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New Toyota Highlander Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • brwndoggybrwndoggy Posts: 40
    where is your dealer?
  • lenster1lenster1 Posts: 6
    Sloane Toyota of Devon
  • redeftredeft Posts: 1
    I got mine on Monday evening(7/31). Only glitch found was the key for factory installed wheel locks(some come with them and some don't)didn't fit. Salesman took care of the problem within 20 minutes and we were happily on our way, with a coupon for a free oil change. All in all a great deal. Worked with fleet manager and got invoice for the base AWD with the AF package. We didn't opt for the extended warranty and weren't offered any other BS. We also got $7800 for our '99 4-Runner(a little low but better than I expected). I wrote a check for just over $25K, I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to get picked up for auto theft. So far we love it, will post mpg after several tanks.
  • Basically the HH is pretty good. I am getting 26 to 28 mpg if I take it easy. I have V8 Explorers for many years (they were good to me - never broke down) and since my goal was to get double the gas mileage - and I did that with the first tank of gas! Now we will need to see if the HH will last 100K!

    What is with all these wimps saying all the HH needs is a 4 cylinder engine? With all the stupid BMW 330i drivers around here (Seattle area) it is nice to have a vehicle that can keep up with them and thwart their insane lane changing. It cruises nicely well above the speed limits and is pretty quiet.

    The NAV system is OK - not as good as my daughter's Honda - and the JBL sound system is OK if you replace the JBL speakers (try the Focals). Some moron engineer made the cover over the drinkholders open backwards - should open left to right instead of vica versa - and the fold down armrests are pretty wimpy.

    There is a major flaw with the rear liftgate - it develops creases on either side of the chrome plate across the back. I asked the service manager at the dealership about it and he said he had never heard anyone else mention it, but I do not believe him since I have seen the same thing on 4 other HHs - including 2 from the same dealer. I guess I will have to go directly to Toyota on this issue and see what they will (or won't) do for me.
  • We just recently bought a 2006 Highlander Hybrid from Cobb County Toyota here in Atlanta, and my wife LOVES it. (She used to own a Mazda 626) She's a Real Estate Agent, so needed the extra space of a SUV to transport clients around - So when we started looking, I made a decision to go Hybrid instead of regular SUV. (Gas economy and Environmental decisions were my two reasons for this choice.)

    After looking at the options, we settled on the HH, and haven't had a single day's regret. (We looked at the Vue Greenline, but I'm afraid the 4cyl wouldn't have enough power to move a SUV -- I own a 2003 V6 Vue, and could never have used the 4cyl.)

    First impressions: VERY peppy, good handling, and excellent comfort! I love the fact that it's so silent when driving at speed, with little to no road noise. We also love the fact that it starts off with just the Electric Motor to begin with - It was a liottle disconcerting, but my wife has gotten used to it.)

    Fuel Economy: We're averaging between 26-30 MPG in 80% city driving, and very happy with that. After reading on several forums that MPG is around 25, we were a little disheartened to see the amazing difference between the EPA estimates. However, after we have learned to adjust our driving habits (Pulse and Glide specifically), we are really getting the hang of higher MPG and have made it into a game to see which one of us gets better MPG when we're driving the HH. :)

    Handling in Atlanta traffic: Excellent. We haven't had any problems at all with acceleration, handling, or anything. (Atlanta drivers can be VERY aggressive, and having a car with good handling is a must to avoid fender benders)

    We're currently just a smidge over 1000 miles (after 3 weeks of ownership) and wouldn't trade this car for anything. Very happy with our purchase. :shades:

  • landdriverlanddriver Posts: 607
    "Some moron engineer made the cover over the drinkholders open backwards - should open left to right instead of vica versa"

    Didn't bother to redesign it for the U.S. market where the steering wheel is on the left, unlike the Japanese HL where the steering wheel is on the right.
  • Actually I knew that, but for over $40K, you would think they could redo things for their biggest market (I guess we should be glad the brake and gas pedals are in the right position). Maybe they will change that when the Highlander production switches to the US in a couple years. :-)
  • pdigi1pdigi1 Posts: 2
    I thought the same about the cupholder at first, but actually prefer it the way it is. It is easier to grab the middle of the cup with my wrist in proper position for drinking if I grab the cup from the opposite side. If the lid opened the other way, it would be in the way for shorter cups (tall Starbucks, e.g.).
  • 2006 HiHy Base (4x2) with Package 1 (moonroof) & floor mats Bought August 26 for $28,600 (rounded)

    We think we got the deal of the century as it was nearly $7k off MSRP of $35000, coupled with the $2600 tax credit, that's $9500 off the listed price! They had 2 on the lot (silver & gold), we got the gold.

    Love: the quietness, the nimbleness, the horsepower, smooth riding, guilt-free driving & idling, all of the cupholders (too scared to eat/drink in the car yet!), averaging 27 - 28 MPG

    Hate: nothing so far...

