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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Yeah, I just won't buy a car w/that "swinging gate thing" arrangement. I'll wait for the crv diesel in a couple of years and hope Honda will create a full length flat floor w/o those scrunched up seats. I prefer more length for my bass fishing rods. Oh,well. Ain't nuthin' perfect.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    Can we get back to the '08 Highlander? I may be a little late to the party but thought I would add my reaction to the release.
    Disappointment-My '03 lease on HL is up this summer and I had high expectations for the '08 HL. Toyota did a good job of hiding the new design, I never saw any spy photos that may have taken some of the surprise at seeing a RAV4 plus revealed. All we got prior was speculation for months and I was anticipating a total new look with much better fuel economy.
    I am totally bummed that the vehicle was made larger, probably for a dam 3rd row seat I don't need or want.
    Of course I didn't buy my HL on looks so I'm sure once I get to see the real thing and drive it I will like it much more. I may have to wait for a 4 cylinder to see if it can pull the new beef around.(hybrid is out of my budget) I won't be buying any new vehicle with less 30 mpg in the future so the 08 HL may be off my list.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Actually, the more I look at it the less ugly it is. But I think a "real" 30 mpg is out of the question unless it's on some white knuckle,nerve shattering,extreme,downhill.
  • There is a vehicle exactly what you looking for... It called Honda CR-V
  • nxs138nxs138 Posts: 481
    Actually, the more I look at it the less ugly it is.

    LOL! That should be the new slogan for the Highlander.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Ditto the current Gen
    ..4Runner - first time viewers HATED it over the last Gen
    ..Tundra...woohooo everyone hates it... until standing next to it and sitting in it and driving it!!

    It's all natural.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Sure sure.

    But as a long-time 4Runner owner, I STILL hate the look of the new one, and my current last-gen Runner will be my last.

    Still hate the looks of the new Tacoma vs the old one which was well-proportioned - the new one looks truly mutant with the 4-cyl engine and the smaller rims of that model.

    Have walked all around the new Tundra several times now, and it doesn't look any better than the pics in person. However of the group you listed, the Tundra is the least stylistically offensive, IMO.

    Camry, well almost anything would have been an improvement, eh?! ;-)

    The new HL is one of the ones I think will probably look a lot better in person than in pics, but it probably won't be a very pleasing shape either way. At least, as I said before, it will be different from most everything else.

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

  • I am not sure that "everyone hates it until standing next to it and sitting in and driving it". I for one have several vehicles that I hated from day one and still hate and don't even like parking next to

    But I do admit that there were some vehicles that I didn't particularly like that grew on me. And as I saw more and more of them on the road and got used to them. And of all things even liked them.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Toyotagal, "Power" is an objective measure that we can see from looking on paper. If you cannot tell that 270 horses represents MORE POWER than 215 horses, that is an arithmetical challenge I'm sure we can work to overcome. I actually made no claims to acceleration, as those numbers are not available.

    Also, as I have pointed out before, none of the specs released have indicated conclusively that the NON-HYBRID version of the HL has gained 500 lbs. In fact, in Toyota's own Press Release, the weight increase is stated in the context of the Hybrid, so I'm not certain it applies to the gas version, though it may. Time will tell.

    Press Release:

    "Seemingly better quality" is questionable, and I'll strike that out of my post, but, TO MY EYES the interior sure LOOKS a hell of a lot better than the vulgarity Toyota exercised in the many disjointed plastic textures, colors, awful faux-wood and plastiluminum of the first generation edition.

    I will add though, that I may have been influenced by Car and Driver's comment "Front-row occupants are greeted by a particularly Lexus-like dashboard. Interior materials look first rate and more upmarket than before."

    I don't think my comments were a review of the vehicle's performance, but rather a statement of improvements that are demonstrated on paper.

    Feel free to disagree


  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    As a a vehicle becomes larger,heaver,and less aerodynamic,torque becomes relatively more important in relation to horsepower. If it has only gained 250 it might be ok but if it's gained 500 then it is not going to be quick. I think is has gained 300. What to you think?
  • I'm very disappointed to see the 08 Highlander is going to be larger. I currently have a 4 cylinder TH, and very much like it. Now I either have to get a new 4 cylinder this summer before they are gone, or find another car. I don't need the extra room or the 3rd row, and am somewhat mileage conscious. Unfortunately I really would like an in-dash navigation system on my next car, and that is unavailable for the 4 cylinder version.

    I really think Toyota has missed the boat here- they have made their mark by concentrating on utility and mileage economy, and by going larger they are following the likes of GM and Ford. We all know where those companies are today.

    I'm still also upset that they HHybrid was designed as it is, ie more of a performance vehicle. People who are interested in buying hybrids are typically not looking for performance, they are environmentally conscious people looking for better gas mileage. I realize Toyota leveraged the same hybrid platform which is in the Lexus (which has more of a performance customer base), however why didn't they pair the 4 cylinder with the hybrid for the Highlander? I see no reason that real-life 30 mpg couldn't easily be obtained via this method.

    I am either going to do one of the following:
    -buy a new 4 cylinder this summer before the change and forego the nav. system
    -buy a hybrid this summer with the nav. system (its actually not that much more expensive than the non-hybrid 6 cylinder limited)
    -save my $$ and try and buy the Lexus next year (I have not heard anything about the Lexus being enlarged)
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    If you have a 4 cylinder Highlander, why not consider the 4 cylinder RAV4, especially if you don't need a third row. Although the RAV doesn't have NAV for '07, I bet you'll see it on the '08, as the Highlander moves a bit further from that vehicle in size, price, and features.

    It's been widely recognized that the RAV isn't much smaller than the CURRENT Highlander, so it seems like a logical change. I believe at current prices, the RAV will give you give you pretty much everything except real techie options like NAV and remote start.... for about $27K in AWD Limited 4 cylinder form....

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Well, we don't know that the new HL is less aerodynamic, but we do know that the new HL has gained 55 horses and 29 foot-pounds of torque, with a more robust curve than the 3.3L offered.

    I think that the non Hybrid will land probably about 200 to 300 lbs heavier than the pervious generation, comparably equipped. But I also think it will be more aerodynamic.

    I'm willing to venture a 0-60 in the mid 7s, perhaps even low 7s, with similar improvements in passing flexibility.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Alpha, any word on when Toyota is going to get with it and put the 5-speed auto with the 4-cylinder in the RAV? The V-6 shouldn't get better mpg than the 4-cylinder. Making the 5-speed auto standard would make the 4-cylinder RAV the logical choice for folks coming out of 4-cylinder current-gen Highlanders, although the new RAV's interior is hard and plasticky compared to the current HL's.

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

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Understood. Not sure on the 5A begin dropped into the 4s just yet. But let's not exaggerate - I've not seen the V6 actually outscoring the 4 in fuel efficiency; though they are within 2 MPG according to Consumer Reports testing, which is generally close to real life in my experienc (at least, much better than a 500 mile test in one of the enthusiast rags or than the EPA).

    Sometimes, I almost wonder if that is strategic for the time being on Toyota's part - I'd certainly be more apt to spend another $2 grand on a V6 if I know it only ran one or two MPG behind the 100 horsepower lighter 4 cylinder.

    The RAV4's interior is a bit hard and plasticky, but still well constructed, and the instruments are very pleasing to (my) eye. Style wise, I'd still call it better than the current gen HL.

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    We have to understand the context of the Highlander.. It's a Lexus. It's the RX350's sibling and it's controlled by Lexus. Lexus has no interest in a 4c SUV, as a matter of fact the US market expressed itself by ignoring the 4c Highlanders. Thus it becomes a 6c only.

    I would have liked to have seen a 4c HSD combo but again this is Lexus' call. The Lexus buyer generally is looking for performance over economy so the V6+HSD stays.


    My hope is that when the next Prius comes out in 18 mo's with a new powerplant, allegedly more powerful, then this might migrate over to the HH. One can hope.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I'm sorry kdh, I really disagree with you here. That'd be akin to saying the Camry is a Lexus. Its very much vice versa.

    It does not matter that Lexus has no interest in 4 cylinders, and in fact, as noted, the Motor Trend report indicates that the largest of Toyota's new family of 4s will find its way into the Highlander... just not now because the engines aren't ready. That may or may not be true. I'd argue that a better case for a V6 only Highlander would be the growth of the lauded current generation RAV4.

    And again, I say it matters not at all about Lexus' positioning the RX as a performance Hybrid. Its more the fact that the V6+HSD+AWD already exists, whereas the Camry set-up, for example, would require heavy adaptation to facilitate the AWD tech that is offered by these SUVs in their current generation Hybrid models.

    Going back though, using the Camry example, it and the ES would both be V6-only by your reasoning. Or, using the 4Runner example, all would be 4.7L V8s in light of the GX.

    If Toyota is claiming that Lexus is the driving factor in the redesign of the mass-market Highlander, I think its a corporate line used to market the Toyota as a cheape, alternative version of the luxo RX, and not at all the real case.

  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    It is being said those that don't want a larger HL, should consider the new RAV4. I would if it wasn't for the rear side swinging door. As a current gen. HL owner and a RX300 before the thought of a side siwnger at the rear totally turns me off.
    Can you or anyone explain to me why Toyota continues with this design? what are the positive reasons one would want such door in the rear?
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    They are kinda cheap/behind Honda now.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    RAV has EPA ratings of 23/27 (4-cyl) and 21/28 (V-6) in AWD. I would say those two probably run pretty close in the real world, with the 4-cyl maybe gaining a point or two aroun town. I bet they do equally well on the highway, only the 4-cyl feels short of power in some situations.

