Toyota Highlander Hybrid

We finally got it today.
It’s good fun watching which way the energy is moving on the little diagram on the dash.
I tried to get a feel for what it was doing and I eventually got it to drive from a bus stop all the way home (500m?) without burning a single drop of gasoline.
Generally however, it seems to prefer using gasoline to speed you up to cruising speed and then expend battery power while cruising (against the wind) and then recover that spent energy while braking for the next light.

Now, I know the batteries are under the rear passengers’ seat, but in an Intrepid, that’s where the gas tank is, so I don’t know how they did it, but I can’t see any difference at all in cargo space between the regular Highlander and the hybrid.

Under the hood is a thick orange cable which the salesman said was “high voltage — do not touch.”.

Instead of a tach, you get a meter that shows how many kilowatts are being used by the motors.
It goes 0-200kW.

The thing is super-quiet, you’d think it was a good thing, but the good old brain emphasizes what you can now hear more of: the other cars.
No psychological gains there.

The specs of 7.3 s to 60mph seem about right, I’m not going to lead-foot it for a while.

Btw, as with other hybrids, when you turn the key to start, a light that says “ready” comes on, along with the other dashboard stuff, but the motors and engine do nothing.

When parking, the engine does not come on and there’s no traffic to hear… It just seems like the law of gravity has been rescinded while you roll hither or thither.

According to my calculations, if my wife just drove it to work, she would only have to buy a $48 tank of gas once a month.
I think it would take about 4 years to make back the extra money they charge you for the Hybrid hardware but for us, that’s not really the whole point.

The allotment to Canada this year is about 400.
That’s 2 per dealer on average.

Presumably in 5 years everyone will be driving hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles, but hey, no car lasts forever anyway.

Our Highlander



5 Responses to “Toyota Highlander Hybrid”

  1. rae Says:

    Ooooh, putting it in front of the Sony building was a nice touch. :-)

  2. jok Says:

    Well we pulled a big tent trailer to PEI with the thing, and the mileage went wayyyy down. It was fine without the trailer inside PEI, however. Including the toll for Confederation bridge, I spent $260 yesterday on gasoline & tolls. I think on the way down it was about $150 on gasoline, as I drove much more slowly (rain etc.) and you don’t pay a toll going into PEI. This would be entirely due to the wind drag of the trailer’s box. This was of course entirely within Canada. There was a 12km line-up to get into the US at the Wolf Island crossing on the way down due to post-London-bombing jitters (I had no intention of going into the US on this trip). More than half seemed to be U.S. citizens returning home from fishing and rv’ing. Regular is about $1.03/L in Quebec. $.97/L in PEI

  3. Jeff Says:

    We’ve had our Highlander Hybrid for about three weeks and I’m very happy with it. The vehicle is so quiet — best I’ve ever been in (including top of the line Lexus’s and the like). Running on only battery in our neighborhood is a blast.

    And yes, the full economics might not be there (mileage savings vs. extra cost for the hybrid), even with gas at $3.10 a gallon here (Sep 2005), but it’s more than just that. Less gas consumed, less pollution, etc.

  4. steweev Says:

    yes Hybrid powertrain provides ample power and high fuel economy, excellent cabin design and materials, versatile second-row seating. its great.
    Buy Music

  5. Buy Music Says:

    The Highlander Hybrid offers a smooth ride with plenty of power — a rare combination for a hybrid vehicle.

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