2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid

2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid: If the revamped Toyota Highlander is to do well, it has its work suitable it. It has to carry and delight young people, swallow freight as well as conquer snow. It should be secure, comfortable as well as elegant, as well as it has to do all these things without breaking the financial institution-- in cars and truck payments or at the pump. A tall order, no doubt, however the leading midsize SUV rivals truly have actually gotten that great.

The Highlander qualifies on all matters, though it does not excel in any kind of one area. Offered it can maintain its impressive resale value as well as integrity, it must show a wise-- otherwise especially captivating-- selection for several years to come.

Base, Sporting activity and Limited trim degrees have front- or four-wheel drive, and all can seat five or 7, relying on the configuration. Costs vary from about $27,000 to $40,000 with choices.

I evaluated all 3 trim degrees of the routine Highlander at a Toyota occasion in Michigan.

2008 toyota Highlander Hybrid

Edgier Styling

Toyota's California design workshops formed the exterior, which is bigger in all significant measurements than the old Highlander. To my eyes, Toyota's smaller RAV4 SUV looks better-proportioned, with simply enough curves to offset the angles. With its creased headlights, flashy grille and also amorphous bumper, the Highlander seems a little bit as well slick-- like a convenience store shopper that won't remove his sunglasses.

The back bumper has lumpy reflectors on each side, as well as a lot of trim levels have a glass hatch that opens independent of the liftgate. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are conventional; the Sport and Limited have 19-inchers that fill out the wheel wells perfectly. The Sporting activity has a dark silver grille and also smoked-out fronts lights. The Limited has plainer fronts lights and chrome exterior moldings.

At 188.4 inches long as well as 75.2 inches vast, the Highlander casts approximately the exact same darkness as a Honda Pilot, Subaru Tribeca or Hyundai Veracruz. The Mazda CX-9 and also Saturn Expectation are both regarding a foot longer.

The Inside

Toyota has invested years building a reputation for quality, and absent any kind of severe competitors, the new Highlander could have kept that requirement. The competitors is nothing otherwise major, however, and SUVs like the CX-9 and Veracruz boast some impressively upscale interiors. In comparison, Toyota drops a little bit short.

The Highlander shares foundations with the present Camry, and the control panel births much of the sedan's flavor. The facility controls are the natural focal point, with large handles for major features within simple reach. Sport and Limited models have a 3.5-inch screen atop the stereo. It shows gas mileage, outside temperature level and more. It also reveals settings for the optional automated climate control system, which could split the cabin right into as lots of as three temperature level areas-- 2 front and one rear. The environment regulates rest below the stereo, as well as they're awfully chaotic. I counted 13 switches between both temperature knobs; that's a lot of ground to cover when you're referencing a readout some 10 inches away. On the other hand, the conventional hands-on air conditioning is basic.

Cabin quality is simply ordinary. The window changes, turn signals and center controls can go straight right into a Lexus, as well as the chrome accents and also electroluminescent evaluates appearance fantastic. Most areas are cut in hard plastics, nonetheless, as well as the textures lack the charm of right stuff in several rivals. Most awful of all is the ceiling's headliner, which is some of the most affordable computer mouse hair this side of an economic climate automobile.

Moms and dads will value the storage options. The facility console between the front seats has 4 cupholders and a wide storage space container. Forget laptops; the glove box could fit a tiny desktop. (Possibly not the screen, however-- allow's not get carried away.).

3 common rows of seats accommodate approximately 7, though you can drop the 3rd row in order to save a little money, minimizing seating capacity to five. The front seats offer lots of room, with a trick extender in the Highlander Limited that prolongs the cushion under the motorist's thighs. Good touch.

The 2nd row is similarly commodious, with reclining backrests as well as seat pillows that readjust backward and forward. The facility seat has Toyota's brand-new Facility Stow feature. It's primarily a dive seat, which guests could exchange for a plastic center console, turning the second row into two captain's chairs. The unused portion-- either the center seat or console-- shops in a flooring compartment in 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 installation. Its comfort is hit and miss, even for a middle seat; the bottom padding is significant, but I might conveniently feel the hinges under the back-rest padding. The plastic console is lighter still, and also both items have strong setup hooks that ought to endure plenty of knocking from overenthusiastic children.

Relying on where the 2nd row is placed, the 3rd row can be remarkably adult-friendly. I'm 6 feet tall and also discovered headroom a little bit tight, but with the second row progressed a couple of inches-- preserving plenty of legroom for most grownups-- the third row's legroom was such that I could tolerate a brief trip.

Bigger Engine, Better Mileage

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

Acceleration is adequate off the line and also more powerful as the engine revs. The transmission assists things along, holding gears and seldom changing prematurely. Difficult velocity can trigger some sudden transitions among lower gears-- much better for velocity, worse for convenience-- but the majority of the time the changes are smooth adequate to pass undetected. The drivetrain really feels ideal on the freeway, where it downshifts with marginal gear hunting. 3rd equipment is especially potent for 50-to-70 miles per hour passing away.

The optional 4x4 is clear to the chauffeur. It integrates a center differential to split power 50/50 in between the front and back wheels all of the time. Four-wheel-drive designs have a downhill help feature. Press a control panel button, and it will certainly slow down the SUV to a crawl down high qualities. The feature seems a bit disingenuous: There is no low equipment for offroad rock crawling, which suggests you should probably prevent anywhere treacherous adequate to need the downhill help.

