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Toyota Highlander Hybrid

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  • 408hp 4WD, 0-60 in 4 secs and 220 MPG!!

    http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_cod- - e=autoshows&loc_code=&content_code=04700872

    Another example of hybrid advantage by escaping traditional ICE only trade-off boundry. This car is tuned for maximum performance using exotic materials but using HSD (3.3L V6) that will be used in Highlander Hybrid.

    BTW, I am open to the possibility of marketing hype.

    Dennis
    NYCLP4
  • Autoweek probably has a typo. Another site said 700 kms with 52 liters gasoline. That comes out to 31.7 MPG. It is still amazing.

    Dennis
    NYCLP4
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    My closest Toyota dealer is taking pre-orders for '05 Highlander Hybrids. They are telling me Jan/Feb '05 delivery.

    Anybody else getting a different story (like an earlier delivery date than this)?

    Thanks
  • dgraysondgrayson Posts: 27
    I was even told by a dealer in Chicago that they are now being told April. Also trying to contact about 20 dealers in area. Only one is willing to deal at all below MSRP because of the high demand.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    if you want a Highlander Hybrid below MSRP, stick with that one dealer that was willing to deal. Come later in the year, the dealers will be swamped.
  • The noble idea of saving an environment does not come cheap. Using less gas means paying less money (duh!), but buying the Hybrid SUV today involves forking out several thousands dollars, which virtually nullifies the savings. Paying less for gas would not translate into ANY financial savings over at least 5-7 yrs.
    The following example uses family-oriented people averaging roughly 12,000 mi per yr, or 1000 mi per month, who do not use their cars for businesses where one requires much greater utilization of their vehicles:
    - 6 cyl 2004 Highlander gets about 20 mpg (18 cty/24 hwy) needing 50 gallons of gas; total monthly cost of gas at $1.90/gallon is $95;
    - 6 cyl 2005 Hybrid should get 28 mpg; therefore 1,000 mi will cost $65 given prior parameters;
    - monthly saving of $30 accumulate into $360 saved per year;
    - with the trend to change cars every 5-7 yrs or when warranty expires, one could save $1800 to $2520;
    - this falls short of $3K to $5K to ?K more one should pay up front to buy the Hybrid;
    - this situation changes for the better, however, when gas approaches $5/gallon.

    So, unless the difference in price is minimal measuring hundreds of dollars and not thousands, or the price of gas is European-like, it doesn't make financial sense to buy Hybrid SUV today. The "green" reasons (saving the planet, cleaner air, etc.) may be more prevalent in the first years of hybrid-mania.

    But is it really technology itself that is more expensive, or is it politically motivated price gouging to continue pushing toward traditional gas-guzzlers to keep oil industry happy? I can hear the ecstatic slogans when "revolutionary" hybrid Suburbans and Excursions start getting 20 mpg as opposed to today's <15, and costing twice as much.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > it doesn't make financial sense to buy Hybrid SUV today

    It doesn't make financial sense to buy Traditional SUV either.

    JOHN
  • How much values do you put on the following HSD features?

    - Smooth acceleration, no jerking during shifting (Smoother than 6 speeds)
    - Instant power response, no delay from downshiftings (Within milliseconds)
    - More torque and horse power than a regular Highlander
    - Total silence at the stop lights
    - Electric heater that produces heat faster
    - HOV lane access in some states
    - Many more (Feel free to add)

    Obviously, you were not aware of many other HSD benefits and calculated only the fuel saving.

    Dennis
  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    My guess is at some point in the future, perhaps 20 years from now, hybrids will be standard on most cars, much like fuel injection has replaced carburetors over the past 20 years, or like automatic transmissions have become standard on many cars (Highlanders for example aren't even offered with a manual transmission). Once a critical mass of interest and demand for hybrids is reached, competition between auto manufacturers for the hybrid market will drive the price of hybrids down. We are witness to a new era of car evolution, the transition of which will occur over the next 20 years.

    I also predict that 20 years from now the roadways will be just as congested as they are today...
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > perhaps 20 years from now

    What in the world would make a person think so much time is needed? If an average vehicle is only in service for 8 years anyway, that's over 2 full cycles, which more than is enough to replace everything. And in that same time, a vehicle will be remodeled at least 4 times. To revise so much, yet not improve the drive system that much would be a bit odd.

    So I would expect hybrids becoming standard much sooner.

    And by basing the rollout on other new technologies of the past, it shouldn't take more than 10 years... of which, has already begun.

    JOHN
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    Saving $2000 over 5-7 year is not bad considering the resale value of hybrid would still retain 40% of its original value. For the 4K premium you paid, your lost is only $2400 (60% of 4k). In other words, you pay for all the benefits usbseawolf listed for only $400!!! What a deal!

    The bottom line is ... there are people who would pay for being fancy and new and in-style. That alone would create high demand. See what is happening with Priuses. Every dealer has a long waiting list (30-50) for Lexus 400h. Check with your Toyota dealer for Highlander Hybrids. There is a list also. People are paying for MSRP for them. To me, if CA allow HOV lane access for Hybrids, I would buy it in a heart beat! All the rest are icing on the cake.
  • sortersorter Posts: 146
    And the resale for Hybrid will be higher a few years from now because alot more vehicle has hybrid and less people interest in regular engine.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    Let's say gas is more like $2.50/gallon, which it now is in some markets, and you have a longer commute, say, you put 15,00 miles/year on the car.

