We previously owned a 2003 Honda Ody and were happy with it. Downside was that 90% of the time we only needed 4 seats- and half the time just the driver's! Nice to be able to haul stuff, great for vacations, but rising fuel costs a concern. We wanted to keep the 3 row flexibility in our next vehicle, improve fuel economy, and perhaps get something that was not over 200+ inches, making it a tight squeeze in the garage. The Highlander Hybrid hit these major features and more.
Just bought our new HH Limited 2011 before Christmas. So about 6 weeks ago. Drives very good - 8K millage just 9L/100KM which is not what the book says but I think that will come. I am disappointed in many of the interior design. We owned 2 Prius and many of the Steering controls that are in the Prius and found in the dash - a good stretch away from the driver. I find the Smart key - proximity is not as good and often doesn't catch if I am coming from the rear side of the vehicle. I have not found a lock button on the rear liftgate so I have to use my Smart Key or go to a side door. The sound system is excellent - the cargo space is good but small features are absent
Recently purchased 2011 Highlander Hybrid limited after owning 2006 same model. Hugh improvement in driving/riding experience. Also transition from gas to hybrid a lot smoother and less noticeable than previous car. Really like few changes made to car appearance although wasn't initially sure about limited grill (like it now). Hope reliability will be as great as my 2006.
I have been getting over 30 mpg on nearly every tank of gas. Once or twice around 32 mpg, based on hand calculations. The hand calculations average 1 mpg less than the computer values. The trick to high gas mileage is to pay attention to the display and try not to waste gas by accelerating and braking. Every time you brake you are wasting the gas you used in accelerating. The interior is cavernous for a vehicle getting this mileage. Highway mileage is over 30 mpg if you stay below 65 with just yourself driving. It drops to 27 if you are going 75 with the family a bags loaded in. AC and heat affect mileage because they may require the engine to run when not accelerating.
this is the' SUV for you. Aside from the mileage, power liftgate and keyless entry, I have made a sizable downgrade from a Lexus GX. Comparable size, yes but here's a few other things to consider. No dual seat memory controls, soundsystem is very average, fit and finish is not nearly as nice, steering is numb, absolutely NO offroad capability with this SUV. Fun factor, think Ford Taurus wagon. My wife wanted a hybrid suv in our price range and I did the best I could. She really likes it. The vehicle will meet the needs of most every day users and they will be very satisfied. But, if you are looking for a driving experience whatever you push the button, this is not your car
Voice-Activated Touchscreen DVD Navigation System ($2,650 -- includes integrated back-up camera, JBL AM/FM four-disc CD changer, 9 speakers including subwoofer, automatic sound leveling, XM radio with NavTraffic including a 90-day subscription, USB port with iPod connectivity, hands-free phone and music streaming capability via Bluetooth wireless).
Naturally aspirated gasoline V6 with auto-stop/start
3,456cc (211 cu-in)
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable exhaust-valve timing
Surprisingly quick. This vehicle benefits when "brake torqued" because this forces the gasoline engine to start for a faster launch. CVT is obviously seamless and maximum electrical assist is indicated at 60 mph. Only a wisp of tirespin at launch with Trac off, so it might not be truly off or, more likely, it's getting a shove from the rear.
Highly susceptible to surface variations (dust/grit and small undulations) that produced 16-foot differences. Still, even at its longest, the Highlander stops as short as its peers. Some dive, but again, it's not horrible.
Skid pad: Steering lacks feel but build-up is appropriate. ESC "off" is not truly off, but in this mode intervention happens later, when understeer gets noticeable. With ESC on, the system starts closing throttle and dabbing brakes before understeer begins. Thankfully, the usual Toyota ESC "beep-beeping" is not present here. Slalom: With ESC "off" (it isn't truly), the Highlander Hybrid turns in crisply, but gentle understeer limits ultimate performance. Also, ESC goes berserk by the last gate, so timing it right makes a difference. Same results with ESC on, only slower.