2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid User Reviews
- $18,331 - $22,791
- No trim specified for this review
- Very comfortable & roomy interior including second and third row seats
- Heavy rear hatch door to close; no factory anti-theft alarm included
A good all around practical SUV for a family. It has a spacious interior with good leg and elbow room in all rows. Very smooth ride especially with the CVT transmission where you feel no gear shifting. Pick up and go is adequate unless you have the Econ mode on which keeps you within economical driving fuel limits. Once cruising on the freeway, the V6 kicks in and it drives like a regular gas model. EV (Electric Vehicle) mode has limited use since it can only be activated when Hybrid battery is fully charged and you are going less than 25 mph without sudden acceleration. I can only use it in a parking lot or bumper-to-bumper traffic with limited timeframe until the battery needs to be charged again with the gas engine.
The gas mileage I've been getting is below what the manufacture posted which I expected. I've been averaging between 23-24 mpg (mixed driving) which is still much better than any other SUV in this class. Also, keep in mind that this is a hybrid with a V6 engine and not a 4-cyl.. I've test driven the Ford Escape Hybrid with the 4-cyl. engine and I can feel the engine working hard and loud when pushed. This will not be the case with the Highlander Hybrid.
Only two complaints. First would be the heavy rear hatch door. You will not be able to close with one hand. It would have been nice to include the option of being able to open just the rear hatch window even on the base models so you don't have to open and close the rear hatch door every time you need to get something even it's small. This option is currently only available on the Sport or Limited trim. Second, a factory anti-theft alarm should have been included in the Base model for the price of the vehicle. It has the engine immobilizer, but it's not anti-theft.
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