Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

2008 Toyota Highlander



    People who buy Toyota's (on average) are buying them because they are expecting a quality vehicle the will run forever without problems.
    There are many company's that design for design's sake, and just as many people who buy them for their designs.
    Toyota has never been one of those company's , so I can't expect them to be in the future! ;)
    Now, don't get me wrong.... I LOVE great looking cars, but if I am looking at a Toyota, It's because I expect IMPECCABLE QUALITY not GREAT DESIGN!

    Just MHO.... :blush:

    Killerpiece :shades:
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    I'm not surprised with the looks or dimensions of the new Highlander. They played it safe (again). The current one was never a looker either and it still sold well. From what I can can see, it has hit the mark with its direct competition (Pilot). It will appeal to some who where looking for a larger SUV styled vehicle. Heck, it may even look better in real life. For those who wanted something a little sexier (from Toyota), you will have to wait for their new cross-over vehicle scheduled to be released in a year or two. That's the one that will likely resemble the FT-SX.
  • emc17emc17 Posts: 26
    Own a 03 Highlander and I think this is it!!. Bye, Toyota. :surprise:
  • At first glance, I was also disappointed. The front looks quite old style.
    But when I looked in detail, I came to think it is not that bad. For me, interior is more important. I belive the boring outside trimline was compromised to secure more interior space. The side line follows that of new camry design.

    The good point is
    - Kept the same milage with higher HP even 500 pounds more weight
    - Spacious and easy access to 3rd seat
    - 19 inch wheel
    - sliding 2nd seat
    - 3rd seat side air bags

    I think it is OK for a family car, but I will wait unitl New pilot show up.
  • At first glance, I was also disappointed. The front looks quite old style.
    But when I looked in detail, I came to think it is not that bad. For me, interior is more important. I belive the boring outside trimline was compromised to secure more interior space. The side line follows that of new camry design.

    The good point is
    - Kept the same milage with higher HP even 500 pounds more weight
    - Spacious and easy access to 3rd seat
    - 19 inch wheel
    - sliding 2nd seat
    - 3rd seat side air bags

    I think it is OK for a family car, but I will wait unitl New pilot show up.


    That doesn't make very much sense at all.
    The sheet-metal has next to nothing to do with the interior space.

    And even with that, the Highlander is already one of the smallest in its class.
    The CX-9, Acadia, Outlook and Taurus X (Freestyle) are all bigger and much better looking.
    They get the same or better fuel economy as well.
    If the MDX is any judge, the Pilot will be as well.
  • cubssoxscubssoxs Posts: 139
    If you buy a Toyota you get average design with excellant Quality. If you don't want that then you should not buy a Toyota.
    If you buy a Toyota you get average design with excellant Quality. If you don't want that then you should not buy a Toyota.


    You're right.
    If you want both great design and great quality there are many other manufacturers out there that you can choose from instead, including Honda, Subaru, Porsche, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo as well as countless individual models from other manufacturers such as GM and Ford etc.
    Not to mention Porsche, Cadillac, Buick, Acura etc.

    As a matter of fact, even Toyota can perform when they need to. The FJ Cruiser seems to be doing well--very well. The last generation Celica was also good-looking, and the Camry is not so bad--neither are the Scions.

    Even the Koreans are getting in on the game. They are very much into the styling race.

    The three manufacturers to keep an eye on on this front in the years ahead are: GM, Honda and Mazda. Volvo is a dark horse here as well.
    Nobody is going to compromise in the future, and even Toyota knows that.
    BMW took off like a rocket with their styling, so Toyota worked on Lexus' styling to maintain an edge. Even the new Camry is evidence of that. We will see what the Accord brings, but Honda will not sit still.
  • Great post readerreader. I agree with everything you said. The line:

    If you buy a Toyota you get average design with excellant Quality. If you don't want that then you should not buy a Toyota."

    is a copout, even it has some elements of truth.

    Other manufacturers are providing STYLE, SUBSTANCE and QUALITY. Toyota does not by any means have a monopoly on quality...and I own a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

    Toyota's had their share of issues such as numerous recalls, engine sludge problems, and fairly severe tranmission programming and hesitation issues. Contrary to popular opinion, Toyota is not immune to problems, and their CEO has publically mentioned slowing down their new vehicle release schedule to improve quality.

    Other companies, including the Koreans and Americans as well as Japanese, are catching up in quality. Most now build much better looking vehicles.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm seeing conflicting reports on the weight increase - I can't tell if its just the Hybrid, or ALL Highlanders, based on the reports I'm reading on C/D, MT, and here on

    And actually, I think the exterior looks like blend of the RAV and 4Runner... one that I like in pictures. If people are willing to write-off the new HL based only on styling, that seems short-sighted to me, as there are a ton of neat features available on this vehicle, for example the rear-backup camera that will be standard on Sport and Limited editions. That, and the expected increased crashworthiness, stronger acceleration, and what looks to be an interior that is HEADS AND TAILS better than the outgoing model, in styling and functionality... and is roomier.

