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Toyota Highlander Hybrid



  • Post you read wasn't worded clearly on this -- meant to convey there will be an '07 HL that will be based on the current design; the new design will be released as an '08 model, possibly early, in mid 2007.

    I haven't seen any indication that there will even be an '07 HH, have you? It sounded to me like they were just going to skip to the '08 model and put it out early. I could be wrong.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Salesman told me that the RX will be getting a third row seat this fall. For a Lexus that would likely mean a larger wheelbase and so it follows that the HL would get bigger (again) too.
  • groovologygroovology Posts: 24
    I think the most mysterious thing to all this is that there havent been any spy shots, or previews in automobile magazines. The Highlander has been a fairly big success for Toyota, and you'd think that if there was a new model coming in a few months, the word would be out by now...
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    Not necessarily. HL has a 3rd row already. It may just mean a squared off rear which has become more acceptable styling such as the Mercedes GL.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But Lexus wouldn't dare put that third row in so tight.
  • ighigh Posts: 60
    Actually weight is only one aspect of the fuel economy
    equation. Aerodynamic drag is a big factor specially for
    highway driving.

    The Prius has one of the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficients which also makes it look a bit strange.
    SUVs are notorious for their high aerodynamic drag
    coefficients. That is why the trend is to make it less
    boxy and more car-like like the Murano. That will reduce
    the drag. However if you do it too much the SUV might
    look like an elevated station wagon or a minivan. Now
    most people will not want that.

    However I agree that Toyota should be able to do better
    in the next generation primarily by increasing the battery
    and electric motor and decreasing the power of the ICE
    to an 150 HP I4 with a combined 0-60 of around 9.5-10 secs. I am hoping for EPA numbers of 40/33. Lets see. :)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..more car-like the Murano...."

    And here I thought the Murano front end was modelled after that HUGE Dodge truck front ends.

    " increasing the battery and electric motor..."

    That would only work if they could provide more downhill highway "coastdown" sections to recharge those bigger batteries for "free".

    What the Prius really needs is a small highly efficient onboard inverter type genset (8-10 HP/7KW) running on "home-brewed" CNG to continually recharge the batteries without running the high HP/torque LOW efficiency (comparatively) ICE.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I think MT has it right but the dates are a closely guarded secret now. See below. Donlen is a very very accurate source.

    Toyota build-order dates

    Regarding the new body and drive system see my comments below on the Future Highlander forum, post #85.

    new Highlander?

    Your comments on the fuel economy are a neat twist. The new 2.4L +HSD linkage in the TCH is very very efficient. I'd look for the same in the new HH ( and in the new Sienna hybrid in the future ).

    But what if the new hybrid model was the base model... the least expensive and most fuel efficient. There'd be a neat trick.
  • deserthhdeserthh Posts: 11
    Boat, and trailer total 3138 lbs. Crew, HH gas, cooler etc add 918 lbs for a combined 8300 lbs CGVW (max factory spec is 9175 lbs CGVW). The roadtrip: Phoenix to Lake Powell. I was able to easily maintain the posted speed limit (75mph), with the true challenge being the uphill climbs where the ICE produced 200kw. It was during these extended climbs where even battery energy was drawn-down to 1 bar. While towing, according to the computer: 13.7 mpg over 540 miles.

    ps: the exposed 10mm screwhead behind each headlight changes its vertical aim
  • deserthhdeserthh Posts: 11
    the hack we've used on all roadtrips allows the passenger full access to the nav system while the vehicle is moving: see
  • ighigh Posts: 60
    Maybe the Mazda CX-7 would be a better example for a car-like design in a SUV. Though people are saying it looks
    very much like the Murano. The Murano's front grille
    maynot be car like but the cab design is quite car like.

    Anyway the drag coefficient of a CX-7 in .34 which is
    among the lowest for a SUV. The Prius is .26 and the Camry
    hybrid is .27. So there is scope of some improvement here.

    The Camry hybrid uses a 147 HP 2.4 litre I4 & uses the
    Atkinson cycle in the ICE that is more efficient than the
    Otto cycle used in most ICE. The Atkinson cycle is also
    used in the Prius - but power is sacrificed for fuel
    economy. The Camry hybrid ICE will work in the Highlander
    but since it will be almost 1000 lbs heavier, the 0-60
    will suffer. If it is still within 10sec, it should be OK.
    Otherwise little more power might be needed at the cost of

    Also I did not understand what is "home brewed" CNG. Is
    it CNG made from the gas connection used in homes for
    heating? If this is so then a proper gas dispensing
    outlet have to be installed in each home. This may be
    costly or a hassle and maynot work for most people. Also
    the price of natural gas has skyrocketed last year to
    such an extent that many people are now swithching to
    electric heat from gas heat. Thus CNG maynot be a cost
    effective solution. Anyway it is still fossil fuel and
    the less we burn that the better.

