Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Highlander Hybrid



  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    I'll have to plug our host here. I went to the Edmunds new car website and asked to get four quotes for the HH figuring that no one would really have anything special. One of the dealers is getting 7 HHs each month and put me on the list at #25. That's better than the December delivery I was told at another dealer. Apparently the dealers are getting different number of new HHs each month depending on how big the dealership is. And they promised to sell it at MSRP with no add-ons, wheel changes, pixie dust or anything else added.
  • fizbanfizban Posts: 42
    As #1 on the list (signed up in Oct.) my dealer's best guess is July.
  • jabnvajabnva Posts: 5
    I just put myself on the wait list in N.VA and I was told it would only be 4 mos. or so until delivery. One question that the dealer could not answer - Has anyone heard whether the HH will come with the keyless smart start system found on the prius?
  • ultra64ultra64 Posts: 13
    I called a local dealer and they said they had to only 2 people on their list. I can get one in June.
  • gparkergparker Posts: 4
    I do not know if you are in a large market or not. Even if you are, #83 on the list it is likely you are at least one year out. Toyota has allocated these units on several different criteria to their dealers. How many Prius models, how many Highlanders, etc. that they have sold in the past. All get one "demo" now. Then all get one 2wd unit, which does not thrill dealers in areas where Winter is a factor...did you order with NAV or not? Our dealer said again two days ago, 70% would be shipped with NAV. I am still # 1 on a list in a Nebraska market, and have been told our order is factory computer confirmed for June. The other vehicle we have ordered, a Prius, is still at least three months out.
    When you consider, the Prius has been on the market over five years, and it still has a long waiting list....well, as # 83 on a list for a new HH, you will probably be lucky to see it a year from now.
    That would trouble me. Currently, the gov't $2500 tax credit will expire at the end of 2005, and drop to $500 after that, unless GWB's energy bill passes. Also, not widely publicized, as it's a one shot deal, that for the 2005 tax year, one can deduct their total State Sales Tax paid in 2005 off of their federal income tax. That is why we ordered the HH and the Prius for delivery in 2005. That is a serious consideration for many people. Wish you the best of luck.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    From what I have seen from all of the information that Toyota has given to us so far, the Smart entry/start system on the Prius and Avalon will not be available on the Highlander. One of the points they have pressed over and over is that the ignition system is simalar to all other cars, with a traditional key-type in the steering column. If there are any further updates with this, I'll be happy to keep you informed.

  • toycashtoycash Posts: 139
    Definitely will not be available.
  • otis1otis1 Posts: 142
    I was surfing around the toyota HH "mini-site" this weekend and they had a section where you could compare vehicles. I was comparing the RX400h with the HH and came the towing section and it showed that a trailer hitch was UNAVAILABLE for the HH, yet available as an option for the RX. (the trailer wiring was shown as STANDARD equip for the RX).

    1. does anyone know if this information is correct? on the corner the site said "Powered by Edmunds" but I would think Toyota would have double checked if there was an inaccuracy.

    2. Is there something preventing the HH from mounting a hitch? I thought I remembered reading or hearing that the HH had a 3500 tow capacity- why would that be published if it wasn't designed to tow.

    3. and just WOT, don't you think, if this info is true, that it seems odd that the RX would get the tow pkg but not the HH. In my narrow mind, I would envision more HHs towing something than Rx's
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Thank you for the replies - much appreciate!
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    First of all, all of the information that we have recieved from Toyota has said that the HH will have a towing capacity of 3,500lbs. My guess would be that the RX may have the hitch built into the bumper sort of like the 4-runner and the HH does not. The Hitch for the Highlanders in general is a "PPO" or "Post Production Option" which means that it is not installed at the Factory itself, but at the distribution location before it gets sent to the dealer. Many sites do not list non-"Factory" options because they can sometimes differ depending on where you are. If this is the case, they would not list the tow hitch as an available option.

    Just my thoughts and I hope this helps.

  • fizbanfizban Posts: 42
    Yep, my take is that you can order the towing option, but that doesn't include the hitch.
  • cknoxcknox Posts: 8
    I am allegedly the first on the list for an HH at a medium size dealer in Wisconsin. They have told me that they have 4 vehicles coming in to the dealership not long after release, and will order one to my spec's if one of these is not what I wanted (4x4 Limited, no NAV). They didn't want to order me one until they figured out exactly what they were getting in. The other curious thing that I got from them was that they (and other dealers say the same thing) really have no idea what the final cost will be, and so are only signing a contract for MSRP, without any actual number attached to this. This brings me to a couple questions:

    1. Can I expect the final MSRP to change significantly from what has been posted on Edmunds and the Toyota HH mini-site? Does anyone remember what happened when the prius came out?

