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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    If you talk to any twenty something who's remotely interested in cars, they all lust after the diesels sold in Europe. Also, people look at numbers the numbers that modern diesels put out sell well. They have huge amounts of torque and accelerate quite well.

    That said, diesel has a cost premium over a regular gas engine and it's about on par with the cost premium of a hybrid. Diesels also polute more regardles of the urea injection.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I saw posted here by one of the Honda sales people that in the training for the debut of the CR V that Honda estimates that 80% of the decisions to buy this will be made by women, alone or as partners. Odyssey? At least as much if not more.

    The figure I've heard on Toyota's in general is 75%.

    It's the woman who has to be convinced that diesel is every bit as effective as a hybrid, for the same money, with the same availability ( my wife says NO diesel ever until it's in every station in the country ), with the same panache ( HUGE issue ) and same cleanliness.

    The bulk of the target demographic is middle America soccer-Mom. It's not male auto enthusiasts. I've done this several times with the buying public: out of the blue ask a woman if she'd like to trade her [ Sienna, Odyssey, Highlander, Pilot ] for a diesel that got 30% better fuel economy? HUH? After encircling herself with garlic to ward off vampires and demons she'll ask, Why?

    A lot of education is going to be needed for this to work. But Honda is the one to do it IMO. The buying public ( the woman buyer/decider ) trusts Honda.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Really hurts Honda's credibility, at least in the short run. Running failed experiments on the legendary Accord is not an option.

    I, personally, would wait at least a couple of years before diving into more Accord experiments. If diesel fails on Accord, Honda really can't go anywhere else with a diesel. They're out of the business! :lemon:

    Doing a lot, not a little, of customer clinics on diesels, and how to improve the next Accord overall, are necessary before going down this road. Sounds risky to me.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Edmunds says "Women either buy or influence the purchase of 85 percent of all new cars and trucks sold in the United States today."

    The Gender Gap

    Big number no matter which one you use.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Nobody's happy! :P

  • miacar07miacar07 Posts: 28
    Does anyone know the fuel economy for the 2008 Highlander?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Or 17/23, 4WD.

    Hybrid numbers have not been released yet, but the previous version was listed at 32/27, and owners are seeing 25-26.

  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Just trying to keep the conversation lively,boys.Lol. The Crv looks much "newer" than RAV with it's decade old swinging gate w/a spare rear door and those mpg robbing faux roof racks. Gimmee a brake! The CRV is the best selling suv period. Wait till it gets a 250 ft lb. diesel and 40 mpg! That's another 60,000 units. Highlander looks old to me,same engine as the Rav,same faux roof rack,soon to be underpowered compared to Honda's 3.7. I like the Tundra but it weighs 4600 with the 6! They have a 3500 incentive to help sell them. Ford appears to be making a "bigger mistake" w/ the new F150,it appears huge! Over half the pickup buyers don't work their trucks. The large pickup market is at high tide right now and will be losing market share to other vehicles going forward. $4 a gallon and half the truck posers will be bailing. Diesel a "monumental issue of convincing". Now that is off the mark!!! Americans don't care if the vehicle runs on Orange Juice if it gets 40% better mileage,lasts longer and has twice as much torque as a same size gasser at half the rpms. Case closed! :)
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Highlander looks old to me,same engine as the Rav,same faux roof rack,soon to be underpowered compared to Honda's 3.7.

    What's a faux roof rack? Are you talking about roof racks that lack the cross-rails? While I agree that I don't see the purpose of having them without the rails, Honda also does the same thing with the Odyssey and Pilot.

    Appearance is clearly something that's subjective. Personally, I think the CR-V looks great from certain angles, but too round (or bloated) from others. I do agree that the CR-V is selling better in terms of sheer volume than the RAV4. I'm not sure where the others are getting their sales stats from, but I posted the numbers earlier from Toyota and Honda press releases.

    Regarding the diesel question, I think one thing not mentioned is the perception some may have of diesel engines of the past. While many of the old traits are no longer true, perceptions can be difficult to change.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Roof racks with no function for most buyers. Those were GM diesels. I trust Honda to build a good motor. They build more motors than anyone in the world.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    The reason to get roof rails with no cross bars is so aftermarket cross bars (like Yakima or Thule) can be used. The factory cross bars usually suck because they have a bow to them.

    As for old diesels, yes, they were awful. However, it was almost 30 years ago when non-turbo diesels (like the Oldsmobiles) were sold in this country. Does anyone even remember?
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Posts: 268
    I think that's it's somewhat laughable that someone who is looking at Pilot, MDX or Highlander is going to go flocking to Acadia or the other two variants that GM is offering.