    Wished: the Limited was on sale also because I really wanted leather seats & the NAv system, wished it had the automatic trunk open/close like the Lexus 330

    We test drove the Honda CRV, Element & the RAV 4 with the assumption that we'd either get the 2007 CRV or a 2006 RAV4. There was absolutely no comparison to the HiHy with the Hondas. The HiHy drives like butter. I'm certainly not a performance driver (more like a grandma drive) so I can't really comment on the engine performance other than my confidence in passing vehicles on the freeway has accelerated.

    We have recommended this vehicle to everyone who is cost & environmentally concious but still wants the flexibility of owning a SUV
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "We have recommended this vehicle to everyone who is cost & environmentally concious but still wants the flexibility of owning a SUV"

    The 2007 CR-V 2 wheel drive EX will probably get better highway MPG at 75-80 MPH. I sometimes got over 30 MPG with my 2003, and they now have a 5 speed transmission. BTW, esitmated pricing with Nav, Leather, and back up camera is around 28K. However, the Honda is not indended to drive like the Toyota - different engineering concepts entirely.

    So the "green quotient" would also depend upon how much city driving one does...
  • So far it has been a great vehicle. With three tanks of gas, I'm approaching 30 MPG in Sacramento, CA. Drive to work is 1/3 rural, 1/3 urban and 1/3 Freeway; 15 miles each way. Traded in a 5 yr. old Chev. Trailblazer that used to get 17.5 MPG on same route. Absolutely no complaints with the Highlander - first non American built vehicle I have owned (ever) in 35 years. Accelerate moderately and anticipate stops and try to drive on electric power when practical to maximize MPG. I keep Goodyear Integra tires at 35 PSI. Attempting to beat previous gas mileage is an interesting challenge and I'm learning - keep kW power in hash marks (zebra) as much as possible to maximize mileage. One note: First 3 to 5 miles after start-up, MPH is in low to mid 20s then it improves to the low 30s after gas motor (ICE) warms up. :)
  • Does any body have an AVERAGE MPG on Speedometer multi-information display on Highlander Hybrid 2WD? My new Highlander Hybrid does not have AVERAGE MPG.

    Please let me know so I can go back to the dealer to have them fix it.


  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I don't remember the answer, but it was recently posted here...they said if you check your owners book, it explains how to navigate the display. ;)
  • My understanding is that the earilier models of the base (non-limited) HH did NOT have the Average MPG display but that changed mid-way through the 2006 model year.
  • Took delivery of this car two weeks ago (last day of full tax credit) and so far a great experience. MPG in for in town driving is 28-31 if you are easy on the pedal -- the accel is great, but we are always playing the game of trying to maximize mileage, so we don't use the full pep that car has.... Nav system takes some getting used to, but I think it is a great option for this car since it is well integrated into the power usage, ect on the car. Coming off a Yukon Denali XL it is quite a size adjustment, but the car has nice rear seat room and adequate rear storage with the third seat down. My 10 year old daughter likes the rear seat (believe it or not) because it is sort of her private area -- that won't last as she grows up I am sure!

    I drove the Lexus 400H and just couldn't see footing the extra $ for a little more luxury, a power gate and the Lexus name. Especially since we found a Limited HH with Nav.

    We'll see what we say in a couple of months, but so far HH is a nice addition to the family. :)
  • bm2ngbm2ng Posts: 1
    If you have a rolling code garage door opener, don't follow the instructions in the Toyota manual. Follow the instructions with your Garage Door Opener. I spent hours following the instructions for programing in the Toyota manual to no avail. My husband got the manual for our opener and had it working in seconds.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    The instructions can be found here: HOMELINK.COM :)
  • Our report after 15 months and 15K miles would be the same as the one we gave when we purchased in July 2006 - what a great vehicle - and our experience backs up this reliability survey.

    15,000 miles, coming up on oil change and check and absolutely _no_ problems or complaints. There's an old truism in autos that you never buy a new model during its first year, you'll be buying something without the bugs taken out. Some folks have had problems but sure seems like that's not the experience with most, at least in these forums. - John
  • I love this car...Toyota knows what it is doing...only issue is that I'm struggling to get to 25mpg...I'm in Texas and maybe the AC drags the mpg down....nevertheless I got 11(!!!) mpg on my Infiniti QX4 so I am so far ahead of the game...
  • Try using a synthetic oil in your next oil change (being aware that once you switch, you should stick with synthetic), also run you tire pres. at arouind 36 psi. Those 2 things have bumped my MPG to 25-26 .
  • We purchased our new HH Limited, fully loaded on 21 Nov 06. Since then it has quit running twice, once on the interstate at 70mph, and again in our residential area. The first time the service department stated it was a Fuse High Voltage that overloaded and blew. The second time they replaced the inverter, which is a computer motherboard and hardware that controls converting AC to DC and vice versus. The car had about 273 and 473 miles respectfully. We brought the car home from the dealership and have not, out of fear, drove it since. We are trying to work with Toyota and the dealer to replace ours with a non-hybrid Highlander. This was enough with new technology.
  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    Our family went on vacation for a week and left our Highlander Hybrid in multi-level covered parking at the airport for 7 days. We returned last night close to midnight and the Highlander was completely dead. The remote door locks wouldn't even function. When I turned the key in the ignition, no dash lights, nothing. Fortunately we were able to call a friend to take us home and today I spend time reading the manual. I figured the first thing I would try is to run jumper cables. As soon as I hooked up the cables, the alarm sounded. Once I turned that off and turned on the ignition everything was fine. I can't believe that it can't sit for a week without the battery going dead. That is crazy. I did not leave a dome light on or anything like that. I will be taking it to the dealership next week to have it checked out. Has anyone else had a similar experience? I am quite sure that the battery was not dead. It was like the Highlander just went to sleep. Needless to say, this is concerning if it were to ever happen in a situation where help was not close.