    2. Since I am waiting until the dealer knows what is actually being shipped to them, does anyone have an idea of when dealers are being notified of the final configuration of their first shipments? I'd prefer to not keep harrasing my dealer every so often trying to find out, but I will if need be.
  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    I just spoke to my dealer today. He expects the HH demo within a week or two. Apparently it is in Los Angeles waiting to be shipped to Northern California. Does anyone know of any dealers that have received their demo HH yet? If not, it appears that they will soon. It now appears quite certain that the first ordered HH for customers will be available soon after June 1st. :)
  • tomslycktomslyck Posts: 70
    If you go to the HH minisite and download the Specs/eBrochure, page eight lists a Towing Hitch Receiver as an accessory.
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    I do not know about other regions of the country, but here in the NE region (buffalo) we have recieved information on the first allocation of HH's coming from Toyota. This includes the models and the options as well as the MSRP of those vehicles. Check to see if they have this update yet so that you can get more accurate MSRP information.

    Hope this helps.

  • toycashtoycash Posts: 139
    Uh, no, the price you see is the MSRP and won't change in the near future. If they have no idea what the price is, maybe you should try a different dealer. Are you sure they don't mean that they haven't decided what to charge?

    By the way, the Tow Prep Package is standard on the Hybrid, but the hitch itself is a port- or dealer-installed Accessory.
  • otis1otis1 Posts: 142
    how big are the waiting lists at your dealers? I'm number 3 at mine- I was #5 until 2 people dropped out after they asked for a deposit. At first I thought this was great, but then I called my dealer and asked how many ppl were on the waiting list and he told me only 9 (who put down deposits). This is a small dealer in the midwest so I don't know how representative this is of the overall demand for this car. I called 2 dealers in St Louis- one took a deposit and he said there were 8 ppl on his list. The other didn't take deposits and he said there were 50. So I'm thinking the dealers that have list that require deposits are more representative of the CURRENT demand. I also called a lexus dealer, and he told me I could get a rx400 in 3-4 months, not the 12-18 months I've been reading about. So after the initial frenzy, the wait's not that bad.

    Here's what I'm wrestling with... I don't mind paying MSRP for the car. But at the same time, I don't want to be one of the "last" people who paid MSRP when I could have waited 2-3 months for the waiting lists to dry up. If getting a "discount" means waiting 3 years for the demand to subside, then I will gladly pay MSRP today. if it means waiting 3 more months for inventories to build, I would be happy to wait to save some money.

    I don't have a crystal ball. if the HH makes "car of the year" or there's some resurgance of popularity, then demand will continue to be strong and supplies will continue to be short. As with the RX400, I think there's some "investers" who are buying the car to turn around and sell for a profit, artificially boosting demand. I just think I fell for the hype and it's wearing off, and now I'm afraid I'll be holding the bag as the HH buble bursts. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to buy a HH, I'm just wondering when I should.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Otis1, I think you need to qualm your worries. :D

    How long has the current Prius been out? 18 months? They are still paying MSRP for it. Why? In part because it is the only "midsize, high mileage" hybrid.

    The HH is also going to be the only "reasonably priced midsize 7-passenger hybrid minivan" for QUITE some time after it's release. I have a sneaking suspicion that the "MSRP or higher" trend for the HH will continue for SOME TIME, so any hopes of getting below MSRP in a few months time seem to be going against all trends..... :)
  • acabaacaba Posts: 1
    I went to a deaalership this weekend (San Fran bay area) and was told they already had 120 people signed up and paid $1,000 deposit for the HH. If I sign up npw, expected wait time is 14-16 months! It appears there are rumors that people who get the first ones will auction on ebay!! Unbelievable....
    I was told of a special deal, where you lease the regular Highlander and at the end of the lease get yourself the hybrid when you buyout. Interestingggggg.
  • leemtleemt Posts: 3
    I am waiting for a RX 400h that my dealer has not yet been allocated.Yesterday my Toyota dealer called and informed me I could have his first Highlander.

    I have downloaded seecifications of both autos and can find no mechanical differences. Can anyone else help with this. I did find spension differences.The hype for the 400h has been overwhelming. I am begining to resent Lexus loading up their cars assuming customers want the pretentious add-ons.

    Can anyone tell me of any mechanical differences between the two.

  • wasteadwastead Posts: 2
    HI, in your wait times reply, you commented about a state sales tax deduction. Can you nail that down a bit. I can't find any other information about this. Thanks
  • wasteadwastead Posts: 2
    Found it. NY's law expired in Feb 2005. Need to wait and see if Gov. will sign a new bill for next year's taxes. :cry:
  • toyotakentoyotaken Posts: 897
    As in the normal Highlander and RX, there are no Mechanical differences between the two vehicles as far as I know and have been able to research. The only differences are the Sheetmetal and "toys".

