I am really miffed. We finally got some snow in MN. This weekend I found out that my wife's $36,000 2007 Highlander Hybrid Limited is 100% absolutely useless in powder snow. This thing will leave you stranded!!!! Do not buy one of these if you will ever need to drive in snow!!! I knew from reading the owner's manual that the Highlander Hybrid is not to be considered an off-road vehicle. And I used to be OK with that, that's why I have a Chevy Silverado 4WD and it's awesome in deep snow. But this weekend I pulled that Highlander Hybrid into a parking lot that had about 8" of medium-weight snow (not fluffy, but not slushy either, good snowball making snow). And the vehicle instantly came to a complete stop!! Stepping on the gas pedal had NO EFFECT. The engine will not rev up, no power is applied to the wheels, and it just sits there like a freaking boat anchor!! What a horrible piece of crap!! This vehicle will leave you stranded if you ever try to drive in anything that will cause wheel slippage such as medium depth snow, loose sand, gravel, etc. In such a situation small 2WD drive cars would be able to keep going and you will be left stranded in your nearly $40,000 piece of Toyota crap!! I just called the service manager at the Toyota dealer and complained and she said "But it's unusual to drive one of these in 8" of snow". DUH!! Our cul-de-sac often has that much snow in the event of one of our increasingly rare MN snowfalls. These things need to have a mode where you can shut off the Traction Control system, even if that puts you only into front-wheel-drive-only mode. Unfortunately that mode is missing. Possibly the only way to make this thing go through snow is to have a lot of momentum and never ever slow down. It is very misleading to call this thing a "4WD" of any kind. Tonight I will try this experiment again with the wife driving the Highlander and me driving a real 4WD (Chevy Silverado) so I can yank that sorry piece of junk out of the snow.
So far I'm not even getting a callback from the sales person at the Toyota dealer so I can chew her out for selling us this incapable vehicle.