All Highlanders have a hill-start help that holds the brakes for approximately three seconds from a quit to stop the SUV from rolling backwards before you have time to hit the gas.

Using the EPA's even more sensible 2008 rating system-- which generally leads to reduce numbers-- gas mileage is ranked at 18/24 mpg (city/highway) for two-wheel-drive versions and also 17/23 mpg for those with four-wheel drive. These ratings lead most midsize SUVs by 1 or 2 mpg. They likewise beat the old V-6 Highlander by about 1 mpg (adjusted utilizing the EPA's new computation)-- a remarkable task, provided the new Highlander has even more power and also evaluates some 300 pounds much more. (Four-cylinder fans will not miss out on much: The old four-cylinder Highlander got just 1 mpg greater than the new one finishes with the V-6.).

Flight & Handling

The unibody construction pays for a comfy ride, with none of the underbody vibrating that afflicted 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, however I could not find a difference in flight firmness amongst the base, Sporting activity and Limited. All three have a bit extra suspension noise over major bumps than I have actually concerned expect in a midsize SUV.

Wind sound is minimal. Given a smooth stretch of asphalt, the tires are reasonably silent. The Sporting activity and also Limited's 19-inch wheels and also P245/55R19 tires emit a mild hum at highway rates, which I could not spot with the base model's 17-inchers as well as thicker P245/65R19 rubber.

All designs currently have electrical power steering. These systems conserve a bit on gas consumption-- a bit of low-hanging fruit to meet the government's gas economy requirements, I presume-- however they typically lead to drab, artificial steering feel. Expectedly, the Highlander guides with a light touch, never ever providing a lot in the method of feedback or turning precision. The CX-9 fares better here, however couple of other rivals stick out. The exact same holds true for body roll: Like many SUVs, the Highlander leans away in contours, reminding drivers it's not to be cornered swiftly.

Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard. The pedal provides spongy feedback, however the brakes clamp down hard when required.

Cargo & Towing

With all 3 rows set up and increased, cargo area in back is a weak 10.3 cubic feet. The third row folds up flat right into the floor, and the 2nd row folds up virtually level. Highlanders without the 3rd row instead include a rather large storage space location under the rear flooring.

With all seats folded up, maximum freight volume is 95.4 cubic feet, which contrasts a lot more favorably with the crowd.

When properly equipped, the Highlander can tow approximately 5,000 pounds.
Safety and security.

In Insurance Policy Institute for Freeway Security frontal crash examinations, the 2008 Highlander scored the highest possible score, Great. IIHS has actually not evaluated the Highlander for side impacts.

Toyota didn't skimp on safety features. All Highlanders come typical with four-wheel-disc anti-skid brakes, traction control and a digital stability system. The security system now deals with the electric power steering, which enhances the power aid when the chauffeur is steering to correct a skid. It also assists combat steering pull under tough stopping in order to help the Highlander stop in a straight line. (Toyota states the system can not steer the SUV on its own, as some sophisticated systems now do, so if you steer the upside-down in a skid, do not anticipate any kind of additional power aid.).

Seven airbags are standard, consisting of the required twin front airbags, a chauffeur's knee air bag as well as side-impact air bags for the front seats. There are additionally roll-sensing side curtain air bags for all 3 rows, which deploy during a rollover to stop occupant ejection.

All seats have head restrictions, and also in Sporting activity and also Limited designs, the front ones are forward-adjustable for far better whiplash defense. Energetic head restraints are basic on the front seats of all trims. The 2nd row consists of Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard seats, with conveniently accessible top-tether supports midway down the seatback.

Attributes & Prices

Excluding the destination charge, the base Highlander with two-wheel drive begins at $27,300. A Highlander Limited with a complete bevy of alternatives runs around $42,000. Four-wheel drive on any trim includes concerning $1,500. All trim levels feature three rows of seats, though a third-row erase choice on certain models can save $740.

-For $27,300, the base Highlander comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entrance, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, a/c, cruise control, as well as power windows, mirrors and door locks.
-For $29,950, the Sport includes dark outside components, 19-inch wheels, haze lights, a power driver's seat, a multifunction steering wheel, a back-up camera and six-CD audio.
-For $32,700, the Restricted includes a keyless start-up system, automatic environment control, leather upholstery and a power guest seat. A lot of these attributes are optional on the Sporting activity. Alternatives on both trim degrees consist of a navigating system, JBL costs sound, a rear seat DVD gamer, a moonroof, a power tailgate and also heated front seats.

Highlander out there

Rivals from GM, Mazda as well as Hyundai will certainly give the Highlander a run for its cash. Its biggest opponent, the Honda Pilot, schedules for a redesign in the following year or two, and Toyota's key resource-- its reputation for top quality and also reliability-- has been slipping recently. The car manufacturer has pledged to redouble its initiatives, as well as its most recent SUV should prove that.

The brand-new Highlander has lots of book perceptiveness, like suitable gas mileage as well as lots of safety functions, yet there's nothing extraordinary concerning it. If it confirms as bulletproof as its predecessor, though, stability will certainly become its specifying quality, which is a textbook attract a lot of purchasers could get behind.

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