    GM has a bit of an image problem with marginal reliability on their other mid-size SUVs of recent years like the Envoy. Reliability on Yukon, etc, is slightly better but nothing to brag about. Many will buy a Toyota who plan on buying and driving it for 7-10 years vs. leasing it for 3.

    As far as HH goes, Toyota's hybrid technology is the best "stop gap" measure for fuel economy in larger vehicles until flex and biodiesel come into their own which will probably take another 5-10 years. Lithium Iion batteries coming (hopefully) for the next Prius could boost fuel economy a further 10-20% which is no laughing matter from a car that is already getting better than 40 mpg around town and a midsize SUV that gets 26.

    As far as the hybrid being 'worth it' from a purely financial look at things there are few scenarios where it makes sense if you will own the vehicle for five years or less or put less than 15K miles a year on it. The person who the HH makes the most sense for is the person who will put 12-15K miles a year on the car and keep it for 7-10 years (or longer).

    Gas is $3 but it won't be a shocker if it stabilizes at $4. I also think it's optimistic to think that in mixed driving the new ICE Highlander will get 20mpg... probably more like 18mpg.

    So let's look at this by the numbers.

    EPA gives the 2007 HH an annual fuel cost at 15K miles and $3.05 a gallon of $1761 per year.

    EPA gives the 2008 ICE Highlander an annual fuel cost of $2406 a year with the same numbers.

    at $600 a year in fuel savings (lets round down) then at about 7.5 yrs you break even on the $4500 premium price of the HH (assuming it is that much).

    But now lets say that gas goes up to a $4 gallon average price over the next several years.

    All of a sudden the fuel costs jump to a whopping $3157 for the ICE per year (15K miles / 19mpg * $4.0) and they increase to $2307 for the hybrid version (15K miles / 26 mpg * 4.0).

    Now with an added fuel cost of $800 a year the HH pays for it's premium price after just 5.625 years and every year after that it's putting money back into your pocket.

    At $5 and up it just gets plain silly.

    So it all comes down to how confident you are that gas prices will stay at or around $3/gallon for the next few years.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    How many people really use roof racks? Honda had a better idea on the Crv. Roof rack is available as an option. Now everybody can be happy.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    If gas prices stay between $2.75 and 2.99, the sky will not fall, and people will actually take responsibility for the vehicles they buy, and the gas they use. It's not pick-up trucks all around anymore. Makers have to spend more to get people to buy the same amount of pick-up trucks.

    Someone is profiting on higher gas prices, and they, along with the very unstable situation in the Middle East, will not produce more available gas for us. We have shown we'll pay up to $3 without slitting our wrists, so the $1.75 days are over. ;)

  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    Everybody talks like it's either hybrid or diesel. The two can work together (look at Fedex's hybrid delivery vans). Also, with the way China and India are going, even if we go to biodiesel or some other renewable fuel, we'll still have problems with demand. Finally, growing crops for fuel use isn't without problems.
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Posts: 268
    Actually my local dealer told me that when gas dipped back into the $2.50-$2.75 range last year sales of the HH dropped off. As soon as the prices went back up over $3 demand surged again.

    Same for the Prius.

    If anything this tells me that buyers are extremely sensitive to gas prices but seem to think that if gas will stay under $3 a gallon they are more than happy to buy something that will cost them $500 or more extra a year to fill.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    That's what I meant to say. Toyota's and Hondas sales skyrocket when gas went over $3 in April/May. When the price dropped in June, traffic definitely slowed down.

    My point was that the market has shown that they will tolerate gas prices up to $3. Once over that, radical changes in buying habits occur, and generally hurt the domestics, in particular.

    It would be in the Big 3's, and the US governments, best interest to stabilize gas prices under $3, for the sake of the economy and the domestic's well-being.

  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Honda had a better idea on the Crv. Roof rack is available as an option.

    If the worse thing about the RAV4 and Highlander is that Toyota includes a roof rack (which is optional, by the way, on the Highlander base model), then that's a pretty big compliment.
  • flipwilsonflipwilson Posts: 12
    Was not blown away. The exterior is quite bland, and not sure why there is no HID option. My biggest complaint is the horribly cheap ceiling material used even in the limited. It's like a piece of fuzzy cardboard. My wifes Nissan Altima has higher quality materials in the cabin. Another oddity was the flat, boring appeal of the leather upholstry, it just looked like a chair from a nursing home. The ride is nice, however, and acceleration was quite good. I think that the biggest insult was the dealer was trying to sell ALL of the one's on his lot for $750 over MSRP!! I'd have to say he is smoking dope..........These trucks are barely worth invoice price, but when you are looking at dropping close to $42k on a LTD Highlander w/nav, your looking at Lexus pricing now, not Toyota. If you can't get the dealer to sell it for close to invoice, I'd say get an Acadia, Enclave, or Pilot.......Toyota has become quite arrogant.
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    Toyota has become quite arrogant.