  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Dear lerrnt

    You can make this comparison right on the Lexus website.
    Go to their website, select the RX400h. Then select "compare vehicles". Once there, select 400h as first/base vehicle and then select Highlander Hybrid as the vehicle to compare against. When fine tuning the Highlander model, be sure to select 4WD and the Limited model. This comes closest to comparing oranges against oranges.

    You will see the point for point comparison right from the horses' mouths. It is best you do this yourself so you can decide what features are most important to you.

    The most obvious differences that caught my family's attention are that 400h has:
    1. Driver side knee airbag.
    2. Roving code security.
    3. Part-time AWD versus Full-Time 4WD for HH.
    4. Significantly lower Payload rating than HH.
    5. Rear stabilizer only versus Front+Rear stabilizers on HH.
    6. Multi-link rear suspension versus Mcpherson Struts on HH.
    7. Tilt and Telescope steering.

    Hope this helps.
  • dmbfloridadmbflorida Posts: 38
    To me, the most significant difference is that the Lexus Hybrid 400 has only 5 seats max compared to 7 seats max offered by the Highlander Hybrid. However, the Highlander's third row has only two small bench seats which come up from the cargo floor.
    The fuel consumption of the Lexus is:
    EPA estimated rating of 31/27 mpg City/Highway. Its estimated 29 mpg EPA Combined rating is comparable to that of the average compact sedan (27.6 mpg); average for SUVs in this class is 15.1 mpg.

    With all the extras provided by the Lexus, both SUV's compare reasonably close IF a buyer wanted to have all those extras and to pay for them.

    We need a 7 seat SUV though so the HH is the best choice for us..
  • ulevulev Posts: 57
    In regards to the recent post on comps 'tween the RX 400 & HH.
    My info indicates that the HH 4WD is NOT 'full time', as it only 'kicks in' when the system notices wheel slip. I do not care for 'all time 4 WD' as I think it is a waste of fuel and resources.
    As to the ordering of this vehicle...I've been there before, starting with my 1972 240 Z...a lot of hype and mis-information leading up to force one to buy at the price the dealer wants to get..I hope Toyota gets a 'handle' on these dealers as it reflects poorly on the Company. Their experience with the Prius should offer some comfort.
    Mydealer here in North West Indiana took my deposit back in Dec 2004.
    I rec'd an E-mail from Toyota that the vehicles were available for ordering.
    The dealer contacted me as well and actually 'spec'd out the vehicle (color & options) and placed the order via computer. I was surprised that Toyota would acuually 'spec out' an order, as it always seemed to be 'take what comes in off the
    truck'. Maybe it's just the 'down home' honesty we have here in the Mid West... ;)
  • gparkergparker Posts: 4
    Wastead...I think you mis understood my tax note. In 2005 tax year you can deduct state sales tax from your federal income tax if you itemize deductions.
    That helps anyone buying a car or high ticket items for one year only, unless Congress extends this. That's why we ordered a HH Ltd and a Prius now. You can do a Google or Yahoo search for "state sales tax deduction off Federal income tax" search, and get tons of information. Or go to,,id=133209,00.html
    and get the info right from the IRS. This has not been publicized much in the press, like it's a secret, but available to all of us who itemize.
    Also, with Bush's energy bill, notice the deduction for hybrid vehicles has simply vanished. That $2500 deduction will not be available after the 2005 tax year. If you buy a Hummer, you can get a credit, but not on a sensible hybrid! Absolutely amazingly stupid, and makes me wonder if our "energy policy" is not in reverse.
    Anyway, the state tax and the credit combined credits really shrink the price difference for the hybrids, of any flavor, but only for 2005. Hope that helps you, and many other readers of this forum.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Woah, that is just wrong. The IRS URL explains that the law gives the taxpayer the option of deducting either state sales tax (on all purchases, not just hybrids), or state income taxes.

    Living in California, I'll take the state income tax deduction, thank you.,,id=133209,00.html

    "The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 gives taxpayers the option to claim state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes when they itemize deductions. This option is available for the 2004 and 2005 returns only."
  • gparkergparker Posts: 4 are very correct. If I live in CA I would agree 100 percent. However, we live in Nebraska, a very rural place, where state income tax is very low, even for the fortunate ones of us that have a high income. I usually pay the state a few hundred, or sometimes $1200 like this year. The sales tax we spend, especially with two new vehicles again, is much much higher than our state income tax. So, in our case the state sales tax gives us a much higher advantage when deducting from the federal tax. Depends on where you live. Thanks for bringing the point up, so anyone, depending on residence, can make their own decisions. I was simply trying to help those who could do better by being aware of the one year deduction, and the vanishing credit on hybrids after this year. Thanks again.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    and the vanishing credit on hybrids after this year

    Actually it was supposed to be lowered in 2005 and was extended another year. It is a Deduction and not a Credit of $2000. Those in the top bracket would save about $700.
Sign In or Register to comment.