Print 71 comment(s) - last by exdeath.. on Feb 9 at 12:16 PM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: ignorance
By jak3676 on 2/8/2007 1:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
Now how many people in US would buy a diesel engined brand new car?

Check out the VW Jetta TDI (diesel). I picked up a 2005.5 EPA MPG numbers don't do it justice. I believe its listed at around 35/40 City/HWY but if you have a long commute (where the engine actually has a chance to warm up) you can get well over 40/50+ MPG, I've even averaged over 60+ MPG when doing cross country drives. Yeah, 1 guys numbers don't mean anything, but check out You'll see we are all reporting similar numbers. Not only is the MPG great, but it's actually a great car.

Future diesel tech looks very promising. There's some Euro models out there getting 70+ MPG. Hopefully the "old diesel chatterbox" myth will die in the US soon and we can begin importing some of these things.

One of the best parts is the ease of using bio-diesel. Most bio-diesel production is more energy efficient than ethanol production. Generally bio-diesel helps reduce the only down side of diesel cars - the NOX production. Because EPA rules are similar for all cars, diesels in the US have to fall under regular unleaded rules. So even though we produce much less CO2 and some other byproducts, we still get classified as only a "low emission vehicle (LEV)". They are changing some rules for 2007, so we'll see what happens.

Don't get me wrong, it still has lots of room for improvment. Bio-diesel use is way too low. As soon as we can merge clean diesel production to a hybrid drive we'll get the best of both worlds.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki