Gas milage is not what I expected
I've had the Highlander Hybrid for about a month, and I'm sorry but I don't really have many good things to say about it. I traded in a 2004 VW loaded Touareg with a V8 and air suspension, so moving to this vehicle was a major downgrade. Disappointingly, I've already had the Hybrid system fail on me leaving me stranded out in the middle of nowhere. The car went completely dead. I suppose I hoped that if the hybrid system failed, I could use the regular engine to get to safety. No such luck. I got the vehicle towed to the nearest Toyota Dealer, which was in the opposite direction that I lived, so it was more than an inconveniece. Toyota fixed the problem without any charge, but was without the car for a couple of days, and I had to drive over an hour back to the dealer to pick it up on my own time. I have also not received the posted MPG's for City or Highway, and average around 22 since getting the car. I've tried to alter my driving methods to maximize the hybrid system, and even drive with Econ mode a lot, but don't get near what I should. I am extremely disappointed that the sales person did not tell me that the Navigation system is completely locked down while the car is moving. Since my previous vehicle did not do this, I was unaware that this was something that Toyota mandates. Basically, I wasted $4,000 on getting the Navigation update, because it is completely useless unless you are stopped. Even if I have a passenger in the car with me, it still requires that I'm stopped to add an address or use the phone directory. I'm sure that their answer will be that you can use voice commands to do many things, this is just ridiculous. Maybe it's my fault for not noticing this during the test drive, but I definitely would not have purchased this car if I would have know this restriction. I also don't like that I can't lock the car with the car running if I have both sets of keys. I have a dog that I like to take with me, and on hot summer days, keeping the air conditioning running while I run into a store quickly is convenient. I've also noticed the car "jumping" a lot, where it feels like the car is throbbing, and can't decide to use hybrid or conventional engine. I've started to get use to it, but my wife complains the entire time we're driving around. Maybe the only thing that I really do like is the Bluetooth connectivity with my phone, and it quickly sync's as soon as I turn on the engine. I would not recommend this vehicle to others in a similar situation as myself.
Great vehicle overall, I think it has nice acceleration considering it is a Hybrid. Great interior features/quality. If your going to buy one, get the Limited edition, it is great having all the features like power lift rear tailgate/navigation(blue tooth calls)/etc biggest complaints are that the rear power-lift tailgate had to go back to Toyota to fix multiple times, but it has been fine for over a month now, so I think they finally got it right... Awesome mileage on 87 octane in northern Virginia area during spring/summer months, so far averaging 28-30MPG in mixed driving Cons: limited "EV only" mode (engine starts up around 25mph or so) and poor controls over when EV mode is on and off (if you want to control it) styling is too "rounded/bubbly" for me, but it did everything I wanted and has a great interior so I bought it anyway Lack of selectable FWD/AWD modes Pros: BIGGEST reason I bought it: HOV access! mileage interior space seating for 7 (4 adults comfortable, the middle second row seat is marginal, the 3'rd row seats are good for short rides but hard to get into the row) 3500lbs towing AWD mid-full size space, in a mid size vehicle that drives just like a car Conclusion: Great vehicle, would buy again.........however personally, if it was not for the HOV access, I would not have spent this kind of money on this vehicle, the hybrid is such a premium I doubt its worth it for gas savings alone (plus it lowers your towing from 5000 to 3500)...