I feel that if it was an mpg-alone issue for me I never would have purchased this vehicle. The decision was a basket of factors including mpg, power, technology, interior appointments, seating for 7. Seating for 7 is way overstated (but who knew?). Anyway, I am overjoyed with the purchase and the result. Early adoptors always pay more. More in price and in risk. This time I feel it worked out for me. I have boxes full of other stuff that did not. The car exceeds on all but the 3rd row. I would do it again.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Good luck with your purchase. Enjoy!
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    darmock,thanks for the numbers.Very interesting that these digital readouts are correct.Earlier NAV systems that had the Digital displays always seemed to be wrong-showing better than actual.Makes life much easier if they are correct.
    You might look like a genius if gas hits 4/gal.Even if it doesn't suddenly spike to $4,If it slowly picks 5 cents every month, the prices of the HH might not drop in a year.Toyota probably can't up production very fast.If the demand stays good because of $3+ gas;then the price drop might not happen.I can see a lot of folks dumping their Suburbans-Expeditions-Tahoes and turning to a vehicle that doesn't require a $75 fill up every week.A lot of folks will never do the arithmetic;they will just see the $75 fill up every week and just decide to heck with it.
    A crude eyeballing shows the early average to be about 27-28 mpg.The lowest report is about 24.5-not bad!!They look like they are closer to EPA numbers than the Prius.I am really curious to see some pure city numbers.The Prius delivers about 65%-70% of it's city EPA(60).Thanks.Charlie
  • darmockdarmock Posts: 9
    Thanks for the thoughts I hope that gas does not reach $4/gal. If it does I bet a lot of other petro-based, required goods, in the US get very expensive. My other cars are a 2003 Civic HYbrid and a 2002 Honda CRV. Both nice cars, quality products that deliver well against their specific objectives that are distinctly different, I would guess, from the HH's.

    An earlier poster appropriately noted that the HH is just fun to drive. Well said. It is just fun to drive.
    Thanks for the reply.

  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    1)751- 25 AWD
    2)765 30.7 257 AWD
    3)777 26.4
    4)794 24.6
    5)795 27.8 320 2WD
    6)805 27.9
    7)833 24.8 48
    8)842 25.5 HY 29 CITY 1000 MILES TOTAL
    9)851 30.1 296
    10)862 31.8 100
    Might have missed some-the 1st number is the message-2nd is mpg -3rd is distance -then the drivetrain-awd and 2wd.Pretty good numbers-some calculated some dig,I think.
    27.8 and 26.4 are the 5th and 6th numbers of 10
    Of course these numbers are biased-maybe no one will report their 18 mpg tank.Maybe there aren't any 18 mpg fillups?I haven't noticed any shrinking violets here;I expect to hear a loud whine for the 1st sub 20 fillup.
    Please report every fillup you care to report-multiple reports gladly accepted.I would love to see a low number-don't be shy.These are awfully good numbers-ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THIS IS FULL AC SEASON??
    In the summer the with our Pilot the AC consumes ~6% of every gallon of gas in city driving.Lotta volume to cool-lotta glass.
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    My wife was ho-hum about us getting the HH, but she recently changed jobs to one that is a 45-mile drive each way. She absolutely loves the HH and is disappointed when she has to drive the Jaguar. The mileage has turned into something of a game with her and she reports to me daily. Last night she said that she's up to 28.5 mpg in city and stop-and-go freeway driving. That's with about 1800 miles on the odometer. As a teacher, she gets 6 weeks off starting yesterday, so my car is MY car again for a while.
  • sbgirlsbgirl Posts: 22
    My first fill up was at 11.5 gallons with 320 miles so that was 27.8 mpg and that was mainly freeway with some crawling traffic which is noted at number 5.

    My second fill up was at 13.5 gallons with 365 miles so that was 27 mpg and a good part of that was the end of my long drive.

