2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Consumer Review: A great vehicle with a few qui

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - Consumer Review

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A great vehicle with a few quirks
By Craig on


2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/3rd Row (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)


This is my first hybrid. I have noticed that if you want to milk every bit of mpg from this vehicle, you need to drive in ECON mode. Using ECON mode I get 25 mpg in mixed driving. Without ECON mode I get around 20 mpg - sometimes less. EV mode is, IMHO, a marketing gimmick as it will not work unless the temperature is right, the batteries are fully charged, etc, etc, etc. When idling in park or in traffic, you sometimes feel a bump and small surge forward. When driving, you do not feel gas/electric switching at all. In ECON mode, acceleration is damped to conserve fuel. In normal mode this vehicle is quite powerful and easily gets to freeway speeds.

Favorite Features

Voice command system allows control over all aspects of the electronics. JBL sounds system provides great sound to all types of music. Automatic headlight system ensures lights are on/off at appropriate times. Nav display screen is HUGE and bright. Many system display options all useful.

Suggested Improvements

Reduce road noise Voice command system is annoying because there is no way to turn off the prompting of what to do next. The Nav maps are nowhere as detailed as Garmin/Magellan maps - functionality does not compare. Bluetooth system only holds 2 numbers and you can voice dial only the first.
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