    In fact, I hope it DRIVES like the nimble RAV, which was just named by C/D as a 5 Best, winning the Compact SUV class....

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if the RAV4 can make 21/28 (AWD) or 22/29 (FWD) with the identical powertrain, I will bet we will see the new HL's fuel economy rise a point or two. The only unknown in this equation is that the revised EPA testing standards come into effect for the '08s, which include the new HL. SO this year's 20/27 might be next year's 18/25, which might be what they are referring to when they say "virtually unchanged fuel economy". The reality will be that it does rise by 10% or more.

    While "RAV4 on steroids" is a very apt description of the new model, the old one was very squarish, frumpy, traditional Japanese. I am glad they livened it up a bit, although it would have been nice if they had been a little more adventurous. Having said that, has anyone besides me noticed that except for the base trim, most '08 Highlanders will be running around on 19" rims? Not only do I shudder to think what the cost of replacement tires will be, but I wonder if that will adversely affect the ride. HL is nobody's sports car after all - I don't think that's really what buyers in this segment are looking for.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Even the Koreans are getting in on the game. They are very much into the styling race.

    The three manufacturers to keep an eye on on this front in the years ahead are: GM, Honda and Mazda. Volvo is a dark horse here as well.

    Honda styling is every bit as boring as Toyota. The next Pilot will be very conservative again. Don't keep on eye on Honda for too might get a little red ;)

    GM styling? All this hype about the new styling of their SUV's, who are they kidding? I think they tried to make them uglier. The only improvement are the interiors (which was so easy to improve upon).

    I believe the disappointment in the new Highlander comes from what most peoples' expectations were. I don't know why anyone expected anything different than what Toyota delivered. Toyota's success has come directly from marketing to the mainstream. Toyota could care less if someone doesn't buy the Highlander due to styling (they probably wouldn't buy it regardless of styling anyways). They have plenty of customers who will line up to buy it.

    ...blend of the RAV and 4Runner

    Anyone can see the RAV. But the 4Runner? Besides having 4 wheels, what the heck are you seeing that I don't?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Since this is officially a 2008 model I'm going to guess ( only a guess ) that Toyota did the fuel economy tests according to the new standards for 2008 models. It seems by the ambiguous statement that results are not certified yet so I'm guessing - again - that the new results which are 'about the same' as the outgoing model are a reflection of the new standards.

    If this is so then when all other models have to revise their FE reults downward beginning in Sept that the new Highlander will benefit by comparison.

    But this remains to be seen.
  • That's why I said look out for the future.
    Honda realized that they needed to do much more in terms of style.
    So the first volley--if you will--was fired with the new Civic; especially the European one.

    Then, if you look at the Accord Concept they showed at Detroit, you will see they're continuing this. Honda is not to be underestimated:

    New Civic (American)--

    Image Hosted by

    New Civic (Europe)--

    Image Hosted by

    Honda Accord Coupe Concept--

    Image Hosted by

    GM doesn't only make SUVs; and what they are putting out these days is brilliant. Much better than what they have been doing in a fairly long time:

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    The point here is that nobody is standing still anymore. It is an exciting time for car and car styling.
    There are going to be ever more choices in an expanding market, and all the better for us to choose from.

    No company can afford to "only" offer quality (and even that is not true of Toyota--they have a lot to offer elsewhere too).

    Toyota's lineup is fairly nice-looking right now. I like this:

    Image Hosted by

    And so do a lot of people.

    Many people think the new Tundra is ugly, but I like it.
    Even so, the Highlander is disappointing so far in what I have seen. It doesn't tug at the heartstrings like it could. It is not very well styled at all, seeing as how we know what Toyota is capable of.
    Why should we have to compromise? Toyota is the richest car company in the world.

    Image Hosted by

    Lastly, I do not know why people are fretting over the weight. I think it'll do just fine in the fuel economy department.
    Besides, it'll have a hybrid version too!
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Thanks for the bigger pictures. I'm going to wait until I see the Highlander in person. I'll admit, I was a bit underwhelmed by the new design (I saw it last night on C&D's website ahead of the announcement). But the more photos I look at (and at various angles), the more it's starting to grow on me. I think the silver Highlander looks a lot better than the blue Hybrid and I'll bet both will look even better in a dark grey.

