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Toyota Highlander Hybrid



  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    I want to correct my last post with the following:

    HH most likely will arive as a new redesigned model. What is the logic of introducing a hybrid vehicle that will have to be re-designed within a year? Also the media seems to be focusing exclusively on the upcoming RX400h.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Maybe Toyota thinks they can get a few more years out of the Highlander with the hybrid. The pictures on their website looks like the current model. I like the looks a lot better than the RX400h. They are just ugly to my wife and me.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    "Maybe Toyota thinks they can get a few more years out of the Highlander."

    Probably you are right! Imagine if there are major improvements to a new redesigned HH. The HH would most likely cannibalize sales from the RX400H. This would not be in Toyota's interest.

    Imagine the hefty profit margins Toyota would lose on a 52k RX400h each time someone chooses to buy a HH instead.

    Still the old design of the highlander in future years may begin looking stale when future redesigned SUVs (most likely hybrid versions)are introduced.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    The hh pictures on Toyota's website is that of the current model. That is true, but would Toyota promote photos of a future redesigned highlander, while the current models are sitting on dealership lots? I dont think so!

    There is a viable market for spy shots. It would make no sense for Toyota to pre-empt spy shooters from providing photos of a redesigned highlander. So obviously why not show the old model and surprise the market with a new model!

    This is specualtation ofcourse, but this speculation does make some sense.
  • I called a local dealer here in the Atlanta area this weekend, and was told the hybrid Highlander will be available in April 2005...sounds like it's being released with the Lexus.

    I also found on the Toyota site that the Highlander is scheduled for a redesign on the 2007 model. I really want to pick up the hybrid when it hits the market, but it sucks that the design will change within 2 years.
  • A salesperson at a dealership in the SF bay area told me the HH would be available in the second quarter of 2005, but I still wouldn't be surprised if it's as late as August.

    Somehow in the back of my mind I too remember reading a year or so ago (Motortrend or the like web site) that the HL would be redesigned in MY 2007...
  • Where on the Toyota site does it say that the Highlander is going to be redesigned for 2007?

    Or did you just make a guess by going by Toyota's redesign schedules?
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Toyota's redesign cycle for popular models is 5 years (with cosmetic interior and exterior changes implemented in the 4th year of the cycle). They have been consistent with this trend since the 1980's. Unless they've decided to abandon this strategy, the HL should be in for a major change in model year 2006. I get the feeling the new model will be larger inside and out (to better compete with the Pilot). I'm in the minoritý, but I hope the redesigned HL doesn't get too big. I like the size of the current HL. I wish they would give it just a little more character. Hopefully we will have some information soon.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    They have already decided to abandon the five-year cycle, with the '05 Odyssey. A five-year cycle for the Highlander is not a sure thing.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Pilot is covered by the Honda redesign strategy not the Toyota redesign strategy.
  • As I recall, the previous 4Runner was around for at least 6-7 years before a major redesign. I agree that a 5 year cycle isn't a sure thing, even for Toyota.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    Doh! Of course, brain needs to be engaged before typing. OK, how about the Corolla as an example? Or Sienna? Or Celica? Or ECHO? All more than five years for most recent update cycles.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    True, five year cycles are not carved in stone for any company.

    Since the Highlander is based on the platform of the Camry, it probably makes sense to introduce the new Highlander after the new 07 Camry is introduced. Just like the new Pilot will not be introduced until the 08 Accord is redesigned.
  • Yeah, I hope it stays around the current size, too. If I wanted a Pilot-sized SUV from Toyota, I would just buy a 4Runner, which is better than the Pilot in most every way.

    As for the redesign, I would think they would wait until the new Camry comes out in 2007, though this current Highlander, which uses the current (2002+) Camry platform, actually preceeded it by one model year (2001). If we go by that, then the new HL should come out as a 2006, preceding a new, redesigned Camry by one model year.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    That assumes the next new Camry will be out for '07. Given the recent trend with updates to Toyota's cars, that is not a given.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Read my posting carefully. The 5 year cycle only applies to popular models. The Avalon(Cressida), 4runner, Celica and Echo and others have not been good sellers. I also understand that it isn't carved in stone.

    If memory serves me right the recent Corolla was introduced 6 months early (the previous model lasted 4 1/2 years). It was released at the same time as the Matrix in Feb 2002 as a 2003 model. I believe the Sienna (which received a major change) was released early in 2003 as a 2004 model. The previous model had been out for for about 5 1/2 years. The RAV was 5 years. The Camry has always been 5 (except the first gen. which was 4). No one knows for sure, my guess is that a redisned HL will be released as a 2006 in 2005. The latest release would be in early 2006 as a 2007. If not, they will have to drastically discount them. People will be expecting a change in the near future. We get bored quickly.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    If you want to consider the Avalon and Sienna unpopular models, fine with me. I see tons of them where I live. The point is, all automakers are stretching out product life cycles lately. We're seeing that with Toyota. Honda's used to be four years, like clockwork. Then they started going to a five-year cycle. Then with one of their most popular models, Odyssey, they went to six years. Hyundai also used to be five years. They too are stretching out new models. The only sure thing on these product cycles is that there is no sure thing.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Backy, I never stated that the Sienna was unpopular (it is selling much better since the redesign). It was not meant to be included in "others". However, the Avalon's sales are not great and is in decline. It does demonstrate what happens if change does not occur at timely intervals. Toyota's flagship (which is due for a major redesign) is not a one Toyota's bread and butter vehicles. In my opinion the Camry, Corolla, Sienna and the Highlander (maybe even the RAV) are. Evidentally all models contribute to Toyota's overall record sales, which seems to be increasing every year.

