by tthelin on Dec 13, 2011 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
We don't get the fuel economy we had hoped.
We do a lot of driving on rural roads and highways, so speeds or 45 to 80 are the normal range, and we average about 25.5 mpg long term.
Even on the rare occasions when we use an entire tank of fuel while driving in the city at 35 mph or less we only get around 28 mpg or so.
2) We installed a trailer hitch, which was easy to do and cost less than $250.
Around $150 for the hitch online, and $75 or so for the wiring jumper from Toyota.
The Highlander Hybrid pulls a 3500 lb mgw trailer very well, even when fully loaded, but the fuel economy drops to around 15 mpg with the trailer.
3) We purchased an special treatment for the cloth seats, since we have kids, and it doesn't seem to have helped at all.
The seats stain pretty easily, and we are to far from the dealer to bring it in for cleaning or to use the warranty we purchased.
I wouldn't recommend it.
We still like the cloth seats better than the leather seats, but we should have used the $500 buck or whatever we spent on the treatment to buy good seat covers.
4) We also purchased the Diamon Glass treatment.
It didn't keep us from getting rock chips, although we did use the warranty to repair a couple of them. We have learned that most full coverage insurance will cover windshield repair anyway, so we could have saved the money on that treatment also.
It also doesn't keep the water off any better than a good Rain-X treatment.
5) We were mystified by one electrical problem a year or so ago in which we started to experience a delay in the starting of the Hybrid System when you turned the key to start.
At the same time we noticed we could not leave a door open, or a light on in the car for more than a few minutes with the car turned off, or the battery would die and the car wouldn't start.
We lived with this for about a year, just being careful to not allow the battery to drain, and occaisionally having to use a jump battery(which I always carry for emergencies) to start it.
The I finally decided to test the car battery, and found it going bad so we replaced it.
the Hybrid is back to working like new now.
by ajscott on Oct 14, 2011 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This car wasn't great. It is one of the first hybrid models out there and we bought this car new and it has about 50K on it now. We've had some pricey problems with it though. At times it won't start and have had many recalls on it for steering! And if you spill even a little bit of water you'll short out all the electronics in the car!!!! That was over $7500!!!! The car does drive pretty nice and does have a lot of power though. And I was in an accident in it and the engine did shift but luckily not onto us. I personally don't think it was that safe.
The car is okay but not worth the money.
by drew1961 on Jun 22, 2011 Vehicle: 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This car has very expensive inverter problems. Cost to repair Hybrid inverter system as of June 21, 2011 $9325.00 + Tax
Toyota does not fix this and have a class action suit against them at this time. If you are going green this green will be coming out of your billfold.
The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Vehicle (Highlander HV) was Toyotas first generation of gasoline-electric hybrid versions of the Highlander sold in the U.S. A central component of the Highlander HV is the electrical inverter assembly, which changes the DC current from the vehicles battery into AC current that powers the vehicles motor. The defective inverter assemblies cause the vehicles to suddenly lose engine power while the vehicles is being driven.
New for 2006, the hybrid version of the Highlander pairs a gasoline-powered V6 with electric motors to improve fuel economy and acceleration.
Hybrids are certainly not new -- the first Honda Insights and Toyota Priuses rolled into dealerships over five years ago. But the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the one that will put the term "hybrid" on the lips of average Americans. As revolutionary as cars like the Insight were, many people need more than two or even five seats. And that's where the Highlander comes in.
As the first seven-passenger hybrid vehicle Toyota's alternative-powered SUV is revolutionary in its own quiet kind of way. Automakers have finally figured out that the key to mass hybrid sales is not necessarily stellar fuel economy. Given the price premium paid for most hybrids, vehicles like the Lexus RX 400h and Honda Accord Hybrid offer more luxury features and extra power. And the Toyota Highlander is no different. The "conserving resources" aspect of the Highlander Hybrid intentionally plays second banana to more important features like extra power and standard third-row seating.
Does the Toyota Highlander Hybrid get better fuel economy than your average V6-powered SUV? Sure, it's rated 31 mpg/27 mpg highway. But it's the added snap of 268 hp that really get this Highlander recognized. The gas-electric Highlander also offers a few extra touches such as standard LED taillights and unique 17-inch wheels. Foglights, a rear roof spoiler and a JBL stereo are options. The Limited version is even more luxurious, as it's loaded up with every possible feature save for an optional DVD-based navigation system. But with that touchscreen nav system, you'll also have the added entertainment of a power flow chart and fuel economy meter like that found in the Prius.
Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions are available, though the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is intended for pavement duty. Toyota calls the all-wheel-drive system 4WD-i. It is an on-demand system that improves traction on wet and dry pavement and is capable of regenerating power from all four wheels. The system is unique in that it uses a rear-mounted motor/generator to power the rear wheels when wheel slip is detected in the front. The 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid is remarkable in that it doesn't force you to make uncomfortable compromises to stand up for the planet. Thanks, in part, to its conservative styling and simple, comfortable interior, this hybrid should make the move into the high-tech age painless for the typical family car buyer.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is offered in base and Limited trim levels. The base model is nicely equipped with seven-passenger seating, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, ABS, stability control, a six-speaker CD stereo and 17-inch alloy wheels. The lone option package for the base model includes a sunroof, an upgraded JBL stereo with a CD changer and foglights. The Limited comes with all of the above, as well as leather upholstery, wood grain interior trim, automatic climate control and a power front-passenger seat. A navigation system is the only option on the Limited.
Powertrains and Performance
To make the hybrid version, Toyota started with the 3.3-liter V6 in the standard Highlander, recalibrated it for duty in a hybrid and installed two electric motors. One of the motors is responsible for starting the gas engine and recharging the 288-volt battery pack. The other teams up with the V6 to drive the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. All-wheel-drive models get a third motor that can juice the rear wheels when extra power or traction is needed; Toyota calls this setup 4WD-i. The gas-electric power plant makes a combined 268 horsepower. Fuel economy is 33 mpg city/28 mpg highway on front-drive (2WD) models and 31/27 on all-wheel-drive models. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Front-seat side airbags and first- and second-row head curtain airbags are standard on all Toyota Highlander Hybrid models. Also standard are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, ABS with BrakeAssist and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, traction control, stability control. These safety systems are part of Toyota's new integrated safety system that coordinates all the vehicle's safety features to assure maximum accident avoidance capability and protection should an accident occur.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is essentially identical to that of the gasoline-only version. A thoughtful cabin design puts all the controls and storage areas within easy reach. Comfortable seating in the first and second rows and a total of 10 cupholders make the Highlander Hybrid a natural for family transportation. The second-row seat's lack of a flip-and-fold mechanism makes the third row tougher to access than most, but this is still the only hybrid that seats seven.
The standard Toyota Highlander has a light and somewhat "tossable" nature but the added weight of the hybrid version gives it a more cumbersome feel around tight turns. It's still easy to maneuver in the city, though, and as smooth as they come on the highway. Acceleration is excellent at any speed, thanks to the electric motor assist.