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Toyota Highlander Hybrid



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Is it reasonable to spend $40K+ for a 2006 HH and then in 12 months have a brand new body style?

    The Highlander is a nice looking vehicle. The new one could be ugly. There are more ugly SUVs than good looking ones. Take a gamble.
  • In addition to the changes in appearance of the front and rear of the Hybrid Highlander, I attempted to compare the specs on the Hybrid Highlander and Non-Hybrid Highlander models but it was slightly difficult because of the varying models (base and Limited versions).
    If you are interested in any of the specs listed below, you might want to check the specs yourself in case I made an error.

    Minor differences (fractions of inch) in
    Height, track, head room, shoulder room, hip room, leg room, curb weight, GVWR,
    Passenger Volume (Hybrid is 131.8, Non-hybrid is 133.9 depending on model)

    More significant differences
    Fuel capacity (Hybrid is 17.2, Non-Hybrid is 19.1),
    Tires (Hybrid is P225/65R17, Non-Hybrid is 16 inch),
    Dash (Hybrid does not have multi-function display unless the Navigation package is added)

    Additional standard features of Hybrid (depending on model)
    4-Wheel Drive with intelligence (4WD-I)
    LED for tail and stop lamps
    Towing Prep Package
    Privacy glass in rear

    Additional standard features of Hybrid Limited Edition :
    Leather seats
    Power Passenger Seat
    SRS fuel pump cut-off
    Collision sensors to deactivate High Voltage Battery

    Some differences between Hybrid and Non-hybrid depending on model :
    Fog lamps
    Heated mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer grid
    Color-keyed rear spoiler
    Power tilt/slide moonroof
    Different JBL cassette/cd/radio systems
    Steering wheel and controls
    Sun visor illumination
    Auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass (NOT on navigation option)
    Engine immobilizer

    Additional option to Hybrid Limited is DVD Navigation system
  • toycashtoycash Posts: 139
    The fuel pump and hybrid battery shut-off are standard on both, not just the Limited.

    Also, the part -time nature of 4WDi is not that different from many other vehicles that also only send power to the second set of wheels based on the slippage of the primary set.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    COOL !!! :D
    "Here's the scary part: The gas-electric Highlander is rated at 33 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway (when the gas engine does the hard work), but my combined average for the week came in at 34 mpg."
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Battery was FULL at the beginning of the week but EMPTY at the end of the week.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    "This brings me to a question. Is it reasonable to spend $40K+ for a 2006 HH and then in 12 months have a brand new body style?"

    Good point! If you assume 12 months.

    BUT I read in the May Automobile Magazine that a brand new Highlander will be out in 24-36 months. Waiting lists are so long that many who are waiting today will end up with a new model, 36 months hence!

    Patience is a virtue. Unfortunately I am not that virtuous! :surprise:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I drive an HCH and I can lower my battery to one bar in one driving session if I choose to.....the driver obviously was not letting "regen" do it's work......or, it could have been a problem with the "pre-production" version of the car....maybe the engineers are doing the last second tweaks....
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    Is it likely that someone will make an after-market means to charge the batteries at home (without being an electrical engineering PhD)?
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    I called my local dealer on Monday to ask about the HLH, and the guy said they couldn't take orders yet. He then called me back about three hours later and said that actually they could, they received the codes to place the orders that day.

    So, I went in and plunked down my $500 (refundable) deposit on one, first order for this dealership (Ron Carter Toyota in Alvin, TX, which is a "President's Award" dealership). He said Toyota was being very tight-lipped on when these would actually be arriving and estimated August for the base 4WD model with option package. I didn't think to ask about dates for other models, though. No price haggling, just straight MSRP, take or leave it, which is what I expected.

    So, we'll see how it goes in terms of timing. It's interesting because when we first went to this dealership a couple months ago to get on the list, there WAS no list. But now they've got a folder full of names. Word is getting out.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Press release after press release lately has put the arrival in USA date in June. I think Toyota has too much riding on that date to miss it......

    And with reporters already getting to drive them, I'd bet they are virtually ready. Two months ladies and gents.........:)

    (eternal Optimist and Toyota fan Larry S.S.) :D
  • iceridericerider Posts: 1
    I'm number 6 on the list at my local dealership in Colorado. They are only ordering Limited 4WD editions. Sounds fine with me as long as I get my white one with DVD navigation! I've never driven a hybrid, never even been in one, but I love the idea.

    I personally can't wait until August when mine should show up. They're getting 2 a month.

    And if I don't like it, I'm sure some eBay junkie will pay top-dollar to buy it from me!

    [Forever dreaming of my new Highlander Hybrid...] :-)
  • otis1otis1 Posts: 142
    Is it reasonable to spend $40K+ for a 2006 HH and then in 12 months have a brand new body style?

    I think I understand what you're getting at. you spend this money on a car and then they improve it on you and you're left with a "deficient" car. I'm thinking of the Prius example where in 03 or 04 (i forget), toyota improved the car. But this is the price of being an "early adopter."