    Honda's decision to increase their cycles propably saves them a ton of money. Also, Honda is trying hard to beat Toyota (Honda fans will not want to admit it). Why not copy a successful recipe. Honda feels that timely releases of certain models may give them an advantage. In some cases I'm sure it does. I believe that the buyers will benefit in the long run (regardless which vehicle you purchase).

    I'm not an expert in the field. I'm just an interested observer with an opinion. Sorry if I mislead anyone.
  • toycashtoycash Posts: 139
    The original plan was for the Highlander Hybrid to come out 90 days after the Lexus, don't know if this is still true.

    Suppose the Hybrid came out with the old body style, and the regular Highlander was redone, at least initially?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,907
    The 5 year cycle only applies to popular models.

    Sorry, I misunderstood your statement, since the Sienna is not on a 5-year update cycle.

    It is actually in automakers' best interests to keep buyers guessing about update cycles. When they followed a set pattern, buyers could say, "Hmm, I know the Highlander will be all-new next year, so I'll just keep my old Betsy one more year." Now, when we have no idea when the next generation is coming, buyers might be more prone to buy NOW. Just a thought.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Read an article in yesterday's Toronto Star. It says that the Hybrid HL will be shown in production form (does it mean redesign?) at next month's Montreal auto show and will arrive on the Canadian market during the second half of 2005. This is according to Tony Wearing, managing director of Toyota Canada. He also states that "The Highlander Hybrid is the world's first mid-size hybrid SUV available with seven-passenger seating," and that the Lexus RX 400h crossover is expected to bow next spring.

    I'm still guessing that the 2006 HL will have new sheetmetal. In any case, we will soon find out.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    I saw the picture in Toronto Star of the Highlander.

    Usually when there will be a re-design, a picture will be shown. For example, a few weeks ago the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail showed the new redesign BMW 3 series and Jetta, respectively. Both models will not be introduced until spring.
  • Here is a link to the article dewey and petl was talking about, however it doesn't have a picture. ayout/Article_Type1&call_pageid=971358637177&c=Article&am- p;cid=1102027808294

    you may have to scroll down a bit.
  • Hi Dewey, you saw the picture...but is it a new design or not?
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    The Star article did not include a photo (in the newspaper or on the web site). Not sure where Dewey saw a picture. I know there are pictures of the current model as a Hybrid. No one can confirm if a redesign is slated for model year 2006 or 2007. Toyota is pretty secretive with redesign information (they are a little less secretive with new introductions). Still betting on 2006.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Petl, pardon me, refer to the Globe and Mail Thursday Wheel section of last week. You are correct the Star did not have a picture.

    I hope there will be redesign! I find current Highlander quite unexciting. In fact AWD Sienna seems more exciting than the current Highlander
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    Dewey, I totally agree with you on your assessment of the Highlander and the Sienna. I'm playing the waiting game before making a commitment to purchase.
  • dreasdaddreasdad Posts: 276
    Toyota, Lexus plan Detroit debuts

    By Dale Jewett

    Automotive News / December 13, 2004

    Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. will use next month’s Detroit auto show as the stage to unveil a pair of future production vehicles and a pair of concepts.




       The concept vehicles are:


    A Toyota concept of a new sport wagon. The automaker did not provide any other details. But it is possible the concept could be a precursor of the redesigned Highlander sport wagon, due for a makeover for the 2006 model year. The redesigned Highlander is expected to have a longer wheelbase to accommodate three rows of seats.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Sounds exciting!


    BUT the concept sport wagon may not be a precursor to the redesigned Highlander. My question is can a Highlander be considered a sport wagon(is not a sport wagon a fancy way of saying station wagon)? Please correct me if I am wrong.


    The Highlander is due for a makeover in 2006, but will that mean there will be a makeover? Sometimes product cycles can vary from 5 years to longer.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Station Wagons are used in Railway / Train stations

    to move the goods. But these vehicles like

    Highlander, CR-V are utility vehicles which provide

    more comfort to rear seat passengers with the

    reclining seat and also has a cargo capacity which

    is 50 % more than a sedan of the equal length & width.


    So these vehicles are called CUV if they are small

    and SUV when they are big. Station Wagon is an

    outmoded term.
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