    No. Your dealer is quite arrogrant. But, supply and demand will do that. I'm very confident that prices will stabalize very soon given that the CUV field is pretty competitive and the Highlander is a volume product for Toyota.

    I agree with you on the headliner. My 4Runner has a similar fuzzy material. Even the Lexus RX uses some sub-par fuzz. I thought the headliner in a Pontiac Montana SV6 I rented was much nicer than what Toyota uses, but that was the only thing that looked like it was of decent quality.

    HIDs would be a nice to have (along with LED tails), but they aren't dealbreakers for me. Bluetooth, the rear-view camera, and the smart key are much more important to me.
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    What about the swinging cattle gate of a rear door? Even most cattle gates don't have a 40 pound spare mounted. Other than those things and the,cheaper than Honda,feel of everything it's a nice ride if you get the V6. :)
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I'd find another dealer. Toyota is increasing the number of Highlander Hybrids for 08. Affluence has nothing to do with who gets Highlander. It has more to do with how many vehicles the dealership sells. Toyota has a "turn and earn" policy for providing inventory to dealers.
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Posts: 268
    Sorry Mackabee but none of the dealers currently taking orders on the 2008 HL are discounting. Additionally the minimum wait on a vehicle at this point is six months.

    That's just a fact. SUVs here sell like hot cakes. The MDX that is going for invoice in many areas of the country is still selling here close to sticker.

    I'm sure better deals can be had for those who are extremely patient and not picky about colors/options.
  • pabloxpablox Posts: 92
    Where are you located? It's probably worth traveling out of state in that case.
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Posts: 268
  • carstuff1carstuff1 Posts: 3
    I too purchased a HL on Saturday, got the 4WD Limited. There are a couple of things that I wish were different (eg, more space in rear when 3rd row is in use), but in general I am extremely pleased with it. Coming from a 2002 Camry XLE, I find the fit and finish to be generally comparable, although the interior of the doors don't have any soft leather-like surface inserts. What I love are: Power rear door, backup camera, comfort of the seats (including power button to extend the seat surface to provide thigh support for taller drivers), Bluetooth, GREAT acceleration, and Smart key entry and ignition (very cool, keeps me from having to dig through my purse to find my keys coming out of the grocery store with 2 kids and 5 bags of groceries). I agree with other comments that the seating design may not suit all families, but it works great for hauling 2 kids plus all my purchases from Home Depot; then the flexibility of the 3rd row (and even the middle 2nd row seat in times of desperation) when I need to haul my kids' friends. I also found the powered steering to be too "floaty"; I would prefer a little stiffer. Interesting that the 4WD seemed less of a problem than the 2WD on this. I was able to purchase a charcoal gray with ash leather interior for $600 under MSRP, plus they threw in free carpet mats. IMO, I was fairly underwhelmed by some of the color choices offered by Toyota -- some odd hues (especially the sandy beige one - has a yellowish-green hue. Yuk.) The basic white, black, gray and silver were all good.
  • flipwilsonflipwilson Posts: 12
    Where are you located? That's a great deal..............I was so turned off by the arrogance of the 2 toyota dealers here in the green bay, wi area, that I don't know if I really want a highlander because I will need to return to one of the dealers for warranty service. Funny thing is they kept bashing the buick enclave, yet they still have all of the highlanders that were delivered last week, and the buick dealer next door can't keep an enclave on the lot (I have seen 5 different enclaves come and go in the past week)
  • carstuff1carstuff1 Posts: 3
    I'm in the Raleigh, NC area. We too have our share of arrogant dealers here... I've just had good luck with this particular one (Leith). Good luck!
  • jmpage2jmpage2 Posts: 268
    $600 off is kind of a courtesy discount more than anything. It's still good you got it. By comparison in many areas of the US (but not in mine) an MDX can be had for as much as $4000 off of MSRP.

    It's similar to the discount I got on my 2004 Audi A4 Ultra Sport when those were very hard to get and many dealers wanted full MSRP for them.

    If Highlander prices don't come down to earth I might have to consider flying to another city to buy an MDX and drive it back here!

  • miacar07miacar07 Posts: 28
    I'm reading a lot of mixed reviews on the 2008 Highlander. Is is worth getting or should I look into other SUVs? Also, I go to the toyota sight to price the Highlander, but it doesn't let me price it with the Rear DVD Entertainment option. Does anyone know why is that?
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