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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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Why the fuss about hybrids?
By exdeath on 2/8/2007 1:56:34 PM , Rating: 1
2003 Cobra w/ 700 HP 4.6 V8 gets 25 mpg
2006 Avalon w/ 280 HP 3.5 V6 non hybrid gets 32 mpg

and my next project car

1991 MR2 Turbo, goal 500 HP 2.0L I4 est 30+ mpg.

Hmm.... why hybrid again?

RE: Why the fuss about hybrids?
By iNGEN on 2/8/2007 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, I'm right there with you exdeath.

My '98 200SX SE-R with an avernir DET has averaged 29MPG for three years now. Which means it gets over 30 on the highway. It's built with only factory Nissan parts (only aftermarket parts on the car are a Greddy E-Manage and a cotton gauze air filter). And it produces 284 HP out of 2.0L.

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