    I was similarly disappointed by photos of the 1st gen Highlander, the 4th gen 4Runner (2003), and even the current RAV4. I was unsure about those designs at first, but eventually I grew to like them, especially in person.

    Minor things I was expecting like projector-beam headlights and LED tails (looks like the Hybrid has them) don't appear to have made it to the features list, but there are a lot of other things I'm looking forward to trying in the showroom and on the testdrive.

    Edited to add: I watched the introduction video on Toyota's web page and I have to admit -- the B-footage of the Highlander in motion looks pretty nice. I can't wait to see it out on the road (in person).
  • ighigh Posts: 60
    I must say I am a bit disappointed at Toyota's complete
    refusal to give FE any priority. I think unless the
    Feds mandate some type of strict FE standards this trading off extra weight/size and features at the expense of what could have been increased FE will continue. :(

    Having said that I noticed two switches in the 2008 HH
    pictures in the Toyota website.

    One in the EV mode that lets you go one mile at below
    25mph on Electric only provided battery is topped off.

    The other is the "Economy mode". Any idea what this is?
    If this is used during city driving and maybe EV mode
    for the first mile, any chances that FE will be greater
    than 31 in the city for city based daily commute of
    about 25 miles round trip? (max speed < 45 mph)
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    over the styling, since the current HL is VERY successful, and the new one only reflects that. I don't see a great deal of difference. It blends the Rav4 and the current HL.

    Seems a lot of people don't like the Rav4 styling. Rav4 sales have doubled.

    It's as if Toyota can't win. I'm glad they didn't make a Pacifica.

    Don't see why it needs 500 lbs. or 19" wheels, doh? :confuse:

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm almosts positive the 500lbs. gain is in relation ONLY to the Hybrid model... at least thats how Toyota's literature and the C/D piece read.

  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Highlander sales went down in 2006 as compared to 2005, a good indication people were getting tired of that styling.

    Unlike previous years where it seemed the only game out there was the Highlander or Pilot, 2007 brings us many, many other new CUV options like the Acadia/Outlook, CX-9, Veracruz, Edge, etc, all priced similarly to the HL.

    I personally think the front end of this new HL is a bit chunky, as compared to the CX-9 or Veracruz, so I guess we'll just have to see if the competition can steal sales away!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    crossover stars, the Outlook/Acadia/Enclave, set to weigh in at 5000 pounds and more, I would say if the HL gets to 4200, it's still ahead in the game!

    As for the '08 Pilot, we don't have a lot of info yet, but this is also a chunky-frumpy-styled vehicle, so neither the Honda nor the Toyota is setting the world on fire. And it also has fairly lousy fuel economy.

    Having said all that, weight gain is completely out of control in these crossovers, and minivans too. The quickest route to fuel economy increases for Toyota would be to keep weight DOWN in revised models, but instead they have emphasized power, speed, and sporty dynamics (with corresponding weight increases) as design priorities. :-(

    Seeing the specs of the '08 HL, I would be in a Sienna instead - much easier access with the sliding doors, more cargo and passenger space, and better fuel economy. Where's the downside?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • When are these 08s supposed to hit the showroom floors so we can see them in person rather than just a bunch of conjecture about the pics? It has been my experience that vechicles in real life look much different than vehicles in pics. JMHO
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Again, theres a lot of assumptions being made here. We don't know how much weight the HL has gained in gasoline form. And, weight gain comparisons should be apples to apples.... for ex, the base 4 is GONE. The V6 is standard. Of course a V6 is going to weigh more than the 4!

    Also, we don't know anything about fuel efficiency just yet-just that Toyota said its comparable to the previous generation. I'll take that - faster, roomier, safer and still as efficient as the slower, smaller, and less rigid model? Why is that so wrong?

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Gas = July
    Hybrid = late Sept, I believe

  • morey000morey000 Posts: 384
    Well, there it is in all its glory.
    Another boring Toyota. At least the interior looks nice (for a 1990's car)

    The quality difference isn't all that significant any more (Toyota recalled more vehicles in '06 than it sold), and they're still looking for a sense of style. OK- they are better looking than Subaru's (and I say that affectionately, as I just bought one), but design style is an area where GM could teach Toyota a thing or two.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    What is so 1990s about the interior? The Optitron instrumentation or the NAV-independent rearview camera? Just curious.

    And WRT fuel efficiency, M/T states "Toyota will offer a four-cylinder model, but it won&#146;t be ready until some time in 2008. Toyota is saving the Highlander&#146;s engine bay for a new generation of four-cylinder engines. The fours will range in size from about 2.5 liters to 2.8 liters, and will feature a dramatically lower-friction drivetrain and advanced cooling system."

    Seems like the organization was smart in not putting in the middle-aged but very competent 2.4L - power and efficiency would likely suffer in the new iteration, and the current gen. struggled with this engine, IMO, in AWD versions...

    I'm hoping to see at least 175 horse out of the 2.5L, and FE gains over the current 2.4L.

  • And you think all this is free?
    You think that tomorrow all SUVs can get better mileage than a Prius, but that the car companies just refuse to do it even though all the customers want it?

    Less weight costs more money to achieve.

    Here's a very light--but consequently expensive--car:

    Image Hosted by

    But it costs $75,000.

    You can't afford the extra fuel economy. They could make the cars out of carbon fiber, but then you won't be able to buy them.
    Maybe you should examine your lifestyle and see if it is financially sustainable if fuel costs are a concern. Maybe you need to downsize.

    It goes like this:
    Consumer wants more and more "safety" every year (whatever that is anymore).

    Manufacturers add--stiffer metals, more airbags,roll sensors, fancy new traction technology, collision avoidance chips, make the vehicles bigger and with stronger materials.

    Weight goes through the roof.

    Mileage sinks like a stone.

    Costs go up.

    Consumer cries about mileage.

    Car companies use exotic materials like carbon fiber, plastics and trick engine tech.

    Those cannot overcome the extra weight that the "More safety!" lobby wants.

    Mileage increases by negligible amounts.

    Costs go up. Prices follow.

    Consumers stop buying.

    Rebates follow.

    Car companies lose money.

    No money for engineering slows down other progress on fuel economy.

    The simple fact is, if you can feel it, you can't afford it.
    Downsize, move out of your fancy subdivision and closer to work.
    Get a smaller car--or better yet--bike or use public transport.
  • goldstongoldston Posts: 110
    We have a 2001 & 2002 Limited H/L's and love them both. We have owned several Toyota vehicles and I see this 2008 as our next purchase. IMHO Toyota quality (fit and finish) have always been in the upper grouping (compared with the others). Thanks for the links and pictures.
  • I completely understand the disappointment (I'm as well). Looking at the FT-SX I expected something really sporty:

    Toyota plays as safe as possible with every design. Even interior is really not that special compared to Honda.
    And I agree reliability went down with the Avalon (which the HL shares parts with it). Honda and few other brands are just as reliable.

    The other problem is that at the price it probably will compete with Acura MDX (a loaded 4WD HL will approach MDX).
    Fuel economy is definitely not class leading either...

    I could understand you would buy it because you're used buying Toyota and you feel you can trust the reliability (and it doesn't have to excite you either). It's sad though you can't have an exciting car as well.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm sorry there is no way a Highlander will be at MDX prices with similar features. A loaded Highlander *MAY* top-out a grand above where the BASE MDX begins(a hair over 40K including destination), but with all the bells and whistles, the MDX will be MUCH more expensive (actually, 48,300 including destination).

    And if you say you're going to compare a Toyota interior to a Honda interior, you might actually want to choose a Honda interior, and not that of a $48K Acura. A better comparison might be HL vs. Pilot, or RX350 vs. MDX.

    Toyota reliability has been an issue with a FEW of the recent first year designs. The Avalon included. However, Honda is not immune to this (reference the VCM issues with the Ody). Time will tell.
  • brutus22brutus22 Posts: 122
    Simply underwhelmed by the new Highlander exteriorwise, reminded me of a slight update on the previous gen, and a bit Subaru Forester, and a bit of a larger RAV4.

    Bottomline, the GMC Acadia,Saturn Outlook, Mazda CX-9 look much better IMO.

    I do enhoy the interior of the highlander, at least they did not fail there.

  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    As for the exterior styling, I have to wait to see it in person. I was hoping for something more like FT-SX, though.
    I personally don't like the trend that all of the manufacturers have taken to get rid of the body side moldings. I think the flat panels are too plain looking and while one could argue the effectiveness of them, the moldings on my '07 HL are quite wide and have to do some good, I would think.

    If you watch the video from the car show, when the guy opens the hood, there is still a prop stick to hold the hood open. This looks real cheap and old Japanese small car design. Does Toyota only use the hydraulic hood openers in the Lexus line?

    I prefer the current angled window switch panels as opposed to the new flat panels. I think the 45 degree angle makes it easier to see the buttons. I hope that they at least have all of the buttons lit at night now as opposed to the current design where just the driver's window button is lit.

    I wish that the left foot rest for the driver was a solid rubber block like on my wife's Tribute. The way Toyota does it, it is a rubber insert with carpet all around it. Not very practical because when you feet are snowy and muddy, the carpet gets destroyed.
Sign In or Register to comment.