    Charging bigger batteries through renewable power is
    a viable solution (plug-in). Also the regenerative braking in the hybrids is still not very efficient and power is
    still lost when the battery is already topped off or
    when regenerative power is generated at a higher rate
    than what the small battery can absorb. Thus
    bigger batteries can still help.

    Please read this article that just came out when you
    have time: White Paper_2006_07_19.pdf :D
  • groovologygroovology Posts: 24
    Donlen? Now THAT'S interesting. Thanks for the link.

    As for your other post, what you say makes perfect sense and shows alot of insight.

    I haven't driven a Toyota Camry Hybrid (I assume that's what TCH is...) but from what I can tell, it delivers really great performance and great efficiency as well. Since the Camry is the real money maker for Toyota, it makes sense that they'd spend the big money developing that power train and then migrate it to other platforms... and at 3600 pounds, its really not that might lighter than the HH, so even with the HH's much worse aerodynamics (as another forum member correctly pointed out) it would probably still be very much drivable...

    I'd be shocked if the HH became a base model... everything I'm reading says that Hybrid technology is still a $4 to $5K increase in cost over a standard vehicle; can't believe that Toyota would be willing to take that big a hit in their margins to support a base model price in a Hybrid...

    Sienna Hybrid makes perfect sense and will likely be a smash hit. In fact, it probably would have been smarter for them to do the minivan before doing the SUV, but apparently they saw some market opportunity in the SUV hybrid (maybe in response to Ford's licensing deal?)

    If the HH were to become a 40MPG vehicle, I would have to say that we'd have to seriously consider trading our '06 HH for the newer model... Okay, maybe not as the economics probably would not recommend taking the depreciation hit, but efficiency is a very addictive thing!
  • groovologygroovology Posts: 24
    Of course you are absolutely right! It is naive of me only to look at vehicle weight versus MPG. Camry is FAR more efficient aerodynamically... but my understanding is that CD isn't that big a factor until you exceed 45MPH? Anyone know what the aerodynamic hit is (perhaps MPG versus coefficient of drag analysis?) at "around town" driving where speeds typically are 35 to 45MPG?

    I agree... big efficiencies are on the way (Li Ion batteries for one) but the question is WHEN???
  • luckyleeluckylee Posts: 5
    This is a comment on trailering mpg. I have an AWD HH. While towing my small (15 foot) fiberglass boat about 90 miles roundtrip to a local lake, I get 20-22 mpg. It's mostly flat, with a small climb to the lake itself. I've done this 3 or 4 times.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    As you'll notice, new discussions are popping up all over the forums. What's happening is that we're moving away from huge, everything in one basket type of discussions like this one, and towards smaller, more focused discussions on specific topics or areas of interest about the vehicles.

    I've been moving a lot of posts out of this one to help get these new discussions rolling, so if you check the discussion list here in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Group, you'll see new discussion titles including:

    New Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report
    Toyota Highlander Hybrid Test Drive - What Did You Think?
    Toyota Highlander Hybrid: MPG-Real World Numbers
    Toyota Highlander Hybrid: Battery Pack Questions
    Highlander Hybrid Navigation System Questions
    Highlander Hybrid Accessories & Modifications
    Highlander Hybrid Safety & Crash Test Results
    Toyota Highlander Hybrid Transmission Questions
    Highlander Hybrid Air Conditioning Questions
    Highlander Hybrid: Audio & Entertainment Questions
    Towing with the Highlander Hybrid

    These are all pretty self-explanatory, but old habits are hard to break for all of us ;)

    So please remember to check the discussion list before your post to find an appropriate discussion to post in. If you have an issue we need a new discussion for, feel free to create one or click on my user name and send me the suggestion in an email.

    I'll continue to move post and post reminders about the new topics as needed. Thanks for your help and understanding while we move the furniture around a bit!

    Edmunds Moderator

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I'd be shocked if the HH became a base model... everything I'm reading says that Hybrid technology is still a $4 to $5K increase in cost over a standard vehicle; can't believe that Toyota would be willing to take that big a hit in their margins to support a base model price in a Hybrid...

    I believe that the $4-$5K figure is far overstated by the 'flatworlders' who may never be convinced. The top of the line TCH with Navi, Leather and heated seats, BT, S/R, et. al. is actually $1000 less than the comparable XLE V6 Camry. :surprise:

    I'd put the current 'premium' under $2000... possibly even approaching $1000.
  • have been offered a 06 used HH Limited, 2WD, w/Nav option and rear spoiler, 11k mileage, for $30k.

    I figure it is $37,890 MSRP ($33,944 Fac Inv), plus the 2k Nave system and $334 for spoiler for a $$40,223 MSRP, probably $36k Factory price.

