Just got back from our first long trip in the brand-new 2008 Highlander.
We had three adults, two small children, two large dogs, five days' luggage for same, on a 400-mile (each way) road trip. Everyone enjoyed the ride. (I had been skeptical about the back seat DVD player. No longer: get this option if you have small kids, forget flying, and hit the road.)
I enabled the "ECO" button. Of course.
And it seems that we're cruising in "heretical mode" more often than not: under some load, say going up a hill, full car, and we're indicating 20 MPG on the economy meter. The energy flow display is showing power from the ICE to the front wheels, and also power from the ICE to the electric motor - to the front wheels.
You get this all the time on the highway.
We had like 800-900 pounds of stuff (people, critters, and things) in the car, battled some light snow, and still pulled in 31 MPG. No, I didn't go that fast. But we had a great time.
Last edited by boydwaters; 12-14-2007 at 12:14 PM.
Reason: topic drift
I'm only 400 miles into my new Highlander Hybrid, but so far have only been able to average 25 MPG, even in econ mode.
Granted, I live at 600 ft. elevation and commute to 50 ft. elevation over approximately 10 miles (with a lot of volatility (read: hills) in between), but I'm pretty seasoned with getting the most out of our mileage (2-year Prius owner).
I'm hoping that my mileage increases as I get through a few tanks of gas. Which, in the medium-cold environment I live, recently switched to a winter formula that always causes a lag on mileage over the colder months.
I guess I'm just hit the "Whoa, wait a minute" Stage, as any new Hybrid Owner does. I paid a pretty big premium trading our 2-year old 4Runner in to upgrade to something a bit more eco-friendly. I sure hope i can achieve better than 15-20% increase in gas mileage.
The cold will reduce gas mileage; ethanol has less energy than typical gasoline.
I achieved 30 MPG rolling along at about 60-65 MPH (try to maintain 100 km/h) for about 6 hours. 10-mile legs might not be enough to warm up the engine much.
Just take it easy during the break-in period and enjoy the car. It seems larger to me than a 4runner. I think it's a great vehicle. You won't see a payback in reduced gas consumption versus a non-hybrid Highlander. But I think it's the nicest passenger vehicle that Toyota makes right now (built in the Lexus LX350 factory, I think).
We've had our '08 HiHy for about a month, always in ECO mode. Mostly used around town (commuting, slow to moderate freeway speed). We've consistently been getting 25 mpg. The EV mode button only seems to engage when the engine is warm at very low speeds (say 5mph or so). Getting 30mpg seems unattainable at this point, although we haven't done long road trips yet. Unless you are very light on the gas you'll pop it out of this mode. When very careful I can go about a mile on EV.
I work at a car dealer & I drive an 06 4WD Escape Hybrid that usually gets me somewhere around 30 mpg. It drops quite a bit in really cold weather, the lowest mpg I have ever gotten was last Winter when we had a stretch of a few weeks where it stayed at about 10º the whole time & I got around 24 mpg.
We recently purchased a BEAUTIFUL 06 4WD Highlander Hybrid from a customer who decided they couldn't afford to make the payments on it.
I drove it for a week or so as I was considering buying it. Although I absolutely LOVED driving the truck (it is black & it has every available factory option), I decided against it as it was using a LOT more gas than my Escape.
I didn't figure out the exact mpg, but in the time I drove it I had to fill it twice & I have never used two tanks of gas that fast in the Escape.......
Pictures of a few of the modifications I have made to the truck:
My 08 HiHi has now completed 1k miles. I've averaged about 24mpg so far and I'm told it will improve after the initial driving in period. I typically drive in ECO mode, and (of course!) EV mode when possible.
The challenge is that in San Diego... one often faces horrible traffic, sometimes you can't help but having to accelerate horribly... and that sort of ruins the MPG.
However the nice weather helps MPG.
Haven't bothered TOO much with tire pressure or such stuff - as I feel that as long as it's above the recommended setting it doesnt do too much.
I'd hope to get from my average to about 28MPG... I'll try to drive as if there are "eggs" all over the car... I think that helps!
I LOVE the car - it's sort of fully loaded... couldn't resist that...
I'd love some advice on how to cope with very busy freeway traffic though as this does seem to adversely effect MPG...
We have a new 2008 Highlander Hybrid and are still trying to learn how to drive it to maximum efficiency. The Econ button certainly seems to help mileage. Should we use it only around town as the owners manual implies or can it be used on the highway , on trips, at higher speeds? The manual doesn't tell you not to use it that way. When should it be used?
man no offense but when i read all these posts, you might as well spring the extra bucks for a BLOCK HEATER. holy crap toyota you should have made it standard so they can be plug in hybrid early boomers! even in blistering 30 degrees centrigrade the block heater will heat the block up to 50 degrees C because I BET its 70 degrees C before any hybrid tricks start kicking in.
and if its that cold, draw yourself a nice grille block although i understand for a new suv like that, its hard to put cardboard or something in front of it right away when your trying to show off your riches....
ah i still want one! but not with my wage well my only reason for wanting one was the "can't beat em join em attitude" since they create blind spots for me so badly when trying to make a turn or wishing if i had the extra height i can see over that obstacle that's blocking my vision and believe me my head is touching the nwh20 prius roof!
i got around 20 km a liter when i drove a civic 5 spd using advanced hypermiler techniques
and now I drive a salvage nwh20 prius that gets almost to 25 km/l with 195,000 km to date. (retired)
1997 BMW 318IS with m44 engine (1.9 liters > 130 horsepower on 91 octane, capable of 30 mpg highway)