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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: ignorance
By geeg on 2/7/2007 8:16:30 PM , Rating: 0
do you f**ing have to drive the biggest car in the world? driving an 8V engined car is a crime in the first place.

RE: ignorance
By timmiser on 2/8/2007 5:15:19 AM , Rating: 2
8V? Never heard of that. Does that mean it has 8 crankshafts and drivetrains to 8 different wheels? Interesting.

RE: ignorance
By miekedmr on 2/8/2007 2:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
No, no, I think he means 8 valves. A 4-cylinder with 2 valves per cylinder.
I agree though, in the age of direct injection, variable valve timing, etc, having an outdated 8-valve four cylinder in a car is criminal.

RE: ignorance
By masher2 on 2/8/2007 8:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
> "driving an 8V engined car is a crime in the first place..."

That's an interesting viewpoint. Care to explain how you reached it?

RE: ignorance
By Rugar on 2/8/2007 9:23:03 AM , Rating: 3
It's an interesting side effect of the internet that it makes your speech centers engage long before your logical reasoning does. :-P

RE: ignorance
By Kuroyama on 2/8/2007 5:50:16 PM , Rating: 2
His comment was obvious hyperbole. As in "it is criminal In any case, I think oral speech results in people speaking before thinking more often than does the internet; only on the internet people are less likely to keep their mouth shut when they want to say something. For instance, I think if Biden had been writing online then he would have chosen his words more carefully when making his now infamous remarks about Obama.

RE: ignorance
By Kuroyama on 2/8/2007 5:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, sentence got cut off there. Fill in your favorite "It's criminal to ...." phrase and you'll get my point.

RE: ignorance
By Grast on 2/8/07, Rating: 0
RE: ignorance
By miekedmr on 2/8/2007 3:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
Don't say "you liberals" ever again, please. All it does is make you look like an idiot.

I consider myself very liberal, but I don't think big engines are evil. In fact, a big vehicle carrying a big payload is generally more efficient than seperating the load into smaller vehicles or making multiple trips. When gas-guzzling trucks are used for their intended purpose, that's perfectly fine.
On the other hand, people that drive 6000lb SUVs all over the place by themselves get absolutely no respect from me.

Another example... Someone spends a silly amount of money on a sports car that doesn't do very good with gas mileage. If they keep it garaged 95% of the time when its not at a car show or a drag strip, that's fine by me. It may be a guilty pleasure, but at least they're being reasonable. If they drive it every day, with complete disregard for energy conservation, then they get no respect.

Everyone should at least be able to make some sacrifices where it suits them. Apathy from well-to-do people only because of the financial insignificance of their wastefullness is the problem.

RE: ignorance
By masher2 on 2/8/2007 4:33:33 PM , Rating: 1
> "Don't say "you liberals" ever again...people that drive 6000lb SUVs all over the place by themselves get absolutely no respect from me....if someone [drives their sports car every day] they get no respect...

I think you proved the original poster's point. You're condemning people based on their choice of vehicle and driving habits. That's the attitude he was speaking out against.

> "Everyone should at least be able to make sacrifices..."


RE: ignorance
By rsubasic on 2/8/2007 9:40:48 PM , Rating: 2
I quite enjoy my criminal status driving my gas guzzling BMW M5. Lots and lots of filthy, wasteful, neck-snapping, super-exciting power. Ahhhh...

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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