    20 mpg = 750 gal = $1875/year in gas cost
    28 mpg = 535.7 gal = $1340/year in gas cost

    $535/year savings. In seven years, that's $3745. If there's still a tax break when you buy it new (I'm not sure what the status of that is these days), then you're paying virtually *nothing* to get all of the aformentioned benefits plus, of course, reduced environmental impact.

    Obviously, if you live somewhere where gas is much cheaper or put less miles on your vehicle, it makes less finiancial sense, at least purely on gas price. But for some poeple, the math already pretty much works out _right now_.
  • sortersorter Posts: 146
    And the resale for Hybrid will be higher a few years from now because alot more vehicle has hybrid and less people interest in regular engine.
  • It is so true. If I want a hybrid and can't afford a new one, I would be looking for a used one.

    Dennis
  • 2003tls2003tls Posts: 100
    I disagree that resale on the Hybrid will necessarily be better in a few years. Hybrid technology changes quickly. Whereas gas engines are relatively the same, how many people want to buy the old Prius when the new one is so much better. Technology constantly changes, and today's hybrid technology may be as undesireable as today's computers in just five years. Something to consider.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > how many people want to buy the old Prius when the new
    > one is so much better.

    LOTS!

    My traded-in Prius with 59,827 miles was marked up rather high by the dealer. Yet, it was snatched up in just a few days anyway.

    Used hybrids are rare, so they don't stay on the market for long even if the technology is a generation old.

    JOHN
  • tcdraketcdrake Posts: 5
    Does anyone know for sure or have an educated guess when the 2005's will be coming out?

    Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    tcdrake, if you mean the '05 Highlander hybrid, this page indicates it'll be in the first few months of 2005.

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  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    I was told January delivery with a pre-order made in mid March. I suppose that will start moving out now, as the pre order lists get longer.
  • lucaslucas Posts: 9
    What I would REALLY like to have is a 2005 Estima Van. I've been on the waiting list for a 2004 Prius since October but am about to give up and sign-up for the Ford Escape Hybrid.

    I MAY buy a highlander if they are available first but I'm going to do a real careful comparison.

    If the Estima was available, I doubt that I would ever drive anything else unless they invent a car that uses water for fuel.
  • lucaslucas Posts: 9
    I don't understand why there isn't a drive motor on each wheel.

    You could mount a fixed stator on each axle. Put high energy magnets on each wheel and you would have all four wheels driving. I'm sure Toyota could work out the control problem.

    You saw it here first!
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'd buy one too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    The closest Toyota dealer to me, which is fifth largest in the Chicago region by sales volume (or so they claim), has 10 people on their HL hybrid preorder list already--and that was as of last Saturday. But they have over 100 Prius buyers on the list, so it's possible (at about 10 Priuses per month) the HL buyers will get theirs before some of the Prius buyers do.
  • carguy1234carguy1234 Posts: 233
    Is that Walser? I bought at Burnsville, and was told I'd get the HL before a Prius due to the long Prius wait list.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
  • sdanderssdanders Posts: 37
    generation interesting as they are planning (so I hear) to use electric motors at each wheel which will give the car well over 300HP from the 3.2L V6 that is currently in the car. Acceleration will be phenomenal....Great idea.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,092
    A proposal is been strongly supported by our Terminator governor and other high-level state governor officials to pass the state law to allow Hybrids to ride on HOV lanes (we call car-pool lanes here). It went on to say that it is very likely to pass due to recent hike of gas prices. Resistance is weak at this point. The catch ...

    - must be 45mpg or above
    - limited to 75,000 licenses (controlled by decals)
    - raise the threshold to 3 persons (from 2) per vehicle to ride on HOV lanes for regular non-hybrid vehicles
    - If passes, it would start on 01/01/2005

    Currently, CA allows pure electric vehicles to ride on HOV lanes.

    I guess that mean HL-hybrids, Lexus 400h and Accord-Hybrid wouldn't qualify. Prius and Civic Hybrids sales would go through the roof.

    The right to ride on HOV lanes, my friends, worths much more than a few thousands $$$$. Time is money.
  • ch1133ch1133 Posts: 43
    >>The right to ride on HOV lanes, my friends, >>worths much more than a few thousands $$$$. >>Time is money.

    It is not few thousands $$$$. I have not seen any hybrids or electric (used or new) for sale below 15K
    Since only well off citizens would be able to buy one and the rest of american bottomfeeders would be stuck in traffic I suggest thet anyone making more than 100K would be allowed in HOV lane.
    Bring a copy of your tax return to prove to the cop that you qualify
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    FWIW, used Classic Priuses regularly sell for under $15k in my town. There's also a frequent poster in the hybrid-related boards here who picked up a used Insight for $10k.

    Also, Civic Hybrids and Priuses sell new starting at just over $20k. Since the average price of a new car these days is over $27k, I don't agree that only "well-off" citizens will be able to buy one. As for the HL hybrid and RX400h--well, those will take some bucks. But they won't qualify for CA's HOV lane exception anyway, nor will the Accord hybrid.
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