2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid

2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid: If the redesigned Toyota Highlander is to prosper, it has its work suited it. It should transport as well as amuse youngsters, swallow cargo as well as dominate snow. It needs to be safe, comfortable and also elegant, as well as it needs to do all these points without breaking the bank-- in cars and truck settlements or at the pump. A tall order, no doubt, however the leading midsize SUV competitors really have gotten that great.

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not excel in any one area. Offered it can preserve its exceptional resale worth as well as reliability, it should confirm a smart-- if not specifically exciting-- choice for several years ahead.

Base, Sporting activity as well as Limited trim levels come with front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat five or 7, depending on the arrangement. Rates range from roughly $27,000 to $40,000 with alternatives.

I examined all three trim levels of the regular Highlander at a Toyota event in Michigan.

2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid

Edgier Styling

Toyota's California design studios shaped the exterior, which is larger in all major dimensions compared to the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller sized RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply sufficient contours to offset the angles. With its creased fronts lights, fancy grille as well as amorphous bumper, the Highlander appears a little bit as well slick-- like a corner store buyer who won't remove his sunglasses.

The rear bumper has dimpled reflectors on each side, as well as many trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are common; the Sporting activity as well as Limited have 19-inchers that fill out the wheel wells well. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille as well as smoked-out headlights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights as well as chrome exterior moldings.

At 188.4 inches long and 75.2 inches wide, the Highlander casts approximately the very same shadow as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 as well as Saturn Expectation are both concerning a foot much longer.

The Inside

Toyota has spent years developing a credibility for high quality, and absent any major competition, the new Highlander may have kept that requirement. The competitors is absolutely nothing otherwise severe, though, and SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz flaunt some impressively high end insides. In contrast, Toyota drops a bit short.

The Highlander shares underpinnings with the current Camry, and the dashboard births much of the car's taste. The center controls are the natural focal point, with large handles for major functions within easy reach. Sporting activity as well as Limited designs have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level and also more. It also shows settings for the optional automatic climate control system, which could divide the cabin right into as lots of as three temperature level areas-- 2 front and also one rear. The climate manages rest below the stereo, and they're very chaotic. I counted 13 switches in between both temperature handles; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. In contrast, the typical manual cooling is straightforward.

Cabin top quality is simply average. The window changes, turn signals and facility controls could go straight into a Lexus, and the chrome accents and electroluminescent determines look great. Most areas are trimmed in difficult plastics, however, and the appearances lack the appeal of the stuff in several competitors. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the least expensive computer mouse fur this side of an economic situation car.

Parents will appreciate the storage choices. The facility console in between the pole positions has 4 cupholders and also a wide storage container. Forget laptops; the handwear cover box could fit a tiny computer. (Probably not the display, however-- let's not get carried away.).

3 typical rows of seats fit up to seven, though you could go down the 3rd row in order to save a little cash, reducing seating capacity to five. The front seats offer plenty of room, with a method extender in the Highlander Limited that expands the padding under the chauffeur's thighs. Wonderful touch.

The 2nd row is similarly commodious, with reclining backrests and also seat paddings that change backward and forward. The center seat has Toyota's new Center Stow function. It's generally a jump seat, which travelers could exchange for a plastic facility console, turning the second row into 2 captain's chairs. The extra section-- either the center seat or console-- stores in a flooring compartment between the front seats. After a couple of practice runs, I was able to make the change in around 25 seconds.

The dive seat is light sufficient for very easy installment. Its convenience is hit and miss, even for a middle seat; the bottom cushion is substantial, yet I might easily feel the hinges below the backrest cushioning. The plastic console is lighter still, as well as both pieces have tough installation hooks that should make it through lots of knocking from overenthusiastic children.

Depending upon where the 2nd row is positioned, the third row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also found clearance a bit limited, yet with the second row progressed a couple of inches-- protecting plenty of legroom for most grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I might endure a brief journey.

Larger Engine, Better Gas Mileage

All Highlanders get the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Camry, Sienna and also numerous other Toyotas. In the Highlander it makes 270 horse power and 248 pounds-feet of torque. Both are considerable gains over last year's V-6, that made 215 hp and also 222 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. In 2014's base four-cylinder engine has actually been gone down.

Acceleration is adequate off the line as well as stronger as the engine revs. The transmission aids things along, holding gears and hardly ever changing prematurely. Difficult acceleration can trigger some sudden transitions amongst reduced gears-- better for velocity, worse for comfort-- yet a lot of the time the changes are smooth sufficient to pass unseen. The drivetrain feels finest on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear searching. Third equipment is specifically potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing.