    There's NO solid information out there on when the HH will be redesigned. there's no information that shows what it looks like, what new features, what kind of MPG, and what the PRICE is going to be (at least none that I know of). So basically there's no way of making an informed decision.

    I think you have to answer the first part of your question first, "is it reasonable to spend $40k on a HH?" Cars go through redesigns and improvements constantly. if you're always waiting, you'll never buy a car.
  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    Just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that I was just asking the question and not making a statement. I have ordered a silver, 4WD, limited with Navigation. I have been on my local dealers wait list for 18 months and I was the first to place a order for the HH at that dealership. While I will be surprised if this body style lasts more than the 2007 model year, so be it. From the articles that I have been reading, the bottom line is that it is an incredible automobile. The Sacramento Bee had an article on the HH in the paper today. It was reported that they got 34 mpg on average. That's about 10 more than I both expect and truthfully, believe. If it turns out that 34 mpg is real, Toyota must have sprinkled some magic dust on it :-)
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    From what I've heard, it costs a bundle to redesign a car. If they're selling all they can make without redesigning it, why would they change the design?
  • Here is the latest info from the Miami-area dealership where I have a deposit on the WaitList:
    "We will be getting 1 limited edition on June 1st. We don’t have a say in how our first vehicle comes equipped, but since you are second on the list, if the person in front of you doesn’t want that one, you will have the option of taking it. After that, the real allocation begins. I expect these vehicles will arrive sometime in late-June and we will try to find a model to suit your request:
    Our dealership will not know what our mid-June allocation will look like until late May, so until then, I won’t be able to give you a better idea. "

    * thanks to "toycash" for the message:
    The fuel pump and hybrid battery shut-off are standard on both, not just the Limited.

    I have been looking at all the features* of the base and Limited edition models and have not decided which model I would buy. The main things I like about the Limited edition are the leather seats and the additional safety features. Actually, I feel that the extra features on the Limited version are basically worth the price differential but it is hard to choose such an expensive model (Limited) because of the difficulty of paying such a price. This will be my daughter's SUV and she will pay for most of the cost.
  • We're in Northern California and are reasonably high on the waiting list for a 2WD Highlander Hybrid. We've been struggling to figure out what options package to choose -- with the following main principles in mind. First, we'd prefer to get the cost down below the fully equipped Limited, even if it means skipping some things. Second: there are three options we'd really like: leather seats; moonroof; better sound system. Everything else is marginal. (We'll take it if it's cheap; we aren't eager to pay up for it.)

    Someone suggested buying the base model with its $1,700 (or so) options package and then having the dealer add leather seats for another $2,400. That gets us all of our options and saves $600 or so vs. the Limited price. We don't get heated seats and maybe we don't get wood-burl trim, but those seem skippable to us.

    Anyone else finding other dealers willing to do this sort of mix-and-match? Any sense of generally how good the leather installation will be if it's done by the dealer rather than the factory?
  • If you don't mind my asking, which Miami-area dealer told you that? I am 1st on the wait list at Toyota of Homestead and they told me the first one they get in would be the one I ordered. I'm just curious if they are just telling customers what they want to hear to get the deposit.
  • pcritpcrit Posts: 27
    Since the base model has side/head curtain airbags and the SRS fuel pump cut-off and
    collision sensors to deactivate High Voltage Battery, what "additional safety features" does the Limited have over the base model? I'm #1 on a list for a base, AWD, Gold, model with option Pkg #1.
  • It is HeadquarterToyota in Miami. My impression is that the first car was sent to the Dealership as specified by Toyota and not by any purchase order from a dealer for a Buyer. I bet this Limited model is fully loaded even with the$2,000 navigation so I am not sure I would want that. My impression is that when cars arrive, the Buyers on the Waitlist will accept or reject the car in accordance to the WaitList priority and their request. I do not know how many are on the Waitlist there now.
    Note about the other message with a question re: comparing safety features :The online brochure on the 2006 Hybrid Highlander compares the features between the base and the Limited models.
  • pcritpcrit Posts: 27
    As I suspected, there is no difference in the safety features between the base and limited models. The only difference is that the base does not have the anti-theft engine immobilizer (not really a safety feature, at least to me). This info is from the Toyota online brochure. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
  • My "Comparison" which I submitted previously was for the Non-Hybrid and Hybrid models of the Highlander. So, when I made the comment about some "additional safety measures" being different, it was from that perspective.
    I just looked at the Hybrid Brochure which lists the base model compared to the Limited model and saw that the Limited had an "anti-theft" feature which the base model does not. Also, the "payload" is different between the 2WD and the 4WD if this feature is considered related to safety.
    I was really happy to make this notation about similar safety features because safety is extremely important to me. I am, therefore, more in favor of getting the base model 2WD rather than the Limited.
    Have you found any cost estimate on package # 1 for the base model?
    Does anyone have an estimate on having the seats covered in leather after purchase? This is the big desire of my daughter who is the buyer/driver. Plus, she would like the moon-roof , enhanced stereo system and the fancier dash offered by the Limited model...So, that means that we might end up with a Limited model anyway to meet HER "needs". Personally, I really don't want to spend the extra money, though, to upgrade from the base model. This is an expensive vehicle.
    Why are you buying the AWD? for safety? I have the VSC in my Prius 2004 and I feel safer with it although I have never had it in use. btw, I upgraded the 14 inch OEM tires to 15 inch Michelin Hydroedge tires... I live in a rainy area.
    is a link to an article on the HH if anyone wants to read it.
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    I just talked to the dealer in Manhattan Beach, CA. They're adding $2,000 for "Market Value" to the HH Limited AWD. In addition, they said that 100% of the Limiteds are coming with the navigation system, which was a fun novelty on our last car but wasn't something we were planning to get on this one.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I doubt very seriously it is possible for the dealer to know that "100% of the Limiteds are coming with NAV."