    Of course I won't get the $2,700 tax credit, but that even finding a new 06 with the options I want (I probably wouldn't get the NAV option) could be difficult.

    My other concern is what the 07 model will be. Same style or changed, better MPG, power read lift, etc. Who knows.

    What are anyone's thoughts?
  • Great price, but the question is why anyone would sell it so soon...I'm always a bit suspicious of cars being sold after a few months of ownership - could be as benign as the person just not being able to afford it, but it could be that the car was a lemon and was purchased back, or it was a long term demo model which means it most likely hasn't been properly broken in. I'd look into the background of the car a bit if you can. Having said that, $30K for an LTD with Nav is a really good price, the cheapest i've seen one used was on Ebay from NJ and it was $32K for much the same vehicle.

    The good news versus an 07 is that you are getting rid of much of the initial depreciation by buying something used, so I really doubt you'll be able to touch an 07 HH similarly equipped for anywhere near $30K, but like you say, Who knows?
  • mroczkamroczka Posts: 11
    The other day I had to use the horn, because someone wasn't paying attention to the traffic light, and also talking on the cell phone, and I couldn't believe the sound. The radio in the car was louder!!!!!. I Bought a horn to put in, But my question is, How do those clips come out by the grill, and is the grill attached on the bottom, or is there a channel the grill fits into at the bottom. Thanks Frank
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Whenever I purchase a new car I relocate both horns to the front area of the radiator. Rarely use or need then but when I do....



    Standard automotive horns use a fairly high current electromagnetic and therefore generate one hell of a lot of electrical NOISE, in-circuit and radiated, that might interfere with the onboard stuff.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It does sound like a very good deal. As a rule of thumb on Toyota's and Honda's I estimate that they deperciate on average about 10% per year, maybe a little more the first year. Your figures seem in line for a Limited HH w/ Navi so the $30K price on what was likely a $36K invoice is in line. Enjoy it.

    I don't think there will be any changes on the '07 model versus the '06.
  • FYI,
    I met with a sales manager yesterday, and they have some info on the 07 Highlander. The model design does not change (as we thought it would not). I was only talking to him about the hybrid limited, but I think it applies to all limited's. They expect the price will fall 7%, BUT, the 3rd seat will be an option (about $1,400) and leather will also be an option ($ ??). So the 7% drop is probably really a reduction of standard equipment. But if you don't want the 3rd row anyway, or leather, could be a savings.
  • I checked w/my local Toyota dealer and told him I could get that 06 HH 2x4 LTD w/Nav for 30k used, and they called back on a new HH 2x4 LTD (no nav) for 35,385 (I think that should be about 200 under invoice, right), w/0% for 36 months (Toyota August deal), and the Fed Tax credit of 2,600.

    I figure that if I factor in cost of loan and loss of interest for 36 months on the used car (11k miles), actual cost would be 35,740 incl sales tax. With the new car, factor in interest on keeping my money for that 36 months instead of paying it out, my actual cost would be 32,307.

    Probably go for the new car.
  • Oh mah. Losing the 3rd row seat is a great idea... can't imagine us ever using it, and it takes up storage space and adds weight. Strange that they'd dump leather in the limited, however... and leather will probably add back on $1500 t0 $2000 of the 7% price drop.

    Any other news on trim or styling changes?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Air drag is Cd x Frontal Area(sq ft) of the vehicle, not just Cd.Car makers will quote Cd, but most won't tell you the Frontal Area so you can make true comparison. Someone mentioned that Mazda CX7 has 0.34 Cd, so does Highlander, but which has smaller Frontal Area for lower air drag? GM did studies years ago and found air drag to have an effect above 30 mph.
  • terryp2terryp2 Posts: 9
    That was great on seatbelt function.

    So cud u tell me how to activate the "automatic door lock" function when car has reached a certain speed (15 mph?).

    Change thread title, if u like; don't know how.

  • deserthhdeserthh Posts: 11
    the manual does not state that there are any customizable options that autolock the doors at preset speeds. I remember seeing on another forum that this was do-able by the dealer.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    The thread of posts discussing the results of a THH test drive were moved tothe Toyota Highlander Hybrid Test Drive - What Did You Think? discussion.

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  • terryp2terryp2 Posts: 9
    Thanks, that's what says.

    I'll have dealer do it.

  • robroirobroi Posts: 5
    Concerning the Automatic Door Locking Feature:

    I wrote to Toyota,, asking about the Auto Door Lock Feature (when the vehicle reaches a set speed). The Highlander Hybrid iGuide says this can be programmed by the dealer. Here is their response:

    The Highlander Hybrid i-Guide was published before the Highlander Hybrid went into production. Toyota planned to offer the automatic door locking feature on the Highlander Hybrid Limited Model only. However, the automatic door locking feature was not an option once the vehicle went into production.
    We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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