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2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid - images courtesy Toyota Motor Company
Toyota revamps its Highlander Hybrid, carries over the powertrain

Toyota continues its push for hybrid vehicles with the new 2008 Highlander Hybrid. The new Highlander Hybrid and is based on the new Toyota Camry/Avalon chassis and rides on a wheelbase that is 3" longer. The vehicle is also 3" wider and 4" longer than the previous Highlander Hybrid.

Sadly, the powertrain for the 2008 Highlander Hybrid is a carryover from the previous model. In this case, the old 3.3 liter V6 (which itself is an outgrowth of the even older 3.0 liter corporate V6) and continuously variable transmission (CVT) is still being used to carry the majority of the load on the vehicle. There was speculation that the new 3.5 liter V6 would also be paired with the Synergy hybrid system used on the 2008 Highlander hybrid, but keeping the price down on the model was probably the reasoning for the carryover.

That being said, the Highlander retains its EPA rating of 31MPG/27MPG city/highway despite picking up an additional 500 pounds of heft. The 2008 Highlander Hybrid also offers the option to shut off the gasoline engine completely and run solely on battery power according to AutoblogGreen. The only problem is that the Highlander Hybrid’s NiMH batteries mean that you’ll only be able to travel an astonishing one mile on battery power alone.

GM’s 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line promises to deliver as much as 10 miles of battery-only power thanks to its lithium-ion batteries.

Pricing has not yet been announced for the new 2008 Highlander Hybrid, but expect modest price increases over the 2007 model. The 2007 model retails between $32,490 for a FWD Highlander Hybrid Base to $36,550 for an AWD Highlander Hybrid Limited.

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RE: What is the point?
By Andrevas on 2/7/2007 5:54:10 PM , Rating: 0
your argument sucks because you're assuming all those EPA rated mileage numbers are actually close to real, and well, they aren't in the least bit

EPA MPG figures - BS

the Hybrid will never achieve those MPG figures, and will only be slightly better if not the SAME due to the weight increase caused by the CVT transaxle, hybrid drivetrain, and use of NiMH for the battery pack.

go read some Consumer Reports and other magazine reviews that actually list their observed MPG of various cars, especially hybrids, they aren't all that compared to cars like the Honda Fit and small turbodiesel cars

RE: What is the point?
By Brandon Hill on 2/7/2007 6:02:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, since the new Highlander Hybrid is a 2008 model, it uses the NEW revised EPA methods detailed here:

So the results should be more accurate.

RE: What is the point?
By Shining Arcanine on 2/7/2007 6:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
I do not know about you, but I have a 1995 Toyota Avalon and my Avalon exceeds the EPA fuel economy numbers. Perhaps it is the way that you drive.

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