    Until that is shown to be true, or you can find that on the web in some of Toyota's press releases on the HH, I would not take that at full value.

    The "market value" markup is also something that NOT ALL DEALERS will do. Were I shopping for this vehicle, I guarantee you I could locate a dealer that is not trying to hack me for an extra two grand. :)
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    A Sacramento Bee reporter tested the 2WD model (pre-production) and received mixed mileage of 34 MPG after 1 week. To access this article, you need to register with Sac Bee.

    Another reporter took a 4WDi model to Death Valley and crawled through some dirt roads. After 1022 miles, he reported 34.5 MPG. The 4WDi will handle dirt trails OK just not serious boulder crawling. This is great news for those of us who need to cut through some dirt tracks to get to a trail head.
  • ssachnoffssachnoff Posts: 33
    I have been bugging a salesman (now finance manager) at a Chicago-area Toyota dealer about the HH for almost 18 months. He says I am first on the "list" for a 2WD with the options package. He claims to have submitted my sales order sheet however I have yet to receive a faxed copy from him. He told me that the dealer policy was not to create a waiting list but "because he's a man of his word" he put me at the top since I''ve talked to him every couple of months since the HH's creation became a rumor/then reality. He says that he expects to get about a dozen of the vehicles with fewer Limiteds than base models. He also says he has one other person on the "list" who said they will take any model, any color, any price (why isn't this guy buying the Lexus hybrid?) He says they will not charge any premium or "market value" type markup but says I am stuck with a $94.00 extra teflon coating charge. If this is all he sticks me with, I'll consider myself lucky. He has no idea when they'll come in other than "sometime in June." I'll believe all this when he faxes me something, hits my credit card with the $500.00 deposit or calls to say come out and pick one out. Call me a cynic; call me a realist. Just call me an HH driver by sometime this summer. I hope my 1994 Voyager holds out a few more months. ;)
  • harris5harris5 Posts: 1
    Check out the web site for California Cars Initiative. They are working on a plug-in version of the Prius. It will likely be usable in some form for the other Toyota hybrids. They are non-profit. Check energyCS for their electric car. There is a chance they will be offering a kit in the future. The goal for both of them is to double or triple the mileage and extend the "electric only" range to cover most commutes.
  • pcritpcrit Posts: 27
    I'm in the Atlanta area and the 2 dealers I've talked too are asking MSRP $34,430 for the AWD + $1770 for Pkg #1 + $565 destinaiton, total of $36,765 in my zip according to Edmunds. The Pkg #1 has all you want, except the leather seats (Package #1
    Includes front fog lamps, rear spoiler, 4-spoke steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, JBL AM/FM stereo, cassette player, 6-disc in-dash CD player, 8 JBL speakers and tilt/slide power glass sunroof). I put 17" Michelins on my HL-Limited which I bought in Feb as well (the limited has 17" wheels). I bought the limited because it was the only HL I could find with side airbags, as Toyota doesn't ship many of these to the SE region. At least the side airbags are standard on the base Hybrid. I like the AWD model because the mpg is almost the same and I travel north in the winter (IL) and almost always run into snow, so I like to have the traction and extra safety of the AWD. The AWD is also very nice for rain slicked streets here in Atlanta.
  • "He says they will not charge any premium or "market value" type markup but says I am stuck with a $94.00 extra teflon coating charge."


    What a joke. Taflon consists of microscopic particles. The only way to make those particles adhere to metal is via baking at >500 degrees, else the Teflon particles would just wash off the car when it rains. I have my doubts the dealer baked your car at >500 degrees.

    I'd refuse to pay. It's a worthless service.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Thanks for that info, Troy - it makes perfect sense, as Teflon is used on a lot of cookware, but knowing that as a fact, I will never pay for Teflon coating again unless I can see photos of the giant oven in the manufacturing facility.


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