    Unfortunately, to get to work, I have a good size hill to go over and I come home the back way so I don't get that coasting advantage. So I'm curious on what the numbers will be for this tank.
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    What goes up almost always comes down.....but I doubt that the mileage is as good as it would be on a flat drive.
  • phoebeisisphoebeisis Posts: 121
    751 25 AWD
    765 30.7 AWD
    777 26.4
    794 24.6 CURRENT LOW
    795 27.8 320 2WD
    805 27.9
    833 24.8 48
    842 25.5 HIGHWAY
    842 29 CITY
    851 30.1 296
    862 31.8 100 CURRENT HIGH
    900 28.5
    901 27 365
    1ST numbers is message number;2nd is mpg,3rd distance,if known.Drivetrain type and city or hy noted as posted.
    No aspersions cast at low.24mpg + is a heck of a low for a 4200 lb vehicle.Thanks.Charlie
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    I just picked up my HH 4wdi/AF this Friday and immediately drove to Chicago for the 4th of July weekend.
    I noted that the vehicle was very smooth in the transitions from ICE to Batt and back again, as I drove on I-94. It was also rock steady... as some 32 wheel steel-haulers passed us at speed.
    I 'eyeballed' the gas gauge to be at 3/4 full and made a WASG of 1/4 of 17.2 gals = 4.3 gals @ 125 miles = 29.069767 MPG !!!
    I realize that this is not quite 'accurate,' but it sures sounds good for mostly freeway mileage.
    In comparison to my 4.7L Tundra, the HH HAS the acceleration of a V-8, feels SOLID on the road and is comfortable for four persons + some gear.

    Despite some reservations prior to aquistion (mainly the MSRP Price)

    I LIKE IT !!! :) :blush: :shades:

    In comparison with my Tundra, my only complaint was a lack of a 'coin holder,' which in these parts (tollroads) is a neccesity...I thought that a coin insert would work well in the unneeded (perhaps unnecessary in these times) ashtray..are ya listening Toyota ??? :surprise:
  • bouvsrusbouvsrus Posts: 13
    I just finished our 3rd tank of gas and have some actual and car-calucluated

    HH Ltd AWD, w/NAV

    Calculator in car shows 25.5 mpg on the 330 miles driven on this tank.
    Actual calculated: 24.1 mpg

    Prior tank, got about 24.5 and car's calculator and my calculations came out about the same. Total of 1st three fill ups (with amount pumped ranging from 12-15 gallon on each fill-up) and drove on these three tanks a total of 1015 miles.


    Driving was mostly city/suburbs, not a lot of heavy traffic and about 15% hwy only.
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    I just filled my tank, just to track my MPG @ what I thought, from looking at the fuel gauge, was 1/2 full...
    I pumped in 9.453 Gal. which scewed my MPG which @ 222.3 miles gave me 23.516 MPG ???? :mad:
    HECK, my 1990 4 runner 3.0 V6 (which I still have) gave consistent 22 MPG avg...
    The manual states that the HH has 17.2 Gal tank, so theoretically 1/2 tank should be 8.6 Gal. and an MPG of 25.84 MPG. :confuse: :confuse:

    I am running both Odo A + B till I run on fumes to check out 'true' mileage figures...
  • nimhrodnimhrod Posts: 49

    Unfortunately, most gas gauges are not calibrated. Meaning, that 1/2 tank on the gauge does not translate into 1/2 tank. That's why some cars seems to stay on "Full" for an eternity, then take a nose dive to the bottom of the pool after hitting 1/2 tank.

    I'm sure some Detroit marketing genius came up with that idea.

  • sbgirlsbgirl Posts: 22
    Well, with my 3rd fill up it was 357 miles for 15 gallons = 23.8 mpg. I'm still trying to nail down on how I can make it switch to electric more often.

    It seems like if I start off strong then ease off until it switches to electric and then keep a light foot on the gas pedal rather then slowly build up speed which will keep the gas going for a longer amount of time. Anybody have any other ideas?
  • bouvsrusbouvsrus Posts: 13
    Glad to reply; my family thinks I'm nuts because of my interest (they say obsession) with figuring out how to maximize mpg. Its my wife's car but I'm enjoying myself. Here are my best tips so far and would be great to hear from others.

    First, I've read here and it appears to be true that passing 1000 miles and upwards will lead to gradual improvement in mpg. At 1300 miles that has been the case. (I've posted numbers in earlier posts so won't repeat here).

    Second, take the car out on country roads where you are likely to encounter no traffic. I went out for an hour in rural area - - no one around, no cars behind you, you can vary speed, experiment. While not real world conditions its a good way to experiment and figure out how to maximize the electrice motor's use.

    Third, I've found gradual acceleration is best as quick acceleration from start will always use more gas, hybrid or regular car. Yes, I can see where it would feel like you get to the electric motor quicker when you ease off the gas once you are at speed but still using more gas on fast start I suspect.

    Fourth, maintain steady speed. Its hard to do in city driving, but on country roads I was amazed that I could hold at 40 mph and stay on electric for miles.

    Last, cruise control. Early frustration with my seeming inability to find the "sweet spot" for maximizing the electric motor, I noticed on highway with cruise control on that the car itself seems to maximize electric (and better than my attempts at it manually/my foot). I normally never use cruise control, but perhaps a good reason to start.

    By the way...on the country roads driving solely for purpose of hitting good mpg #'s, with occasional stop signs and slowing for turns, I hit 31 mpg over about 75 miles. Not real world conditions but nice to know the car can do that well.

