We recently moved from the city to a very hilly mountain community. No question that I needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle. I've always owned Toyotas for their reliability so I wanted an 8 cyl, 4 WD Toyota 4Runner. My wife and daughter were relentless in their lobbying for the "greener" Highlander Hybrid. I'm glad that I listened to them. I love the systems displays on the dashboard. I find myself flipping between screens, from the MPG screen to the screen that shows how the car is being powered. I wish Toyota had put the control for the screens on the steering wheel instead of on the dash where you reach through the steering wheel. The HH is incredibly quiet inside and out. It rivals my wife's Lexus in its quiet ride and I've startled deer and turkey when the HH is powered by the electric motor. I tend to drive a little faster than the speed limit but my MPG averages 27 -28. The 4Runner I originally wanted would have averaged 14. The ride is great, the quality is top notch- what would you expect from Toyota? But what I was not expecting was the performance. The 4WD effortlessly gets me up my wet, leaf-covered, steep driveway. The electric motor gives the HH impressive acceleration that rivals an 8 cyl.
I traded in a 2007 Ford Expedition for the Highlander Hybrid. I went from getting 14mpg in the city to 34mpg. With gas prices going higher the mileage difference saves me approx $120 per month in gas. The vehicle has much more giddy-up than my Ford did. The digital display for the GPS and all features of the vehicle is difficult naviagate at times, but probably because I don't play with it enough. I researched the 2006 model and noticed there was an important recall for that model year. Prior to purchasing the vehicle I checked with dealer to see if the car had been serviced for the recall part (a $1,900 part) and it had not. Within 3 days of purchasing vehicle I had it at Toyota dealer and they sevrice the recall and the vehicle drives even better afterwards. Germans and Japanese make the best quality cars. Stay away from American made cars as the quality is not very good.
This car was a good purchase. It is comfortable and reliable. I have taken it in for routine maintenance, but never needed to take it in for problems. The bluetooth feature is great. The navigation software leaves much to be desired. It functions properly, but I bought a Garmin because it is easier to follow. I use the auxiliary feature for my iPod so I can access the car speakers. Tire were not in great shape at time of purchase; had to replace them in first 3 months of purchase. This is not a Toyota problem; just something in carmax to be aware of when shopping.