  • Something may have drained the 12 volt accessory battery in your car and not the 288 volt traction battery.
    The Hybrid uses a small motorcycle type 12 volt battery to maintain low voltage operations such as the radio, alarm, computer etc. The 288 volt system turns over the gas engine, runs the A/C pump and the power steering. That is why all that would be needed is just a minor charge to start the car, provided that the 288 volt battery was not dead as well.

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Many people, including myself, have left their Hybrid parked over vacation with no problems.

    Off the top of my head, I would guess one of three things as the cause 1) The alarm was triggered 2) The Auto headlights stayed on. The drivers door must be opened with the car off in order to shut the lights off when in auto. I had, more than once, my passenger aka wife remove the key while I was getting stuff out of the back, only to return to the car to shut the lights off. 3) You could have a faulty connection on the 12 volt battery.

    BTW you may have to replace the 12 volt "motorcycle" battery. Car batteries don't do so well after a complete discharge.
  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    I had my HH at the dealership yesterday to see what they could find out about the problem. They checked the 12 volt battery and it tested perfect and said that the connections to the battery were good. They did not replace the 12 volt battery, which was a surprise. There were no fault codes to indicate any problem. I am certain that the auto headlights were not the culprit since I manually turned them off. I immediately checked to see if a dome light was left on when the HH came alive and it wasn't. The dealer could offer no explanation. Since this is an unresolved issue, I am now a bit concerned about it happening again particularly with my wife and daughter. My daughter was planning on taking it skiing this week, but now she is taking our Toyota Tacoma which (of course) started just fine after sitting in our driveway all week. I guess my next step is to contact Toyota directly to see if they have any cases on file that match mine and to see if there are any resolution to any of them. Does anyone have a phone number to call that will get me to the right people at Toyota?
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Hi Wes,

    How many miles do you have on the car? Just wondering if it is the newer models having these troubles or the earlier models. We also have had our HH stored for a week at a time without problems, so not sure what is happening.

    Try the "Customer Experience" center line in the link below. It is unclear that they can assist you but at least they may be able to point you to other contacts.

    Please let us know how it turns out.

    GOod luck!
  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    Our Highlander is one of the first that was available. We took delivery on June 5, 2005. It currently has 22K miles. I returned to the dealership today to discuss my feeling that the 12 volt battery should be replaced under warranty. Since the rest of the system tested good, but the battery tested low, it seems like the right thing to do. They agreed and it was replaced on the spot. I am hopeful that it is really just a problem with the original 12 volt battery and this takes care of the problem. It is interesting to note that the mileage seemed to have suffered during the time that the HH was found dead and the battery replaced. I went from a typical average of 27/28 to 23/24 mpg. While it doesn't make any sense, this is what I observed. Any ideas why or is this just a coincidence?
  • katzjamrkatzjamr Posts: 146
    yes it is a known situation that when the 12 volt battery is either disconnected during service, or dead the idle control may need to be reset. your dealer should do it no charge. if it is not reset the lower mileage you report is a result.
  • cdptrapcdptrap Posts: 485
    Hi Wes,

    Katz is right, if the 12V is disconnected or "dies", the Idle Speed Control must be reset else the car will run the ICE more than normal.

    This is beginning to sound like the 12V is indeed the culprit and not the rest of the system. Good news if it is proven so.

    We have 24K miles on ours and I notice the 12V gauge is tending very light blue rather than a deep blue (when it was new). I think we will do a pre-emptive maintenance and have it replaced at the next service.

    Have a safe New Year all!

  • nsxwesnsxwes Posts: 84
    Thank you and katzjamr very much for the information regarding resetting the idle speed control. The mpg is still in the 23/24 range and I bet that they did not do the reset.

    Is resetting the idle speed control after a dead or disconnected battery something that is clearly indicated in the tech manual and something that a hybrid mechanic should know without a doubt or is something that can be easily missed?

    I will be speaking to the Service Manager about this next week and I was wondering if he would immediately know what I was talking about or would his response be that I am misinformed?
This discussion has been closed.