    One downside to trying to maximize feels really, really good hitting the gas and feeling our HH take off like a shot. Its also amazing (although not gas efficient) zipping up entrance ramps and changing lanes in highway traffic. The HH is so responsive and so much torque. Something for everyone.

    It would be great to hit closer to 30 than 25-27 mpg but our Expedition avg. 10 mpg (satisfaction depends in part, I think, on where you start from) and if I had to choose between 2-4 mpg vs. 6 cyl and plenty of power, for me, the ability to step on the gas and have the car move when you want outweighs chance for even better mileage.

    Good luck.
  • darmockdarmock Posts: 9
    My experience directly supports bouvrus in post 943. My mpg has improved as I have tried to be more aware of the terrain and generally not to be in a hurry, either to start or stop. Cruise control seems to be a good tool. I have found the "current MPG" gauge in the multi-information display directly above the steering wheel to be the most useful. I try to maximize the instantaneous mpg in that display. I had been using the gas/elect 'arrow' icons there but found that to be less helpful. I have 1006 miles in and have gotten 28.9, 30.4 and 32.5 calculated MPG for each of the three tanks of gas I have used. The first tank was from the dealer. The second had a lot of highway miles and the third was about 25% highway. Interestingly, the NAV screen is reporting 30.5 cumlative mpg over the 1000 miles. This is exactly the same result I get from calculating the mpg myself. Now that I believe the computer (I think), I can reset the NAV and get more immediate feedback on how to best drive the HH for max MPG.

    Toyota could really help this effort by providing more data and readouts, perhaps in the area occupied by the power meter.

    I have an AWD limited, a light foot, use AC very sparingly.

    Good luck.
  • sbgirlsbgirl Posts: 22
    Well, I just passed 1000 miles so I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for the tips, I've been following some of them since I drove it home. I'll have to try taking it out on the back roads and see what I can learn.
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    Well I finally filled up the tank, in of all places, the near west side of Chicago...@ $2.759/gal Reg...

    As I was INTENT on running on fumes, before I filled up in order to assess 'true' gas mileage.

    I noted that at the 'bottom' of the fuel indicator, with low gas light glowing, I still had approx. 2+ gallons left in reserve, or approx 50 miles.

    I 'filled up' with 15.006 gals. and drove 392.5 miles...for an MPG of 26.156 !
    This was mostly highway driving 60-70 mph, with the air on almost constantly during this 90+ period.

    I think that is pretty da_n good ! for the first tank full and encountered conditions.

    My only gripe, is that I have a 'normal' (15 gal) range of 400 miles...same as with my Tundra, although I am getting approx 10 mpg MORE.

    But my fill-ups are still the same, in terms of frequency...

    Technically, if I ran the 17.2 gal tank 'dry' I would have 449.88 total miles driven
    VS. my Tundra @ 16.8 mpg @ 26.4 gals = 443.52 miles OR 6.36 miles LESS than the HH.... :surprise:

    I was, frankly, hoping for more range...maybe it will improve after it hits the 1K mark, but I don't think it will do so by much more. :(

    In favor of the HH, it does have more 'horsepower' than my Tundra, is much smoother with the CVT and is quicker than the 4.7 L V-8...
  • spencer327spencer327 Posts: 106
    Hi Ulev
    Thanks for the info.
    My HL(no H) regularly gets 25-26 MPG on the hwy between NY and Fla.However around town gets 14 to 15. My thought is if you drive mostly on hwys why spend the extra money. However around town when the battery really get used is the forte of these vehicles. Do you have a MPG # with mostly around town driving. I think that would convince me the extra money, complexity is worth it.
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    We're almost to 3,000 miles. My wife is a teacher and she was driving it for a few weeks on her 90 mile daily commute. The freeway went pretty fast on her morning drive but the evening commute was a 90 minute grind. She was getting 28.7 mpg. When her school year ended, I got the HH for my 9 mile stop-and-go daily commute. I had been getting 12 mpg in our Envoy, and I'm now getting 25.3 mpg in the HH. The mileage gets better after it warms up.
  • spencer327spencer327 Posts: 106
    Are you AWD 6cyl?
    cranking out the #s for my driving.
    10000 mpyear 3000 hwy, 7000 local sts using your #s
    looks like a savings of $665/ year @$3.00 /gal
    $3325 over a 5 year car loan.
    Unknowns are added repairs/servicability, resale values, price of gas.change in driving, being green.This is not an easy decision.
    It looks like the Toyota pricing has also done the math and priced these vehicles at a crossover point.
    Your thoughts?
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