The optional four-wheel drive is transparent to the motorist. It incorporates a center differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and rear wheels all the time. Four-wheel-drive models have a downhill aid feature. Press a control panel button, and also it will slow down the SUV to a crawl down steep qualities. The feature seems a bit disingenuous: There is no reduced gear for offroad rock crawling, which means you need to possibly avoid anywhere treacherous enough to require the downhill aid.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for up to three secs from a quit to stop the SUV from rolling in reverse prior to you have time to strike the gas.

Utilizing the EPA's even more realistic 2008 score system-- which normally brings about decrease numbers-- gas mileage is rated at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These scores lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise defeated the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (changed utilizing the EPA's new estimation)-- an impressive task, offered the brand-new Highlander has more power and weighs some 300 extra pounds extra. (Four-cylinder followers won't miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander obtained simply 1 mpg more than the new one makes with the V-6.).

Ride & Handling

The unibody building manages a comfy flight, with none of the underbody shimmying that pestered the previous Highlander (which was also unibody) and lots of body-on-frame SUVs. The four-wheel-independent suspension is sport-tuned in the Highlander Sporting activity, but I could not identify a distinction in trip suppleness amongst the base, Sporting activity as well as Limited. All three have a bit more suspension noise over significant bumps than I've involved expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is very little. Provided a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably quiet. The Sport and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires release a minor hum at freeway speeds, which I could not detect with the base design's 17-inchers and also thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs now include electrical power guiding. These systems save a bit on gas consumption-- a little low-hanging fruit to satisfy the federal government's fuel economic climate criteria, I believe-- however they typically cause drab, synthetic guiding feeling. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never supplying much in the method of feedback or transforming accuracy. The CX-9 fares much better here, but couple of other competitors stand out. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like a lot of SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, advising chauffeurs it's not to be caught swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are common. The pedal provides mushy action, however the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all three rows mounted and also elevated, freight area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The 3rd row folds up level into the floor, and the 2nd row folds nearly level. Highlanders without the third row instead consist of a fairly huge storage space area under the rear flooring.

With all seats folded up, maximum cargo quantity is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts extra positively with the group.

When appropriately equipped, the Highlander could tow approximately 5,000 pounds.

In Insurance Coverage Institute for Freeway Security frontal accident examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest possible score, Excellent. IIHS has not tested the Highlander for side effects.

Toyota didn't skimp on security functions. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and also an electronic security system. The security system currently works with the electric power guiding, which improves the power help when the driver is guiding to remedy a skid. It also assists battle guiding pull under tough stopping to assist the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not guide the SUV on its own, as some innovative systems currently do, so if you guide the upside-down in a skid, don't anticipate any type of extra power help.).

Seven air bags are conventional, consisting of the required twin front airbags, a driver's knee air bag as well as side-impact airbags for the pole positions. There are likewise roll-sensing side drape airbags for all three rows, which release throughout a rollover to stop resident ejection.

All seats have head restraints, as well as in Sporting activity and Limited versions, the front ones are forward-adjustable for better whiplash protection. Active head restrictions are common on the pole positions of all trims. The second row consists of Latch child-seat supports in the outboard seats, with easily accessible top-tether anchors midway down the seatback.

Features & Pricing

Excluding the location fee, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive starts at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of alternatives playings around $42,000. 4x4 on any type of trim includes concerning $1,500. All trim levels have 3 rows of seats, though a third-row remove choice on particular versions could save $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, a CD stereo with a supporting MP3 jack, cooling, cruise control, and also power windows, mirrors and door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sporting activity adds darkened outside components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power motorist's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a backup video camera and six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Limited includes a keyless startup system, automatic environment control, natural leather furniture and also a power passenger seat. Many of these attributes are optional on the Sport. Alternatives on both trim levels consist of a navigation system, JBL costs sound, a backseat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also warmed pole positions.

Highlander on the market

Rivals from GM, Mazda and also Hyundai will provide the Highlander a run for its money. Its largest rival, the Honda Pilot, is due for a redesign in the next year or 2, as well as Toyota's trump card-- its reputation for top quality as well as reliability-- has been sliding recently. The car manufacturer has vowed to redouble its efforts, and also its latest SUV should verify that.

The new Highlander has great deals of textbook sensibilities, like suitable gas mileage as well as loads of security functions, however there's absolutely nothing remarkable about it. If it verifies as bulletproof as its predecessor, however, dependability will become its specifying feature, which is a book draw a lot of purchasers could support.