    Why go backwards from the Camry powertrain by sticking with the 4-speed? Just to save a little money in development. I wonder if the RAV will get these new 4-cyl engines that the '08 HL is supposed to eventually get.

    I am glad there will still be a 4-cyl Highlander in the future, and I really hope that the Camry's hybrid powertrain eventually makes it over there. Toyota is ignoring fuel economy too much here. I don't know how much influence the Lexus audience has on shaping the specs of the HL, but the HL wears a Toyota badge, not the capital 'L'. It should use regular unleaded and fuel economy should be one of the design priorities.

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

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I say that because the RX is Lexus's prime vehicle. It's their volume leader. It's their Camry. It gets attention first. The RX00 lead the current Highlander by 2 years. the RX400h got all the press and the initial release in 2005 ang it also got the new V6 a year ahead of the revised Highlander this Fall. IMO the Highlander takes a backseaat to it's more upscale ( profitable ) sibling.

    Now the Camry OTOH is Toyota's prime vehicle. Everthing, until the Tundra, revolved around the Camry in the Toyota line. The V6 Camry and the ES are the same vehicle essentially but it's the Camry that leads off the new model when there's a refresh and it's the Camry that gets all the press and attention.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I don't think its to save money in development; the 5A for this engine already exists - I suspect its more of a capacity/production issue.

    I also think design priorities can be summed up in producing a competitive vehicle. If Toyota had sacrificed say, 30 horses and 15 foot pounds, people would be calling it underpowered as they do the Subaru Tribeca, for example. And, the new HL V6 is expected to acheive the same fuel economy as the previous version, despite being larger and heavier, and it will use regular. I don't consider that ignoring fuel economy, but if enough people are dissatisfied with the redesign, Toyota will feel it in the sales/margins of this vehicle and have to reconsider.

    That said, the RAV got larger, heavier, more powerful and stayed about as efficient.... and sales doubled.

  • Well, I for one will be looking elsewhere for a better styled vehicle. After seeing the pictures, I was truly disappointed. I really don't want to drive an overstuffed RAV without a rear spare tire.

    I can't believe I am saying this as I own/have owned the following vehicles from new 2004 Sequioia SR5 4WD, 2002 HL Ltd AWD, 1999 Solara SLE V6, and 1999 RX300. Looks like a Murano and another RX will be given serious consideration. Toyota blew this one. They have very loyal customers like myself but as we age (50) we do expect nicer things from Toyota.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I don't know that Toyota will be that upset if you purchase another RX.

    If I were you, I'd also check out the Mazda CX-9, Subaru Tribeca 3.6L, the GM Triplets and the Hyundai Veracruz.


  • I agree. After seeing the new Highlander, I was a bit disappointed too. Did not think much about it till I happened on a nice 2wd 4 cylinder at the local dealer. It dawned on me that in a few months the 07s would be gone. So after a couple of test drives we bought the 07.

    A couple other issues bothered me about the 08 like the increased width from 71.9 to 75.2 inches. The extra 3 inches in width is a problem due to the width of our garage.

    The height also seems to have grown from 67.9 to 69.3, but I am not sure if the 08 measurement includes a roof rack. The current model is tall enough.

    The 3.5L in the 08 was going to be overkill for us. The 4 is turning out to be rather zippy. I am surprised that with higher gas prices we keep on getting bigger vehicles and more power. Just goes to show people don't care.

    I suspect the new prices will be up a few thousand for a base model since the 4 cyl is gone.
  • Comparing the two is a good idea. I did just that and came away liking the Highlander. The Limited Rav4 2wd had more options but the ride was choppy compared to the 2wd Highlander. I was hoping to like the Rav4. The Limited was the same price and better mpg (24/30 vs 22/28).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Except from loyal owners, like you and me, who currently like the looks of the Highlanders the knock from the rest of the market who looked at it and immediately wrote it off was, It's too small. It's a 4 person vehicle ( adults ).

    These buyers didn't have a lot of other choices except the Pilot unless they wanted to step all the way up to a Sequoia. The Pilot/MDX got a lot of buyers for whom the Highlander was 'just' a Camry wagon. The new Highlander is now Pilot-size with the new GM triplets being significantly bigger yet.
  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    I was looking for possibly an 07 HL 4wd 4 cylinder. Does it have enough power?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    just beat the brand new Ford Edge in a 4-way comparo in MT. Despite its age. They criticized the current model most for its driving dynamics, essentially it was the snoozer ride of the 4 (the ages-old Murano won the contest, with the new Santa Fe coming a close second).

    Can we expect the driving dynamics of the new model to improve at all, I wonder? I would tend to agree that the steering is totally numb in the current model, and handling is minivan-like. There's not much sport in this "sport utility vehicle".

    Will the '08 have electric steering? I believe the current model still uses a hydraulic pump, right?

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

  • stevecarstevecar Posts: 148
    Same question as for prd, does it have enough power? or is it sluggish?
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